Disaster Response, Human Generosity

Dorian befuddled us. Hurricanes usually follow their path and move along. Dorian sat. And sat. And sat over the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, leaving over 13,000 homes in ruin, the islands literally decimated, and much of it underwater. 

Dorian devastation in Bahama Islands.
Photo: New York Post

After sparing the eastern coast of Florida, she still threatens the Carolinas as a Category 3 storm with 115 mph sustained winds. 

Hours after the news from the Bahamas, and even before Dorian plays out in the Maritimes, tens of thousands of charities, churches, communities, and individuals across the U.S.A. sprung into action—including many in Ohio.

When Dorian was expected to hit the eastern shores of Florida, Duke Energy sent 1,500 workers from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana to stand by—a literal army on wheels. Now boat owners from all over Florida are organizing flotillas to quickly ship tools and shelter material that can be used to quickly build temporary shelters.

The human response after a disaster is one of generosity. After Hurricane Katrina, 50% of Americans reached into their pocket, and 75% did so after 9/11. Casualties from Dorian are real and help is urgently needed. So far fewer than 30 deaths have been reported, but the real casualties are weeks and months down the road from lack of access to medical care, clean water, everyday nutritional needs, reasonable and safe shelter, and personal security.

There are dozens of large and small charitable avenues to help the Bahamas. One of those is Team Rubicon Disaster Response working in partnership with our local Mathew 25 Ministries. Learn more »

Cincinnati’s Dog Days of Summer

August this year in Cincinnati has been warm, or hot (depending on who you ask) with temperatures for the coming week in the upper 80s to the low 90s with mostly sunny skies. It’s what we call “the dog days of summer.”

The Dog Days have nothing to do with panting dogs, and everything to do with the Dog star Sirius—the brightest star in the summer sky. In ancient times, the Egyptians believed that the sun’s heat combined with Sirius’s heat to make August extra hot. They noted that when Sirius the Dog Star rose soon after the summer solstice, summer rains increased and the Nile River rose and flooded the land.

Traditionally, Dog Days of Summer last 40 days from July 3 to August 11, the same time of year that Sirius the Dog Star rises at dawn. Sirius is only 8.6 light years away, so it’s easy to spot on a clear night. It is easily the brightest star in the summer sky and the brightest star in the Constellation Canis Major.

In Greek mythology, the “dog” in Canis Major follows Orion, the great hunter. In art, the dog is often seen chasing a rabbit represented by the constellation Lepus. There’s a small dog depicted in a nearby constellation called Canis Minor. 

You can read the mythological stories behind these stars and constellations here.

To find the Dog in the summer sky, we suggest using or downloading a stargazing app for your mobile phone. Here’s a handy list of the top recommendations for 2019 for both Android and iPhone.

What do the Dog Days of Summer have to do with small business accounting and daily money management? Nothing. Yet knowledge can be fascinating!

Cincinnati Weather

“Nice weather today!” “Think it will rain?” Go anywhere in Cincinnati and you’ll hear comments about the weather. Much like our bills and bank accounts, weather is always top of mind. So we were wondering… could Cincinnati weather have anything to do with how we think about our money? Well, let’s take a closer look…

Did you know that our weather makes Cincinnati a great place to live? It’s a beautiful city, in part because we get about 44 inches of rain and 15 inches of snow a year. Plenty of moisture for plants, green hills, and fresh water, and just enough of the fluffy stuff for an occasional sledding day. We have slightly fewer sunny days (176 compared to the U.S. average of 205), but our clouds earn Cincinnati a BestPlaces Comfort Index of 7.2 out of 10, making the Queen City one of the most pleasant places to live in Ohio. (Source: bestplaces.net

But what does weather have to do with money matters? Well, it teaches us a few things…for example:

Always be prepared. With weather, we prepare for the day with an umbrella, light sweater, or snow boots. With money, we prepare for trends in interest rates, rising or falling prices, or simply having enough change in our pocket for whatever our day has in store.

Put safety first. Under threat of hail, we park under cover instead of in the driveway, and when forced to drive through flood water, go slow and go only one vehicle at a time. With money, we save for the proverbial rainy days to build a financial foundation to get us through emergencies.

Appreciate life. As the great social thinker John Ruskin once said, “sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. Whether about weather or money, we are optimistic.

Take advantage of the difference between the weather and climate. Weather is what is happening today: sun, rain, snow, wind, calm, cloudy. Climate is the long-term pattern of weather recorded over a 30-year period of time. Our relationship with money is no different: how much we have in the bank can change daily, and financial security is how well we managed our money over time.

We may have many different financial weather days as savings grow and wane, and investments follow the traditional peaks and valleys of gains and losses. Think about your financial life like we think about weather: be prepared for the unexpected and always put your own safety and the safety of those you love first. Now, let’s go out there and enjoy the day!