Billions of Dollars of Damage Caused By Hurricane Ian in Florida

Described as the storm of the century, Hurricane Ian made landfall as a category 4 hurricane with wind sheer topping one hundred and forty miles per hour. Originally the storm was projected to make landfall in the Tampa and St. Petersburg area, but turned south and walloped the Fort Myers and SW Florida corridor. The path of destruction drove eastward through Central Florida, leading to flooding in Orlando before heading out to the Atlantic Ocean and setting eyes on South Carolina.

Residents in SW Florida are facing years of recovery, thankfully they will have the full support of FEMA, FloodSmart, and dozens of Florida agencies working on their behalf. Florida to most of the region should be returned within 4-10 days, thanks to crews arriving to help from Texas, Alabama, and Louisiana.

Rescue and recovery efforts were underway to help those stranded and impacted by the ferocity of the storm. The likelihood of billions of dollars in property damage will be especially challenging for insurance companies and restoration contractors who are scrambling to respond and provide recovery to residents in hardest hit areas to get their lives back to normal quickly. The total destruction of Hurricane Ian could become a top 10 storm, depending on the impact in South Carolina and beyond.



Disaster Cleanup Providers for Hurricane Ian

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How to Pay Off Credit Card Loans

Many people have huge credit card debts due to the bad habit of constantly using credit cards for all their expenses. Think about the stress that is put on you when you are being reminded that you are in debt all the time. It would certainly be better if you pay off all your credit card debts. The following are 5 tips on how to pay off your credit card debts.

  1. Clear Up the Balance on One Card First

If you carry a balance on multiple cards, you should start thinking about how to clear up the balance on one of the cards first. At the same time, you should also commit yourself to make a minimum payment on each card every month. If you can afford it, you can start paying down the card with the highest interest rate. If you have a lower budget, you can pay off the card with the smallest balance. This will give you the motivation to continue your effort in paying off the next card.

  1. Pay More Than the Minimum Payment

You can pay more than the minimum payment if you don’t have enough money to pay off the balance of any card. You simply have to pay a few dollars on the minimum payment and it will make a big difference. The smaller the balance, the lesser the interest rate you will pay. When you pay more than the minimum amount, you are reducing the credit utilization ratio which can lead to an increase in your credit score.

  1. Get a Debt Consolidation Loan

Another option is to consolidate your credit card debts into a single account with a debt consolidation loan. Debt consolidation loans are likely to have a lower interest rate so you can pay off your debt faster. You can get a personal loan to consolidate your credit cards. The lender will pay off your existing lenders one by one and you will pay back the lender with one fixed payment every month.

  1. Use a Balance Transfer Card

The second method is to use a balance transfer card to consolidate your credit card debts. There are lots of zero interest balance transfer cards which allows you to enjoy zero interest rate charges during the introductory period. The introductory period can last for up to 18 months. During the introductory period, you only have to pay back the actual amount you owe.

  1. Make Changes to Your Spending Habit

The most important thing is you must change your spending habits. People often end up in debt because they are spending more than their means. The solution is to keep record of all the expenses in an accounting journal. After that, go through it and remove the unnecessary expenses that you don’t need to spend on. It will free up more money for you to pay your credit card debt.

Submitted by Halie Phillips who is a student at the University of Michigan in the School of Business.

College Students Might Save Money in 2019 Thanks to Chase

Chase Slate is a Great Offer for a Balance Transfer Credit Card in 2019

Chase Slate is a balance transfer card designed to help people to eliminate their credit card debts quickly. The card is affiliated with the Blueprint program that aims to assist you to making plans to pay off all your debt within a period. Chase Slate will not charge you any balance transfer fee if you transfer your existing debts into the card within the time frame of 60 days after your account is opened. If you transfer the debt after 60 days, you will be charged with a 5% fee or a minimum of $5. The 5% fee can be significant if you want to transfer a large amount of debt.

So, if you want to cut down costs, you must remember to transfer the balance in the first 60 days. Chase slate offers 0% APR during the 15 months introductory, that is more than 1 year for you to pay off your debt. After the introductory period, you will pay the normal APR rate. Chase Slate offers variable APR rates including 13.24%, 18.24%, and 23.24%. The card is cost effective for settling your debt because it does not charge any annual fee. Besides, the card also does not charge any penalty APR rate. This means that the APR rate won’t increase if you pay late or miss a payment.

