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Hot weather  Lawyers  Lightning  Mail  Presentations  Restaurants  School  Telephones  Visiting others  Weddings 
HOT WEATHER
Also see: SUN

To avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke:
____ Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day
____ Stay in the shade
____ Avoid over exertion
____ Drink plenty of fluids
____ Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated drinks
____ Wear a hat
____ Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes

If you have relatives, neighbors, friends or acquaintances who are elderly and/or have medical conditions:
____ Check on them to ensure:
          - Their residence has adequate cooling, power and water
          - They seek medical care if they experience symptoms of heat stroke

To help reduce ozone pollution:
____ Refuel your vehicle at night
____ Reduce daytime driving
____ Avoid using gas lawn mower, etc. during middle of day

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LAWYERS
Also see: LEGAL MATTERS

Finding a lawyer:
___ Call 800 664-4435 for a free copy of the Consumer's Resource Handbook - lists all Better Business Bureau's, Consumer Affairs offices, Attorney General offices, etc. in the U.S. (published by the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs)
___ Contact your local Consumer Affairs office for guidance on finding a lawyer
___ Determine which lawyers specialize in the area (e.g., personal injury, divorce) in which you need assistance
___ Go to your library and check the local (e.g., state) law journals for local lawyers who have been successful

Once you find a prospective lawyer:
___ Get references
___ Call the references
___ Generally, avoid lawyers who advertise, e.g., on TV
___ Negotiate a contingency fee agreement which ties the lawyer's fees to the results you are seeking (try to avoid paying an hourly fee) - most lawyers will negotiate if you ask

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LIGHTNING
Also see: STORMS

- Over 100 people are believed killed by lightning each year
- People who survive being struck by lightning usually suffer a large number of ailments, e.g., depression, headaches

To avoid being struck by lightning:
___ Have lightning monitors installed at locations where people often gather outside, e.g., ball fields

If you're aware that there's a lightning storm nearby:
Immediately:

___ Stay away from all metal objects
___ Avoid being under a tree
___ Stay out of water
___ Avoid holding metal objects, e.g., golf clubs - approx. one of every 12 lightning deaths involves golfers
___ Go into a building or vehicle with windows rolled up
If there are no buildings or vehicles nearby:
___ Squat with feet together and hands over ears

If you're indoors:
___ Avoid using the telephone, especially non-cordless phones
___ Avoid using home appliances, e.g., computers, toasters
___ Stay away from all metal objects

If you're involved in an outdoor activity (e.g., a baseball game):
___ Suspend play until at least 30 minutes after it appears the storm has passed - most lightning strikes occur at the beginning or end of a storm

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MAIL
Also see: CONTESTS, SCAMS

Receiving items:
If you receive mail indicating you may have won a prize:

___ Don't send money, e.g., to cover handling costs
___ Contact the company and request more information about exactly what prize you've won, not just prizes you're eligible for

If you receive a large number of letters for sweepstakes and/or lotteries:
__ Suspect that you are the target of mail fraud

If you are concerned about receiving a letter bomb:
__ Check the piece of mail for:
          - Evidence of leaks
          - Excessive weight
          - Anything abnormal

If you have an elderly relative or friend who you think is the target of mail scams:
__ Ask a trusted friend to screen their mail for them

Sending items:
If you need to get an item to someone quickly:
___ Consider using an express delivery service

If it's inconvenient for you to take the item to the post office, etc.:
___ Consider using a delivery service (e.g., Federal Express, UPS)

Before going to post office, etc.:
Take to post office, etc.:

___ Addresses of recipients
___ Phone numbers of recipients - for express delivery

Unclaimed funds:
If you receive notification from a company that they can obtain funds for you to which you are entitled but have not claimed:

___ Get your exact previous addresses
___ Contact the states you've lived in to determine if they have unclaimed funds in your name
If no states say they have unclaimed funds in your name:
___ Consider using the company which sent you the notice
___ Ensure that company is established
___ Ensure the company only gets paid if they help you obtain unclaimed funds

Unwanted merchandise:
If you receive merchandise you didn't order:

___ Call the sender and ask them to send you a pre-paid mailer to return the items

Work-at-home offers:
If you receive an offer to participate in a work-at-home business:

