How Effective are Sale Signs?

Sale Signs in a Department Clothing Store

Effects of Sale Signs

Table of Contents
Signs Improve Sales
Customer Influence
Color Effects
Black Friday Statistics

The holiday rush is coming. People across the country will be shopping for the best deals on the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Your business needs to stand out to catch the eye of every potential customer, but how effective is your sale signage?

A bright, flashy sign may seem like a great idea, but what effect will it have? We addressed how to use psychology for your sale signage in a previous post, and we wanted to expand on the effect of the techniques addressed.

Signs Improve Sales

30% Off Sale Clothing Rack Tag

The purpose of your Black Friday sales is to move product, right? Proper labeling, even for items with unchanged prices, may improve your business’s numbers. Luckily, savvy marketers and researchers have already studied ways to capture sales.

Business Insider references an unpublished MIT study that separated products into three groups. The first was the control; unlabeled at regular price. The second group had their prices reduced by 12% without signage. And, the final group kept the normal price but marked with sale stickers.

The second group had an approximate increase of 17% in sales. But, the third labeled, unchanged-price group sold over 3% more compared to the control. This study’s conclusion demonstrates that sales improve by posting sale signs.¹

The end goal of your signage should be to influence a customer into committing to a sale.

Customer Influence

Two Customers Browsing and Reading Books

Attracting new customers should be an integral part of your Black Friday sales. Studies show that appealing signage is great at bringing in new business and securing sales.

According to a FedEx survey, 68% of people make a purchase because a sign grabbed their attention. Additionally, 76% of Americans visit a new store based on their signage.²

Part of preparing for a successful Black Friday and holiday season means understanding how to draw new customers in. Designing visually interesting signage and marketing or event banners is a perfect way to draw in this business.

Color and your product’s appearance also plays a major role in securing sales.

Results of Implementing Colors

Woman Standing in Front of an Orange SALE Sign

Reading how colors influence customers is a great first step towards improving your store’s signage. But, how effective is it? In a previous post, we addressed how color influences people.

To recap; people associate emotions and reactions depending on which colors they see. Reds invoke a faster heartrate, blues elicit a sense of trustworthiness, greens indicate health or prosperity, etc.

What does this mean for your sale signage? Well, as mentioned previously, a large majority of consumers make purchases because a sign caught their eye. Additionally, roughly 93% of people claim that the visual appearance of a product is the main reason for their purchase.³ Furthermore, a study from the SCMS Journal of Indian Management estimates that a customer’s willingness to read and selling potential increases by 80% when color is present.4

Prepare for Black Friday

Red Special Deal Sign in a Mall

To give your business the best chance at taking advantage of the busiest shopping day of the year, we’ve aggregated some Black Friday statistics and frequently asked questions. Understanding key aspects of Black Friday shoppers and numbers helps in your preparations.

  • When is Black Friday?
    • Black Friday is November 29, 2019
  • How Much Does the Average Person Spend on Black Friday?
    • Finder estimates that the average person will spend between roughly $252 and $626 depending on their age5
  • How Many People Shopped on Black Friday?
    • Over 34 million people shopped in stores in 20186
  • How Much Did People Spend on Black Friday 2018?
    • Over $717 billion total between in-store and online7

While there seems to be a downward trend for in-store shopping, ignoring the millions of brick-and-mortar shoppers is ill-advised. Your sale signage can play a major role in ensuring a successful Black Friday and holiday season.

With so many people shopping, both online and in-store, you need to prepare the best deals and signage to stay competitive and catch the eyes of any and all potential customers.

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CustomSigns.com is the best online store for ordering high-quality, eye-catching sale signs and business banners. Customization is always free and most orders ship next business day. Attract new customers for Black Friday and special holiday sales with CustomSigns.com.

Resources:

  1. Business Insider – Sales
  2. FedEx
  3. Colorcom
  4. SCMS Journal of Indian Management
  5. Finder
  6. Business Insider – Black Friday
  7. The Balance

How to Use Psychology in Your Sale Signage

Red "Huge Sale" Sign Posted In Front of a Telephone Pole
Table of Contents
Color Psychology
The Color Red
Other Colors
Number Psychology
Dollar Sign
Bulk Offers

With winter fast approaching and your holiday sales starting soon, if they haven’t already, you may want to consider some of the psychology behind successful signage. How does color affect customers? What do numbers mean to consumers? These are questions to bear in mind when designing signage for your sales.

How Colors Affect Customers

Colored Papers Against a Pink Background

Since signs are a visual form of advertising, colors play an integral role in the success of your sales. According to The Ultralinx, over 84% of people say that color is the main reason they buy something.¹ With this in mind, the color of your sale signage influences your customers decisions.

The Color Red

Flash Sale Banner on Wooden Wall

Generally, sale and clearance signs are in red, but why? A 2011 study found that grip strength and the velocity of the force increases when a person sees the color red.² The study concludes that red encourages a fast, physical reaction from individuals. Additionally, red conjures up feelings of urgency and can lead to an increased heart rate. With all these factors combined, red is the perfect color to entice shoppers into taking advantage of sales.

What About Other Colors?

Other colors evoke intrinsic reactions as well. Shades of blue instill a sense of trustworthiness and dependability, green hues show health and wealth, and yellows elicit positivity.³ Depending on your business, you may want to play with colors that are in-line with your brand and what you want to convey to your customers. While colors are the first thing consumers notice, what your signage says should further entice a sale.

