Even Americans who havenât visited know that New York City never sleeps. Endless streams of people on the street and taxi cabs clogging the roadways are just part of the ceaseless movement in the city. With a population nearing nine million people, New York City always has something going on within its five boroughs.
With all the commotion, itâs safe to say that New York City could be one of the loudest cities on earth. However, it seems that New Yorkers are getting tired of the noise more than usual this year. From COVID-19 lockdowns to widespread protests, New York City has become quite chaotic lately â is this the cause of the increase in noise complaints?
We analyzed data from NYC OpenData, which includes a database of 311 calls placed within the city. We looked at noise complaint calls placed from February 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020, and from February 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019.
We also used available population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau to weigh noise complaint call data in relation to the population of each New York borough: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.
Noise complaints rise 106% in one year
Itâs no secret that New York City is a noisy place ââ the bustling streets and never-ending traffic jams create quite the cacophony of sound. However, it seems like residents are complaining about noise more than ever, especially since last year. Total complaints more than doubled from this time last year, increasing by 106 percent.Â
Hereâs a breakdown of the data between 2019 and 2020:Â
Noise complaints increased by over 106 percent from 2019 to 2020 (within the measured time period). The city also saw a 97 percent increase in complaints from the beginning of April to the end of May 2020, marking the largest jump in noise complaints so far this year. These increases paint a striking picture of the considerable changes in city life over the last several months.
COVID-19, lockdowns and protests in NYC
The beginning of March marked the start of quarantines, lockdowns and panic over the COVID-19 pandemic. With such a huge population density (27,000 people per square mile), New York City quickly fell into chaos as the virus spread through the city ââ as of June 30, there were over 212,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York City alone.
Quarantines and lockdowns within the city meant millions of people began working from home. With so many now at home from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., itâs no surprise that New Yorkers had more to complain about when it comes to noisy neighbors and the sounds of city traffic. The data reflects this timeline perfectly, showing a difference of nearly 10,000 additional complaints logged in March (compared to February).
The end of May 2020 came with a new noise in New York City: protests. This unrest was widespread across New York City, with protests in all five boroughs. The sheer volume of these protests can be seen clearly in the data we analyzed. From the beginning of May to the end of June, noise complaints increased by 79 percent. Additionally, complaints of âloud talkingâ more than doubled from the beginning of April to the end of May, about the time when the protests began.
Battle of the boroughs: Who complains the most in NYC?
Despite having a smaller population than other boroughs, The Bronx has logged the most noise complaints in 2020 so far ââ a total of 81,869 complaints logged from February to June.
Because populations differ across the five boroughs, we divided each boroughâs total complaints by its respective total population to find comparable percentages.
Borough-specific data is below:
- The Bronx: 81,869 total complaints (6 percent of the population)
- Manhattan: 74,661 total complaints (5 percent of the population)
- Brooklyn: 73,899 total complaints (3 percent of the population)
- Queens: 49,469 total complaints (2 percent of the population)
- Staten Island: 6,635 total complaints (1 percent of the population)
A borough rich in local culture, The Bronx has been called the birthplace of hip-hop and salsa, is home to Yankee Stadium and boasts one of the most diverse populations in the city. This diversity could be related to a higher volume of noise complaints, especially since a 2017 study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives Journal determined that neighborhoods with higher poverty rates and larger minority populations experience more noise pollution than other neighborhoods.
New York City explodes with fireworks
From the beginning of April to the end of June this year, complaints about illegal fireworks increased by a staggering 283,595 percent ââÂ only 19 complaints were logged in April, while complaints in June totaled 53,902. Brooklyn is seeing the majority of complaints about fireworks, with approximately one in three complaints originating from the largest of the boroughs.
Fireworks are the second most complained-about noise in New York City from February to June, with loud music and parties taking the first place prize for the most complained-about noise (157,823 total complaints during this time period). With this in mind, itâs important to note that 311 OpenData categorizes these complaints in their own section, rather than grouping them with other noise complaints.
Here is a breakdown of the noises New Yorkers complained about the most in June 2020:Â
- Loud music and parties: 73,238 complaints
- Fireworks: 53,902 complaints
- Traffic: 10,795 complaints
- Loud talking: 7,213 complaints
- Construction: 2,014 complaints
While summer fireworks in New York City have always been present, this year is definitely unique. The unusual volume of fireworks has raised many conspiracy theories among New Yorkers, with some claiming the government is using the fireworks to desensitize the public to âwar-like sounds.â Others claim the police are using the fireworks as a punishment for the recent protests, while some say New Yorkers are simply bored in quarantine.
