What’s Next? Life After the Taal Volcano Eruption

January 12, 2020.It was a typical Sunday afternoon where families are gathered together, enjoying the weekend in high spirits as the new year has just rolled in. Not one person was aware of the tragedy that was about to unfold a few minutes later.

Needless to say, we all know what happened next. The ground started to rumble and shake. Fissures began to spew smoke and steam all over the island volcano. Then out came a huge pillar of smoke, ashes, volcanic debris, and sulfur.

Taal Volcano has erupted.

Small But Terrible

Taal Volcano is known to be the world’s smallest active volcano. It is the second most active volcano in the Philippines next to Mount Mayon.

To say that it is “small but terrible” is a complete understatement and undermines the tremendous destructive power of the volcano island.It is completely unpredictable. It can look peaceful and serene – beautiful, even – in its dormant state. However, once it unleashes its wrath, it leaves behind a trail of destruction and catastrophe.

Historically, according to a paper titled “The 2010 seismovolcanic crisis at Taal Volcano (Philippines),” eruptions of the small volcano are powerful and violent. They can happen at any time. Until now, as we all witnessed a few weeks ago, there is no surefire way to forecast its eruptions well in advance.

The volcano exploded without warning, taking the residents and tourists in the area completely by surprise. People were advised to evacuate and clear the cities and towns surrounding the area. Hordes of people fled the town and went to seek refuge in neighboring provinces.

What started as a dreamy Sunday turned out to be a nightmare.

Rescue and Relief Ops

As soon as the news of Taal’s eruption broke, rescue and relief operations were immediately mobilized. Filipinos and the world over started to take to social media and ask not just for prayers but for any kind of help that could be lent to the victims of the tragedy.

People started giving. Companies and institutions did their civic duties and organized donations drives. Military and police staff and personnel were deployed.Construction and trucking companies sent out trucks to help transport people. Some sent an articulated hauler to help with the disposal of ashes, dirt, and debris. Everybody wanted to pitch in and help.

For the next few days, help and assistance from all over poured it much to the relief of the victims and the volunteers on-site.

Picking Up the Pieces

Now that Phivolcs has lowered the alert level to Level 3, people are starting to go back to their homes to pick up the pieces and start all over again.

While some of them are excited to go home, others are left with severe trauma and just want to relocate.

All the help and aid they received are well appreciated. From food to clothes to financial aid to clean-up drives, the victims have nothing but gratefulness and respect to each Filipino that gave and volunteered. However, there is still a lingering sorrow left in their hearts in light of the pain of the losses they experienced.

On January 22, 2020, the Philippine House of Representatives held an out-of-town plenary session in Batangas where the volcano is located. According to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, they did this to show the victims that the congress prioritizes responding to the victims’ needs.

While it may seem like a symbolic act, until something tangible and practical comes out of it, it will remain just that – symbolic. The question on a lot of the victims’ minds right now is, “Where do we go from here?”

How will the government help them rebuild their lives and regain that which was lost? How do you follow through to make sure the words spoken are not just empty promises?

But the Filipino people are resilient. They know how to bounce back from every tragedy they have faced. The Filipino spirit is very much alive, especially during circumstances like calamities. If there’s one good thing about a tragedy, it brings Filipinos together to work with one another in helping people rebuild their lives.

It might take some time and the process will not be an easy one but they will recover. They always recover.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

How Do You Choose Which Cell Phone Provider To Use?

You might not have put that much thought into your cell phone provider more, but it’s worth considering. Most people just decide on the phone that they want and then pick the cheapest deal, but that isn’t necessarily the best way to decide. The cost of calls and messages is one important factor, but there are other things that you should think about as well. 

When it comes to choosing a provider, you are quite limited. There are only 4 providers that actually have their own network, and that may become 3 if the Sprint & T-Mobile merger goes ahead. There are other smaller providers but they will piggyback on these same networks. If you are lost and you don’t know where to start, these are some of the things that you need to consider when deciding on a cell phone provider. 

The Reputation Of The Company

If you are signing a contract that could last up to 2 years, you need to make sure that you are dealing with a reliable company that offers a good service. If you are using a smaller provider, you should always look at some reviews and check the reputation of that company. You don’t want to be tied into a contract with a company that offers terrible service. 

Your Own Needs 

Next, you need to consider what your own needs are and how you are going to use the phone. For example, if you are using it as a source of entertainment, you need to make sure that you have a good data package and you can get good coverage so you can stream videos and music etc. However, if you are using the phone mainly for work and you need to be contactable at all times, the number of minutes you get and the signal strength will be your main priorities. By thinking about how you will use the phone, you will get a better idea of what you should be looking for in a provider. 

Customer Service 

The level of customer service that the provider offers is so important. We all rely heavily on our phones and if something goes wrong with yours, it can be a real pain. That’s why you want to work with a provider that will get things back up and running again as soon as possible. Make sure that you look up some reviews online and see what people’s experience with the customer service team has been like. 

Contract Length 

You can get some cheap deals if you sign on to a long contract, but that isn’t always the best option. These long contracts come with very steep penalties if you try to get out of them early, which means that if a better deal comes along before your contract is up (which it probably will), you can’t take advantage of it. It’s much better to go for a shorter contract so you can keep switching and save yourself some money. 

