With all of the crazy weather we have in our area, here is some great suggestions on how to safe when you are caught on the road during a storm.
Texas is known for some severe weather. It can cause fear in even the most seasoned of drivers, but being prepared in advance can help alleviate that fear. If you’re caught driving in a hailstorm, you can always get to safety in short order, but there are precautionary steps you can take. Driving during one of these disastrous storms can be terrifying and has the potential of causing accidents, injury, and sometimes worse. Be aware of your surroundings, and if you suspect that a hail storm is on its way, try to make arrangements to get off the road at your earliest and safest convenience. If you’re unable to do so, here are some tips for staying safe on Texas roads when driving in a hailstorm:
Turn on your low beam headlights. reduce your speed, and maintain awareness of other vehicles.
If you have to continue driving until you can find safety, give yourself three times the normal distance between your vehicle and the one ahead, to avoid any rear-end collisions.
Pull over to the side of the road or the nearest spot with shelter and stay inside the vehicle. However, do not park under an overpass and impeded the flow of traffic. With the high rate of speed that hail falls at, people are easily injured in its path. This may also mitigate damage to your windshield or windows. since driving can compound the impact. Also, if you’re on the shoulder of the road, ensure your vehicle is completely out of the line of traffic.
Avoid ditches due to the possibility of rising water.
If possible, ensure your vehicle is such that the hail hits the front of it. With reinforced glass, windshields are able to better withstand the pelting of some hail.
If you’re able to, lie down in the vehicle, with your back to the windows. And, if one is handy, cover yourself with a blanket to prevent injury from possible debris.
Along with setting rules for licensees, the Texas Real Estate Commission also governs what your unlicensed assistants can do on your behalf. The latest Texas REALTORS® legal explainer video tests your knowledge of what tasks your unlicensed assistant can handle and what you as the licensee need to take care of yourself.
Don’t forget that the time changes this weekend. Remember to set you clocks back on hour on Saturday night. These spring and fall clock changes continue a long tradition started by Benjamin Franklin to conserve energy.
Below is a look at its history, why we have it now and some myths and interesting facts about the time change.
When does daylight saving time start and end?
Historically, daylight saving time has begun in the summer months and ended for winter, though the dates have changed over time as the U.S. government has passed new statutes, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO).
Starting in 2007, DST begins in the United States on the second Sunday in March, when people move their clocks forward an hour at 2 a.m. local standard time (so at 2 a.m. on that day, the clocks will then read 3 a.m. local daylight time). Daylight saving time ends on the first Sunday in November, when clocks are moved back an hour at 2 a.m. local daylight time (so they will then read 1 a.m. local standard time).
This year, DST began on March 10 and will end on Nov. 3, 2019. You will then move your clock forward an hour on March 8, 2020, and the cycle will begin again.
How did daylight saving time start?
Benjamin Franklin takes the honor (or the blame, depending on your view of the time changes) for coming up with the idea to reset clocks in the summer months as a way to conserve energy, according to David Prerau, author of “Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time” (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2005). By moving clocks forward, people could take advantage of the extra evening daylight rather than wasting energy on lighting. At the time, Franklin was ambassador to Paris and so wrote a witty letter to the Journal of Paris in 1784, rejoicing over his “discovery” that the sun provides light as soon as it rises.
Even so, DST didn’t officially begin until more than a century later. Germany established DST in May 1916 as a way to conserve fuel during World War I. The rest of Europe came onboard shortly thereafter. And in 1918, the United States adopted daylight saving time.
Though President Woodrow Wilson wanted to keep daylight saving time after WWI ended, the country was mostly rural at the time and farmers objected, partly because it would mean they lost an hour of morning light. (It’s a myth that DST was instituted to help farmers.) And so daylight saving time was abolished until the next war brought it back into vogue. At the start of WWII, on Feb. 9, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt re-established daylight saving time year-round, calling it “War Time.” [Learn more about the crazy history of Daylight Saving Time]
After the war, a free-for-all system in which U.S. states and towns were given the choice of whether or not to observe DST led to chaos. And in 1966, to tame such “Wild West” mayhem, Congress enacted the Uniform Time Act. That federal law meant that any state observing DST — and they didn’t have to jump on the DST bandwagon — had to follow a uniform protocol throughout the state in which daylight saving time would begin on the first Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October.
Then, in 2007, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 went into effect, expanding the length of daylight saving time to the present timing.
Why do we still have daylight saving time?
