Monthly Archives: December 2013

  • Winter Safety Tips

    Winter Safety Tips are a hot topic right now (pun intended) we thought we'd bring you a few from the FEMA Community pages:

    Here are a few winter safety tips: what are yours?

    • Gas stations & ATMs may not work while the power is out. Fill your car's tank & get cash out so you have what you need.
    • Use flashlights for emergency lighting. NEVER use candles due to increased risk of fire.
    • If using a generator during a power outage, always run it outside & away from windows to avoid carbon monoxide.
    • Bundle up to stay warm but make sure you can see in all directions and move easily and freely.
    • Wear sturdy shoes or boots with treads, even if you're just going out to get the newspaper.
    • Do some light stretching before you venture out; it will make you physically more able to prevent a fall.
    • Carry a small bag of salt, sand or kitty litter in your pocket or purse to sprinkle in front of you for traction on icy paths.
    • Avoid walking on surfaces that may be icy if you can. If you can't, slow down, shorten your stride, walk with feet pointed out slightly and knees gently bent to improve traction and balance.
    • Snow can hide curbs and uneven surfaces. If you can't see where your foot will land, find another way.
    • Replace worn rubber tips on canes, walkers and crutches. Ask a mobility equipment dealer about winter canes or cleats you can add to existing equipment.
    • Dry off shoes, canes, crutches and walkers as soon as you get indoors. Wet shoes on dry surfaces are just as dangerous as dry shoes on wet surfaces.
      If you are going out alone, carry a cell phone; know who you will call if you fall, and make sure that person knows what to do if you call.
    • Walk flat-footed on ice.  Take small "baby" steps tp maintain your stability.  If you are proficient at roller- or ice-skating, then you can even "skate" across the ice flat-footed in your boots or shoes.
    • Maintain at LEAST a half-tank of gas in your vehicle at all times during winter months.  This helps with easier starts and allows a cushion in case of emergency to evacuate or reach a destination.  It also prevents gas line freeze.
    • Keep extra hand warmers, the kind you pop the chemicals inside the package to generate heat.  These can be used to wrap around frozen bottled water in your car or home.  Simply activate a couple warmers and wrap them around the bottles water to melt the water.
    • Make dried jerky and our own trail mixes and dried fruits for emergency rations to keep at home and in our vehicles during the winter months.  If you are ever stuck, these will come in handy.
    • Remember emergency rations for your pets, too.
    • Have comfort food and card or board games on hand to get through emergency situations.  Hershey kisses, candy land, memory, scrabble, would be amazed at how much this helps pass the time in a fun way and ease the stresses of emergencies.
    • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, which can affect your balance as well as how your body responds to medication.
    • Ask your doctor or physical therapist about indoor exercises that can help you maintain strength and balance when you can't venture out.
    • Wear sunglasses to reduce glare from the sun and snow and ensure that you can see where you are walking.
    • Carry a cleaning cloth and stop immediately to clean your glasses if they fog up going from outdoors to indoors.
    • Ask your post office, newspaper and garbage collector about service options that might make it safer for you when conditions are bad.
    • Slow Down, you'll live longer.  First, we had rain;  Then freezing rain;  Then snow.  Simply deceptive, driving as if you were on regular snow will lead to lose-of-control of your vehicle in a heartbeat.  If you Must drive in this kind of weather, leave early and take your time.  Just because others are speeding by you does not mean they're driving safe.  Black ice is out there in weather like this.  Talking from experience... read about Winter Driving Safety
    • When in doubt, don't risk it. Ask for help if you don't feel safe doing something.