You need to weigh up all of these different factors before you can make a decision about which cell phone provider is right for you.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

2020 Progressive Insurance St. Louis Boat & Sportshow!

It’s that time of year again! Time to start counting down until you lift the anchor for boating season to begin!!! What better way to start your countdown than at the Progressive® Insurance St. Louis Boat & Sportshow® !

Keep reading for a chance to win a family 4 pack to attend the show for free!!!

Many people that hear about this event think that it may be only about boats, that is far from the truth! Bring down the entire family and spend a day or two or three exploring all that the boat and sportshow has to offer! Play on the pirate ship, teach your kids some awesome fishing skills, indoor kayaking, and so much more. There will be plenty to keep those little eyes excited! Big engines, fast boats, and even get yourself a selfie with one of those yachts that you’ll own one day.

  • New! Career Day, Friday, Jan. 31, where students and job seekers can get career advice and hear about job openings from marine business professionals.
  • New! The Discover Boating Experience – The Hub for Boaters, featuring hands-on learning, dynamic demos, interactive activities and entertaining speakers to help educate and inspire boaters and dreamers alike. Enjoy short, powerful talks that will inspire your on-water and outdoor adventures at the main stage, and visit the Hub stations to take part in workshops, get one-on-one advice, see what’s new and more.
  • New! The Show Me Stage, where attendees can learn from fishing experts during free daily seminars and watch fishing and casting demonstrations.
  • Back by Popular Demand! Paddle Sports Pool, where attendees can get their feet wet checking out demos and testing a new Hobie or Jackson kayak. Seminars and open paddle times will be posted on-site.
  • The Hawg Trough, a 5,000-gallon, fully stocked fishing demo tank with seminars from pro anglers – a chance to see firsthand how fish react to various rods and bait.
  • Kids Archery Range, presented by The National Wild Turkey Foundation and St. Louis Longbeards, where kids can learn about outdoor safety and practice their archery and marksmanship skills at an archery range and BB gun range.
  • Upper Limits Rock Wall, where adventurous climbers can try their hand at an indoor climbing wall suited for all experience levels.
  • Pirate Island, where kids can climb aboard a pirate ship, sing pirate sea shanties, and skirmish with swords with Captain Tim and his crew of pirate scallywags for a “high seas adventure.”
  • Willow Creek Trout Pond, where little ones can practice their angling skills for free and reel in live trout.

So grab the family and come on down and see what all the Progressive® Insurance St. Louis Boat & Sportshow® has for your family.

And just because I love hooking up my readers with awesome deals use the code BOATGO9 to buy one get one ticket!!!

TICKET GIVEAWAY!!!

Last but not least, how about a family 4 pack of free tickets to the show for one lucky reader!?!?!? Share this post and comment below for a chance to win! I will randomly select a winner Sunday evening (1/26/20)! Once selected you will be contacted with all the info needed to get into the show!

Use the hashtag #STLBoatShow on social media, and feel free to tag @stlboatshow!

Dates/Times:

  • Thursday, Jan. 30, 2-9 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 31, Noon-9 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Show Location: America’s Center & The Dome, 701 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101

Tickets: Tickets are $12 for adults, and children under 12 are free.

The Easiest Ways To Flex Your Green Muscles

Image source Pexels – CC0 Licence

In the twenty first century, it’s more important than ever to be as green as possible. Being eco-friendly is seen as a necessity rather than a luxury as the future of the planet is at stake and the human race has less time than ever to turn back the clock. Everyone should do their bit, so it’s vital that you can lead the way and show your kids why being environmentally aware is so crucial. Be a role model to your offspring and develop a strategy that enables you to lower your carbon footprint and be a greener family. Read on to discover how you can flex your green muscles.

Recycle

The easiest thing that you can do that requires very little thinking or effort on your part is to recycle as much as you can. Get yourself a recycle bin and show your kids what they can and cannot recycle. Your landfill waste should dramatically reduce and your recycling bin should be full at the end of every week. Any cardboard, aluminium, glass bottles, clean foil and certain types of plastic can be recycled. This means they can be reused again and you don’t have to feel as guilty about contributing to land waste. 

You could also consider thinking outside of the box to recycle other items within your home. When you purchase a new laptop and you need to get rid of your old one, don’t head to the dump. Instead, get in touch with an ewaste recycling firm and donate your hardware to be reused again. This lowers manufacturing costs and greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere from manufacturing processes.

Lights

Forget about purchasing the most achingly cool lighting available if it uses up ridiculous amounts of electricity. Instead, opt for LED and energy efficient bulbs. They may be more costly to buy initially but they will pay for themselves over their extended lifetime. Many last ten times as long as other more traditional light bulbs and they don’t use as much electricity resulting in a lower utility bill for you, saving you money. You don’t have to worry about ugly lighting either. Many of these light bulbs are now ultra stylish and you can even pick up an energy efficient Edison style filament bulb for your super on trend interior.

Energy Production

If you are keen to be a little more off grid and have more control over your energy usage, think about installing solar panels on your home. Even a small wind turbine can help you to produce your own electricity. This means you don’t have to use a utility company, and you can even sell back any excess energy you do produce back to the grid. This can help you to recoup some of the money that you will have spent installing the solar panels in the first place.

Flex your green muscles by following some of these steps. Set an example to your kids and enjoy making your little mark when trying to be more environmentally aware.