Fewer than 40 percent of the world’s countries observe daylight saving time, according to timeanddate.com. However, those who do observe DST take advantage of the natural daylight in the evenings. That’s because the days start to get longer as Earth moves from the winter season to spring and summer, with the longest day of the year on the summer solstice. During the summer, Earth, which revolves around its axis at an angle, is tilted directly toward the sun (at least its top half). [Read more about the science of summer.]
Regions farthest away from the equator and closer to the poles get the most benefit from the DST clock change, because there is a more dramatic change in sunlight throughout the seasons.
Research has also suggested that with more daylight in the evenings, there are fewer traffic accidents, as there are fewer cars on the road when it’s dark outside. More daylight also could mean more outdoor exercise (or exercise at all) for full-time workers.
The nominal reason for daylight saving time has long been to save energy. The time change was first instituted in the United States during World War I, and then reinstituted again during World War II, as a part of the war effort. During the Arab oil embargo, when Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stopped selling petroleum to the United States, Congress even enacted a trial period of year-round daylight saving time in an attempt to save energy.
But the evidence for energy savings is slim. Brighter evenings may save on electric lighting, said Stanton Hadley, a senior researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory who helped prepare a report to Congress on extended daylight saving time in 2007. But lights have become increasingly efficient, Hadley said, so lighting is responsible for a smaller chunk of total energy consumption than it was a few decades ago. Heating and cooling probably matter more, and some places may need air-conditioning for the longer, hotter evenings of summer daylight saving time.
Hadley and his colleagues found that the four weeks of extra daylight saving time that went into effect in the United States in 2007 did save some energy, about half of a percent of what would have otherwise been used on each of those days. However, Hadley said, the effect of the entire months-long stretch of daylight saving could very well have the opposite effect. A 1998 study in Indiana before and after implementation of daylight saving time in some counties found a small increase in residential energy usage. Temporary changes in Australia’s daylight saving timing for the summer Olympics of 2000 also failed to save any energy, a 2007 study found.
Part of the trouble with estimating the effect of daylight saving time on energy consumption is that there are so few changes to the policy, making before-and-after comparisons tricky, Hadley told Live Science. The 2007 extension of daylight saving time allowed for a before-and-after comparison of only a few weeks’ time. The changes in Indiana and Australia were geographically limited.
Ultimately, Hadley said, the energy question probably isn’t the real reason the United States sticks with daylight saving time, anyway.
“In the vast scheme of things, the energy saving is not the big driver,” he said. “It’s people wanting to take advantage of that light time in the evening.”
Who observes daylight saving time? (And who doesn’t?)
Most of the United States and Canada observe DST on the same dates. But of course, there are exceptions. Hawaii and Arizona are the two U.S. states that don’t observe daylight saving time, though Navajo Nation, in northeastern Arizona, does follow DST, according to NASA.
And, every year there are bills put forth to get rid of DST in various states, as not everyone is keen on turning their clocks forward an hour. In 2018, Florida’s Senate and House passed legislation called the Sunshine Protection Act (a PDF of the legislation) that would ask the U.S. Congress to exempt the state from the federal 1966 Uniform Time Act. If approved, Florida would remain in DST year-round. In order to allow Florida’s year-round DST, however, the U.S. Congress would have to amend the Uniform Time Act (15 U.S.C. s. 260a) to authorize states this allowance, according to The New York Times.
In the fall of 2018, California voted in favor of Proposition 7 that would attempt to repeal the annual clock changes. Next, the state legislature needs to vote on the proposition, followed by the Congress, according to an article on Vox.
Other states have also proposed exemptions from the federal time act. For instance, Sen. Ryan Osmundson, R-Buffalo, introduced Senate Bill 206 into the Senate State Administration Committee in February 2017, which would exempt Montana from daylight saving time, keeping the state on standard time year-round, according to the bill. Three bills put forth in 2017 in Texas aimed to abolish DST for good: House Bill 2400, Senate Bill 238 and House Bill 95, according to the broadcast company kxan. Nebraskans may be off the hook for clock changes as well. In January 2017, state Sen. Lydia Brasch, a Republican of Bancroft, proposed a bill called LB309 to eliminate daylight saving time in the state, according to the bill.
Some regions of British Columbia and Saskatchewan don’t change their clocks. These include the following areas in British Columbia: Charlie Lake, Creston (East Kootenays), Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, and Taylor; In Saskatchewan, only Creighton and Denare Beach observe DST, according to NASA.