The Numbers Matter

Pile of United States Dollars

If you’re planning on adjusting prices for your holiday sales, you may want to consider the specific numbers used. Numbers play an important part in any marketing or advertising campaign, and your signage should reflect that value. Prices ending in 7, 8, or 99 indicate value according Mark Ellwood, who wrote “Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World.” Items priced with “.99” generally advertise special savings while “7” or “8” are usually used for clearance items.4 The psychology behind “.99” comes from the idea that consumers tend to round down these numbers. For example, an item priced at $4.99 is perceived as $4 rather than $5. This plays into how your customers perceive the sales you launch during the holidays. Are your sales meant to convey value or that you are attempting to clear out your stock?

Dollars Signs Are Discouraged

Red Huge Sale Yard Sign

In addition to how your sale prices end, you may want to reconsider including the dollar sign on your signage. Cornell University researchers conducted an experiment with customers of St. Andrew’s Cafe. They made three menus to test which one led to increased sales. One menu listed items with the dollar sign ($), one with the word “dollar” spelled out, and one with nothing next to the prices.

The study found that customers spent more money when they ordered from menus without the “$” or word “dollar.”5 The researchers concluded that the symbol or word solidified the idea that customers would be spending money whereas leaving them out meant the numbers were less concrete in the minds of the consumers.

Suggest Bulk Offers

Offering bulk discounts or sales touting savings for purchasing multiples of the same product is a tried-and-true marketing tactic. Buy one, get one has been around for decades, but advertising bigger can entice consumers to buy even more. John Gourville of Harvard Business School states “many people buy the amount, or buy in increments….”6 Consumers perceive an inherent value when a greater number of goods is suggested for the same proportionate deal. Including this method on your holiday signage can help increase sales and move more merchandise.

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CustomSigns.com is your one-stop-shop destination for all your business signage needs. From sale banners to hours of operation signs, you can find and customize the signage your business needs to succeed.

Related Posts:

References:

  1. The Ultralinx
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information
  3. Shopify
  4. Business Insider
  5. Fast Company
  6. New York Times

Pet Fire Safety

Pug Resting on a Carpet

Home fires are an unpredictable tragedy that can be difficult to recover from. While people are capable of finding their way to safety, pets follow their instincts, which means there is more risk in protecting them during emergencies. There are special considerations you should take to give your pets the best chance of survival in the case of a fire.

Animal Instincts

Cat Lounging by a Window

As humans, we understand that we need to escape a burning building. However, our pets often revert to their instincts during stressful situations. Many animals will go into familiar hiding places thinking they are safe. They may become agitated or aggressive, making it more difficult to remove them from a fire. Understanding your pet’s behaviors will give you a better chance of saving them during an emergency.

Pet Alert Stickers

Stickers or signs that alert to the presence of animals in your home may help keep them safe. Pet alert stickers are placed on windows or doors to alert firefighters and rescue workers that your household has animals inside.

Do They Work?

There is some question as to whether pet alert stickers and signs actually help keep our animals safe. The question “How do firefighters feel about those ‘Please save our pet(s)’ stickers” on Quora.¹ Most of the responses indicate that firefighters generally ignore these signs. According to the answers, there is no way of knowing if the pet, or pets, are still alive, if the animals are even present, or if the stickers were put in place by a previous occupant. Structural damage caused by a fire makes prolonged searching dangerous, so firefighters don’t seem to put special consideration into pet alert stickers.

However, firefighters generally conduct searches during a fire, if the circumstances allow. Additionally, there are a few responses on Quora from some firefighters stating they appreciate knowing that pets may be present. Ensure that your stickers are updated to reflect the current occupants.

Pet Safety Tips

German Shepherd Playing with a Toy

What can be done to keep our pets safe during a fire? There are a number of precautions you can do in order to prepare for the worst.

1. Note Hiding Places

If your pets hide during thunderstorms or when fireworks are set off near your home, you should take note of their preferred spaces. Animals may tuck themselves under beds, under tables, in closets, or other confined spaces in order to feel safe. During a fire, your pets may hide themselves in one of their favorite spots in an attempt to escape the danger. Knowing where your pets could be can help you and rescue workers retrieve them in time.

2. Keep Kennels Close to Entrances

Many people keep their pets in kennels or crates during the day for various reasons. The locations of where these are kept vary according to house or apartment layout. However, if possible, place kennels, crates, and other animal carriers near entrances or exits while you’re away from home. This makes finding your pets much easier for firefighters and first responders.

3. Post Pet Alert Stickers

While pet alerts may or may not be heeded depending on the level of danger, it is still important to alert firefighters to the presence of your animals. An updated sticker detailing the number of animals in your household can help rescue workers in their search.

4. Train When Possible

It is also easier for first responders to locate your pets if you train them to respond to particular commands. You or emergency personnel, if given the command word or phrase, will then be able to call your pets during the search or out of the burning building.

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CustomSigns.com is your one-stop-shop for fire safety signs. Keep the inhabitants of your building safe and comply with safety regulations with our collection of metal and plastic signs and vinyl decals.

References:

  1. Quora

What is the Difference Between Personalized & Vanity Plates?

Vintage Car with an Old License Plate

Custom Car Tags vs Vanity License Plates

What are vanity plates? How about custom car tags? Is there a difference between them? You may have seen these terms tossed around while registering or renewing your vehicle’s license plates. The answers to these questions are somewhat nebulous and there isn’t a black-and-white difference between them.