Whatever the cause of the fireworks, they are wreaking havoc across the city. Countless residents have been hospitalized with firework-related injuries and the city government has created a police taskforce to curb illegal firework activity, with police donning riot gear and arresting anyone believed to be involved.
New York City has always been loud, but 2020 seems to have turned up the volume in the city. Noise complaints are at an all-time high with no end in sight. If youâre living in New York City this summer, there are easy ways to soundproof your home.
U.S. Census Bureau | New York City OpenData: 1, 2 | Gothamist | The Atlantic
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If a fire happens, will your important documents stay safe?
Apartment dwellers need to be proactive about protecting critical information in case of a fire. Plenty of us have gone digital when it comes to storage of personal information, but certain items still need to come in hard copies. And some things, other than papers, also need a tangible safe place.
The safety deposit box at the local bank is still an option. However, bank hours aren’t always aligned with yours. If you want to go the digital route, look for companies that specialize in the storage of critical data. You can access your info directly from your phone, tablet or Amazon’s Alexa device. But if you prefer to go more old school â you need to think about protecting your valuables that are difficult to replace.
What will you need easy access to when you’re in an emergency fire crisis? Your list will probably look like this: an original birth certificate, social security card, insurance papers and car titles and other original docs. You could also include spare keys, passports and irreplaceable items like heirloom jewelry. A fireproof safe box will give you peace of mind. And, it will act as a security measure should a fire occur.
Are all fire safe boxes the same?
Did you know that not all fire safe boxes are alike? For example, standard fireproof safes protect your valuables against intense heat and smoke damage for periods of up to 120 minutes, according to Western Safe, while others can withstand the heat for longer. So, what’s the best type of fireproof box? Experts say it all depends on what you intend to store.
You should look for a fire safe box that has emergency override keys so you can open it up even if you forget the passcode. The keys are also good if the batteries run out on the keypad.
To help you know what things to keep in a fire safe box in your apartment, we’ve organized a list. These items make good sense to safeguard against fire:
- Critical documents: Store your checking and savings account bank books, birth certificates, social security cards, wills and passports in a fire safe box. If you need to get out at a moment’s notice, these important documents will be safe and accessible.
- Digital media: Your digital must-haves include USB sticks, memory cards and CDs. These items are your physical back-up. And this is especially true if you don’t want your most private data to live on remote servers.
- Insurance policies: Talk to your insurance company about your renters insurance following the fire. Having access right away to your policy will help you to take action post-fire.
- Cash: Life today is debit and credit card-driven. But it’s also smart to keep a stash of small bills on hand. If an emergency calls for quick cash, you’ll be glad you thought ahead and put some aside.
- Other valuables: Remember to organize a file with essential information. Include emergency numbers of family members. Have your prescriptions, who your family doctor is and contact info for your pet’s vet, too.
Do your homework
Before purchasing a fire safe box, be sure to research what’s on the market. You’ll be surprised to find a range of choices. You can even select from fireproof safes that you can bolt to the ground or wall. Is the fire safe box waterproof? If not, be sure to protect all contents by storing them in plastic.
An official fire rating from the Underwriters Laboratory comes with all safes, according to Haven Life. The rating lets you know what temperature the fire safe box will stay inside during a fire. It will also let you know how long it will stay at that temperature.
Look for fire safe boxes that are either 125 degrees Fahrenheit or 325-degrees safe. They typically come with up to three hours’ worth of protection. Spruce reports that some fire safe boxes can withstand fires with temperatures up to 1,550 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
Does size matter?
Fire safe boxes are compact to mid-size and come in a range to meet your needs. You can find options with a capacity of 0.17 cubic feet and weighing in at just 14 pounds. Or, one that weighs a little less than 28 pounds and can store flat 8-1/2-by-11-inch, letter-sized documents.
Extra-large capacity fire boxes can hold much more. They can weigh more than 100 pounds and measure more than 1-1/2-feet on each side. But the size is worth it because it gives your stuff a greater chance of surviving a disaster, according to Wirecutter. The site recommends a fire safe box the size of a mini-fridge that weighs in at 56 pounds.
Choose a fire safe box that has all the protective features and benefits to keep your important documents safe. In the long run, the investment could prove to be a wise one.
The post What Items Should You Put in a Fire Safe Box appeared first on Apartment Living Tips – Apartment Tips from ApartmentGuide.com.
Accidental death insurance, also known as accidental death and dismemberment insurance, is a type of limited life insurance often acquired for a nominal fee or added to an existing policy. As the name suggests, it releases a benefit if the policyholder dies from an accident or suffers a dismemberment.Â
Accidents kill an estimated 160,000 Americans a year and are far more common amongst men aged between 18 and 44. Many of these deaths occur as a result of falls and motor traffic accidents, both of which are covered by most accidental death insurance policies.
