9/11, A Personal Account

Lina M. Maini, Log Book, 9/11/2001

Rarely do I publicly recount my private experiences but this somber week, with the 20th anniversary this Saturday of the 9/11 attacks on our country, I feel moved to share a small portion of a very personal memory of that day with you.

Above, I’ve embedded a photo of one of my first pilot training log books.

The very first entry in this logbook: 2001, 9/11. I had just completed 7 Touch & Go’s, flight training out of Republic Airport, Farmingdale, Long Island, NY. We took off around 8:15 a.m. that lovely near-autumn morning. We never made the scheduled 8th T&G.

What we (flight instructor with me) saw that day remains irremovably embedded in the deepest recesses of my mind, coming to the forefront now as we near 9/11/2021. My flight instructor was a Lt., NYPD (Captain now) and Navy Reserves pilot.

From a relatively very short distance aerially, we saw an aircraft streaking across a “severe clear” cobalt blue sky. I had performed the 7th touch n go, we headed towards Captree in Suffolk County and… never made it. My instructor’s official police telecoms went off and simultaneously, the Tower@ FRG repeatedly screamed at everyone up to land immediately. In a rush to land, another training pilot cut us off within several hundred feet, nearly crashing us into the runway.

We knew immediately that we were under attack- given the level of information coming in to my instructor and, we had employees on the ground at the Federal Courthouse in lower Manhattan running towards the Twin Towers, yelling into our company Nextel two-ways along the way – telling us exactly what was happening. Chilling words that I will not, cannot, ever forget. I began calling my employees, family and partners, telling them to shelter in place – and those with children in the NYC/LI area, to pull their children out of school ASAP.

What we witnessed over the next several days remains a shell-shocked medley of sights and sounds usually only experienced on a battlefield. And, almost incoherently juxtaposed to pure bedlam, was the eerie silence we encountered along the now closed roads and highways as we made our way towards the City, in various response capacities, never imagining what we would see once we arrived at what is now known as Ground Zero.

At this point, I’ll move away from telling my story of 9/11, knowing you all have your own experiences and memories of that fateful day and offer a simple prayer, especially during these extremely challenging times today, that we may all come together again as the large, compassionate community that is our nation, and our world.

Wishing all peace and calmness in our daily lives as we strive forward in all things,
~Lina

(Please excuse fluctuating tenses in the retelling of my story- the memories, as I write, are simultaneously vivid and recessed.)

Coming Soon- America’s Social Credit Score System

Social credit score

Early in January of this year, several web giants unveiled pilot programs in what effectively could become a soft social credit system before 2030. By way of explanation, China’s social credit system (in effect for seven years now) is a combination of government and business surveillance that gives citizens a “score” that can restrict the ability of individuals to take actions — such as purchasing plane tickets, acquiring property or taking loans — because of behaviors. Given the position of several major American companies, a similar system may be coming here sooner than you think. 

The potential scope of the soft social credit system under construction is enormous. The same companies that can track your activities and give you corporate rewards for compliant behavior could utilize their powers to block transactions, add surcharges or restrict your use of products. At what point does free speech make someone a target in this new system? When does your debit card get canceled over old tweets, your home loan denied for homeschooling your kids, or your eBay account invalidated because a friend flagged you for a post they simply didn’t like?”

In August, PayPal announced a partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center to “investigate” the role of propagators of “anti-government” rhetoric, subjective labels that potentially could impact a large number of groups or people using their service. PayPal says the collected information will be shared with other financial firms and politicians. Facebook is taking similar measures.

Peer pressure, trendy causes and movements, and the ability to comply with the new system with the click of a mouse combine all of the worst elements of a society more dependent on their social media profile than is healthy. As it grows in breadth and power, what may be most surprising about our new social credit system won’t be collective fear of it, but rather how quickly most people will fall in line.

The Hill

We’ll be keeping a very close eye on this concerning issue and will report updates as they develop.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

When Partnerships Go South: Recognize the Signs And Take Proactive Steps

partnership break

If you’re in a business partnership or a longstanding working relationship that isn’t working, ask yourself the below questions. Then, if you need to change or end the partnership, we’ll provide you with a short to-do checklist towards that end. 