What is a Vanity Plate?

Car with a Decorative Front License Plate

There isn’t a clear-cut way to define vanity plates. Cyber Drive Illinois is one of the few places that provides a definition and contrasts vanity plates with other personalized license plates:¹

“Vanity plates contain up to 3 numbers or 1 to 7 letters only”
“Personalized plates contain both letters and numbers”

Outside of this specific differentiation, the terms personalized license plates, custom car tags, and vanity plates are mostly interchangeable. Vanity plates may apply to purely decorative license plates more frequently, but the term still applies to official tags.

Typically, these terms refer to personalizing required license plates to read specific phrases or names. An important distinction comes into play when considering which states require front license plates.

What States Require Front License Plates?

License Plate Art Featuring Many States

While many motorists seem to want novelty or unofficial front license plates, there are only a handful of states that allow them. 19 states require the rear license plate only. This means the other 31 states require both front and back license plates. The following states do not require front license plates:²

Alabama Michigan
Arizona Misissippi
Arkansas New Mexico
Delaware North Carolina
Florida Oklahoma
Georgia Pennsylvania
Indiana South Carolina
Kansas Tennessee
Kentucky West Virginia
Louisiana

Personalized Tropical Front License PlateThe above list of states allow custom front license plates that aren’t required to follow established design guidelines or include assigned identifying alphanumeric character combinations. This gives motorists a wide degree of freedom to personalize their vehicles according to their personality and style. Looking for front license plate ideas is a fun way to find inspiration if you live in one of these states.

Advertising with a custom car tag is an easy way to get your company’s name in front of potential customers or clients. Some organizations utilize business license plates as an additional means of marketing their products or services.

However, this does not mean that drivers within these 19 states have complete freedom. There may be restrictions on what phrases or designs are allowed. For example, plates that could be mistaken as official tags for police or government officials. Designs of this nature could potentially pose public security and safety risks.

Get 20% Off Front License Plates with Code CSIGNS20, Custom Auto Dealership Front License Plate

CustomSigns.com is your one-stop-shop for all of your signage needs including decorative car tags and political license plates. Whatever your signage needs, CustomSigns.com’s wide variety of signs, banners, and decals are sure to satisfy.

Other posts you may like:

References:

  1. Cyber Drive Illinois
  2. Autolist

2020 Presidential Campaign Dates

Interracial Group of People Waving Small American Flags
[UPDATED: 11/25/19]

Election Dates

The right to vote is an integral element to the United States electoral system. With the 2020 Presidential election rapidly approaching, it is imperative to follow along if you plan on participating. Throughout the next year, there will be many important dates and events to remember in order for you to exercise your right to vote. Passionate support for a candidate is well and good, but making an informed decision on who you vote for is important on guiding the direction of your town, county, state, and country.

We have aggregated major 2020 campaign dates to ensure that you to stay updated during the election season.

2019 Dates

While the elections aren’t until November 2020, the campaign trail starts in 2019. The Democratic Party has already held two debates, and there are plans for additional debates before the end of the year.

At the time of writing this post, the Republican Party has not scheduled any debates.

Democratic Debate Schedule

  • June 26-27
  • Candidates addressed a variety of topics and their involvement from Medicare for All, environmental dangers, and geopolitical issues. NBC hosted the debates on their networks.¹

    Watch the full debates on NBC’s YouTube channel here and here.

  • July 30-31
  • Candidates addressed healthcare and immigration primarily. CNN hosted the debates.²

    Full transcripts of the debates can be found on NBC’s site here and here.

  • September 12
  • Candidates primarily debated over healthcare. However, they also touched on foreign relations and pulling forces out of Afghanistan. ABC and Univision aired the most recent Democratic debate.4

    You can read the full transcript of the third Democratic debate on ABC’s website or watch the debate on ABC’s YouTube Channel.

  • October 15
  • The 12 qualifying candidates discussed a wide range of topics including the impeachment inquiry, foreign policy, and job loss due to automation. CNN and The New York Times hosted the debate.5

    You can watch the debate on CNN’s website or read the full transcript on The Washington Post.

  • November 20
  • The fifth 2019 Democratic Debate was held on November 20th and hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post.6 Candidates addressed racial inequality, Medicare, and housing.

    You can watch the debate on MSNBC or read the transcript on NBC News.

  • December 19
  • The sixth 2019 Democratic Debate is scheduled for December 19th. It will be hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico.7

2020 Dates

Zoomed in Portion of the American Flag

Most of the election cycle will take place over the course of 2020. From February until November, candidates will campaign across the country in bids to gain traction over their opponents.

The first part of the season, and by far the largest, will be the states holding primaries or caucuses.

Primary or Caucus?

What is the difference between primaries and caucuses? The difference between the two can be confusing as they accomplish the same goal; they determine which candidates will run for the presidency.

Caucuses are localized meetings where registered voters gather to elect delegates who will attend conventions to elect political candidates. Typically, attendees may only attend caucuses that are held by their registered party.

Primaries are statewide voting processes that allow voters to directly choose their preferred candidate. Registered voters submit secret ballots for their chosen candidate which are then tallied. There are two types of primary; Open Primaries and Closed Primaries. In an open primary, an individual may cast a vote for any valid candidate no matter their registered party, and in a closed primary, votes may only be submitted for candidates within an individual’s party.³

Primary & Caucus Dates

The primaries and caucuses held across the country are scheduled ahead of time for voters to prepare and educate themselves on the potential candidates.

