NB Board of Education Meets for September

Wow! Free breakfast and lunch for students through December 31,2020….

By Sue Miklovic, www.theNBXpress.com

The Board of Education met at 2012 Tiger Drive for their September meeting last Tuesday evening. All board members were present.

The mood was light and the air was filled with positivity as the administrators talked about a “smooth opening” to the 2020-2021 school year despite the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

From NBLS Superintendent Ryan Delaney:
*Free Breakfast and Lunch for students until end of December 2020!  See the related letter published here on theNBXpress earlier this week by following this link:  https://www.thenbxpress.com/message-from-nb-superintendent/

*One student is in self-isolation
 *Trees that were recently donated to the school are in the process of being planted

From NBHS Principal Chad Kiser
:

September 2020:

  • Huge thank you to Mrs. Lisa Reider for making all the positive signs in the restrooms around the school. It looks great!

  • Another thank you to Ms. Krista Ducat for putting Tiger Paws on our floors, bleachers, and cafeteria for social distancing. Such a great job!

  • Big thank you to Mr. Phillip Stefanka for putting down the new carpet here in the boardroom. He did a great job!

  • National Juniors Honor Society is having an MS movie night tonight at the movie theater. 

  • Senior nights for all fall sports went amazing!

  • Our band concert Saturday night was a huge success. Mr. Pack always does such a great job!

  • The school year is going just about as perfect as it can!

From Powell Elementary Principal Jonelle Semancik:

Mumkins

Our Mumkin sale did really well considering it was all online. We made a profit of $4,148.75. This will go towards Tiger Way Prizes, Powell Signage, Honor Roll T-Shirts, and staff supplies.  Delivery day is October 2nd and 3rd.

Step It Up!

To help the staff stay healthy and promote mental health, Mr. Kiser and I started a challenge between the buildings. We are kicking it off with the step challenge. The team with the most steps in a week will get the privilege of wearing jeans on Thursday the following week. The overall winners will receive the “Bragging Rights Trophy”.

Zones of Regulation

Mrs. Sattler is working with our 3rd through 6th grade students on a new program for our district called Zones of Regulation. The point of the program is to help students recognize and identify how they are feeling as well as what they may need in order to be ready to learn “green zone”. This is a tier 1 program targeting the social and emotional standards. From here Mrs. Sattler creates small groups if further intervention is needed. Mrs. Sattler has worked extremely hard on this for the past year. We are excited to see what the results will be.

Office Art Gallary

We have purchased frames and shelves for the main office at Powell. We will be displaying student art work that will be changed out quarterly. This is a way to show off the talents of our students at Powell.

(The building Principals both reported they have had NO referrals to their offices yet this year!)

From District Treasurer Steven Stewart:
*This is the time of year we have a lot of expenditures
*Rover Pipeline is challenging the valuations of the pipeline. We may have to give some money back in the event of a Rover victory. This case will probably end up in the Supreme Court of Ohio. Board member Marcy Byrd said, “Thank you for not suggesting or leading us to borrow millions in anticipation of money that we may not end up getting. It could have been disastrous. “
*Mr. Stewart says the District is in strong position to weather this storm-currently trimming expenses and scaling back on PPE expenditures.
*He will present the 5 year Forecast at next month’s meeting.

Other business:

* Maternity leave approved for Holli Sattler
* Leslie Hetrick was hired as the Elementary School Secretary
* Many various types of supplemental contracts were approved
*  The Board briefly discussed holding a special meeting to be held prior to the October 16th deadline they set for re-evaluating the back-to-school-schedules during the pandemic.  They will revisit their choices and make a  decision on the best way to continue after considering the many possible options available.
*Briefly talked about the “Covid-slide”(Kids reverting back to their pre-covid/March learning levels)and also the “medically fragile” students who need and receive special services and therapies that are  available on Wednesdays, even though this is not a regular day for students to attend. 