A client, we’ll call her Linda, had a business that was struggling financially and operationally. She was totally disgusted because her partner of  several years was no longer carrying his weight and didn’t seem to understand the gravity of the situation. She was stressed at the continued havoc that this partnership was causing in nearly every aspect of her life.

What to do? She realized that her first commitment had to be to herself. Linda had to take command of this situation. She decided she wanted to give the business and her partner one last chance.

She created Job Roles for herself, her partner and each of her staff. Because of the longstanding relationship between her and her partner, they agreed it was best if a qualified consultant meet with the partners to present things as they were up to this point.  NOTE: Using a third-party (like an attorney or mediator) can offer a different, often more helpful, perspective to a known problem.

The partner was cordial and listened politely, as had been expected. But, he didn’t really get it that things had to change. Linda gave it four months under the new plan. Unfortunately, she had to bite the bullet and make the decision to end the partnership.  Linda realized that with several changes to the business operating methods,  she didn’t actually need a partner. She had been carrying the business alone for several years anyway.

If you can answer yes to one or more of the following it may be time to take command of your business and make the necessary changes.

  • You’re feeling like you’re carrying more than your share of the work.
  • Your partner seems to have lost interest in the business.
  • You find more and more to disagree about.
  • There have been changes in your partner’s life that are interfering with his ability to function in the business.
  • Your interest in the direction of the business is different from that of your partner.

In Linda’s case, she had been performing nearly 100% of the work towards the end of the partnership, her partner had been unfocused for quite a while and he had allowed an enormous amount of drama occurring in his personal life (ex-wife divorce and child custody issues, an inexplicably rapidly formed new relationship, losing decades-long friendships with several close friends, etc.) to spill over into the business.   Although well-experienced with personality changes in people, the level of disconnect that the partner had to the business and the welfare it provided for Linda and other employees was shocking even to us.

Finally, he made the gross mistake of insisting on hiring his unqualified new girlfriend – in a position that required unimpeachable skills and confidentiality.  That’s when Linda finally realized that the partnership was truly over.   He’d simply lost his perspective on the type services that the company provided – those requiring absolute trust.

Here are the steps I suggest you take if you’re seriously considering making changes to your partnership arrangement:

1. Review your Partnership Agreement.

Your partnership may exist in the form of a partnership or a corporation. Either way, you have a legal entity that binds the two of you.

Have your attorney review your documents and tell you exactly where you stand from a legal perspective. This is important so you will know your limitations as you begin to plan.

If you have a written agreement about roles and responsibilities for each of you, assess whether it is still appropriate or needs to be updated.

2. Decide and document exactly what you want for your business and yourself.

Being in a state of dissatisfaction is the spur that will get you to take action. But you don’t want to take action until you’ve thought through exactly what you’re trying to achieve. Consider probable and possible outcomes for different scenarios to help you finalize a plan.

3. Create and write a plan to accomplish your goals.

The most positive thing you can do is create a plan for yourself and the business as you see it and be prepared to present that to your partner. If dissolving the business is in your plan, be prepared with both the reasons you want to leave…and what you plan to do in the future. You’re not just leaving the business; you’re going into something else.

4. Schedule a time to “talk business” with your partner.

A change of venue from your typical meeting place might be helpful. Sitting down over lunch or coffee could be a good place to start.

Be prepared for whatever response comes back to you. It can be anywhere from thankful to downright hostile. It will likely require some time for your partner to think through the ramifications of your proposal. Be forewarned; it’s very difficult for people to make changes unless not making changes will jeopardize something of value to them. The bottom line is you don’t want to back down from what you want. Compromise only if you’re still OK with the terms.

If your partner is looking for an excuse to blame you for the ills of the business, you may hear about it when you bring up the subject. I know it’s tempting, but be careful not to get into a blaming match. The objective is to present what you want for the business and yourself, and your plan to make it happen. Outlining how you see their role in the business is totally appropriate. Then it’s up to them to agree or respond with another suitable option.