Click here for a full list of primary and caucus dates by state and territory.

Party Conventions

Once the primaries and caucuses have ended, the Democratic and Republican parties will hold conventions. These conventions are held to announce the official presidential candidates from each party. The nominations will be announced here and the last few months of campaigning will begin.

Convention Dates:

  • Democratic National Convention: July 13-16, 2020
  • Republican National Convention: August 24-27, 2020

Voting Reminders

Word Board Reads "Voting Day," "I Voted" Stickers Next to Sign

Election day is November 3rd, 2020. In order for you to exercise your right to vote, you will need to register. Each state has its own laws concerning registration deadlines, so be sure you check to see if you are registered or how to register with a site like Vote.org.

Also check to see if your state has early voting procedures or vote by mail options. Military service members and spouses have the option to participate in absentee voting if they are stationed away from their residence.

Yard Sign featuring the Seal of the President of the United States, Text Reads "2020 Presidential Candidates"Find out where your closest polling station is and make sure it is within your precinct, and help others find your station with directional yard signs. You will be assigned a polling station based on your address, so you will need to go there in order to cast your ballot. If you go to a different station, you will not be listed and not allowed to vote.

Inauguration Day

Inauguration day for the 2020 elections is January 20, 2021. This will mark the start of the new or continued administration based on the results from the election.

 

CustomSigns.com is your destination for all of your election and political signage. Find proposition signs, signs for local elections, signs by presidential candidate, and more.

Get Out the Vote, Shop Political Signs, Get 20% Off Next Order with Code VOTE2020, Vote Sign on Lawn in Front of House

We will update this post when new information becomes available.

Primary & Caucus Dates

NOTE: Many of these dates are still subject to change.

Month Date State & Type
February 3rd Iowa caucuses
11th New Hampshire primaries
22nd Nevada Democratic caucuses
29th South Carolina Democratic primary
March 3rd Alabama Primaries
American Samoa Democratic caucus
Arkansas primaries
California primaries
Colorado primaries
Maine primaries
Massachusetts primaries
Minnesota primaries
North Carolina primaries
Oklahoma primaries
Tennessee primaries
Texas primaries
Utah primaries
Vermont primaries
Virginia primaries
Democrats Abroad primaries
8th Puerto Rico Republican primary
10th Hawaii Republican caucuses
Idaho primaries
Michigan primaries
Mississippi primaries
Missouri primaries
North Dakota Democratic caucuses
Washington primaries
12th Virgin Islands Republican caucus
14th District of Columbia Republican convention
Guam Republican caucus
Northern Marianas Democratic convention
Wyoming Republican conventions
17th Arizona Democratic primary
Florida primaries
Illinois primaries
Northern Marianas Republican convention
Ohio primaries
21st Kentucky Republican caucuses
24th American Samoa Republican caucus
Georgia primaries
29th Puerto Rico Democratic primary
April 3rd-5th North Dakota Republican state convention
4th Alaska Democratic primary
Hawaii Democratic primary
Louisiana primaries
Wyoming Democratic caucuses
7th Wisconsin primaries
28th Connecticut primaries
Delaware primaries
Maryland primaries
New York primaries
Pennsylvania primaries
Rhode Island primaries
May 2nd Guam Democratic caucus
Kansas Democratic primary
5th Indiana primaries
12th Nebraska primaries
West Virginia primaries
19th Kentucky Democratic primary
Oregon primaries
June 2nd District of Columbia Democratic primary
Montana primaries
New Jersey primaries
New Mexico primaries
South Dakota primaries
6th Virgin Islands Democratic caucuses
Cancelled Alaska Republican conventions
Arizona Republican primary
Kansas Republican caucuses
Nevada Republican caucuses
South Carolina Republican primary

References:

  1. Ballotpedia – June 2019 Democratic Debates
  2. Ballotpedia – July 2019 Democratic Debates
  3. FactCheck
  4. Ballotpedia – September 2019 Democratic Debates
  5. Ballotpedia – October 2019 Democratic Debates
  6. Ballotpedia – November 2019 Democratic Debates
  7. Ballotpedia – December 2019

Stop Solicitors After the Storm

Lightning and a Tornado Strike Down on a Rural Hillside, Buildings dot the Landscape

Natural Disasters & Solicitors

Table of Contents
Natural Disasters by Region
West Region
Southwest Region
Midwest Region
Northeast Region
Southeast Region
Solicitors to Beware Of
Contractors
Insurance Agents
Soliciting Permits
References

Protecting yourself and your finances following a natural disaster is an integral step in recovering. However, there are those individuals that seek to take advantage of victims of catastrophes in order to make a quick buck. Keeping an eye out for and understanding how solicitors, both legitimate and fraudulent, operate in the wake of a severe storm, fire, earthquake, flood, or other disaster can help you maintain peace of mind while you rebuild.

Before getting into what to beware of considering solicitors, what are the kinds of natural disasters in the United States?

Natural Disasters by Region

Map of the Continental United States of America

The United States has many different climates and regions. As such, there are just as many types of natural disasters that can happen.

Having a base knowledge of what disasters impact your region and what region your state is a part of will help in identifying and preparing for how solicitors may approach you. It is important to note that some disasters, such as heavy flooding and tornadoes, are possible with varying levels of frequency throughout the United States. The following list outlines specific catastrophes that solicitors may take advantage of per region.