 

 

BVHS Weekend Column: Parenting During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The American Academy of Pediatrics has an excellent website that is devoted to helping parents – HealthyChildren.org.

By Cheryl Huffman, MD, Pediatrics

Pediatrician Dr. Cheryl Huffman


Being a parent is extremely rewarding; however, it can also be very demanding. The current COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many parents “out of their comfort zone.” Almost all children are out of school at this time. So, while it may seem like an “extended summer vacation,” it comes with additional burdens to parents.

Parents are being asked to help teach their children when most were not trained as teachers. In addition, several subjects – especially math – are no longer “taught the same way” as parents learned, making it increasingly difficult for parents to help their children. Summer vacation comes with plenty of extra time for outdoor activities and sports – and for most students, social distancing makes those activities unavailable at this time. For many families, there are the added burdens of financial stress, as more and more businesses close down due to the pandemic.

Fortunately, help is available for parents. The American Academy of Pediatrics has an excellent website that is devoted to helping parents – HealthyChildren.org. It is a wealth of information, which is supported by research data. Almost every imaginable topic is included, and the search option is easy to use.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several new topics have been added. A few that you may find helpful are “Positive Parenting & COVID-19. 10 Tips to Help Keep the Calm at Home,” “Working and Learning from Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak,” and “Getting Children Outside While Social Distancing for COVID-19.”

We are all hopeful that the pandemic will soon be behind us and that the world will get back to “normal.” But that “normal” will almost certainly be a “new normal.” HealthyChildren.org can provide help at that time as well.

 

 

 

Get Your Home Ready for Work and School this Winter

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, will your home serve as your office and/or school throughout the winter months?….

(Family Features) Although preparing your home for winter is a fairly consistent process year-to-year, many homes have seen significantly more use this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. If your home will serve as your office or school throughout the winter months, it’s important to address issues that may have been noticed but tolerable during winters past.

Consider these tips from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry to help ensure your home is ready before winter weather strikes.

Improve Indoor Air Quality
Beyond proper physical and structural considerations of winter preparations, the increased daily usage of your home naturally increases the importance of indoor air quality. Since windows and doors will likely be closed more often, moisture levels within your home can be significantly affected. Use a humidifier, if necessary, to maintain a relative humidity between 45-50%, which is healthier and can feel more comfortable. It can also keep wooden doors and windows functioning properly and wood furniture and floors looking good.

Get Your Furnace Checked
To keep your furnace from failing when you need it most, get it inspected by a professional before you need to rely on it to heat your home in the dead of winter. If you’re not leaving the house and turning down the thermostat each day, this will be especially important this year. Regular tune-ups can prolong your furnace’s life, help prevent carbon monoxide leaks and ensure your unit is working at maximum efficiency. If a whole-house humidifier is included as part of the heating system, also inspect the humidifier and replace the element, if necessary.

Seal Leaks Around Windows and Doors
Air infiltration is one of the largest culprits of reductions in a home’s efficiency. Small air leaks can add up to significant heat loss and a corresponding increase in energy consumption. If replacing window screens with storm windows and installing a storm door on your house isn’t realistic, increase energy efficiency by sealing gaps around window and door moldings with caulk to help keep heat from escaping. If any pipes or ducts travel through an exterior wall of your home, you can also use caulking and weather-stripping to help block potential entry points for cold air.

Check Your Gutters
Improper drainage away from the home is one of the biggest causes of water leaking into basements and crawlspaces. Gutters and downspouts have the single purpose of routing water away from your home to help prevent damage to your foundation. Once leaves have fallen and before the first snow, ensure your gutters are properly secured and clear of debris. Clogged gutters can lead to improper drainage and potential overflow, ice damming or other water-related issues. Also adjust downspouts so they direct water at least 5 feet from the house to help minimize the possibility of water run-off back toward the foundation.