5. Be willing to walk away.

If you cannot come to terms, or if you do and the partner does not keep his agreement, you must be prepared for a change in business status. You may decide to close the doors, sell the business, sell your share to the partner, buy him out or any other option that will allow you to move forward with YOUR plan.

We all know it’s not easy to give up on something you’ve worked so long and hard to achieve. It’s a lot like a marriage that’s gone bad. At some point, however, you have to make the decision not to be the victim of circumstances any longer and make your move to position yourself for a better future.

On a final note: have a thorough asset search (personally and professionally) conducted. Linda found out that her now former partner had actually not followed through on many business aspects she’d thought performed and had also converted important assets to himself.

Good luck with your decisions and the outcome.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

Companies Not Licensed or Appointed By Structured Settlement Annuity Issuers

May 16, 2021

(This week’s Beacon Bulletin article is reprinted with permission from its author, John Darer, President of 4structures.com, with whom we’ve worked with extensively in uncovering many underlying issues with numerous structured settlement resells.)

Baker’s Dozen of Companies Not Licensed or Appointed By Structured Settlement Annuity Issuers Who Can’t Set Up A Structured Settlement For You:

  1. JG Wentworth
  2. Peachtree Settlement Funding 
  3. Black Square Financial
  4. Rising Capital
  5. Annuity Transfers
  6. CBC Settlement Funding
  7. Pitchberg Funding
  8. Novation Settlement Solutions
  9. 123 Lump Sum/ Structured Settlement Capital
  10. Genex Capital
  11. Client First Funding
  12. Stone Street Capital
  13. Rightway Funding

Websites To Avoid if Looking to Set Up a Structured Settlement

  • Annuity.org: A shill site for CBC Settlement Funding, Fairfield Funding and others. What is represented as fact checked is often inaccurate. Credibility hobbled by poor research and lack of willingness to improve.
  • Structuredsettlements.com: A shill site for cash now pusher CBC Settlement Funding (and it is believed others) that proves that a lead generators buying an expensive keyword focused domain does not assure reliability for consumers. A glaring example of the website’s ongoing incompetence:

“Temporary life annuities provide payments for your entire life but no money for beneficiaries when you die”. Actually a temporary life annuity (“temp life annuity”) pays for a fixed term, only if the measuring life is living. For example a 12 year temporary life annuity would pay a maximum of 12 years, if the measuring life is living. A life annuity not preceded by the word temporary , or a period certain and life annuity, would pay for the entire life of the measuring life.

  • Paymaster.co: names names for SEO purposes but provides little to no useful information if you’re looking to establish a structured settlement.
  • Structuredsettlement-quotes.com: Site associated with Genex Capital of Vancouver and a Dover Delaware UPS store mailbox. Contains grossly outdated information about insurer ratings that have not been updated since 2012. The site still posts 2009 ratings from Standard & Poors.
  • Structuredsettlement.us.com: Churns out repetitive nonsense to generate leads for an as yet unknown factoring company.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe

UPDATED: 2021’s Best Spam Call Blockers

In this week’s Beacon Bulletin, we’ve updated our 2021 spam call blocking apps list as many of these apps have upped their game in helping us restrain robocall interruptions. Our favorites (in no particular order):

Robo Shield Robo Shield combines an array of phone security features to create an organic spam blocking and phone security approach.

Truecaller One of the best free options, with numerous useful features.

Nomorobo Robocall Blocking Good for complete blocking. It allows you to send spam calls directly to voicemail.

YouMail Voicemail & Spam Blocker Great for business users. Offers a selection of voicemail-centric blocking options and business-focused pricing tiers.

RoboKiller Well-known blocking method with a twist. Sends spam callers to a robot answering machine to waste their time (and records their antics). Love this feature!

Malwarebytes Mobile Security Well-rated option for mobile security. Great for those who need web protection alongside spam blocking.