West Region

States: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Alaska, and Hawaii¹

The West Region of the United States covers a lot of ground with many different environments. This means a wide variety of natural disasters are possible and occur within this region. California, southern Alaska, and southwestern Montana are prone to earthquakes; Hawaii, Washington, and Alaska have volcanoes, not to mention the supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming; eastern Colorado is caught in Tornado Alley, a section of the central United States where tornadoes frequently form;² fires tear through many of these states due to the dry climate; and intense cold and blizzards may occur in the more northern states.³

With such a variety of climates, many contracting businesses may seek to take advantage of many different disasters. Plumbing companies looking to repair broken and frozen pipes during a harsh winter; roofing and siding businesses seeking to take advantage of the strong winds from tornadoes and severe storms; and construction companies mobilizing after destructive earthquakes and fires are just a few of the kinds of solicitors to beware of.

Southwest Region

States: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas¹

The states that comprise the Southwest Region typically suffer from weather-related emergencies. Due to the more hot and dry climate, these states are prone to massive dust storms. Oklahoma and Texas are part of Tornado Alley with the latter having an average of over 150 tornadoes per year according to a 1991-2010 study.4 While uncommon, earthquakes are known to happen within the Southwest Region. Parts of Arizona and New Mexico are prone to the formation of sinkholes due to the underlying karst topography, areas of land where bedrock has been weathered by water.5

Due to the frequency of tornadoes, many roofing, siding, and general contractors may flock to disaster sites. Insurance agents and scammers may also seek to take advantage of a catastrophe. Given the unique geological nature of the southwest, individuals offering sinkhole insurance could gather.

Midwest Region

States: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio¹

The Midwest Region suffers from a number of disasters attributed to weather but there are instances of geological concerns as well. Most of Tornado Alley is found within the Midwest as it spans from South Dakota and stretches south down as far as Texas.³ However, much of the Midwest suffers from tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. The northern states are often bombarded with severe winter storms and blizzards. Despite not having many mountainous areas, the New Madrid and Wabash seismic zones along the southern edge of Missouri and Illinois can cause earthquakes, and similarly to Arizona and New Mexico, much of the Midwest is prone to sinkholes due to the formation of carbonic acid that eats away at underlying bedrock.6 Due to the relatively flat topography, the Midwest is especially prone to severe flooding.

Much like the southwest and with more frequency, the destruction that results from tornadoes draws roofing and other contractors and insurance agents offering coverage may flock to the midwest. With severe winter storms, window companies, roofing contractors, and plumbing businesses may take advantage of harsh blizzards and prolonged snowfall. Insurance agencies and construction companies will also take opportunity in the wake of sinkholes and earthquakes.

Northeast Region

States: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine¹

Comparatively speaking, the Northeast Region of the United States suffers from few natural disasters. The most severe occur during harsh winters with heavy snowfall, blizzards, and freezing winter storms that can cause property damage and presents hazards to travel and health. Heavy rainfall is a possibility as hurricanes move up along the east coast.

Like the midwest, contractors and other solicitors will see heavy snowfall as an opportunity to sell their services and policies.

Southeast Region

States: Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida¹

Comprising most of the continental United States’ east coast, the Southeast region has had some of the most costly natural disasters in the nation’s history. The most well-known and destructive catastrophes for this region are the hurricanes that impact many of the coastal states, and the remaining rainfall can extend further north and inland. However, with the New Madrid, Wabash, and other seismic zones along the northern edge of the region and South Carolina area, earthquakes are not uncommon.7 Additionally, while the main stretch of Tornado Alley resides within the Midwest, it does partially stretch into Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky², and many of the other states within the Southeast are prone to tornadoes such as Florida which has an estimated 66 tornadoes on average per year.4

Many different types of contracting businesses will take advantage of hurricanes and quote the destruction they cause. Tree removal services, siding contractors, roofing companies, and many other types of construction businesses will offer their services before, during, and after a hurricane.

 

Now with a basic understanding of what natural disasters can occur in your region, what solicitors should you be aware of?

Solicitors To Look For

Two Business People Walking Towards the Camera

Opportunity seeking and unscrupulous solicitors may become a problem following any disaster. As many people will begin rebuilding, searching for loved ones, or simply recovering, these individuals see a chance to take advantage of victims and their families. With the many different types of catastrophes and emergencies that occur within the United States, so too is there a variety of solicitors for every situation.

Bilingual No Soliciting Sign Near Front Door

Most solicitors will belong to insurance companies or contracting businesses offering services for victims to recover. They may go door-to-door following a disaster or may send out physical mail detailing the services with provide. However, there is potential that these individuals are making false claims and are attempting to take advantage of victims. Be wary of anyone asking for money up-front or for simply approaching your property.

Contractors

Among the solicitors to watch out for following a natural disaster include contractors. Construction, roofing, siding, and other companies, or individuals claiming to be from one, may send salespeople to an area recently hit by severe weather such as a hurricane or tornado or by a particularly strong earthquake in an attempt to solicit business.

Fraudulent contractors use a variety of tactics to mislead their victims, but there are ways to identify them. Examples include asking for a large portion of the payment up-front and claiming to not need a building permit.8

Insurance Representatives

Other solicitors include insurance company agents and representatives. Following a natural disaster, both legitimate and fraudulent individuals representing insurance companies may attempt to coerce victims to purchase their company’s policies.