Prep the Plumbing
When water freezes, it expands. Any residual water in pipes that is exposed to freezing temperatures, including interior lines located in exterior walls or unheated areas, can burst. Start by disconnecting hoses and shutting off exterior faucets, draining any water that remains in them and storing hoses indoors to prevent cracks. Drain any other pipes, valves or in-ground sprinklers that may be exposed to the elements and, for an extra layer of protection, wrap water spigots with covers to prevent damage. Sometimes a simple trick like keeping a cabinet door cracked open to allow warm air into the space can prevent frozen pipes.

Find more expert tips to get your home ready for winter at RemodelingDoneRight.com.

SOURCE:
National Association of the Remodeling Industry

A Fresh, Frozen Treat

It’s going to be a warm weekend–perfect for making Green Slimesicles…..Watch this video to see how to make this recipe!

(Family Features) Taking the fear out of trying unfamiliar produce is a simple way for parents to introduce children to fruits and veggies.

For example, these Green Slimesicles are a perfect way for kids to try spinach without even knowing it as it’s pureed with bananas and pineapple before freezing for a cool, refreshing treat.

Find more recipes and other not-so-scary fun at disney/dole.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Green Slimesicles

Total time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6 slimesicles

  • 2          cups (about 1/2 package) packed DOLE® Spinach
  • 1 1/2    Dole Bananas
  • 1          cup chopped Dole Pineapple
  • 1/2       cup water
  • 1/2       teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In blender, puree spinach, bananas, pineapple, water and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Pour into six ice pop molds 1/3 cup each. Freeze 4-6 hours, or until firm.

Tips: For refreshing twist, add a few mint leaves before pureeing. If you don’t have ice pop molds, pour into two standard ice cube trays and insert wooden sticks after freezing about 1 hour.


SOURCE:
Dole

Goldfish Crackers Celebrates National Family Day with Exclusive Giveaway

Consumers can enter to win through National Family Day on Sept. 26, 2020……

(BPT) – According to a new research study, Goldfish crackers uncovered that 91% of Americans who live with or visit children regularly feel that they would like to spend even more quality time with their family than they currently do! To encourage these family moments, Goldfish will release a one-of-a-kind GOldFISH card game via an Instagram giveaway, to help inspire valuable family bonding time and bring smiles to people of all ages. The giveaway launches today, and consumers can enter to win through National Family Day on Sept. 26, 2020. Inspired by a love for creativity, imagination and of course, everyone’s favorite #SnackThatSmilesBack, the game includes a pack of custom playing cards in the shape of iconic Goldfish crackers and a bag of Goldfish Colors crackers for snacking on while playing the game at home with loved ones.

Goldfish also uncovered that 96% of respondents agree that the quality time they spend with their family is one of the most fun parts of their current day-to-day routine and nearly eight in ten (75%) Americans who regularly spend time with kids in their family are “extremely” or “very” interested in finding new activities that could be fun to do together. That’s why Goldfish crackers created a new, family-friendly activity that brings the two together. Want to enter? The brand will select 100 winners that visit @GoldfishSmiles on Instagram and tag someone who makes them smile in the comments of the GOldFISH Card Game giveaway post starting at 8 AM ET on 9/23/2020 through 11:59 PM ET on 9/26/2020. No Purchase Necessary, open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & DC, 18 years or older, void where prohibited.

METHODOLOGY: An online poll was conducted between Sept. 11–13, 2020 among U.S. Nationwide Sample of Adults, 18+ years-old, who currently live with at least one child <18, who is their relative or regularly (at least once a week) visits relatives (i.e. immediate or extended family) that have at least one child <18 living with them. n = 1,279

5 Fall Tips for Protecting Your Pet’s Health

If your pet missed his or her annual check-up last spring, consider getting that visit rescheduled……

(BPT) – Whether fall is when you switch out your exercise regimen or schedule your annual flu shot, staying healthy is at the top of most “to do” lists right now. Just remember your four-legged family members when considering seasonal changes to your wellness program. Fall is the perfect time to take steps to keep pets healthy, too.