When You Donât Need Accidental Death Insurance
If you already have life insurance, you can probably overlook accidental death insurance. In such cases, it will simply increase the value of the payout when you die, known as âdouble indemnityâ coverage.
Unlike whole-life insurance policies, it does not provide policyholders with a separate investment vehicle that they can cash out at a later date. Generally, accidental death insurance doesnât offer anything that a traditional life insurance policy canât provide, and it may therefore be deemed an unnecessary expense.
However, there are exceptions.
When You Need Accidental Death Insurance
An accidental death benefit canât provide you with anything that you wonât get from a traditional life insurance policy. However, itâs a different story with dismemberment insurance. This will cover you in the event that you lose a finger, toe or arm, which means youâll have the money you need for medical costs and may be compensated for lost work.
Accidental death insurance can also help to cover any additional medical fees that result from necessary treatment taken after an accident and before death. Your family may be forced to cover these bills, and an additional death benefit can help them with that.Â
Accidental death and dismemberment insurance is not something we would recommend in lieu of traditional life insurance, but if you have the option to add it to an existing policy for a few bucks a month, itâs well worth considering.
How Much Does Accidental Death Insurance Cost?
The price of your accidental death insurance premiums will depend on your payout as well as your risk factor. The average person can expect a charge of roughly $5 per month for every $50,000 of coverage, which means a benefit of $100,000 could cost as little as $10 a month.
But, as we have discussed many times before, underwriters focus on probabilities. The more likely you are to die from an accident, the higher those premiums will cost. For instance, if youâre an 18-year-old who has just started driving and enjoys a few high-risk hobbies, you may see those premiums climb.
How Long Does Accidental Death Insurance Last?
Accidental death insurance policies typically run for up to 40 years. You choose the desired term at the start and this is used to calculate your premiums, with longer terms leading to higher prices on account of the increased risk.
What is Not Covered by Accidental Death Insurance?
Accidental death insurance generally doesnât cover all accidents and all dismemberments. The exact coverage will depend on the policy, and itâs possible to tailor your policy to include some of the things not traditionally included, but this may increase the premiums.
Suicide is a tricky one. Many life insurance policies will payout if the policyholder commits suicide, but only if it occurs after the first two years and it is proved that they committed suicide so their loved ones would benefit (although this is not easy to prove).
However, accidental death insurance policies tend to rule suicide out altogether. Many deaths caused by misadventure may be queried as suicide, such as falls and drownings, but unless there is actual proof that they intended to take their life, the death will often be ruled as misadventure, in which case an accidental death insurance policy may payout.
Accidental death insurance rarely pays out for deaths resulting from war injuries. This is true whether the policyholder is shot or dies from an explosion or fall. That death was certainly not intentional, so you could argue that the policy should pay, but most insurers will refuse.
Illness and Disease
An accidental death insurance policy is not designed to payout in the event that you die from an illness or disease. Your beneficiaries may also face some resistance if you had a serious illness or disease at the time of your death but an accident was ultimately the thing that killed you.
For instance, if you have a serious mobility problem and this causes you to fall, hit your head, and die, then technically an accident killed you, but that accident wouldnât have happened if not for the illness, creating some technicalities that will no doubt lead to problems when filing a claim.
Drugs or Alcohol
An accidental overdose is rarely covered by accidental death insurance. There will be no benefit for your loved ones if it leads to your demise, and no benefit for you if it leads to long-term health complications.
This is not true for all policies, however, and there may be exceptions for drugs that were prescribed.
How Can the Cause of Death be Proved?
As alluded to already, the cause of death isnât straightforward. With a traditional life insurance policy, if the policyholder dies outside of the contestability period, the insurers will rarely get involved. That changes if they have suspicions about the death and believe that a crime was committed (fraud, murder) but itâs rare.
With accidental death insurance, however, there are many more nuances. As a result, an official investigation may be ordered, and this can include an autopsy.
How Does the Dismemberment Payout Work?
If the policyholder losses an appendage as a result of an accident, they may receive a partial benefit paid direct to them. The policy will dictate how much is paid and why, but generally the payout will be made following a non-excluded accident that results in the loss of:
- An arm
- A leg
- A finger
- A toe
Higher payouts may also be provided if the policyholder suffers complete paralysis.
What is Accidental Death Insurance, and do you Need it? is a post from Pocket Your Dollars.
Did you know the U.S. has an average of more than 1,000 tornadoes recorded each year?