    Air Activated Warmers

    Click Here for All Warmers

    Heat Factory Hand warmer

    Air activated warmers are lightweight pouches contain a mixture of ingredients that, when exposed to air, create an oxidation process generating heat. Click here to learn more..Heat Factory Hand warmer
    Heat Factory is often asked why we don’t just make one warmer for both the hands Heat Factory Hand warmerand feet. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Each product presents its own unique opportunities and challenges. Items designed for the feet must be comfortable, easy to use, work in a restricted air environment.Handwarmers placed in a shoe or boot with restricted air will likely not generate enough heat to satisfy the user’s needs. Heat Factory has developed the Footwarmer to work in a shoe or boot with restricted air. This warmer provides the warmth and convenience to provide all day warmth in most shoes, boots and waders. Everything one needs to provide warmth and comfort. 

    Heat Factory Hand warmer
    The Heat Factory Mini Warmer is a Heat Factory innovation that revolutionized the U.S. warmer industry over 20 years ago. The Mini Warmers are our most popular size warmers and last 10 hours. They can be used in gloves, pockets, Heat Factory Headwear, and any place where soothing heat is desired.

    Heat Factory Hand warmer
    Heat Factory Hand warmer
    Heat Factory Hand warmer
    1. Open outer package & remove the warmer
    2. Place warmers in pockets
    3. Enjoy the HEAT… It’s that Simple!
    Heat Factory Hand warmer
    Heat Factory Footwarmers are designed for use in restricted air such as a shoe or boot. Heat Factory has specially designed Footbeds and socks that utilize the Footwarmers. Each Footwarmer generates up to 6 hours
    of heat when used in restricted air.Heat Factory separates ourselves from the competition in many ways. One of the biggest is by the sheer amount of foot warming options that we offer – far more than anyone else in the industry! Not only does Heat Factory offer single use warmers for use in footwear, it also features quality socks and orthodic footbeds which accept Heat Factory Footwarmers.
    Toe Warmer
    Toe Warmer
    Foot Warmer
    Footwarmer Insoles
    Foot Warmer Insoles
    Large Warmer
    Large Body Warmer
    Mini Warmer
    Mini Body Warmer
    Emergency Pack
    Emergency Warmer Pack
    Outdoor Warmers
    Great Outdoor Warmer Pack
    Sports Warmers
    Sports Fam Warmer Pack

    Air Activated Warmers

    Click Here for All Warmers


  • Holiday Travel Checklist

    Planning for a trip - on your own, with a group, or with you Family is a lot like playing Santa - you need to make a list, and check it twice (at least!)

    Clearly, you need to plan toiletries, clothing, and all that jazz. If you are visiting friends and family, you have to pack those gifts (small, we hope!) But what about the things one needs to assure comfort, safety, and security while travelling?

    “Prepare for takeoff” is more than a phrase. It’s a call for action for everyone to contribute to travel safety. Whether local or abroad, traveling can be an exciting experience but do you know how to prepare for unexpected difficulties while away from home?

    Travel Emergency Kits - Is Yours Packed? Travel Emergency Kits - Is Yours Packed?

    Safety begins before you go! The U.S. Department of State offers important tips to help you get ready for takeoff:

    • Learn as much as you can about the local laws, customs and risks of the area you plan to visit. Know the emergency plans of the hotel or community where you will be staying;
    • Bring travelers checks and no more than two credit cards instead of cash;
    • Put your name, address and telephone numbers inside and outside of each piece of luggage. Use covered luggage tags to avoid causal observation of your identity.  If possible, lock your luggage; and
    • Pack an extra set of passport photos along with a photocopy of your passport’s information page to make replacement of your passport easier if it’s lost or stolen. If you are travelling with others, put copies of one another's ID, credit cards, and other important documents (front and back) in each others suitcases. Why? If one of you has your luggage lost, the other will have copies of your vital info.
    • Other suggested reading: Health Information for International Travel, Road Trip in Winter - Travel Safety
  • Escape Bivvy - We were featured in Outside Magazine!

    outside-january-2014-cover_feYou know we're cool. We know we're cool. But when its colder than cool outside, Outside Magazine is sending others to us to see how warm we can make them feel.