1) Plan that vet visit. Annual check-ups that include immunizations, physical exams, routine blood work and prescription refills are as important to pet health as they are to human health. Routine wellness visits can also save pet-care dollars in the long run through preventive care and early disease detection. If your pet missed his or her annual check-up last spring, consider getting that visit rescheduled. Most veterinarians offer pet wellness appointments with curbside drop-off and pick-up to help safeguard owners’ health.

2) Get off the couch. Summer’s heat is giving way to cooler temperatures, so resist the temptation to forgo your dog’s evening walk for yet another movie marathon. Not only will outdoor exercise help whittle your pet’s waistline and promote joint health, but getting outside to enjoy the fall colors can boost your own caloric burn and mental outlook as well.

3) Don’t “fall” back on parasite prevention. Just because you aren’t slapping mosquitoes like you did in July doesn’t mean you should stop protecting your pets from parasites. The American Heartworm Society recommends giving heartworm preventives — many of which prevent a host of common parasites — to dogs and cats year-round. While heartworms are spread by mosquitoes, it’s nearly impossible to guess when you’ll see the last one in the fall or the first one next spring. Disease-carrying mosquitoes can also survive as temperatures drop by migrating indoors or to protected areas near houses and other buildings.

4) Rethink your pet’s fall wardrobe. Protective wearables make more than a fashion statement for many pets. Arthritic senior dogs, as well as short-haired dogs or lean breeds that chill easily, will be more comfortable if you slip on a cozy fleece coat when clipping on their leash. Just make sure your pup’s garment has a snug vs. a tight fit — and consider coats with reflective fabric if you favor nighttime walks. And if your fall activities include hunting with your dog, make sure to outfit your four-legged companion with a hunting vest.

5) Hide the Halloween treats. Whether or not your kids go trick-or-treating this year, you may be making plans to stock up on Halloween candy. Just remember that certain human treats may be toxic to your pets. Chocolate is hazardous to both dogs and cats, sugar can throw off your pet’s electrolyte balance and certain artificial sweeteners can cause liver failure in dogs. So go ahead and keep the candy to yourself. Just keep it away from your pets while you’re at it.

Staying healthy has never felt more important than it does this fall. Do your pets a favor and prioritize their health, too.

WCCOA is looking for Caregiver Nominations for Golden Care Awards!

The virtual ceremony will be held on Zoom on Tuesday, November 24 at 2:00 p.m.

Bowling Green, OH (September 15, 2020) – The Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. (WCCOA) will be collaborating with Bowling Green Manor, Briar Hill Health Care Campus, Bridge Home Health and Hospice, Brookdale of Bowling Green, Perrysburg Commons Retirement Center, and Wood Haven Health Care to host the Golden Care Awards in honor of National Caregivers Month. The virtual ceremony will be held on Zoom on Tuesday, November 24 at 2:00 p.m.

A caregiver is someone who provides direct care and tends to the needs of an older adult. This event will recognize the caregiving heroes in our communities and one winner will be awarded in each of the following categories:  

  • Caregivers working in a facility or home care setting (Medical or Professional Staff)
  • Caregivers working in a facility or home care setting (Support Staff: volunteer, companion caregiver, housekeeper, dietary, salon, activity, maintenance personnel)
  • COVID Champions who have been working on the front lines during the pandemic
  • Community Caregiver (nominated by any community member or a facility)

Nominated “Caregiver Heroes” must have been working in a facility/home care setting, or an active caregiver for a family member, friend or neighbor within the last year. Self-nominations will not be accepted. It is encouraged that the person nominating the caregiver provides a thorough explanation of why the nominee is an outstanding caregiver. The panel of judges will base their decisions on the written information provided on the nomination form.  

