Renters insurance is worth the extra cost

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 21, 2008

March 15, 2008, is a date that will be forever burned into my memory. It will always be remembered as the day I lost everything, but found out how caring this community is. Watching my home and a lifetime of property go up in smoke was the hardest thing I hope I ever have to go through, but the outpouring of concern of the bystanders helped make it a tad bit less overwhelming.

As I write this I still haven&8217;t been allowed to go back into my apartment to see if anything can be salvaged, but am assuming that very few items will be able to be recovered. If you, like me, rent your home, scrape by to make it from payday to payday and don&8217;t think you can afford renter&8217;s insurance, believe me when I say coming up with $20 a month is much cheaper and easier than trying to replace everything without the insurance to back you up. Take the time, today, to contact your favorite insurance agent and get some insurance in place before you lose everything, also.

Another safety net we all need to spend a few dollars on is a fire-safe box for all the important papers we all need. Replacing a birth certificate will cost $16. Replacing a Social Security card is going to mean at least two hours to go to a clinic or school to get the proofs you will need for yourself or your children and a trip to the Social Security office. And family pictures may be impossible to replace. OK, off my soapbox.

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To all the caring, concerned members of the community sending prayers our way, thank you. To Jeanie Opdahl and the staff at the Red Cross; the personnel at the fire department; Capt. Jim, Georgia and the staff at the Salvation Army; Pastor Todd, Jill and the members of Grace Lutheran Church; Mike Woitas and the staff at the Country Inn & Suites; and lastly the Love&8217;s Corp. and the crew at Store 337, I hope you all know how all you&8217;ve done has helped in this very difficult time.

Life goes on, stuff is only stuff and God bless you all.

Lisa Frank

Albert Lea

Numbers on houses can save times and lives

Speed, efficiency, safety, these are all ideas that are at the forefront of your thought when experiencing an emergency. If you have an out-of-control fire, you want the fire department there immediately to save your property and possibly your life. When experiencing a heart attack, every second waiting for the paramedics feels like an eternity. When someone breaks into your home or some emergency is threatening your life, your safety and security is broken and you want the police there to help you.

All of the above scenarios hinge on one single factor: Emergency crews must get there to help you.

The speed in which we arrive at your emergency can be extended if we are unable to find your home, and depending on the severity of the emergency, a second can mean the difference between winning and losing everything. It&8217;s extremely difficult when rushing to a home with hidden or inconspicuous house numbers, especially at night, to arrive in an expeditious manner.

Many homes in Albert Lea have no house numbers displayed, others have their numbers written out, and others still have numbers that are the same color as their backgrounds causing them to be essentially invisible. Not only does this make it hard to efficiently do our job, it&8217;s against the law. Albert Lea city ordinance Sec. 50-161.(e) &8220;Article V. House Numbering and Street Naming&8221; states as follows:

&8220;(h) It is the duty of all owners and occupants of buildings on all streets of the city to obtain the correct house numbers for their respective buildings and to cause such correct numbers to be conspicuously placed on their buildings in numbers at least three inches in dimension.&8221;

It is the goal of this department to ensure cooperation and compliance to this ordinance for the safety of our citizens. It is imperative that we as emergency response personnel be able to locate your homes quickly. Your house numbers must meet the criteria set forth in the ordinance. The house numbers must be clearly visible to passersby. The numbers must be exactly that, numbers that are three inches tall.

Please take this opportunity to ensure that you are not in violation of this ordinance. If you find that you are in violation, it is necessary that you take steps to rectify the problem. If the problem persists, an officer may speak to you to ensure that the issue is corrected in order that we may be better able to provide you with the best response time possible in the event of an emergency at your home.

Please remember that decorative numbering does not meet the criteria specified in the ordinance and will not assist us in expediting our emergency response to those in need of help. The numbering format stated in the city ordinance is required by law.

David Miller


Albert Lea Police Department

Albert Lea