A recent tactic scammers have turned to is claiming to represent a specific agency, apply for a policy in your name with your permission, cancelling the policy, and keeping the money you paid them. These fraudulent agents, or “Ghost Brokers,” offer inexpensive prices in order to entice people. Some ways to identify these individuals include if they ask for cash-only payments in person, though payment apps are sometimes used, if they contact you through social media only, and if they claim to establish a policy without putting you in contact with the company directly.9

Even if their services are legitimate, door-to-door solicitors need the proper paperwork in order to legally approach your home or business.

Soliciting Permits

Person Signing a Document on a Wooden Desk with a Silver Fountain Pen

The town of Sandwich, Illinois was hit by a severe storm earlier this year. In the aftermath, roofing solicitors from out of town began approaching residents while their local contractors waited on background checks in order to receive a permit allowing them to go door-to-door.

Store Front with a Glass Pane Door, a "We're Open Sign" Hangs on the Inside

Many places across the United States, such as Dallas, TX and Sandy Springs, GA among others, require businesses who use door-to-door marketing to apply for soliciting permits from their local government. The requirements for these permits vary but they are generally meant to prevent fraudulent individuals from offering nonexistent or low-quality goods and services. Some of these permits only grant businesses an allotted amount of time, such as those found in Sandwich, from the above example. Some cities and areas within the United States require solicitors to carry their permits on their person and to present it if asked, such as in Plano, TX.

Solicitation permits are a way to protect both consumers and legitimate businesses. While the processes may differ from state to state and city to city, most solicitors need to follow the same basic ideas and regulations such as heeding no soliciting signs.

Being aware of your local laws concerning solicitation permits following a natural disaster can help you protect your finances while you, your family, or your business recover.

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Recovering from a natural disaster can be a long, arduous task and remaining mindful of solicitors and how to protect your stability is an important part of this process. Help ease the burden with CustomSigns.com and our line of property signs including no soliciting and no trespassing designs and templates.

 

Related Posts:

References:

  1. National Geographic
  2. EnchantedLearning
  3. ePact Network
  4. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  5. Teacher Friendly Guide: Ch. 9
  6. Teacher Friendly Guide: Ch. 10
  7. Virginia Tech Seismological Observatory
  8. Houselogic
  9. Allstate

 

Cell Phones in the Classroom

Teacher Writes on Chalkboard while Student Texts on their Cell Phone

How Teachers Handle Cell Phones in Class

Educators have struggled with mobile phone use in the classroom for years, and with the constant growth of the tech industry, those struggles will most likely continue to plague schools across the country into the foreseeable future. According to a 2018 study by the Pew Research Center, “95% of teens…have or have access to a smartphone….”1 With that many mobile devices, teachers have been running into obstacles considering student distractions and dropping grade scores.

How do cell phones affect our students’ learning capabilities?

Student Cell Phone Statistics

Pencils, Pens, and a Cell Phone on a Composition Notebook

Research tends to present a correlation between cell phone use and declining academic performance. A 2015 study in England showed an over 6% increase in performance across four schools that banned mobile phone usage.2 Additionally, another study showed that students not using phones “…scored a full letter grade and a half higher on a multiple choice test than those students who were actively using their mobile phones.”3

Research is continually ongoing as widespread cell phone use is still relatively new. With this information, how are educators approaching the issues?

Adapting to the Times

Tablet Resting on Book on a Table Desk

Some teachers see cell phones as a learning opportunity and use them as teaching tools. Mobile phones have evolved into small, handheld computers, so information is almost immediately available for students wanting to look up the definition of a word or concept they don’t understand. Some educators, such as Ken Halla, have altered their approach to their classroom by allowing open use of phones in class so long as the students use them for their education.4

There are also a number of applications and resources available for educators to enhance their lessons. Programs like PollEverywhere.com and Remind.com help students, teachers, and parents in gauging comprehension and improving organization.

Other teachers, like Stephanie Jones of Biscayne Elementary, haven’t had issues concerning cell phones in their classroom. “Cell phone use has been a non-issue in my teaching career,” says Jones.

Despite the move with technology, many institutions choose to restrict mobile devices on campus.

School Mobile Phone Bans & Restrictions

Classroom with No Cell Phones Sign by Door

No Cell Phones Sign on a Chain Link Fence
“No Cell Phones” Signs

While some educators are resorting to adapting their curriculum around mobile devices, many schools take to removing cell phones as an obstacle all together, posting “No Cell Phone” signs or requiring students to drop off their devices at the office. Blanket bans like these have shown to improve test scores. However, many schools find it difficult or impossible to enforce zero tolerance bans on mobile devices.

Amy Eardley of Creekside High School takes a middle approach; not outright banning phones but not allowing the use of mobile devices in her class. However, even that proves more difficult in practice.

“For my own sanity, I had to give up on policing phones. Most of the kids will put them away when I walk by and give them a ‘what are you doing look’. Some will stay in them all year and will have a grade that matches their effort. I do occasionally have reminder chats with the whole group that the effort we put in isn’t forgotten when report card time comes around and that students who don’t spend the whole time on their phone will be looked upon more favorably when it comes to grades right on the border of lettergrades.”

