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HOTELS NATIONWIDE SIGN UP TO SUPPORT FIRST RESPONDERS; PROVIDE HOUSING

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In an effort to support communities across the country during this unprecedented public health crisis, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) today announced a new initiative – Hotels for Hope – to connect hotel properties with the health community, struggling to find housing and support as the COVID-19 public health crisis grows.

The newly launched initiative, just announced in partnership with AHLA partner state associations across the country, has identified over 6,500 properties nationwide located in close proximity to established healthcare facilities that are at the ready to assist government efforts and work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in coordination with the US Army CORPS of Engineers and local emergency management and public health agencies to provide access to hotel properties to support the health community and our nation’s first responders who may be in need of temporary housing during this crucial time.

To help match and streamline the process for willing hotel properties to connect with federal, state, and local governments, AHLA is working to create a national “Hotels for Hope” database at the federal level with HHS, as well as at the local level with industry partner state associations. Local, state and federal government officials will be able to search willing properties based on geographic location.

Chip Rogers, AHLA president and CEO: “As an industry of people taking care of people, the hotel industry is uniquely positioned to support and help strengthen our communities and first responders who are on the frontlines of dealing with this ongoing public health crisis. Hotels have always been an active member of our local communities, and this time is no different. AHLA, in partnership with our partner state associations, are proud to work on behalf of our member companies to facilitate partnerships with federal, state and local governments to support the health community during this critical time.”

Already, examples of hotels partnering with local and state officials in communities are being reported in Chicago and California, and more efforts are expected in the coming days and weeks, including New York City and Texas.

“The number of hotels wanting to be part of the program is growing by the hour,” Michael Jacobson, CEO and president of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association said. “Our hotels are answering the call to action, and they want to be helpful to the city and the state.”

“‘Hotels for Hope’ is just one of the many ways that our hotels are helping those in need in our communities during this time of crisis,” said Kim Sabow, President and CEO of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association. “We look forward to working with all interested parties, including local and state officials, and the federal government to find innovative solutions to make it through this critical time together.”

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5 Ways to Master a Move

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While real estate agents report that far fewer people than normal have been moving during the COVID-19 pandemic, that may soon change. A recent Harris Poll found that nearly a third of U.S. adults living in urban areas are considering a move to less densely populated cities in the wake of the pandemic. Others may not be fleeing the pandemic but simply want or need to move, either for a job change or other reason.

If you find yourself preparing to move during these uncertain times, here are some tips to help it go more smoothly.

1. Make a checklist: Set a timeline for completing such tasks as packing, cleaning, and registering the kids for school. Staying ahead of the process can help avoid last-minute headaches and make your to-do list seem more manageable. There are even free apps available to help.

2. Organize and purge: Moving is the perfect opportunity to decide what you really want and need in your new home. To lessen the load on moving day, hold a garage sale – following proper social distancing guidelines – or donate unwanted items to charity. You can make the unpacking process simpler by arranging similar items together and labeling each box accordingly, such as kitchen utensils with cups or clothing of a particular season. You can even label a box as “open me first” for items you’ll need immediately.

3. Notify those who need to know: Let your insurance agent know that you’re moving as soon as possible to be sure you’re covered. You’ll also want to discuss how your needs will change. For example, if this is your first time buying a house, you’ll need a homeowner’s policy versus renters insurance. On the other hand, if you’re downsizing from a house to an apartment, you’ll still want to ensure your belongings are covered, which you can do with renters insurance. Be sure to also call your utility providers to cancel or transfer service and fill out a change of address form with the United States Post Office. You’ll also want to update your address with your bank and credit card companies.

4. Consider what’s covered: You may want to consider moving insurance. Some companies, like Erie Insurance, will cover you during the move and say it’s usually not necessary to purchase an additional policy. Keep in mind there are limits for certain kinds of misplaced, lost or stolen personal property. Your insurance agent can walk through that with you.

5. DIY or hire a pro. While during “normal” times you might recruit family and friends to help you with the move, given ongoing social distancing guidelines, now may not be the right time to ask. If it’s a small move, you may be able to handle it on your own or with the help of just a few immediate family members. Otherwise, consider hiring moving professionals who know the proper safety protocols and will be better equipped to protect your possessions and make sure they’re transported safely.

While moving can seem overwhelming, a bit of prep and planning goes a long way. By mastering your move, you’ll be sitting down and relaxing in your new home in no time. (StatePoint)

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