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Flood Insurance 101

Those of us who have been through a hurricane can somewhat relate to the events unfolding in the Northeast with the landfall of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene.  Hopefully we will never experience this degree of flooding, but it's good to be prepared. MyFloodZone.com is a very informative site about all things flood insurance.... Read More

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Hurricane Preparedness ….

Power Outages Learn what to do when the power goes out. •    Consider a generator: These will make your life much easier during a storm, but understand the carbon monoxide risks and that your neighbors might get angry if you won’t share. •    Connect via Twitter and Facebook on your phone: Most local news stations will send updates via FB and Twitter, which you can access on your phone if the power goes out. •    Keep numbers of energy companies handy: Write down or store in your phone the numbers of energy providers so that you can notify them of an outage. •    Know which foods are safe to eat: This guide explains which foods you can thaw and refreeze, how long they’ll last in your refrigerator without power, and which to throw out. •    Use grills and pressure washers outside: Gas grills and generators carry a carbon monoxide risk. •    Stay away from downed power lines: Let trained workers clean up the damage. •    Have a realistic understanding of restoration times: Here you can read estimates of expected restoration times according to the strength of a hurricane. •    Drink lots of water: When it’s hot and you don’t have A/C, drink water to stay cool and hydrated. •    Get your vaccines early: If you’re planning on getting a vaccine soon, do it before the storm, since power outages may... Read More

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Hurricane Preparedness …

Special Needs and Children The elderly, sick, disabled, pregnant women and children all have special needs during hurricanes. •    Minimize stress: Help children cope better by minimizing stressful situations and discussions. •    Limit TV time: Don’t let your kids watch scary footage of the storm on TV. •    Pre-register for special needs shelters: If you think you will have to evacuate and are bringing a special needs or disabled person with you, pre-register to ensure space and adequate care. •    Maintain normal routines: Keeping up with a normal routine helps soothe everyone from babies to adults. •    Call the doctor: Pregnant women and special needs patients should communicate with their doctors to let them know your plan for riding out the storm or evacuating. •    FEMA for Kids: As long as you have power, direct kids to this colorful site that includes games, cartoons, quizzes and information about hurricanes, presented in a friendly manner. •    Contact home health care service: If you use a home health care service, call them and ask them to check on you during and after the storm. •    Answer children’s questions: Welcome questions from children about what to do, what a hurricane is, and how to prepare for it. •    Get older kids to help: School-aged children will feel more prepared and maybe even excited if they’re allowed to help gather blankets and find batteries. •   ... Read More

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First Aid and Food – Hurricane Preparedness

First Aid These first aid items are a must for every household. •    Antiseptic solution: Keep this on hand to keep infections at bay. •    Allergy medicine: Storms can blow in all kinds of icky stuff that drive your allergies wild. •    First aid instructions: Print out instructions for the Heimlich, CPR and other basic aid in case you panic in an emergency. •    Mosquito repellant: If it floods — or even rains a lot — your area could have a serious and potentially dangerous mosquito problem. •    prescription glasses: If you run out of contact solution or all the nastiness in the air after a storm irritates you, you’ll have back-up glasses. •    Adhesive tape: You can use this to fasten bandages, hold large lacerations together and even splint broken bones. •    Gauze, bandages and band-aids: Even little cuts and scrapes need to be dressed, so have a range of bandages on hand. •    Hand sanitizer: Nothing compares to soap and water, but in a fix, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol will help. •    Sunscreen: If you have to evacuate, take sunscreen with you in case you get stuck on the highway. Food and Water Know which foods to keep on hand during a storm. •    Food and water should last for 72 hours: Make sure you have enough supplies to last everyone in the house for at least 72... Read More

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Hurricane Preparedness 2011

As we near the business end of the hurricane season it seems timely to start posting some hurricane preparedness lists. I thought it would be good to start with just a general list of items to have on hand. General Supplies Use this list to help you collect items you’ll need during and after a storm. Pack a to-go bag: This overnight bag should be easy to take with you if you have to evacuate in a hurry and should include a change of clothes, bottled water, flashlight and important documents. Cash: ATMs and credit card machines may not work for a while after the storm. Battery-operated radio: Make sure you have extra batteries too, so that you can keep up with news reports and alerts. Hand-crank radios work well, too. Secure a two-week supply of prescription medicine: Anyone on prescription medications, as well as pregnant women, should pack a two-week supply of their meds in a sealable plastic bag, clearly labeled. Include instructions for taking the medications, too. Flashlight and lanterns: Make sure you have a couple of flashlights, candles, matches, lanterns and other alternate sources of light. Personal hygiene items: It might be hard to get to the store to buy toilet paper, tissues, soap and other sanitary items after the storm. Extra keys: Having an extra set of keys in your kit is a good idea in... Read More

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8 MORE THINGS A BURGLAR WON’T TELL YOU

1. I like to carry a clipboard, makes me look official. Often, I like to impersonate a yard worker and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a thief. 2. Two things that really get in my way are: loud dogs and nosy neighbors. ( http://amzn.to/l9sL0B ) 3. I'll bust a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again ... If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature. 4. Just a thought but why would you pay lots of money for a relaible alarm system and leave your house without switching it on? 5. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets. 6. Not really a good idea to announce your vacation on or even where you are on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address. 7. Leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air, is an invitation... Read More

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What is a Home Inventory and do I really need one?

Is a Home Inventory Necessary? Simply put "Yes."

Insurance agents get asked this question all the time. Typically, it’s asked with a skeptical tone, as though the insurance company might try to pull a fast one at claim time by not coughing up enough cash to cover the loss.

You do not need to provide a list or inventory to purchase a policy, but you must furnish one in the event of a property damage claim. Either way, it is highly recommended that you create a list of your contents early and update it often, unless you want to be at the mercy of a claims adjuster. And while photographic evidence of your home’s contents is not required for a claim, it’s a smart move to do so to ensure proper reimbursement.  Just don't try to collect for your 18 karat gold toilet plunger, you may be asked to show proof of that particular purchase.

Why Make an Inventory?

Real quick, grab a pen and piece of paper.  Now write down all of the contents of your smallest closet. When you have finished, go into that closet and see just how many things you missed. Those are the items the insurance company will not pay you for in the event your home burns down and you are asked to... Read More

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THIRTEEN THINGS YOUR BURGLAR WON’T TELL YOU

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your gutters, painting your soffets, or delivering your new appliances. 2. Thanks for letting me use the facilities when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlocked the back window to make my return a little easier. 3. Nice flowers. You have taste ... and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have. 4. Newspapers  piled up on the driveway, always a good sign.  I should leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it. 5. If it snows while you're out of town, have someone walk around in the snow or pull a car in the driveway and drive out. Unblemished drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway. 6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy. 7. A good security company arms the window over the sink as well as the windows on the upper floors, which often access the master bedroom -- and your jewelry. It's a good idea to put motion detectors up... Read More

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