Some institutions resort to signal jammers, devices that interfere with the radio wavelengths of mobile devices. However, the use of such items is illegal, as according to the FCC, “…it is a violation of federal law to use a cell jammer or similar devices that intentionally block, jam, or interfere with authorized radio communications such as cell phones, police radar, GPS, and Wi-Fi.”5

 

Library with Quiet Please Sign
“Quiet Please – Important Work in Progress” Sign

As our technology advances and becomes more and more mobile, schools and other institutions may face further difficulty in controlling the use of phones and other devices.

What are your thoughts on cell phones in our schools? How would/do you handle mobile devices in the classroom? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts, and for all of your signage needs, visit CustomSigns.com.

 

Related Posts

References

Signs Every Business Needs

There are many aspects to making sure your business runs smoothly and effectively. Advertising, finance, and customer service are just 3 of the many roles that serve a huge part in your business’s success. While these are all essential duties, making sure your customers have a pleasurable experience may be the most vital task. Clearly displayed business hours, designated parking spaces and handicap accessible restrooms show customers that you care. By installing signage inside and around your building, you’re telling your customers they can trust you.

Here is a list of signs that every business should display:

Grand Opening

Once your storefront has come together, you’ll want to let customers and clients know you are open for business. Personalizing a grand opening banner can inform onlookers that you are up and running. Drive customers in with creative designs, a custom logo, and opening promotions. You will want to include your company name, phone number, location and web address. Give your hard work the recognition it deserves and make sure you implement enough advertisement to bring in excited customers.

Parking Spots

After attracting the customers to your store, make it easy for them to park and walk in. Depending on your location you may have storefront parking, a stand-alone lot, or street parking. Show customers you care about their convenience and display signs for your business’s designated parking spots.

You can get creative and design your own parking sign or order a pre-made template. Before installing a sign, find out if you are authorized to make those changes. Whether you need to contact the city or the owner of the complex your store is in, take the time to get the information you need.

If you can’t hold certain spots available, you can display a sign informing future customers where available parking lots/spots are for those who wish to enter your business.

Hours of Operation

It is wonderful to gain repeat customers and loyal clients! While you and your staff work hard to keep your store up and running, you can only stay open for so long. Displaying a sign that solely contains business hours is essential. Clings and decals can be placed in the window by the front door, or you can hang a sign for optimal visibility. If hours are flexible or you just opened and are figuring out your hours of operation, you can display a reversible open/closed sign. You can hang it next to your hours of operation sign and flip it depending on if your store is open or closed.

Restroom Signs

Whether you serve food, goods, or service, you most likely have restrooms for your patrons. It can be hard to spot the bathroom if you do not display signage. You can help point them in the right direction with a directional sign. You’ll be surprised how helpful a simple arrow sign can be to a customer who is unfamiliar with your building.

Once they get to the designated restroom, make sure you distinguish the type of lavatories provided. Are your bathrooms for men and women, family, and/or handicap accessible? Show it!

Depending on your establishment, you may or may not be required to provide a washroom for customers to use. Make sure to check your state and local laws when finding a place for your business.

In Case of Emergency

While you should be taking the proper precautions to prevent any emergencies from occurring, accidents still happen. If a problem does arise, it is imperative that you have had emergency signs placed to ensure staff and customer safety.

Mark the proper doors as emergency exits and use a directional sign so people can locate the fire extinguisher. If your place of business has multiple floors, make sure to use a sign that states using the stairs in case of an emergency. For any tripping hazards, you should use a caution watch your step sign.

 

 

Keep your business running safe and effectively by displaying the proper signage. This is both a courtesy to your customers, but will also help protect your business from liability. Customize signs or order templates to make sure you convey important information to customers, clients, and staff. For all your sign and plaque needs shop our online store at Customsigns.com.

5 Summer Safety Reminders for HOAs

Neighborhood Street Lined With Blooming Cherry Trees

Summer Safety in Your Community

Summer is finally here, so now is the perfect time for summer safety reminders for your Home Owner’s Association community. Your residents are responsible for following your HOA’s rules and regulations, but posting memos or holding community meetings are helpful for everyone. Additionally, your organization is responsible for maintaining communal grounds and amenities, so here are some summer safety reminders.

  1. Heat Hazards

  2. Small Dog in an Orange Car

    According to Heat Kills, the interior temperature of a car can increase by 34 degrees in as little as 30 minutes.1 Even if the temperature outside is a comfortable 70 degrees Fahrenheit, that increases to 104 degrees in half-an-hour, so remind your residents to NEVER leave children or animals in their vehicles. Post custom signs around your community as a reminder of the dangers of the summer heat as a way to prevent unnecessary tragedies.

  3. Common Area Consciousness

  4. Exercise Equipment in Front of Window

    If your HOA has communal areas such as pools or clubhouses, then you’ll want to make sure they’re in good working order. Providing clean and functional community amenities will keep residents happy and appreciative. Here are a few reminders for common community areas for the summer.

    • Playgrounds

    • After a long winter of un-Colorful playground and sunrise on yard in the parkuse, your community’s playgrounds should be inspected before summer takes full effect. Ensure all children’s playground equipment is free of potential hazards and replace bolts and other structural pieces as needed. Watch out for any other hazards such as glass or insect infestations to remove as well. Post children at play signs near playground amenities to prevent accidents along roads.

    • Clubhouses

    • Providing a clean and well-maintained lounge or clubhouse for your residents shows your HOA’s professionalism and instills confidence in your community. Ensure HVAC units are well-maintained and in working order. Additionally, check to make sure any lounges or other communal buildings are clean and presentable. Inspect any equipment, such as lights or televisions, to make sure they function properly.

