Posts Tagged ‘Surviving’

You’re all set to build your dream and nothing is going to stop you now! You found a home with the perfect amount of space, plenty of storage, the kitchen is divine, and the laundry room is massive. What more could a homeowner want? If you have ever experienced a natural disaster up close and a little too personal, then a safe room should be on top of that list.

Safe rooms are becoming more popular in homes these days. These rooms are a designated space designed specifically for family members to retreat for high protection from whatever nature decides to throw your way. When building new prairie house building plans, the safe room can play double duty, often serving as a master closet or spacious bath. For retrofitted homes or those desiring a more designated space, it is also a possibility to add on a safe room.

Either way, safe rooms of varying sizes all require the same basic components: smaller interior room that is located above grade (ground level), easily accessible from major living spaces, should be tested and able to withstand storm forces of the highest degree, must be able to withstand penetration by storm forced projectiles, anchored securely with special grade anchor bolts to resist overturning despite the force placed upon it, the door requires three or more latches, door locks must work so that no person is locked in or out, and must be operable by all family members (within reason).

If your home has a basement foundation, it is possible to locate your safe room in the basement. But, be mindful of family members that may experience accessibility issues. Tornadoes are known for appearing quite suddenly and the safe room is only functional if it can be reached hastily. Additionally, safe rooms in flood prone areas should never be installed in the basement. It is also important to note that safe rooms are not suitable in flood situations; evacuation is crucial in these natural disasters.

Safe rooms are not required in building codes, but your region may offer incentives if a safe room is included in your log home house plan. Even easier, prefabricated safe rooms are widely available and built according to FEMA standards. These safe rooms are highly recommended for those on a budget or those who may not possess the knowledge of safe room construction. Whichever means you choose, incorporating a safe room is a great way to ease the mind and increase the safety of your luxury Mediterranean house plan for your entire family.

As one of the leading pre-drawn home plan companies, HDA strives for excellence in the industry. They offer more than 15,000 house plans available for purchase from the nation’s top designers and architects. From prairie house building plans to a log home house plan or even a luxury Mediterranean house plan, HDA has every desirable home plan feature covered.

With the economy and business environment as it is, news of employee layoffs and cost cutting measures abound. While this is expected behavior during a recession, the danger of cutting too deep in areas that affect customer satisfaction is very real. Such actions would drive away customers and thus further reduce sales in the medium term.

It is important to remember that while sales and employee morale are at all time lows, customer demands for quality, service and value, keep increasing or at minimum remain the same. While actions taken show well on an excel worksheet on how costs structures are being improved, the damage they are doing for the business and its ability to sustain growth when good times return are not equally well represented.

Efforts to reduce costs and stretch budgets should not be done with the end result of making life difficult for the customer. Good performing companies are known to take better care of their customers during difficult times because they recognize the value of loyal customers. Where a choice is to be made, between keeping a good customer versus trying to wow a new customer, the former should be the priority. Customer loyalty should not be put at risk at the expense of short term gain proposals dished out by finance people that simply look at the numbers without understanding the business processes and activities behind them.

Where cutting costs in customer service areas is justified, the organization needs to take time to thoroughly evaluate and plan actions that will be taken to keep the customer from noticing the difference or change. Examples of actions that may be taken include, providing cross training for those expected to cover expanded duties, providing increased empowerment to customer service staff for improved decision making and customer problem solving speed, identifying your strategic customers and ensuring that they are well taken care and seeking out opportunities to incorporate additional services that cost little but provide the customer improved satisfaction.

The customer is arguably the most valuable asset of the organization. Whatever the business situation, changes to operations need to be done keeping the customer and their satisfaction in mind. The costs of not doing this, is to court eventual business failure.

Dr Fernando Kevin Vince is currently the Vice President of Strategy & Human Resources with a global multinational. He is the author of 5 books, regular speaker at regional conferences and a certified trainer with American Management Association. He is the founder of The Association for Strategy & Leadership Professionals. Details can be found on