Most of Europe currently observes daylight saving time, called “summer time,” which begins at 1 a.m. GMT on the last Sunday in March and ends (winter time) at 1 a.m. GMT on the last Sunday in October. However, even the European Union may propose an end to clock changes, as a recent poll found that 84 percent of 4.6 million people surveyed said they wanted to nix them, the Wall Street Journal reported.
If the lawmakers and member states agree, the EU members could decide to keep the EU in summer time or winter time, according to the WSJ.
The United Kingdom moved their clocks forward on March 31, 2019, and will move them back again to standard time on Oct. 27, according to the U.K. government.
The DST-observing countries in the Southern Hemisphere — in Australia, New Zealand, South America and southern Africa — set their clocks an hour forward sometime during September through November and move them back to standard time during the March-April timeframe.
Australia, being such a big country (the sixth-largest in the world), doesn’t follow DST uniformly: New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory follow daylight saving, while Queensland, the Northern Territory (Western Australia) do not, according to the Australian government. Clocks in the observing areas spring forward an hour at 2 a.m. local time on the first Sunday in October and push back an hour at 3 a.m. local daylight time on the first Sunday in April.
Russia instituted year-round daylight saving time in 2011, or permanent “summer time,” which seemed dandy at first. But in the depths of winter, sunrise occurred at 10 a.m. in Moscow and 11 a.m. in St. Petersburg, Prerau, author of “Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time,” said. This meant Russians had to start their days in the cold, pitch-dark. The permanent summer is coming to an end, however, as now Russian president Vladimir Putin abolished DST in 2014, according to BBC News. As such, the country will remain in “winter time” forever, or until another law is passed.
Myths and interesting facts
Turns out, people tend to have more heart attacks on the Monday following the “spring forward” switch to daylight saving time. Researchers reporting in 2014 in the journal Open Heart, found that heart attacks increased 24 percent on that Monday, compared with the daily average number for the weeks surrounding the start of DST.
Before the Uniform Time Act was passed in the United States, there was a period in which anyplace could or could not observe DST, leading to chaos. For instance, if one took a 35-mile bus ride from Moundsville, West Virginia, to Steubenville, Ohio, he or she would pass through no fewer than seven time changes, according to Prerau. At some point, Minneapolis and St. Paul were on different clocks.
A study published in 2009 in the Journal of Applied Psychology showed that during the week following the “spring forward” into DST, mine workers got 40 minutes less sleep and had 5.7 percent more workplace injuries than they did during any other days of the year.
Pets notice the time change, as well. Since humans set the routines for their fluffy loved ones, dogs and cats living indoors and even cows are disrupted when, say, you bring their food an hour late or come to milk them later than usual, according to Alison Holdhus-Small, a research assistant at CSIRO Livestock Industries, an Australia-based research and development organization.
The fact that the time changes at 2 a.m. at least in the U.S., may have to do with practicality. For instance, it’s late enough that most people are home from outings and setting the clock back an hour won’t switch the date to “yesterday.” In addition, it’s early enough not to affect early shift workers and early churchgoers, according to the WebExhibits, an online museum.
8550 W University Drive, Denton, Texas Price: $25 general admission and $40 for Fast Scare Pass. Tickets can be purchased online or onsite (cash only) Dates: Fridays-Saturdays in October, with extended dates near Halloween
1701 E Lancaster Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas Price: GA tickets start at $34.99 Dates: Fridays-Sundays in October with extended hours the week of Halloween. Open times are either 7pm or 8pm depending on the date
As the temperatures start to get cooler, it is the perfect time to get your lawn ready for the winter months.
Among turf care experts, it’s a well-known fact that the best way to ensure a thick, green, and healthy lawn in the spring is to give it some well-timed care in the fall—in other words, right now. But according to Scott Frith, CEO of Lawn Doctor, a lawn care company with more than 200 franchises around the country, many homeowners make the same basic mistakes before grass goes dormant, and then wonder why their grass isn’t doing better the following year. Wonder no more. Here is Frith’s seven-step program to getting a beautiful lawn next year.
1. Remove the leaves. A carpet of colorful autumn leaves may look nice and be fun to play in, but they’re no good for grass. They block the light and trap moisture, potentially fatal knockout punches for the unlucky turf underneath. So when the leaves are falling, blow or rake them away as often as you can. Even after the trees are bare, continue raking out the corners where the wind piles leaves up. If you don’t, come spring the grass under that soggy, decaying mat will be dead.