Nomination forms are available online at www.wccoa.net/activities/special-events or by mail, and the deadline for submissions is Monday, October 19. Submit fillable PDF nomination forms and a JPEG photo of the nominee to programs@wccoa.net  A 30-second video nomination may be sent in lieu of a written nomination. Information may also be submitted to the WCCOA Dropbox by request. These materials will be used to create a video honoring the nominees.  All nominees will receive a certificate, flower, event brochure and their laminated nomination form.

For more information, contact the Wood County Committee on Aging’s Programs Department through the above e-mail or by calling 419-353-5661 OR 800-367-4935.

The mission of the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., shall be to provide older adults with services and programs which empower them to remain independent and improve the quality of their lives.

For information on programs and services, please contact the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., at (419) 353-5661, (800) 367-4935 or www.wccoa.net.

“A Night of Praise” Benefit Concert

Basic Truth & Cedar Creek Churches to bring awesome music to rural Cygnet, Ohio – Benefiting NB Food Pantry…

 

Basic Truth Church and Cedar Creek Church will bring awesome music to rural Cygnet, Ohio – To benefit the North Baltimore Food Pantry & Christian Clearing House.

www.basictruthchurch.com

Tips for Navigating Flu Season during COVID-19

There are simple, proactive ways to strengthen our immune systems….


Get vaccinated this fall. The flu shot is a particularly important measure to take this year to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems dealing with COVID-19. By getting the flu vaccine, you protect not only yourself, but the ones you love from a preventable disease. The vaccination can also help lessen the severity of symptoms, should you contract the flu. September or October is an
ideal time to get vaccinated, according to the CDC.

Spot the difference. While both the flu and COVID-19 are contagious respiratory illnesses that share many of the same symptoms (such as a fever, cough, body aches or fatigue), there are few key differences to keep in mind. Symptoms for the coronavirus appear 2-14 days after exposure, whereas flu symptoms come on suddenly. Many people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 report a change or loss of taste and smell. Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and chest pain are warning signs for both illnesses that require immediate medical attention.

Boost your immune system. It’s no surprise that our immune defense systems become weaker as we age. However, there are simple, proactive ways to strengthen our immune systems today in order to give ourselves the best chance at staying healthy tomorrow. Staying active with daily walks
or yoga can help our bodies ward off illnesses such as COVID-19 and influenza. Mental health also has strong implications on the strength of your immune system. By giving your body proper time to rest, you can reduce stress levels and positively impact overall health.

Maintain a nutritious diet. Consuming a nutrient-rich diet is another way to protect your immune system against common illnesses. Fuel your body with healthful foods that contain a high number of vitamins and antioxidants, such as broccoli, strawberries and tomatoes. Consider speaking with your general practitioner or meeting with a dietitian to help build a meal plan that’s
right for you.

Practice healthy habits. The best way to prevent seasonal viruses, aside from vaccination, is by adopting healthy practices to help stop the spread of germs. Simple habits such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing in public, washing hands regularly, covering your nose and mouth and staying away from others when you feel sick can go a long way to prevent illness and avoid
hospitalizations.

Source: Home Instead Senior Care

A Fall Finger Food for Dessert

Spiced Pumpkin Carrot Cheesecake Cupcakes. Watch the video to see how to make this recipe!….

(Culinary.net) Pumpkin is the flavor of the season when fall comes around, especially when used in heartwarming desserts and sweet treats the whole family can enjoy.

This autumn, when your loved ones start searching the kitchen for sweets, you can turn to Spiced Pumpkin Carrot Cheesecake Cupcakes for a tasty handheld way to appease those festive cravings. Combining pumpkin quick bread with a handful of household ingredients, this easy recipe makes it simple to serve up traditional tastes in a matter of minutes.

Plus, with kid-friendly instructions that call for minimal complicated tasks, the whole family can enjoy creating these cupcake masterpieces together as a celebration of moments spent together.