The Chase Slate card also does not charge any APR when you purchase things during the introductory period. Chase card also offer free monthly FICO score for customers and you can check the credit score can online. It will show a summary of your credit report so that you can manage your credit score better. The free FICO score allows you to conveniently see how your score has improved over time as you continue to pay off your credit card debt. To transfer your balance with Chase Slate, you will need to get the account number and the amount of balance you owed on the card.

You can transfer the balance by calling the customer service number located behind the credit card. The representative will ask you a few security questions before asking you for the card number and debt amount. Alternatively, you can transfer the balance online through online banking. Chase allows you to transfer up to $15,000 from other credit card accounts in a period of 30 days.

When you are transferring the balance, make sure the terms match with the offer for example 0% fee and 0% interest rate during the introductory period of 15 months. In summary if your searching for the best offers in 2019, Chase Slate is suitable for people who are confident that they can pay off their debt in 15 months. You must create a plan to clear up your debt by the end of the balance transfer so that you can prevent paying the high interest charges.

Best Places to Visit in Ann Arbor Michigan

Ann Arbor Michigan is a lively and vibrant city to live in.There are many places to visit in Ann Arbor which makes people wanting to visit each year.

The Ann Arbor Art Fair is the place to visit when you decide to venture the city. The Ann Arbor Art Fair has been around for over fifty years.Many different diversities of artist showcase their skills at the Ann Arbor Art Fair during the Month of July. This particular fair event has captivated over 500,000 people to attend yearly.At the Ann Arbor Art Fair,you will discover music performances,crafts,ceramics,painting,
sculpture,photography,art shops,and much more.There is also hotels that you can stay overnight with a shuttle being provided to take you from your hotel to the Art Fair.

Independence Lake Park is a wonderful park for the whole family.Independence Lake Park offers swimming,boating and fishing,picnicking,hiking,rollerblading and biking. During the summer, a spray zone water playground is offered for kids.If you decide to fish,the fishing pier and along the shore are popular spots to catch fish.The lake offers a huge swimming area that is sandy on the bottom surface resembling a beach front.The park also offers boat rentals as well being able to launch off your own boat into the lake.The parks provide paved paths as well as nature trails.The paved path directs along wooded areas,travels over marshes,and follows the edge of the lake.The paved path reaches around two miles in length which is great for walking,jogging,
biking,and rollerblading.

The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is where you can venture and explore nine galleries containing more than 250 interactive exhibits.Some of the exhibits include “Preschool Gallery,” “Concourse,” “All About You,” “Legacy,” “MediaWorks,” and much more. Some of the programs include “Field Trip,” “ScienceWorks,” “Distance Learning,” “Professional Development,” Birthday Parties,and more.The museum is known for educating kids and adults with hands on activities and the development of nature and science.

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is another great place to visit for entertainment. The summer festival features performing arts,outdoor entertainment such as a variety of musical bands,and community spirit.The festival is a 3 week event from June 14th to July 7th.The summer festival delivers suitable entertainment for kids and adults of all ages.The entertaining exhibits,dance,comedy,film,circus and street arts is what makes the Ann Arbor Summer Festival one of the favorite places to visit.

The Ann Arbor Civic Theater is a place where young talents perform drama,plays,andmusical plays.On the Civic Theater’s website,there is a list of upcoming shows throughout the months ahead.The Civic Theater also provides a summer youth camp for kids ranging from 3 to 8 years old.The summer youth camp involves kids in theater arts,music,visual arts,and theater design skills.

Kerrytown is the historic downtown area of Ann Arbor.The town offers a variety of unique shops,markets,restaurants,museums,delis,and much more.Walking around this town is fascinating in itself with all the antique presentations of businesses to look at and shop inside in.In walking through Kerrytown,there is no doubt you can spend your whole day browsing,shopping,and maybe interacting with other people there.

Ann Arborhas many places and activities that opens discovery,imagination,and entertainment to all people of all ages. Visiting any of these 6 places, will make you and your family wanting to revisit and relive the experience of the lively spirited atmosphere of Ann Arbor Michigan.

