2013 is gone, a collection of memories never to be dealt with again. Next week, the 113th Congress returns for its second session, ideally to enact legislation throughout 2014, some of which could help consumers if they were to become law. [More]
When is it a moral imperative for a company to make an exception for someone? What if you’re a company that provides subscription-based in-car emergency services, and someone who chose not to subscribe calls you with an emergency? [More]
A few decades ago, it was unimaginable for most of us. Would you have believed that even regular old middle-class people would have a device like the smartphone? It’s about the size of a pack of cards, with hours of battery life, and you can use it in a time of natural disaster to get the latest news, learn about road closings and emergency services, send mass updates to friends and loved ones, and maybe watch TV or play some games. In a pinch, it even makes phone calls. Yes, as long as cell towers are still up and you can charge the battery, a phone is an ideal companion in a natural disaster. The Red Cross confirmed that this week, releasing a survey of American adults that shows more of us are getting our emergency information in app form: then, presumably, playing Angry Birds. [More]
By now, everyone from South Carolina to New England is tracking the cone of possibilities of Hurricane Irene. Will she tack west or go east? Whatever path she takes, it seems pretty certain that a lot of folks are going to get drenched and some may lose power, suffer flooding or worse. A power outage can affect the safety of your food supply but there are some things you can do now to prepare for that possibility. [More]
Emergency room bills bring a special sort of sticker shock, because they don’t usually show up until weeks later, and then come packed with all sorts of over-inflated fees and add-ons. The New York Times calls them “notoriously high and perplexing,” and although it’s unlikely you’ll ever end up paying the full amount listed on the bill, there are strategies you can use to bring that initial figure down. [More]
You can’t expect every person to be up to date on the latest news cycle, especially not on a global scale. But there’s a Virgin Atlantic Airlines CSR who not only somehow missed that Pakistan just suffered its worst flooding in 80 years, but who kept insisting the Elisa, a customer trying to make her way back home to NYC, prove that the flooding happened. Elisa says the CSR “insisted that there were no indications in her notes that a flood had happened in Pakistan,” and that Elisa would have to prove the news or pay $933 for a “service change fee” to get back home. [More]
It’s good to have outside interests. For instance, there’s this 61-year-old flight attendant who works for American Airlines who also happens to have a commercial pilot’s license, which was good news for the pilot–and the 225 passengers–after his first officer went all Airplane! on him mid-flight. [More]
The town of Tracy, California has come up with a new plan to make money: you’ll have to pay between $48-400 to call 911. I wonder if Tracy is planning on giving the caller the bill over the phone–they might be able to chain 911 calls together by giving the first caller a heart attack, thereby prompting someone else to call, and so on. Money! [More]
One day, a California woman woke up to discover her t-shirt soaked in blood. The source? Her breast. She immediately went to the emergency room, and the cause of the bleeding was eventually found to be a benign tumor. However, her health insurance denied the claim, stating that she “reasonably should have known that an emergency did not exist.” Yes, copious amounts of blood flowing from your nipples is really something you want to wait out.
One of the unfortunate things about Crohn’s disease is it can make you need to use the bathroom pretty much immediately, without warning or fanfare. Of course, there’s plenty of fanfare afterward if you can’t find a bathroom, as one longtime customer of Plaid Pantry found out yesterday when she shat her pants in the parking lot after being denied emergency access to their employee toilet.
It’s not the responsibility of a credit card company to take care of you in an emergency, it’s true. But amid the many reports of canceled cards and slashed credit lines we’ve been receiving was the story of Elizabeth, her dog, a veterinary emergency, and a most inauspiciously timed credit line cut.
When Comcast activates the emergency alert system, Jim’s cable box snaps into action and tunes itself to QVC. The locked cable box refuses to tune to any other channel, so Jim is left wondering what emergency information he’s missing while staring at the latest deals on cubic zirconia bracelets.
Southwest Airlines flight 2298 made an emergency landing in West Virginia yesterday after a hole appeared on the top of the plane while in flight. “Passengers reported that they could see the sky through the rupture,” writes the Washington Post. It left Nashville around 4:05pm, but landed only 50 minutes later. According to this WPRI video clip, Southwest spent the night inspecting 181 of its Boeing 737-300 jets, and they say there should be no delays today.
Banks are great and all, but everyone should keep a little bit of emergency cash stashed somewhere at home. Frugal Dad offers up a list of seven hiding spots that should beat all but the most determined thieves.
A 20-year-old in Aloha, Oregon, called 911 on Memorial Day to complain that he wasn’t given the orange juice he ordered. While he was on the phone describing this emergency, a McDonald’s employee also called 911 to complain that the 20-year-old was blocking the drive-thru. And somewhere in the city, a kitten died in a tree fire because the emergency lines were all tied up. UPDATE: We’ve located the audio of both calls.
Organize your info to prepare for a disaster. If something awful suddenly happened to you, would your family know where to find all of your important papers? Your passwords? Those “special” files you keep on an encrypted thumb drive? (OK, maybe not those.) Trent at The Simple Dollar has some tips to make it easier to keep all of that data organized, as well as some ideas about how to make sure your whole family is ready to deal with any emergency. [Preparing Your Information for Disaster]