    • Pools

    • Swimming is a favorite Pool Area Set Against Forest & Sky Backgroundsummer activity for many, so ensuring your pool is well-kept is imperative for the coming months. Remove any debris that may have collected over the winter and spring months from in and around your pool area. Update any pool signage to reflect new or revised safety rules. Inspect and repair pool filters and lighting fixtures as needed.

    • Gyms

    • Summer means more free time to exercise, so ensure that all equipment is in proper working condition for the safety of your residents. Wipe down and disinfect all equipment to prevent sickness. Ensure that all HVAC or other cooling units are working adequately.

    • Outdoor Areas

    • Your outdoor community Tennis player holding racket preparing for playing game on outdoor court during summer.areas will probably see more use thanks to warmer weather. Clean all outdoor recreation areas such as gazebos, tennis courts, dog parks, etc. Ensure that gazebos are structurally sound and repair any equipment as necessary. Fences and other sectional walls should be inspected for integrity.

  5. Night Nuisances

  6. Close-up of a street lamp glowing in retro colors

    Remind your residents to stay safe at night. With summer comes an increase in criminal activity, so marking monitored areas with video surveillance signs can help prevent potential robberies or violent crimes. Whether lights deter crime or not is still up for debate, but maintaining street lights helps your residents see once night falls, so ensure your community’s light sources are properly maintained.

  7. Secure Street Safety

  8. 25 Miles Per Hour Speed Limit Sign Set Against Blue Sky

    With school out for the year, many children will be home or using your pools or playgrounds. Keep your community safer by posting speed limit signs along heavy foot traffic areas near communal amenities. Additionally, inspect roads for damage such as pot holes or large cracks and contact your local city or county maintenance department for repairs to prevent damage to vehicles.

  9. Vacation Ventures

  10. Kids playing throwing inflatable ball

    Remind your residents to keep their homes safe if they will be leaving for a summer vacation. Warn them not to advertise their vacations as this could alert potential criminals that their home will be vacant for a time.

Get 20% Off No Soliciting Signs at CustomSigns.com with Code CSIGN20, Absolutely No Soliciting Sign

Ensuring your community’s health and happiness is important for every Home Owner’s Association. With these safety tips and signs from CustomSigns.com, you can keep this summer fun and safe for you and your residents.

References:

  1. HeatKills.org
  2. DigitalJournal.com

Honor Those Who Served This Memorial Day and Every Day of the Year

What is Memorial Day?

Observed during the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is the day our country comes together to commemorate our brave service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for the extraordinary freedom our nation has enjoyed for generations. Introduced as Decoration Day in May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, to lay flowers on (or decorate) the graves of fallen service members, Memorial Day became a federal holiday with the congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971.

Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day

Honor Memorial Day and the memory of our family members, loved ones, friends, neighbors, and everyone who has served our country with a few thoughtful ways we’ve gathered to commemorate this special holiday.

Wear a Memorial Day Pin, Button, or Red Poppy Flower

Proudly wearing a symbol of our country’s military, including a button or pin of the American flag, is a vibrant, eye-catching way to show everyone your patriotic spirit. Choosing to wear a red poppy is a time honored Memorial Day tradition that began during the time of World War I after a poem written by physician and Lt. Col. John McCrae, In Flanders Fields, that describes the fields of brightly colored red poppies he observed while treating the wounded on battlefields during the war. These brightly colored flowers are now known as a national symbol of military sacrifice throughout many countries around the world.

Volunteer Your Time to Veterans, Widows, and Others Affected by Our Fight for Freedom

Photo Courtesy CPL Donald C Bolash USMC

Perhaps you live near a VA hospital or clinic, an assisted living center, or even in the same neighborhood that a veteran calls home. Spend part of your Memorial Day weekend – and other days throughout the year – bringing joy and the camaraderie of a friendly conversation to veterans, their widows, children, or other loved ones by stopping by for a visit. Whether you bring along a sweet treat, a little token of gratitude, or simply offer your time, they’re sure to feel cared for, remembered, and appreciated.

Honor Our Patriots with a Memorial Plaque

From park benches to tree lined walkways, gardens, bike trails, or even city centers, a professionally engraved brass plaque is a simple, timeless way to memorialize those who selflessly served our country. Go classic by engraving names and dates, or get a bit creative and include a special quote or favorite saying of the person who’s memory you re honoring, even a favorite hobby or an engraved image. Anything that will show others something special about your loved one is a wonderful way to honor his or her memory and military service.

Fly the American Flag Proudly and Properly on Memorial Day

To properly display the American flag on Memorial Day, swiftly raise the flag to the top of the flag pole, and then solemnly lower it to half-staff until noon. This is done to honor and remember our fallen service men and women who gave their lives serving our country. At noon, raise the flag back to the top to symbolize that we continue the fight for liberty, freedom, and justice for our fellow Americans.

Our Original Star Spangled Banner Still Flying Proudly

If you’ve ever been to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., then you’ve had the awe-inspiring experience of viewing the original Star Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Frances Scott Key to pen our national anthem. Raised over Fort McHenry on September 14, 1814, to show America’s victory over the British in the Battle of Baltimore, this flag is among the Smithsonian’s most treasured artifacts. After years of painstaking preservation efforts, America’s original Star Spangled Banner is proudly displayed in a permanent exhibition gallery where millions of people continue to enjoy her incredible splendor!