Learn More About Why Ann Arbor Is A Great Community To Visit and Live In

Ann Arbor, Michigan is a popular tourist destination and is home to the University of Michigan. The sixth largest city in the state, it is located in the greater Detroit area and is the county seat of Washtenaw County. The city is a very liberal one and in the 60’s and 70’s was a major player in civil rights and anti war movements. The city’s unusual name is believed to be a combination of the founder’s spouses names and the vast amount of trees in the area.

The land that Ann Arbor was built upon was purchased for $800 in 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey. The original settlers in the city were British, German, Irish and African. City officials had high hopes for Ann Arbor to become the capitol of Michigan and set aside 40 acres to offer to the state. Lansing beat Ann Arbor in the capitol competition and the land was instead used for the University of Michigan when it moved from Detroit in 1837. Ann Arbor was considered a city but lost a lot of its population during the late 1800s. It eventually got back to city proportions when Greek, Italian, Russian and Polish immigrants came to the city for jobs, specifically in the mill industry.

This university city has earned the nickname “Tree Town” because of the dense population of over 100,000 trees throughout the city’s parks and streets. The city’s climate is usually influenced by the great lakes and is midwestern humid continental. This means that Ann Arbor has very cold winters with lake effects and very hot, humid summers. Spring and autumn are wonderful, mild seasons but are extremely short lived. Snowfall generally occurs from the months of October to April. The city’s lowest temperature was -24 degrees Fahrenheit and the highest was 105 degrees.

There are around 113,000 people living in the city, who’s main economy stems from the University of Michigan. The city boasts many other industries including retail, internet-based retail and laboratories. Although the city’s main financial contribution is the University, there are also many other famous companies that have been started there. The United States Environmental Protection Agency uses Ann Arbor as their home for vehicle emissions testing. Domino’s Pizza and Border’s bookstore both got their start in Ann Arbor. Border’s headquarters are located within the city while Domino’s has a 271 acre complex directly outside of the city.

Ann Arbor’s culture relies heavily upon University of Michigan influence. The city boasts several performing arts societies located within the university campus as well as many museums and discovery centers. The city also has a district library with a huge collection of books. In Ann Arbor, sports are a huge part of the culture. The University of Michigan is a member of the Big Ten Conference. Michigan’s stadium is the world’s largest American football stadium that has seating for 109,901 spectators.

The city was one of the first to decriminalize marijuana and has a long history of being compassionate to users. It boasts hundreds of marijuana dispensaries within the city’s legal limits and has progressive laws towards ticketing and fining marijuana users. This poses a problem for the University of Michigan officials which do not allow marijuana use on campus and do not fall into the same laws as the city of Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor is a great place to live and to visit any time of year. From art festivals to marijuana festivals to sports events, the city has something to offer everyone. Walking down the boutique and restaurant lined streets, visitors can capture a feeling of old world charm while still maintaining big city conveniences. There are various accommodations around different parts of the city depending on what types of things visitors wish to be involved in. The city has year round events for aspects of art and culture. Elvis festivals, twists on Mardi Gras and even beer festivals are a few things that visitors can enjoy and participate in.

With its small town charm, big city feel, activities for everyone and rich history Ann Arbor is the perfect place to take an affordable adventure for families, singles and romantic getaways. No matter what visitors are looking for, Ann Arbor has it all.

Unique Business Culture Draws Many Companies Into The Ann Arbor Region

Ann Arbor with a population estimated in 2012 at 116,121, has a scenic hill-and-valley landscape. It is nicknamed “Tree Town” for its 50,000 some trees. There are three area airports, one of which is Detroit’s metropolitan airport, and a well-planned regional/ interstate transit system. Its mega university campus bedecks the “streets and avenues” of Ann Arbor with “college town” ambience, and, yes, Ann Arbor has worked diligently to create an innovative and flourishing business culture.

Ann Arbor’s Impressive First Economic Tier

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is an institution of higher learning producing an astounding alumni in the arts, sciences, economics, biotechnology and business which include some of the top officers, chairman, founders and co-founders of many highly recognized American corporations. Its graduates can and do remain in Ann Arbor and the surrounding areas; there are high end and lucrative corporate positions eagerly awaiting them as well as entrepreneurial opportunities.

