Q. Please advise the date and guidelines for the BBB "Shred Day" event for this October?

A. Be advised that special precautions will be in place following COVID and CDC guidelines for the safety of the consumer and staff. The key protection point will be that consumers remain in their vehicles at all times. The Better Business Bureau serving Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia will host its bi-annual shredding event Friday, Oct. 16, at Clear Creek Church of Christ, 5612 Hixson Pike, and Saturday, Oct. 17, at Lee Pointe, at the intersection of Lee Highway and Highway 153. Both days are 9-12 AM.

Additionally this year, from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday Oct. 17, the BBB branch office in Cleveland, Tenn., will be participating in Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day at the Bradley County Justice Center located at 2230 Blythe Avenue SE. This program is part of the BBB's effort to help people protect themselves from identity theft by shredding confidential documents.

The public is invited to bring up to three boxes of documents to be shredded for free. We will also shred two (2) PC Hard drives for free. Additionally, PC components may be donated for recycling. Consumers may also bring unused and unwanted medications for proper disposal. Bring meds in original container; simply mark out personal information.

This is the 14th year that the BBB's across North America has hosted this community event. Here are the top frequently asked questions about Shred Day:

* Do I need to unload the boxes myself? No. Because of COVID guidelines, this is more critical; you simply stay in your car, pull up to the side of the shredding truck and someone will carry your boxes from your car to the shredder. There will be staff and signs to direct you.

* What size do the boxes need to be? We do not have a limit on the size of the box. However, the boxes need to be small enough so that they can be lifted out of your car by one person.

* What if I have more than three boxes to be shredded? We may be able to accommodate extra boxes, depending on space available. However, we reserve the right to turn away anyone with a large quantity. We must be considerate of others.

* How do I know that it's safe to drop off my confidential documents? Any documents brought to Shred Day will be shredded on the spot by Shred It, a professional document destruction company. If you like, you may watch documents be shred. PC Hard drives will also be shred onsite. If needed, resources will be available to remove the hard drive from the PC. PC's may also be recycled. Please do not bring monitors.

* Do I need to remove staples, paper clips on other metal objects? No. However, we ask that you remove any large metal clips, notebook covers, etc. Please do not bring items in plastic bags, which cannot be shred and may jam the shredder.

* Is there a charge? No. The event is free and provided as a community service by the Better Business Bureau and its community partners; Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, Shred It, Inc., Resource 1 Tier 3 Data Security, and Hamilton County Coalition. Media partners; Chattanooga Times Free Press, Cumulus Broadcasting, Brewer Media and Bahakel Communications.

* What needs to be shred? Any unneeded document containing your personal information, such as your driver's license number, social security number, bank account number, financial account statements and birth date records needs to be shredded. In addition, things like pre-approved credit offers, which identity thieves can steal out of your mailbox or garbage cans and use to take out credit cards in your name.

*Will the event be held if it rains? Yes, Shred Day will be conducted rain or shine.

Jim Winsett is president of the Better Business Bureau in Chattanooga