Hiya One of the most-used spam blocking tools on the market. Multiple services (including AT&T and T-Mobile) rely on Hiya’s spam blocker for their own services.

Mr. Number Lookup and Call Blocker A good number lookup option. It also offers spam blocking and is owned/operated by Hiya.

AT&T Call Protect A welcome option for AT&T users that may benefit its network’s users.

T-Mobile Scam Shield App An option for T-Mobile users that is worth exploring if you’re on the T-Mobile network.

Each of these services is effective in its own right, with numerous useful features. The deciding factors to suit your spam-call management needs may be the respective companies customer service approaches, variety of features and costs. Good luck.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

State-by-State Travel Guidelines: COVID-19 Update

07.20.2020, US Dept. of State

As the United States continues to attempt to rein in the coronavirus spread while simultaneously re-opening the economy and travel, each state has implemented its own rules on top of federal guidance.

With regard to travel, below is a state-by-state breakdown of the current travel policies in place. (Please check your departure and arrival states and those in between that you may have to pass through.) :

Alabama
Travelers from Alabama heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

Alaska
On June 5, Alaska started requiring anyone who comes into the state to produce documentation of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours to five days prior to their departure. If someone doesn’t have a test, they can opt to get tested upon arrival but must quarantine until they receive negative results.

Arizona
Travelers from Arizona heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

Arkansas
Travelers from Arkansas heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

California
Travelers from California heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

Colorado
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Connecticut
In coordination with New York and Connecticut, travelers coming from states where there is a high rate of coronavirus infections must quarantine for two weeks upon arrival to the tri-state area.

The state also initially placed restrictions on hotels and other vacation rentals, designating them only for certain instances, including for healthcare workers, out-of-state employees working on COVID-19 operations, and Connecticut residents who needed to self-isolate.

Delaware
While out-of-state visitors were initially required to self-quarantine for 14 days, that order was lifted on June 1.

Travelers from Delaware heading to New York, New Jersey or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting.

Florida
Travelers from Florida heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

Georgia
Travelers from Georgia heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

Hawaii
Hawaii will allow travelers to bypass their 14-day quarantine rule if they can show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken prior to arrival starting Sept. 1. That program was originally supposed to start on Aug. 1, but was delayed.

Locals are also now allowed to travel between islands.

Idaho
Travelers from Idaho heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

Illinois
Specifically in Chicago, the city has implemented a list of states from which visitors are required to quarantine upon arrival. The states currently effected include states effected includes Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

Indiana
Travelers from Indiana heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting.

Iowa
Travelers from Iowa heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting.

Kansas
Travelers from Kansas heading to Chicago will be required to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival.

Kentucky
In April, the state had instituted a curfew on all state parks. A previous order telling Kentucky residents not to travel outside the state was later lifted.

Louisiana
Travelers from Louisiana heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

Maine
Maine now allows visitors to skip the mandatory 14-day quarantine (first enacted on April 3) if they come with a negative COVID-19 test from within 72 hours before arriving. Visitors from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont are exempt from the quarantine and testing requirements due to improving case numbers.

Hotels to start accepting reservations in June for both in-state and out-of-state residents.

Maryland
Travelers from Maryland heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting.

Massachusetts
Anyone arriving from out-of-state has been asked to self-quarantine for two weeks, according to the state.

Michigan
Michigan has also lifted the restriction on traveling between two residences in the state, but still prohibits travel to vacation rentals.

Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Health. The state allowed for tribal activities within the boundaries of a tribal reservation.

Mississippi
Travelers from Mississippi heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

Missouri
Travelers from Missouri heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting.

Montana
Travelers from Montana heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting.

Nebraska
While Nebraska has asked people coming to Nebraska from another state to self-quarantine for two weeks, that was lifted on June 1.

Travelers from Nebraska heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting.

Nevada
Travelers from Nevada heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

New Hampshire
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

New Jersey
In coordination with New York and Connecticut, travelers coming from states where there is a high rate of coronavirus infections must quarantine for two weeks upon arrival to the tri-state area.