    Our Escape Bivvy is featured in the October Edition of Outside Magazine (page 30, "Dead of Winter" article)


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  • Health Disparities and Inequalities


    • CDC’s new Health Disparities and Inequalities Report—United States, 2013 reveals how characteristics such as race, ethnicity, education level, geography, and disability status can affect one’s risk for disease and premature death.
    • The report shows that by 2010, the preterm birth rate for black infants had declined to the lowest level ever reported (17%), but remained about 60% higher than the preterm birth rate for white and Asian/Pacific Islander infants.
    • Health department staff can use the information in this report [PDF-3.7MB] to help communities eliminate disparities among groups that experience a disproportionate burden of disease, disability, and death.
  • Life likes to throw you a curve ball

    Life is unpredictable, be prepared

    Twice a year my family takes an inventory of our immediate assets. I don’t mean our investment portfolio. I’m talking about immediate access to life-preserving essentials: water, food, warmth, light, and basic first aid. The stuff we take for granted until we’re up the proverbial creek. We have seen alarming trends demonstrating how vulnerable we are to circumstances beyond our control. We’ve grown accustomed to relying on others to respond on our behalf. We’ve become so distraught with our inalienable rights and personal freedoms, that we’ve become negligent to our civic responsibilities as contributing members of a free society. It’s great that FEMA and the National Guard show up when there’s trouble, but taking a little accountability for ourselves helps alleviate the collective stress on the immediate response.

    We’ve seen how a handful of precarious variables can completely derail the day. Fluctuations in the world economy promote turmoil. Malicious people wreak havoc. Mother Nature has proven her ability to kick some ass. I’m not a conspiracy theorist or a cynic, but life is unpredictable. If we cover our own basic needs, when things go awry, we’re individually better positioned to help out, rather than grab our heads in a holy panic. Cody Lundin reminds us in his book “When All Hell Breaks Loose,” that “Ultimately, your safety is not the government’s responsibility; it’s yours. The emergency response chain is only as strong as the weakest link. Make sure the weakest link is not you.” Buy the book and read it.

    FEMA and the CDC now recommend that all families in the United States maintain on-going reserves for every man, woman and child for a period of no less than two weeks. I like to error on the side of a month or more. These are allocated rations specifically designed to sustain your family during an initial response. If every family in every community had these reserves, people in general, would be less panicky about meeting basic human needs. When shelves go bare at the grocery, there’s a buffer in your pantry. That’s the point. Think ahead. Prepare a small cache for your family. Consume things as they get close to expiring and then replace them. Balance your supply with items that meet your nutritional needs. My family is gluten-free, so our cache reflects what we eat year-round. Stock a closet with a few dozen gallons of water. It costs almost nothing, takes up virtually no room, and is absolutely essential for life. Supplement with a gallon of bleach, a Katadyn water filter, and a LifeStraw for everyone in your household (

    Our “fire box” pantry is stocked with dried fruit, canned vegetables, beans, nuts, jerky, rice and more. Quinoa and hemp hearts are super high in protein and easily prepared with little or no fuel. We have a stash of flour, sugar, salt, honey, coconut oil, almond butter, and chocolate. We watch expiration dates on a wide variety of household medicines, vitamins and toiletries. Buy whatever you normally use. Write expiration dates in big magic marker to keep dates visible. We keep extra propane, candles, batteries, flashlights, toilet paper, and matches. We also use a solar powered sun oven year-round like a crock pot.

    We keep our first aid kit well-stocked with a practical manual for first responders and combat-medics, written and illustrated for people without advanced medical training. A few strategic guidebooks provide tactical information, but don’t wait for a crisis to pick them up and read them. Also keep your household CPR and basic first aid certifications current. That’s just sensible for the entire family.

    My preparations are not politically driven; they just seem smart and responsible. People make investments all the time. If twice a year, I invest in a stash of provisions that will help my family endure an unpredictable adventure, it’s priceless. Worst case scenario, we consume our assets. Now, that’s an investment I can live with.

    Are you ready to Bug Out? Are you ready to Bug Out?
    Evan Zislis Life. Simplified. Evan Zislis
    Life. Simplified.