Find more seasonal desserts at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Spiced Pumpkin Carrot Cheesecake Cupcakes

Serves: 12

  • 1          box (14 ounces) pumpkin quick bread, divided
  • 1          cup carrots, shredded
  • 3          eggs, divided
  • 3/4       cup milk
  • 1/2       cup golden raisins
  • 2          tablespoons canola oil
  • 1          package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2          tablespoons sugar
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          cup pecans, chopped
  • 3          tablespoons butter, softened
  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In large bowl, stir 1/2 pumpkin quick bread package, carrots, 1 egg, milk, raisins and oil until blended. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full.
  3. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, remaining eggs, sugar and lemon juice until smooth.  Spoon cream cheese mixture over cupcake batter.
  4. In medium bowl, use fork to combine remaining bread package mix, pecans and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over cream cheese in each cup.
  5. Bake 25 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.


SOURCE:
Culinary.net

Easy Ways to Enjoy Life’s Everyday Moments

Life gets busy, and in the shuffle it’s easy to overlook the importance of quality time with your friends, family, and significant others….

(Family Features) For many people across the country, carving out time from busy schedules to spend with loved ones can be difficult. However, when opportunities arise to experience bonding activities together, the results can be fond memories and a deeper sense of security.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images 

“Many families, mine included, usually put a lot of energy into planning fun events and special trips to create memories,” said Amanda Mushro, TLC lifestyle expert and fairlife ambassador. “These get-togethers help us cope with challenges and remember to make the most of each day. This year, while disappointing, has revived our chances to slow down a little and savor the little moments that happen at home every day.”

Build Strong Bonds
Life gets busy, and in the shuffle it’s easy to overlook the importance of quality time with your friends, family, and significant others. Commit to regularly (and safely) spending one-on-one time with each loved one as a special treat you can all cherish. Even if it’s just snuggling and watching a favorite show together, crafting or doing an activity you both enjoy, try making an effort to slow down and strengthen your bonds.

Head Outdoors
Leave the technology behind and go for a walk or a bike ride together once or twice a week. It’s a ritual you can look forward to while taking advantage of the time together and the chance to burn some energy. You can take outdoor appreciation even further by planning camping trips to enjoy the joys of wildlife through activities like bird watching, fishing or impromptu scavenger hunts.

Make Meals a Family Affair
Not only does getting the whole family involved make the preparation faster, it’s a chance to squeeze in some time and maybe even some learning and sharing. Kids can help with measuring and other age-appropriate tasks, and the casual setting is a good environment to get kids talking about what’s on their minds.

If evenings are too rushed to make an all-hands approach practical, instead try carving out some time on the weekends or once a month for a few hours of baking up batches of a favorite treat. You can also find new and fun family-friendly recipes. Even if the recipe doesn’t turn out well, the time spent doing it together is a treat on its own.

Enjoy Tasty Treats Together
There’s nothing quite like a bowl of ice cream to light up a face and mood so break out the scooper and make some sweet memories. Set up your next sundae bar with a tasty option like fairlife Light Ice Cream, a delicious, lactose-free frozen dessert with a strong nutrition profile compared to traditional ice cream. It comes in seven flavors, so there is something for everyone.

Avoid Life’s Stressors
Outside influences can have a major impact on your mood and ability to enjoy your time at home. Try turning off your phone notifications for a few hours of uninterrupted home time. If clutter is creating havoc, look for ways to improve your home’s organization and get everyone in the house to pitch in to keep things in place.

Schedule Weekly Fun Nights
Designate a night each week to have fun together playing games, watching movies or dancing. Pull out the board and card games or get some fresh air with yard games like croquet or bag toss. Sign up for a virtual cooking fitness class. When it comes to movies, enjoy old favorites together or introduce kids to beloved classics from the ’80s and ’90s and incorporate fun traditions with snacks and special treats.

Rethink Dessert for Better-for-You Moments

Special moments and gatherings often revolve around food. With some simple (and tasty) adjustments, you can still savor every moment, including dessert, without overindulging.