___ Be extremely wary - most of these 'opportunities' are scams which involve high upfront fees, long and hard work and low income

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PRESENTATIONS
Also see: EVENTS, MEETINGS

Well before your presentation:
____ Determine exactly what attendees want to hear, need to hear and should hear
____ Consider using:
          - Computer-generated displays
          - Slides
          - Overhead-projected slides
          - Video tape
          - Audio tape
          - Demonstration(s)
          - Board (white, chalk, etc.)
____ Consider including:
          - Examples
          - Questions
          - Success stories
          - Jokes, anecdotes, etc.
          - Guests
____ Consider providing handouts - can enable attendees to pay more attention to the presentation if they don't need to take as many notes
____ Have your presentation reviewed by others
____ Have your presentation reviewed and approved by your superior

Before giving presentation:
____ Make copies of your presentation to hand out
____ Test audio-visual and computer equipment
____ Determine light settings available and which are desirable for various parts of presentation
____ Arrange for someone to assist you with displays, etc.
____ Determine how long you are being allotted for your presentation
____ Determine if there will be a question and answer period after your presentation or if you should entertain questions during your presentation
____ Determine if any key attendees need to leave by a certain time

Right before your presentation:
____ Provide handouts to attendees

During your presentation:
____ Maintain as much eye contact as feasible with attendees
____ Introduce yourself
____ Explain what you are going to talk about
____ State whether attendees should ask questions during and/or after your presentation
____ Review what you covered

After your presentation:
____ Ask if there are any questions

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TELEPHONES
Also see: CELL PHONES, CONVERSATIONS, PAGERS, PAY PHONES, SCAMS, TELEMARKETERS

ASAP:
____ Place the following phone numbers next to your phones:
          - Emergency, e.g., "911"
          - Poison control center(s)
          - Your doctor and/or hospital
          - Police department - for suspicious activities

Soon:
____ Place the following phone numbers next to your phones:
- Frequently called numbers, e.g.,
          - Neighbors
          - Family
          - Friends
          - Stores

Calling cards:
____ Ask the phone company to leave your personal identification number (PIN) off the card

MAKING CALLS:
As soon as someone answers:

____ Identify yourself
____ Ask if you're catching them at a bad time
____ Keep the conversation as short as feasible unless you're sure the other person wants to continue

Pre-paid phone cards:
____ Buy from an established company - to avoid buying cards which may not work later and for which you can't get a refund
____ Initially buy low denomination cards - to see how well they work
____ Buy from a place you are familiar with - so you can return the cards for a refund if they don't work

If you have problems with a pre-paid phone card:
____ Call 800 333-3513 (International Telecard Association Consumer Hotline)

RECEIVING CALLS:
____ Be aware that dishonest telemarketers prey on people who have done things in the past (e.g., enter sweepstakes) which indicate they may be gullible

When you answer the phone:
____ Identify yourself (usually just your first name)

If the caller is a stranger:
____ Don't provide personal information - the caller could be a con artist

If the caller is a telemarketer:
____ Quickly say: "Not interested" and hang up

If the caller is asking for a charitable donation:
____ Say "we don't donate over the phone" and/or:
____ Ask the caller to send you information in the mail - to give you more time to think about it and to get more information to help ensure it's not a scam

If the caller is a friend but it's not a convenient time for you:
____ Ask if you can call them back

SERVICE:
After having phone service started:
____ Make a note of the customer name (e.g., yours) which appears on the bill for local phone service - you'll need it to change your long distance carrier
____ Request a discount plan - don't just use the basic service (it can cost you approx. $75 more per year)

VOICE MAIL:
If you call a number and get a voice mail system:

____ Try pressing "1" or "0" to get an operator, even if the message doesn't say to
____ To bypass a long introductory message, press "#"
____ Send a written service complaint to someone high in the company
If that doesn't work:
____ Check a corporate directory at the library and write to the outside directors of the company (not executives of the company) - they might be more willing to help since they don't have management decisions to defend

If it's an 800 number:
____ Look in the phone book for a local or conventional long-distance number
____ Call 1-800-555-1212 to see if there's another 800 number, perhaps with a human operator

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