    — Evan Zislis is founder and principal consultant of, delivering hands-on organizational solutions for households, businesses, nonprofits, students, and life transitions. For more information about simplifying your stuff email


  • Safety Tips To Fireproof Your Home

    What is the one place that comes to your mind when someone says the words – family, peace, relaxation, care, love, comfort? Would it be a 5-star resort? Or a luxurious penthouse in a 7-star hotel? No, those are all wrong answers. The right answer is only one and that is 'Home.' What if I said that there's no place safer than home? I bet you would agree. After all, home is where we always come back to. Be it after a hard day's work, or a grueling shopping trip, or after a vacation out of town, it's always a pleasure to come back home.

    But what would you do, if this very place where you always return to, suddenly stopped existing? Where would you go if you found yourself having nowhere else to go? What if, one day, you returned from your family holiday and found that your house has been burned down to the ground and is now nothing but ashes? Sounds terrifying, doesn't it?

    Don't let this happen to yourself. Houses can catch fire due to many reasons – small or big. However, you can certainly prevent this from happening to your humble home. In this post, we will let you in on some basic safety tips related to fireproofing your precious abode so that you and your family are always safe. Read on to know more.

    Kitchen Catastrophes
    Most of the domestic fires usually arise in the kitchen. Keep the situation under control by wearing proper clothing devoid of synthetic materials to avoid attracting and catching fire while cooking. Make sure that you turn the gas stove off after using it and do not leave it on even by mistake. In case of a gas leak, quickly turn off the gas connection and refrain from using electricity/electrical equipment for some time and open up all the windows of the house till the leaked gas escapes. Do not leave your stove unattended if you're cooking something on it.

    Wiring Woes
    Faulty and outdated wiring are also among the leading causes of house fires. Make sure that your electrical appliances don't end up overloading your wires or power outlets. See to it that your electrical fuse doesn't blow out every now and then and if this happens, contact your electrician immediately to get it corrected as this is an early sign of an impending short circuit.

    Electrifying Electric Blankets
    If you live in a cold region or in a region that experiences snowy and chilly weather during winters, then you probably use electric blankets all the time. And although it is an economical option, beware of its use as it can be extremely dangerous. There are wires inside these blankets which heat them up in order to provide the warmth that they do. But, even a slight overheating of the wires can result in flames, burns and injuries. Although there are law firms with experienced attorneys that can help you get compensation from the manufacturers of the blankets, weigh your options before you buy them.

    Fireplace Faults
    If your home has a fireplace, make sure to inspect it from time to time and to keep it clean. Make sure that you don't keep any inflammable substance anywhere near it. Also ensure that the chimney is long and unclogged for the heat and smoke to rise up and escape rather than fill up your home.

    Materials that Won't Burn
    If you live in an area where there are high chances for wild fire/ bush fire/forest fire to occur, then you need to think of building your house with a material that won't catch fire easily. You could spare a thought for insulated concrete forms, which are nothing but polystyrene blocks that work like Legos, to build your house's outer shell. Since concrete is fire and heat resistant, it will provide your house with strong walls that will also keep the wind and rain out.

    EVACUATION & FIRE ESCAPE EQUIPMENT, SYSTEMS & SUPPLIES FIRE! Nobody wants to hear this, but if you do; Are You Ready? Everyone knows you need Fire Extinguishers and Smoke/CO2 Alarms, but what about Fire Resistant Document Bags, Escape ladders for exiting a burning building during a fire or other catastrophe, fire blankets, burn kits and supplies, or even Fire and Evacuation Safety training materials? Fire is the most common disaster to strike... are you and your loved ones ready? EVACUATION & FIRE ESCAPE EQUIPMENT, SYSTEMS & SUPPLIES

    Stop Playing with Fire
    Always keep matches, lighters, cigarettes, curling/straightening irons, firewood, firecrackers, candles, etc. away from sources of fire and out of reach of children to prevent their misuse. If you have a barbeque, make sure to dispose of the coal properly to prevent an occurrence of fire. Watch out for firework activity in your neighborhood during festivals and celebrations. You must also replace or get rid of combustible items such as wooden decks, wooden benches, door mats, dried leaves and dead plants from anywhere near your house.