2. Keep cutting, but to the correct height. Don’t put that mower away yet. Grass continues to grown up to the first hard frost, and so will need regular cuts to keep it at an ideal 2½- to 3-inch height. If you let it get too long, it will mat and be vulnerable to fungi like snow mold. Cutting grass too short is just as bad, because it curtails the root system—root depth is proportional to cutting height—and impedes the lawn’s ability to withstand winter cold and dryness. Regular mowing also gets rid of those pesky leaves, chopping them up and leaving behind a soil-enhancing mulch.
3. Continue watering. Frith says that people tend to let up on watering in the fall as the weather gets cooler. “They figure that nature will take care of things for them,” he says. While it’s true that there’s more rain, more dew, and less evaporation at this time of year, that may not be enough to keep the grass roots well hydrated and healthy going into the winter. If your lawn isn’t getting at least an inch of water a week—a simple rain gauge is a useful way to keep track—then keep the sprinklers or irrigation system running until the end of October. By that time, you’ll want to disconnect hoses and flush the irrigation system to avoid frozen pipes and spigots.
4. Loosen the soil. Regular aeration—once every couple of years, according to Frith—prevents soil from becoming compacted and covered with thatch, a thick layer of roots, stems, and debris that blocks water, oxygen, and nutrients from reaching the soil. A core aerator corrects both problems by punching holes through that thatch and pulling up plugs of soil. “It’s a good idea to aerate a lawn right before fertilizing,” Frith says. “All those holes in your turf will let the fertilizer reach right to the roots, where it can do the most good.”
5. Add fertilizer. Just as grass roots need water to last the winter, they also benefit from a shot of the plant sugars that protect roots from freezing and give the entire plant the energy to bounce back in the spring. Those sugars are produced by chlorophyll, which grass produces in abundance when there’s enough nitrogen. That’s why Frith recommends a late-fall application of a slow-release granular 24-0-10 fertilizer. The numbers indicate the percentage by weight of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively. Potassium is also important at this time because it aids in root growth, disease protection, drought tolerance, and cold resistance. (A soil test can tell you how much of each nutrient your lawn actually needs.) Frith cautions against spreading fertilizer close to waterways, however; they are vulnerable to contamination from runoff. Lawn Doctor’s company policy is to maintain a 5-foot buffer wherever water is present.
6. Spread seed. “A dense lawn also is good protection against weeds,” Frith says, which is why it’s important to overseed existing turf. Not only does that fill in thin spots or bare patches, it allows you to introduce the latest in resilient, drought-tolerant grasses. Fall is the best time to overseed because the ground is still warm, moisture is more plentiful, nights are cool, and the sun is not as hot during the day. But even then, “overseeding is one of the most challenging lawn-care chores,” Frith says. You can’t simply broadcast seeds over an established lawn and expect them to take hold. They need to be in full contact with the soil, kept moist until they germinate, and be well enough established before it gets too cold. Renting a slit seeder is a better option than broadcasting, but those machines are notorious for tearing up turf and leaving your lawn looking like a harrowed field. Frith says that Lawn Doctor’s proprietary Turf Tamer power seeder, which sows seeds by injecting them into the soil, is a less-damaging option.
7. Stay on schedule. Each of the steps above has to be done at the right time for best results. Otherwise, it’s wasted effort. For instance, overseed too late and the seedlings will be too tender to survive. Fertilize too early and the grass will send up tender blades that will get hammered by the cold. Fertilize too late and the grass roots won’t be able to absorb all those nutrients you’re feeding them. Thinking about aerating in the spring because you can’t get around to it this fall? Don’t bother. Spring aeration just makes it easier for weed seeds to get established.
If sticking to the schedule during the fall is proving too difficult, a lawn care service can handle the jobs that aren’t getting done. Most often, those are the ones that require renting heavy machinery like core aerators and slit seeders, which are hard to transport, a bear to operate, and often in short supply at the rental yards at this time of year. Delegating one or two of those chores to a pro during this busy season will ensure the work gets done when it should—and that you will be enjoying a thick carpet of green grass next year.
Don’t miss out on this year’s state fair. It’s going to be a beautiful weekend and the fair would be the perfect place to go.
There is something for everyone. Visit the car show exhibit and see the latest and greatest cars. The livestock area is a great place for kids to see all kinds of farm animals. And of course you have to go to the midway. Enjoy all of the rides, fun activities and sample this years newest food creations.
Go to bigtex.com to see a full schedule of events and activities going on this weekend.
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