There are two regions with an excessively high frequency of tornadoes. Florida is one and “Tornado Alley” in the south-central United States is the other, according to NOAA.
If you’re in the part of the country that’s prone to tornadoes, you need to have a safe room to go to when the weather turns bad.
Your safe spot will shield you from the wind, hail and flying debris. A safe location should have no windows and could be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor of your apartment building. An interior closet or bathroom in your apartment is also a safe place to hunker down in.
Items to keep in your tornado safe space
When you have to go to your safe space, you never know how long you’ll be there. It could be 30 minutes and it could be for several hours. You need to be prepared, not only with essentials but also with things to keep you and your family distracted and calm. We’ve organized a list to help get you through the storm with useful items for your safe space.
1. Water and snacks
Water and munchies are a must for everyone in your safe space. Plan ahead with water bottles and non-perishables. Keep foodstuffs organized.
Have a bag you can grab to take with you to a storm shelter or your safe space in your apartment.
2. Baby and toddler food
Have a baby in the family? Be sure to have formula, bottles and baby food with utensils ready for your tornado safe space. Or, pack it to take to a shelter.
If you’ve got a toddler, have Cheerios and other favorites in resealable plastic bags for easy accessibility.
3. NOAA radio
You should get a weather radio so you can listen to NOAA Weather Radio. It will keep you tuned in to emergency info about tornado watches and warnings.
You don’t know what the conditions will be like during the weather event and post-storm climate. FEMA recommends wearing closed-toe shoes like boots or sturdy sneakers. A likelihood of broken glass and other rubble that could prove dangerous.
5. Protective gear
In case of the tornado hitting full out in your area, be ready for anything. Keep bike helmets to protect from falling debris with you. Have a helmet for everyone in the family.
And if you have room and the time to drag it, bring a mattress with you. It could protect the entire family in case of flying glass, doors or other debris.
6. First aid kit
Prepare a small backpack with Band-Aids, antiseptic wipes and more, or buy a first aid kit that’s already full of necessities.
If a tornado warning occurs, you can grab the backpack on your way to a storm shelter, or stash one in your apartment’s safe space.
7. Sanitation and hygiene supplies
How long will you be in your tornado safe spot? Only Mother Nature knows for sure. Since it’s always better to be ready ahead of time, have a few personal hygiene supplies on hand. Think disposable towels, hand sanitizers, portable tissue packs, toilet paper and trash bags.
8. Necessities for kids
Be sure to pack a safe space or shelter bag with necessities, such as diapers and wipes for babies. Also, have a go-bag with anything special your toddler needs. Include favorite washcloths that could prove useful.
Power losses are likely when high winds blow. Be sure to have a battery-operated lantern and other flashlights. Also, plan ahead with extra batteries.
10. Cell phone chargers
Don’t risk your cell phone going to black. You may not have power, so be prepared with a portable universal battery cell phone charger. Find one with USB ports for several phones.
11. Personal docs
It’s always smart to keep important documents in one place. In a storm situation, keep them in a waterproof bag. Safeguard your passport, insurance papers and your checkbook.
12. Activities for kids
If you have little kids, be sure to have supplies to keep them busy while you wait out the wind. It will be a good distraction.
Charge iPads charged, bring crayons and coloring books, a board game and favorite stuffed animals for nap time. Have pillows and blankets, too.
13. Adult distractions
Adults need their own versions of safe space distractions. Have your iPad mini and access to the novel you’re reading (or listening to). Bring your crossword puzzle book and the like.
Have pillows and a blanket in your safe space, too. These things could help make the waiting period for the storm to pass more bearable.
14. Dog or cat accessories
Does your dog or cat get traumatized in thunder, wind and rain? Have a thunder vest or shirt that they can wear. It can squash anxiety through gentle, constant pressure.
Create a spot where cats will feel safe to hide under a blanket. Also have water, food, treats and toys for your pets.
15. Meds and eyeglasses
Remember to keep your medications and eyeglasses (and contact lenses) with you in a storm. Keep headache pills and other medications you take in your safe space, or in the shelter bag you’ve packed. Include daily prescriptions, insulin, epinephrine auto-injectors and anything else you may need, along with contact lens solution and eye drops.
After the storm
According to the Weather Channel, it’s critical to be sure that a storm has truly passed before going outside. Check for updates on your NOAA Weather Radio, local broadcasts or cell phone. These outlets will be able to provide the latest weather information related to the storm where you live.
The post 15 Items to Keep in Your Tornado Safe Space appeared first on Apartment Living Tips – Apartment Tips from ApartmentGuide.com.