The economic magnitude of the University’s presence in the Ann Arbor area is stunning. It’s 3,100-plus acres, academic platform, on-campus housing and medical center alone galvanize Ann Arbor’s economic stability employing 30,000 in the university alone and 12,000 at the university medical center. There are other major corporate components in high tech, health services and biotechnology, as well as numerous medical offices, laboratories and companies in related fields that also nourish this city’s economy. Yet another aspect of the University’s domineering presence is its Research and Development funding that draws businesses to the Ann Arbor area.

Ann Arbor’s Impressive Second Economic Tier

Since no business in the Ann Arbor metropolitan area can boast a workforce of 42,000 as can the University, Ann Arbor’s impressive business community has to be viewed as “second-tier”. Among them General Motors and Visteon (a manufacturer of automobile electrical systems, parts and components); Hyundai America Technical Center (state-of-the-arts facility core research base); Masco Corporation; and Ford Motor Company Customer Service Division. Dominos, Inc., one of Ann Arbor’s oldest business acquaintances, now occupies a 241-acre Domino’s Farms Office Park in Ann Arbor. Many providers of the entire breadth of artificial intelligence as it pertains or is related to the electronic highway are a part of Ann Arbor’s business community and include: software and online services for the media; internet traffic engineering and security systems companies; producers of networking, security and storage products based on network appliances and cloud services; and websites and online media. Among them and headquartered in Ann Arbor is Google’s primary revenue stream, its AdWords product.

Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Alliance
During the period 2008-2010, the nation experienced a financial slump and downward spiraling economy that found many towns, cities and states across the nation hammering at economic survival strategies. It was in 2010 that the chambers of commerce of Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor strategically merged as a Regional Chamber of Commerce boasting a then-member roster of 1,400, giving Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor with compatible business interests more leverage to sustain and continue economic growth. The Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Regional Chamber of Commerce, now known as “A2Y Chamber”, is a successful alliance.


However, before the merger and perhaps as early as 2005, Ann Arbor had embraced a company known as Spark, co-founded by Rick Snyder, then business executive, venture capitalist, now Governor of Michigan (2011). Spark is an economic development “engine” that was given the responsibility of leveraging the region’s assets to drive growth and create jobs. It is a private-public company accepting donations from private concerns. As a not-for-profit, it derives its funding from the regional economic development agency; local municipalities including Ann Arbor; the University of Michigan, and other area universities. Spark utilizes an “incubator” concept in generating innovation, start-up and growth for businesses, and conducts job development and placement throughout the Ann Arbor region. Its portfolio currently appears to be start-up and entrepreneurial in the areas of: Life Science & Health Care; Alternative Energy & Cleantech; Advanced Manufacturing & Materials; IT, Software & Mobile Apps; Security & Defense; and Optics & Sensors. Spark, a name so befitting.

Real Estate community home building and construction news

Home building and new construction for ann arbor michigan
Have you noticed that economists and housing analysts are often fond of using seasonal analogies when describing a situation? If a market is sluggish then we are in “winter” and if the market is robust they’ll tell us that we’re in “summer.” Looking at the current homebuilding and construction environment, they would likely tell us that winter is over and we’re heading into spring. There are some numbers that may well offer support for the belief that we are moving into a better season.

Recent national statistics have shown the glimmers of upward movement in both construction and valuation, and Washtenaw County would appear to be moving in the same direction. In Ann Arbor and surrounding areas in the region developers are pointing to numbers coming out of the county that indicate a 35% increase in residential building permits over last year. Local builders and real estate experts seem encouraged by the upswing in the numbers.

In order to appreciate the context of such statistics, consider numbers from the National Association of Home Builders: they report that nationally we saw an increase of around 27%, while statewide new homes grew by a little bit more at 28%. In Ann Arbor they report an increase that is significantly higher, aprox. 38%. These statistics can be taken as an indication that new home construction of single-home dwellings is enjoying a fair increase across the country, but that the increase in Michigan and specifically in Ann Arbor are stronger.

How do these statewide single-home statistics stack up against other states during the same period? We find that slightly less than half of the states, twenty-one total, have seen stronger percentage growth of single-home building than Michigan with Kansas and California leading the pack at 55% and 51% respectively. Many of the other states in this group lead Michigan by only a few percentage points, several by only a five or six percent margin.

New housing starts and permits for single family dwellings only tells part of the housing picture, however. A more complete and robust picture emerges when we take the multi-family number into consideration.