Choose a light(er) frozen delight. A cool scoop (or two) of dessert is a perfect cap for all kinds of cuisines and making smart choices can help manage the calorie load. One example is fairlife Light Ice Cream, delicious frozen desserts expertly crafted with ultra-filtered milk and natural flavors for a lactose-free product with a rich, creamy texture. In comparison to traditional ice cream, it has less sugar, fat and calories. Additionally, depending on which of the seven flavors you choose, it contains 8 or 9 grams of high-quality protein.

Make fruit the star. Fresh berries or seasonal fruit like peaches with fairlife Vanilla Light Ice Cream are a refreshing and more nutritious option than a rich cake or pie filled with added sugars. Or try dipping fruit like grapes or strawberries in chocolate for bite-sized treats.

Serve perfect portions. Occasionally treating yourself is actually a good way to help keep your healthy lifestyle on track. It minimizes the sense of deprivation that can lead to overeating. The trick is to manage your portions. Miniature cheesecakes or tarts are enjoyable ways to treat yourself with a sweet ending to the event. Or try making your own ice cream sandwiches using reduced or sugar-free cookies and light ice cream for the filling. Each pint of fairlife Light Ice Cream has 3 servings per container.

SOURCE:
fairlife

Be prepared: 5 steps to build your emergency fund

The money in your emergency fund should be kept separate from accounts you use for paying bills….

(BPT) – Many of life’s interruptions can’t be predicted. Not having funds set aside for unexpected problems can leave you racking up high credit card debt or putting yourself in other difficult financial straits.

“When it comes to savings best practices, it is especially clear after the pandemic how valuable an emergency savings fund can become at a moment’s notice,” said Jaspreet Chawla, Senior Vice President of Savings Products at Navy Federal Credit Union. “Here are some tips that might help you kick start your emergency savings.”

Here’s how to create an emergency fund to protect your finances.

1. Do the math; set a goal.

If your first instinct is to save an enormous sum that will cover all expenses for many months, think again. While financial experts recommend having between three and six months of living expenses in an emergency fund, this number might not be realistic if you’re just beginning to save. It’s often a good idea to start with a smaller goal — $500 or $1,000. Then, as you get into the habit of saving, you can slowly start to raise your future goals until you reach the three-to six-month threshold.

2. Decide where to put the funds.

The money in your emergency fund should be kept separate from accounts you use for paying bills or making purchases and be easily accessible when an emergency arises. Using just one account may make it far too easy to “borrow” from your emergency fund for non-essential items. Instead, place your emergency funds into an interest-bearing account that’s specifically designated for this purpose. Good options include a savings account or money market account. Either can be easily accessed without penalties and allow your money to grow.

3. Get creative and save.

Building an emergency fund means you’ll need to trim spending elsewhere. Quick fixes like evaluating your cell phone plan, cutting the cord on cable or bringing your lunch to work can help free up money for savings. Or think bigger, like refinancing your home or car. Use a refinance calculator to see whether a new loan will save you money.

4. Save unexpected windfalls.

You can boost the balance of your emergency fund when you least expect it with “found” money. Invest birthday or holiday cash gifts, work bonuses and tax refunds directly into your account and see how quickly you can reach your emergency fund goal. Since this money isn’t part of your typical spending, it’s easy to use it for saving without missing it.

5. Make saving automatic.

We all know that saving money for the unexpected is a good idea, but it’s easy to delay in favor of more pressing concerns. Treat your emergency fund like any other monthly recurring bill and have funds directly deposited into your savings account each month. You’ll be less likely to miss the money and can sleep easy knowing you have a safety net when life interruptions occur.

“We always try to emphasize the importance of savings and financial security, and we want to be a resource for our members when it comes to prepping for financial emergencies,” Chawla continued. “An emergency fund isn’t a luxury; it’s an important way to protect the things that matter most to you. I encourage you to talk to a financial institution you can trust, and get started saving as soon as you can.”