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Local News and Information Archives for 2023-09

How to Be Prepared if Disaster Strikes

Severe weather that damages homes and displaces residents can happen at any time. Planning before disaster strikes helps people stay safe and limit property damage. Don’t wait until the forecast calls for severe weather because you may not have enough time to prepare.

Each September, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes National Preparedness Month to encourage and remind Americans to be prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities. Here are several tips to help you and your family plan for emergencies.

Know the Type of Risk in Your Area. Most communities face specific types of hazards. While the Tennessee Valley is not in a coastal hurricane-prone area, we do unfortunately experience many severe thunderstorms and tornado threats. It is essential to learn the risks specific to your home and how to assess them if you are away from home. Visit ready.gov/alerts to learn more about and sign up for notifications from multiple sources.

Check Your Homeowners Insurance Policy. It’s a good idea to take time every year to review your insurance policy. This can not only ensure you are covered for losses incurred due to a natural disaster or brutal storm, but also gives you the opportunity to update based on any recent lifestyle changes or large purchases. Additionally, damage caused by flooding, earthquakes and hurricanes is generally not covered by your regular homeowner’s policy but can be purchased separately.


Create a Family Emergency Plan. When harsh weather hits, you should have a plan to stay connected with your family or loved ones. Ready.gov recommends putting a communication plan together with your family to know how to contact one another and reconnect if separated. Experts suggest choosing a family meeting place that is familiar and easy to find.

Assemble a Disaster Kit. An emergency supply kit will help you and your family with natural disasters. You may lose power or need to evacuate your area, so it is vital to have essential items on hand. Your kit should contain basic items such as water, nonperishable food, a flashlight, a first aid kit, and a whistle to signal for help. It would be best to consider what unique items you may need for your family, such as supplies for seniors or pets. For additional ideas on creating an emergency supply kit, visit tn.gov/tema/prepare.

Taking these steps can help keep you and your family safe. National Preparedness Month is a time to ensure you prepare for the unexpected. You can read more at ready.gov/september

5 Reasons for Women to Consider a Career in Construction

In the United States, women make up about half of the workforce. However, only a small percentage of women work in the residential construction industry. Among those women who are working in the industry, a majority have a fulfilling career with opportunities for advancement and competitive pay. Women in construction also have the satisfaction of knowing that they are building homes that make a difference in people’s lives.

Leslie Gower, CEO of AGC East Tennessee shares, "A growing number of women are entering the construction industry, excelling, and shattering stereotypes as they crush it on the job. Their innate qualities of precision, collaboration, problem-solving and attention to detail are the qualities that elevate construction projects to the next level."

This month, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Professional Women in Building Council (PWB) celebrates Professional Women in Building Week (Sept. 11-15) to raise awareness and recognize the essential role of women in the construction industry. Here are some reasons why women should consider creating a career path in construction:

Numerous Job Opportunities. The number of unfilled construction jobs was more than 300,000 in June 2023. An NAHB survey found labor shortages in various construction jobs, including framers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and bricklayers. In addition, the residential construction industry is one of the few sectors where demand for new workers rose during the pandemic.

Competitive Salary. A pay gap exists between men and women across most industries. On average, women in the United States earn approximately 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. However, the gap is much smaller in the construction trades. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women in the construction industry earn 95 cents for every dollar a man earns. 

Scholarships and Education Opportunities. Funding is available through numerous programs for students interested in or pursuing residential construction opportunities. For example, NAHB Professional Women in Building and the National Housing Endowment have scholarships and grants available for students seeking to further their education in housing industry related programs.

Chattanooga is also home to the Hamilton County Construction Career Center. Opening in the Fall of 2022, this 28,000 square-foot hands-on vocational workforce center offers education and training to area high school students and TCAT adult learners with the goal of 100% career placement for graduates.

Vast Professional Network. There is a growing community of women in construction willing to mentor and share insights with women entering the field. The Home Builders of Greater Chattanooga is a great place to get connected to other women in the industry with multiple educational and networking opportunities for members. Additionally, AGC East Tennessee is another amazing resource for women in the career field, offering continuing education courses, peer networking events and more.

A Sense of Achievement. A career in the trades brings a sense of satisfaction for completing high-quality work that contributes to home building and ultimately helping to fulfill the American Dream.

If you are a woman with a passion for creating, problem-solving and life-long learning, consider pursuing a career in construction. The industry is open and welcoming, with many opportunities for gaining career success. For more information on career opportunities in our area, contact us here at the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga or visit AGC East Tennessee.

Simple Strategies to Help Sell Your Home This Fall

Spring gets all the attention when it comes to home buying, however, homes sell year-round. Despite the headlines, millions of existing homes are sold monthly. So, if you need to quickly sell your home this fall so you can enjoy your new home, consider the following tips.

Minimize Holiday Décor
One of the joys of homeownership is personalizing your space. Homeowners tend to liven up their spaces at or around October in preparation for Halloween. However, dramatic outdoor displays, loads of fake cobwebs or collections of pumpkins crowding the entryway may scare off potential buyers. The same general principle applies to fall décor.

Maintain Curb Appeal
You’ll want to ensure your house looks inviting as soon as potential buyers catch a glimpse of your home. Make sure your house number can be read from the street and remember to keep your sidewalks clear, with all fall leaves raked up.

Light it Up
As winter approaches, it starts getting darker outside earlier. If prospective buyers tour your home in the early evening hours, ensure there is as much light as possible, so the house looks warm and inviting. Consider adding floor lamps in the darker areas of your home or ask your realtor for staging recommendations.

Prepare for Cooler Temperatures
With colder temperatures outside, buyers will notice immediately if your heating unit isn’t working correctly. Not only will a cold or drafty house make your home uncomfortable for buyers, but they may also be wary of purchasing a new heating system. To ensure your unit is running smoothly and provides optimal comfort, schedule a maintenance tune-up with a professional HVAC technician.

Keep Your Home Clean
A clean home is an inviting one, so experts recommend a thorough cleaning. In addition to tidying up and putting things away, wash your windows inside and out. Now is the best time to make home repairs you may have been putting off. Before showing your home, consider hanging fresh towels in the bathrooms and kitchen. Set the dining room table and buy fresh flowers for vases throughout the home. 


Selling your home in the fall doesn’t have to be a headache. With a bit of preparation, you’ll soon be settling into your new home.  For help with buying and selling a home, visit our membership directory for a list of local professionals.