Combining single-home dwellings with multi-family new construction numbers is also encouraging. Nationally, new multi-home construction is up by about 30%, roughly 3% higher than the nationwide numbers of single-home construction. Likewise, the statewide numbers in Michigan show an upswing of a stunning 80% in multi-family dwelling construction, a number exceeded only by Kansas, South Dakota, Florida and Wyoming. Only one state, Georgia matches to 80% growth Michigan has enjoyed during the same time period.

In Ann Arbor, subdivisions that have stood idle for the last few years are now starting to see new construction slowly but steadily returning. The relatively low inventory of existing homes available for sale appears to be one of the catalysts as housing demand has increased faster than supply.

Economic news reflecting both statewide conditions and specifically Ann Arbor statistics have seen serious reversals since around 2006, largely due to problems like the Pfizer closure in 2007 and the bursting of the property valuation bubble toward the end of the decade. Of course, the overall national economic climate impacted the Ann Arbor area during this time and the difficult effects were felt for a long time.

An economic upswing like the one that has recently occurred in new home construction is precisely the sort of indicator that both economists and housing analysts anxiously watch for. To return to our seasonal analogy, it has been a long winter, but there is reason to believe that spring has arrived.

Learning more about the Ann Arbor area and community

Michigan is a state which is presently experiencing extreme urban economic downturns. The largest cities in Michigan have yet to recover from the recent “Great Recession.” Ann Arbor however, is an example of a Michigan mid-sized city with a rich history, vibrant economy and self-sustaining, goal-oriented network of residents and business leaders. For this reason, Ann Arbor is continually listed as one of the most desirable cities in the United States to plan a family, chase a career and acquire an education.

According to the 2010 official United States Census, Ann Arbor is the sixth-most populous city in the state of Michigan. It registered just under 114,000 residents with a projected growth rate of 1.9%, putting its unofficial present population near 116,000. Although Ann Arbor is part of the Detroit/Flint/Ann Arbor metro area, the city maintains a distinct atmosphere completely separate from its ultra-urban neighbors.

Ann Arbor was initially started because of land speculation in the Great Lakes region, milling and mining exploration. Once railroads and industrialized methods were introduced to Ann Arbor labor forces, it immediately became a trade hub for all ethnic and religious demographics. Between the turn and mid-points of the Twentieth Century, Ann Arbor experienced population growth registering as high a 53% in a single calendar year. The area’s population was quickly tied to the ups and down of the U.S. commodities and manufacturing base, so its population, while at one time was robust, settled into a moderately dense Midwestern city composition.

The city is much the same in demographic make-up as it has been since the 1900’s through 1920’s. Whites are about 70% of the overall population while blacks register at nearly 1%. 15% of the city is Asian and 1% is Native American. Nearly 12% identify as being multi-racial, which is quite dense for American cities of similar size. For over a century, Ann Arbor has been a manufacturing and technological center and the population has reflected a utilitarian community rather than a modern bazaar.

Presently, the University of Michigan, which is the largest employer in Ann Arbor (over 30,000), has had the most influence on how the city is managed and what type of people live and thrive within its borders. The population is largely liberal-leaning politically and tied to the various occupational and lifestyle unions that call the area home. It can be said that the entirety of Ann Arbor’s population has a respect for the area’s history and interface with the beautiful and diverse natural surroundings. There is a distinct “warding” divisional system with the city limits. The largest district is tied to the University and at least five other centers of higher learning.

Other districts cater to youth, tradesman, white collar society, artists and sportsman. Ann Arbor is much like any other American town of similar demographic make-up. The difference is, it is surrounded by a heavy and unfortunate hardcore city influence. Amazingly, Ann Arbor continues to operate with a small-town American vision. This is due primarily to the focused, well-educated and diverse population’s solidarity when it concerns matters of ordinances, neighborhood construction, services and opportunities for families, students and recreational enthusiasts.

Although ethnic community separation is present through the observation of neighborhood celebrations, holiday and memorial commemorations, each district of Ann Arbor has a similar composition. The only exception is the large portion of the city dedicated to the activity and growth of the University of Michigan. It can be surmised that nearly all households in Ann Arbor are tied in some way with the University. This means each family, no matter the background or ethnicity, works, attends, provides services for, or is otherwise directly involved with the U of M. The U of M is the equalizing factor in bringing a sense of commonness and purpose to all people who call Ann Arbor home!

Sources: (news publication) (official city Website)