Here are a few steps that you should take to keep your home prepared in the event of a fire.
- Install the right number of smoke alarms. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year
- Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
- Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
- Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
- Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out.
- Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
- Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
Big storms bring heavy rains and wind. On the insurance front, people who suffer property damage and losses from a large storm face possible complications collecting policy benefits to pay for repairs.
Home and renters policies exclude some but not all types of water damage. “Flood” damage (your policy should define what the insurer considers a “flood”) and earth movement are excluded. Water damage from sewers and drains that back up may or may not be covered, depending on the wording in the specific home/renters policy. If wind or falling trees cause damage to pipes or contribute to water getting into a dwelling, there may be coverage under a home/renters policy. If you have a separate flood policy, flood insurance may cover damage from inundations and mudflow with a number of limitations and exclusions.
What to do before and during a severe storm:
- If you live on or at the foot of a hillside, place sandbags around the perimeter of your home.
- Place rolled up towels along the inside of exterior doors to prevent water from getting in.
- Do your best to keep your gutters clear but stay safe throughout the storm.
- Move valuables and items up from lower levels and away from doors and windows.
- Find a copy of your insurance policy. Check the wording on water damage and the amount of your deductible
- Use the free UPHelp Home Inventory App to photo document key features of your home that could be damaged (windows, siding, roof and interior) and your possessions.
What to do after the storm:
- If your home was damaged, focus on creating a scope of everything that was damaged and what it will cost to repair or replace.
- To keep a clean record and avoid premium increases, don’t file a claim until you review your policy and you think your loss will exceed your deductible and be covered. Read: To claim or not to claim…
- If the damage was sudden and accidental and triggered by the storm, don’t accept a claim denial argument from your insurer or agent that it was due to faulty construction or maintenance. The insurer cashed your premium checks and insured your property “as is”.
- If you file a claim and your insurer rejects it, make sure you get a clear and detailed explanation of their position.
- The answer to whether your town or city will pay to repair flooding damage to your home is…”it depends.”
1. Ride with people who know how to ride and that you trust. 2. Be Seen. Brown and black apparel is not our friend on the road. If you blend in, others cannot see you. Wear something bright, or safety neon apparel that is offered by many motorcycle companies. One of my favorite equipment pieces is a nylon mesh vest with neon reflective taping.3. Wear the right gloves. 4. Never ride tired. 5. Always keep at least a 20-foot cushion between you and fellow riders.6. When riding in a group and there is oncoming traffic, be sure and let them know how many riders are behind you. 7. Feather your clutch on slower tighter turns. 8. Use the “outside, inside, outside” path of travel. 9. Leave room for an escape route.
10. Always look where you want to go. 11. Ride your own ride. 12. Be wary of semi trucks.
Come to Florey Insurance Agency (570-587-2615) for your motorcycle insurance.The choices are here.
WE RIDE THEM TOO!
Every time you take your boat and/or personal watercraft out on the water is a new experience. No matter how many trips you have under your belt, it is best to freshen up on boat safety before each voyage. Be sure you and your passengers follow these safe boating tips and practices to help promote an incident-free return from each outing.
Before Setting Out on Your Boat
Ensure that your boat and/or personal watercraft is operating properly before heading out onto the water. Follow this pre-departure checklist to help you avoid any potential problems.
- Share your float plan with a friend or relative. Be sure to include your destination and expected time of return.
- Check fuel levels and add as necessary.
- Check your engine. For in-board engines, open the hatch to look for fuel or fluid (oil, coolant, etc.) leakage or excess water in the bilge, or the lowest section inside of a boat. For outboard engines, check the fuel system for leaks or heavy gas odor. Excessive fuel vapors from either engine type can be a sign of a serious problem.
- Ensure all lights are functioning and in place.
- Check for any electrical issues such as loose, disconnected or corroded conductors.
- Test radio/communications devices.
- Run blowers to evacuate fumes and vapors from the bilge prior to starting your engine.
- Attach your boat and vehicle keys to a floating bobber.
- Check the local weather, sea reports and boating forecasts. As the operator of the boat, you have a responsibility to pay attention to the weather and should not head out if adverse conditions are expected.
- Have an emergency/evacuation plan in place, and go over it with your passengers.
- Review the vessel’s controls, location of personal flotation devices and location of fire extinguishers with your passengers.
What to Take Aboard
No matter how careful you, your passengers and fellow boaters may be, accidents can still happen. In the event of an incident, you should always have these items with you while you are out on your boat:
- Boat certificate and registration.
- Towing policy paperwork (if you have one).
- Personal flotation device (PFD) —with protective packaging removed—for each passenger.
- Charged and functioning fire extinguisher.
- Fully-stocked boating emergency/survival kit.