New Mexico
Air travelers or those from out-of-state are still told to self-isolate for at least 14 days.

Travelers from New Mexico heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting.

New York
In coordination with New Jersey and Connecticut, travelers coming from states where there is a high rate of coronavirus infections must quarantine for two weeks upon arrival to the tri-state area.

North Carolina
Travelers from North Carolina heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

North Dakota
People coming to the state from another country have to quarantine for two weeks.

Travelers from North Dakota heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting.

Ohio
Anyone who comes to Ohio to stay is still asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Travelers from Ohio heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting.

Oklahoma
Anyone who flies from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Washington state, or Louisiana had to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Travelers from Oklahoma heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

Oregon
Oregon Health Authority

Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Department of Health

Rhode Island
While the state initially required anyone who arrived from another state for a non-work-related reason to self-quarantine for 14 days, that order was changed. Currently, anyone who comes from a state with more than a 5 percent positivity rate is required to either self-quarantine for 14 days or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival.

South Carolina
South Carolina had required anyone coming from hot-spots like New York to self-quarantine for two weeks, but that has since been lifted.

Travelers from South Carolina heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

South Dakota
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

Tennessee
Travelers from Tennessee heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

Texas
Travelers from Texas heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

Utah
Travelers from Utah heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting. They will also have to quarantine if they are heading to Chicago.

Vermont
Vermont closed all hotels and home rentals except for when they are directly supporting the COVID-19 response, including providing housing for healthcare workers, and told most visitors to abide by a 14-day self-isolation directive. Hotels have now been allowed to resume operations with capacity restrictions for Vermont residents.

On June 8, the state lifted the requirement to quarantine if returning from any county in New England or New York with 400 or fewer active COVID-19 cases per million.

Virginia
Travelers from Virginia heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting.

Washington
Travelers from Washington heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting.

West Virginia
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

Wisconsin
Residents who travel outside their communities had been asked to self-quarantine for two weeks. Travel between “private homes within the state” was being “strongly discouraged.”

Travelers from Wisconsin heading to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will have to quarantine for two weeks when visiting.

Wyoming
While the state initially required a 14-day quarantine for anyone coming to Wyoming from another state or country for a non-work-related reason, that was lifted on May 8, according to Wyoming News Now.

Stay informed and check with your state’s Department of Health before traveling to other states. And remember to carry extra masks, disposable gloves and hand sanitizer.

As always, stay safe.

Soft Mask Facial Recognition Technology Is Here

With more people wearing masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, facial recognition developers have accelerated their efforts in adapting their technology to recognize individual faces (including iris identification) through facial coverings.

According to GCN:

In April, researchers posted an image dataset to GitHub featuring 1,200 Instagram selfies. They tagged the images to identify people wearing medical masks, non-medical masks or no mask to support innovative solutions for clothed facial recognition issues.

Based on the masked face dataset, developers will be able to build face detection and recognition algorithms to help identify people wearing masks traveling in and out of communities or facilities that require identity verification.  Additionally, they said, facial security checks at train stations and other checkpoints can be upgraded to detect pedestrians wearing masks. Based on the constructed datasets, the eye-focused masked face recognition model they designed and trained has an identification accuracy over 95%, they said.

Japan’s NEC, which provides the facial-recognition technology used by Customs and Border Patrol at U.S. airports, has launched new rounds of testing now that masks are more common. According to Benji Hutchinson, a vice president with NEC’s U.S. division, the company’s algorithms have always tested on face masks because they are commonly worn in Asia during flu seasons. “Masks are nothing new to us, but that doesn’t mean it’s all perfect,” Hutchinson told Wired. He said NEC is advising customers, such as CBP, to make their own decisions about the technology for now.

Welcome to our new world.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

Passport Operations In Response To COVID-19

April 30, 2020

(Information as of April 15, 2020 to date)

Because of public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, effective March 20, the U.S. State Department has limited U.S. passport operations. Unless you have a life-or-death emergency, you should wait to apply for or renew your passport until they resume normal operations. 