    Install Smoke Detectors and Sprinklers/Fire Extinguishers
    Installation of smoke detectors and sprinklers in all the rooms and/or placing small fire extinguishers outside all the rooms and the house seem like a good idea to be able to douse a fire as soon as it breaks out. That way you are never too late or far away from safety.

    Home Owners' and Fire Insurance
    If in case your house ever happens to catch fire and gets burnt down, it would be a good idea to be financially protected against the high costs of rebuilding a new home. Hence, it is advised to get an insurance policy most suited to your needs related to building your life again as a safety measure.

    There's nothing that a little common sense and alertness on your part cannot deal with, not even domestic fire. We hope these simple tips will prove to be useful and effective in insulating your home and minimizing risks against such calamities.

     Burn Care When a burn occurs, seconds count. we carry numerous products that are effective, versatile and approved for emergency first aid burn treatment in a pre-hospital setting. They stop the burn progression, cool the burned area, relieve pain and prevent further injury.
    Burn Care
    When a burn occurs, seconds count. we carry numerous products that are effective, versatile and approved for emergency first aid burn treatment in a pre-hospital setting. They stop the burn progression, cool the burned area, relieve pain and prevent further injury.


  • Dumb Criminals

    Police are supposed to enforce the laws - not break them.

    WDRB's Stephan Johnson continues our series on Kentuckiana's "dumbest criminals," and shows us the bold move that put one "would be cop" in the back seat of a real police cruiser.

    "His actions were very bold," says Det. John Green, with LMPD's 6th Division.

    Louisville Metro Police say they have surveillance footage of Taronn Conley leaving the Hurstbourne Lane Walmart in September of this year.

    Det. Green says, "He tried to walk out without paying for merchandise. And as he was walking to the door he was approached by two employees."

    Green says what Conley did next was bold and dangerous.  "When they asked him for his receipt, he pointed down to his gun and then he pulled the gun and pointed it at them."

    Police say Conley also had a badge and eventually left the store without the merchandise, but this security video made it pretty easy to find him.  "I was shocked when I saw the video, I could not believe that he walked into that Walmart with a gun on his side and a badge next to it, that was very shocking."

    The shock doesn't end there.  "I don't know exactly how many phone calls we got that evening but it was two or three, I believe. It was the same evening that we actually put it on the news," says Det. Green.

    Those phone calls led police to the YMCA on Hamburg Pike in Jeffersonville.  Turns out, Conley had a job.  He worked in the childcare department at the Y, which also explains the badge.

    Det. Green explains, "He said he was using those to essentially deputize the kids at the YMCA to help him out...basically be a helper with him while he was working there."

    The security footage and phones calls made it an easy case to solve, but police still don't know why.  "You're dealing with children, you would think you would have a little more sense -- especially in a place that has cameras -- than to walk into a place that's obviously going to be able to figure out who you are. I think it was very dumb, very dumb."

    If convicted, the trip to Walmart could cost Conley several years in prison. Meanwhile, if you're wanted by police, probably the last thing you want to do is make them mad.

    "We hear that probably more times than I can even think of, and obviously we weren't eating doughnuts, we were out working and looking for him," says Det. Kevin Peak, with LMPD.

    By Stephan Johnson
    Copyright 2013 WDRB News. All rights reserved. WDRB 41 Louisville News By 

    Alleged crime:Impersonating a police officer.

    Fatal mistake: Doing so ineptly.

    The circumstances: The odds that an imposture will succeed rise dramatically if the imposter focuses on duping people who are not very familiar with the person or profession being impersonated. If you are trying to impersonate a cop, for instance, you should seek out people who don’t often interact with the police, like elementary school students, or cloistered nuns. These people will not notice that your badge is from a vending machine, or that you cannot pronounce the word “precinct.”