Staying Safe on the Water
Having a good time while out on the water includes getting everyone back to shore safely. Whether you are navigating or just along for the ride, everyone plays a critical role in boating safety. Be sure you and your passengers practice these safe boating behaviors on every outing:
- Do not exceed the number of passengers safely allowed on your vessel.
- Make sure all passengers remain in their proper, seated positions on the boat while it is in motion.
- Children should wear a PFD at all times – this is required by law in some states, so be sure to check local laws, rules and regulations. Adults should consider wearing them as well, and at a minimum, they should be readily available.
- Shut off the engine while passengers are loading and unloading for recreational activities such as tubing, waterskiing, wakeboarding and swimming.
- Monitor gauges at the helm (voltage, temperature, fuel) to help promote safe operation and identify any issues as soon as possible.
- Be aware of your surroundings, like water conditions and other vessels, to help you react to any potential dangers in a timely manner.
- The primary and backup operator (if you have one) should abstain from consuming any alcoholic beverages prior to or during the outing.
Millions of us enjoy warm weather every year by swimming in our backyard pools and relaxing in hot tubs. Tragically though, over 200 young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year. The American Red Cross suggests owners make pool safety their priority by following these guidelines:
- Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. Completely surround your pool with a 4-feet high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.
- Keep children under active supervision at all times. Stay in arm’s reach of young kids. Designate a responsible person to watch the water when people are in the pool—never allow anyone to swim alone. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
- Ensure everyone in the home knows how to swim well by enrolling them in age-appropriate water orientation and learn-to-swim courses from the Red Cross.
- Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases.
- Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors, such as “no diving,” “stay away from drain covers,” “swim with a buddy” and “walk please.”
- Ensure everyone in the home knows how to respond to aquatic emergencies by having appropriate safety equipment and taking water safety, first aid and CPR courses from the Red Cross.
Do you have a student going to college?
CHECK YOUR INSURANCE POLICIES!
How far will they be away from home? Will they have a car ? Look into your auto insurance .
What about property and electronics protection in the dorm or apartment ? Check into your homeowners policy.
Orientation has already started for many schools…check all your policies before they leave for that big step in your student’s life.
Call us today!
Florey Insurance Agency 570-587-2615
Summer car maintenance that you can do
You don’t have to leave all the fun to the experts. If you’re a DIY-er, you can do this stuff on your own:
1. CHECK YOUR OIL
Oil helps keep your engine lubricated, which reduces friction (and heat buildup) under your hood. Checking your oil is super easy. And if you’re low, adding more oil is easy too. Just don’t confuse adding oil with changing oil. You should still get an oil change every 5,000 miles or so.
2. HECK, CHECK ALL YOUR FLUIDS
If you remember back to high school chemistry, heat causes liquid to evaporate. And all those fluids in your car have very important jobs to do, like lubricating and cooling. Topping off your fluids at the start of the summer can help you avoid overheating. If you’re unsure about which fluids to use or how much to add, ask your mechanic for help.
3. INSPECT YOUR TIRES
As outside temperatures fluctuate, so does tire pressure — cold temperatures cause tire pressure to drop while hot temperatures cause it to increase. So, first things first: make sure your tires are properly inflated. You can usually find your tire’s recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) in your owner’s manual or on your driver’s side door. To ensure an accurate measurement, always make sure you haven’t driven for at least 3 hours.
4. WASH AND WAX YOUR CAR
Keeping your car shiny and clean may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it can actually save you from major costs down the road. Dirt and dust scratch away at your car’s top coat … you know, the one that protects the paint from fading and peeling in the sun. Paint damage is more than just unsightly, though — it can actually be damaging to your car’s structure. When paint peels away, it leaves your car susceptible to rust.
Summer car maintenance that the mechanic should do
Unless you know your way around an engine, it’s best to leave some of the more technical stuff to the experts. When you make your appointment, be prepared with a specific summer checklist:
1. GET A RADIATOR CHECKUP
A winter of salted roads can eat away at your radiator’s core, which can lead to leakage and, ultimately, an overheated engine. The mechanic can check for damage and clogs (a clogged radiator makes it harder for coolant to pass through) and flush your cooling system if necessary.
2. CHECK YOUR BATTERY
If you live in cold weather, you’ve probably experienced a dead battery more than once. But did you know the heat can pack a pretty mean punch too? Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which can lead to corrosion. If it’s been a while since you bought your last battery, ask the mechanic to give it a look.
If you do experience an overheated engine or a blown tire, being prepared can help you get through these situations a lot more smoothly. Take advantage of that big old storage space in your trunk to carry these items:
- Extra coolant (aka antifreeze): a 50/50 mix of coolant and water is your car’s preferred summer cocktail
- Extra water: to mix with the coolant (and to drink if you get stranded for a while)
- A spare tire: even better if it’s full sized
- An emergency kit