What if I have an emergency and need to get a passport quickly? The State Department is only able to offer in-person service at their agencies or centers for customers with a qualified life-or-death emergency and who need a passport for immediate international travel within 72 hours. Learn more below to see if you qualify for a life-or-death emergency appointment.

Can I still apply? Unless you have a life-or-death emergency, you should wait to apply for or renew your passport until the State Department resumes normal operations. While you can still apply in person for a U.S. passport at some acceptance facilities and renew through the mail, the State Department will not be able to meet their commitment of 6-8 weeks door-to-door for routine service. You should expect significant delays beyond this time period it normally takes to receive your passport and your citizenship evidence documents.

Can I expedite my passport? No. The State Department suspended in-person expedited service (normally 2-3 weeks door-to-door) on March 19 and are not offering this service to any applicants.

What if I applied before March 20? Expedited Service: Due to limited staffing resulting from COVID-19, the State Department still working on a small number of expedited applications submitted on and before March 19. While every effort is being made to the commitment of 2-3 weeks door-to-door service, you may experience additional delays if you applied and requested expedited service on or before March 19.

Routine Service: Due to limited staffing resulting from COVID-19, if you applied and requested routine service on or before March 19, receipt of your passport may extend beyond the usual 6-8 weeks door-to-door service. You should expect significant delays beyond this time period it normally takes to receive your passport and your citizenship evidence documents.

Sending Mail: If you received a letter from the U.S. Passport Service requesting additional documents or information to process your passport application, you may mail your response to the address in the letter. Expect significant processing delays.

What qualifies as a life-or-death emergency?

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (e.g., parent, child, spouse, sibling, aunt, uncle, etc.) that require you to travel outside the United States within 72 hours (3 days). You must provide:

  • passport application with supporting documents
  • Proof of the life-or-death emergency such as a death certificate, a statement from a mortuary, or a signed letter from a hospital or medical professional. Documents must be in English or translated in English.
  • Proof of international travel (e.g. reservation, ticket, itinerary) specific to the emergency

To make an appointment at a passport agency or center for a life-or-death emergency, you must call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 (1-888-874-7793 TDD/TTY) on Monday- Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time, except federal holidays. Call 202-647-4000 outside of these hours to make an appointment.

Passport agencies in Connecticut, New York, and San Juan are closed to the public until further notice.

Can I apply in person now? Unless you have a life-or-death emergency, you should wait to apply for your passport until we resume normal operations.

If you need to apply in person (all children under age 16 and first-time applicants), most post offices are still accepting applications and requiring customers to make an online appointment.

Most libraries and clerks of court are not accepting U.S. passport applications at this time. Please contact the library or clerk of court directly to confirm the status of its operations.

Can I renew now? Unless you have a life-or-death emergency, you should wait to renew your passport until we resume normal operations.

You may be eligible to renew your U.S. passport by mail. If you are eligible to renew, you can complete the process by yourself and should not go to an acceptance facility. Follow the instructions on Form DS-82 and send your application and supporting documents to one of the addresses marked for routine service. Do not send the application to the expedited service address and do not include the $60 expedite fee.  The U.S. Passport Service will not be able to meet the usual commitment of 6-8 weeks door-to-door for routine service. Expect significant delays beyond this time period it normally takes to receive your passport.

BNI Message: Unless it is a truly urgent matter or an emergency, please restrict your foreign travel as many U.S. embassies and consulates around the world are not currently staffed or minimally so.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

20 Top Productivity Apps for 2020

From Teamweek:

The world is more distracting than ever before. From social media and streaming services like Netflix to video games and silly YouTube videos, our attention is constantly being diverted from our daily tasks.

If you’re frequently finding yourself looking at your smartphone or falling behind in your workload, there are numerous productivity apps available to remove distractions and keep you focused on the task at hand. These tools provide specialized practices for a wide range of needs.

We’re already at the half-month mark – get going on your projects!

BNI Operative: Situationally aware.

As always, be safe.