    Conversely, it would be very risky for a police impersonator to try to “pass” among a group of actual cops. Even if you’re the Frank Abagnale of fake cops, the odds are still good that you’ll be noticed, unmasked, and arrested. While this seems clear to me, it apparently wasn’t to Minh Van Nguyen. According to the television station WISH-8, the Indianapolis man unwisely decided last month to dress up like a police officer and attend the funeral of an officer who had been killed in the line of duty—an event that was crawling with real cops.

    Not surprisingly, according to WISH-8, it didn’t take long before one of those real cops “recognized Nguyen as a person he had warned several times about impersonating a police officer.” When confronted, Nguyen allegedly insisted that he was, indeed, a police officer. But his story didn’t check out, and it didn’t help that Nguyen was allegedly wearing a noticeably fake badge. Nguyen was arrested, and police later allegedly found numerous police-related items—a siren box, evidence envelopes, uniforms, much more—in his house and car. “Impersonation is the best form of flattery but we are not flattered,” a police spokesman said.

    How he could have been a lot smarter: Obviously he should have stayed away from the funeral. But, that little blunder aside, he probably could have done more to sell the impersonation, or at least conceal his identity with aviator sunglasses or a fake cop mustache or something.

    How he could have been a little smarter: He could’ve tried to impersonate a plainclothes cop.

    How he could have been a little dumber: He could have tried to impersonate a fictional cop, like Dick Tracy as portrayed by Warren Beatty. As everyone knows, it is a federal crime to impersonate Warren Beatty.

    How he could have been a lot dumber: Actually tried to clock in for a shift at a police station.

    Ultimate Dumbness Ranking (UDR): Well, this was pretty dumb, but I’m going to grade it on a curve because the crime was relatively harmless. It’s not like he tried to apprehend an actual criminal or something. Still, I have to ding him for the slipshod disguise. Sometimes a fake badge is worse than no badge at all. 3 out of 10 for him.

  • New Report Highlights Benefits of Flu Vaccine

    During National Influenza Vaccination Week, CDC urges unvaccinated Americans to get a flu vaccine

    Flu vaccination prevented an estimated 6.6 million influenza-associated illnesses, 3.2 million medically attended illnesses, and 79,000 hospitalizations during the 2012-2013 flu season, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). CDC also reported today that despite the benefits of flu vaccination, only 40% of Americans 6 months and older had reported getting a flu vaccine this season as of early November 2013.

    The estimated benefits of vaccination for the 2012-2013 season are higher than any other season for which CDC has produced similar estimates. These high numbers are attributable to the severity of the season. The report estimates that last season there were a total of 31.8 million influenza-associated illnesses, 14.4 medically attended illnesses, and 381,000 hospitalizations in the United States.
    “The estimated number of hospitalizations reinforces what we have always known about flu: that it is highly variable and can be very serious,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.

    Children aged 6 months through four years and persons aged 65 and older, who are among those most vulnerable to influenza, accounted for an estimated 69% of prevented hospitalizations.

    CDC often cites flu as being responsible for 200,000 hospitalizations each season. This average is taken from data during the 1990s, when annual estimates ranges from 158,000 hospitalizations in 1990-1991 to a high of 431,000 hospitalizations in 1997-1998.

    “Most of estimated hospitalizations last season were in people 65 and older. This shows how hard a severe H3N2 season can hit this vulnerable group,” Dr. Frieden said.

    image of flu and germ kit Click to see all our Great Flu and germ Products to avoid infection!


    Read more>>

  • Winter Fall Prevention Tips for Seniors

    As we get older, it is hard enough to stay upright without all the daunting additions of ice, wet walks, snow, and sleet...

    Profile PicAh, winter. Blizzards, freezing temperatures, visiting the ER because you fell on the ice. For kids, winter is an exciting time. They love playing in the snow and sliding around on the ice. For senior citizens, all that ice and snow means an increased chance of slipping and falling. Here are eight things you can do to make winter a little less perilous:
    Check your footwear. Examine your shoes and boots. How's the traction? Is it time for a new pair? Better traction can help keep you more stable on icy surfaces.

    Keep your shovel and salt in your house. The reason you have a shovel and salt is so you don't have to walk on a slippery sidewalk. If you have to traverse through the snow and ice to get to your garage where the salt and shovel are kept, that defeats the purpose.

    Check the railings. If you have railings leading up to your front door, check to see if they're sturdy. If you slipped, would they be able to support you?

    Bring a cell phone when you leave the house. If you fall, it can sometimes be hard to get up. Carrying a cell phone whenever you go out can bring peace of mind.

    Slow down. Allow extra time if it's slippery out. It's when you hurry that you end up pushing the envelope of what your balance can handle. Also, keep in mind that being a little late is better than rushing and causing a fall.

    Ask for help. If you have to walk across an icy sidewalk or parking lot, try to find a steady arm to lean on. Most people are happy to help an older person navigate a slippery walkway? You just have to ask.

    Have a plan. When you are going out, ask yourself, "If I slipped and fell here, what would I do?"

    Strengthen your legs. Strong leg muscles can help you steady yourself if you slip. And if you do fall, they make it a lot easier to get back up. You should exercise your legs regularly to keep them strong. Try walking up and down your stairs repeatedly or do a set of ten squats out of a chair a couple times per week.

    These little things, when used together, can make the winter elements a little less daunting.

  • Working During the Holidays?

    Know Your Rights if you are working during the holidays - especially if you are pulling an extra part-time job or multiple positions...

    This time of year, many people hold temporary or part-time jobs helping retailers and other businesses with the heavy demands of the busy holiday shopping season. It’s a great opportunity to gain valuable work experience, get a foot in the door for long-term employment or just earn extra cash.

    Workers not familiar with this type of short-term arrangement may have questions related to their employment. Here are answers to some most of the frequently asked questions we receive, and additional resources for more information:

    Should I be getting Safety Training for part-time of Temporary Employment?

    Yes! Before you even start working, your employers should be providing basic safety training.

    How many hours is part-time employment? How many hours is full-time employment?

    Crowded shopping mallThe Fair Labor Standards Act, which is the governing federal labor law here, does not define full-time employment or part-time employment. That is a matter generally to be determined by the employer.

    Am I entitled to overtime pay?

    In all likelihood, yes. Most workers in this country, particularly in retail, are employed by businesses covered by the FLSA. That means that they are entitled to at least the federal minimum wage, which currently stands at $7.25 per hour, though some states and localities have higher minimum wage rates. Such workers are also entitled to overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. This is true regardless of whether the employee is considered a temporary worker or a permanent hire. In some instances, however, certain retail or service employees who are paid by commissions could be exempt from overtime pay.

    Are there restrictions for teens working during the holiday season?

    Federal law says that 14 is the minimum age for work in retail or at an office, grocery store, restaurant or movie theater. In general, 14- and 15-year-olds can only work during non-school hours and no more than three hours on a school day, including Fridays, and 18 hours total in a week. On weekends, holidays and school breaks, however, they can work eight hours a day and up to 40 hours in a week. And though the law is more permissive during the summer, they can only work between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the school year.

    Federal law does not limit the number of hours or times of day for workers 16 years and older, but many states have enacted more restrictive labor laws and have higher minimum standards that must be obeyed. It’s important to note that workers under 18 are limited in what they can do and must not be placed in hazardous occupations or given certain tasks deemed hazardous. Check out the YouthRules! website to learn more.

    Help is a click or phone call away

    If you still have questions and want to learn more, please refer to our Holiday Season Employment Information Guide. You can also check out our website, or call 1-866-4US-WAGE.

    Best of luck on the job, and happy holidays!

    Laura Fortman is the principal deputy administrator for the Wage and Hour Division for the Department of Labor.

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