|FEMA Urges Mid-Atlantic Residents to Prepare for Tropical Depression Ida|
|Today, FEMA urged Mid-Atlantic residents to prepare for flooding in the coming days as a result of Tropical Depression Ida. While certain areas will see higher amounts than others, FEMA warns that considerable flash and river flooding will be possible across FEMA Region 3, including parts of Virginia. Individuals should prioritize completing final preparations for flooding and monitor local news for updates and directions provided by local officials. Additionally, Governor Northam declared a state of emergency in Virginia in response to Tropical Depression Ida. This will allow the Commonwealth of Virginia to mobilize resources and to deploy people and equipment to assist in response and recovery efforts.
To keep yourself safe during flooding: Stay off the roads: Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas. Check on neighbors who may require assistance if it is safe to do so. This includes individuals with infants, children as well as older adults, people with disabilities and others who may need help. Don’t drive through flood waters: Almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas at bridges and at highway dips. As little as 6 inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Be aware of areas where flood waters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car. Stay out of floodwater. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines or contain hazards such as human and animal waste, dangerous debris, contaminants that can lead to illness, or wild or stray animals.
To keep yourself safe post-storm: If you need to evacuate post-storm, be extremely careful driving as roads may be damaged or blocked. If you go to a community or group shelter, remember to follow the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for protecting yourself and family from COVID-19.
FEMA is prepared and activated to respond to disasters in states in a COVID-19 environment and is well-positioned to handle this upcoming storm despite the Delta surge. Check local media for a list of shelters, including those who can accommodate pets. If you are staying in a hotel, please call before you go and ask if pets are permitted. If you are in the path of Ida as it moves inland, gather supplies. Have enough supplies for your household. Include medication, disinfectant supplies, pet supplies and a battery-operated radio with extra batteries. If your home has flood water inside or around it, don’t walk or wade in it. The water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Never attempt to turn off power or operate circuit breakers while standing in water. Be careful when cleaning up. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves and sturdy thick-soled shoes. Do not try to remove heavy debris by yourself. Use an appropriate mask if cleaning mold or other debris. People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immunosuppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work. Avoid downed power or utility lines; they may be live with deadly voltage. Stay far away and report them immediately to your power company. Don’t drive through flood waters: Almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas at bridges and at highway dips. As little as 6 inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Use a generator correctly and safely. Keep generators dry and position them outdoors and well away from any structure. Using a generator incorrectly can lead to dangerous situations, including carbon monoxide poisoning from engine exhaust. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get fresh air right away. If you are able, please check on your neighbors, friends, and family because some may need more help than others. Additional post-storm safety tips can be found on Ready.gov. For more information on federal Hurricane Ida preparedness and response visit Hurricane Ida | FEMA.gov.
Reducing Winter Unility Bills.
With winter temps dropping, it can be very costly to maintain a comfortable home. Here are several ways to stay warm and cozy, while resisting the urge to move that needle on your thermostat.
Seal areas around windows and doors to prevent heat from escaping as well as insulating your water heater to prevent heat loss. Ensure vents and radiators are not blocked and keep curtains and blinds open during the day to allow sunlight to warm your home. Replace your furnace filters regularly and have your HVAC inspected by a professional before the cold weather kicks in.
Fixing leaky faucets and using energy efficient lightbulbs are additional ways of saving energy. Unplugging electronics that are not in use is also very helpful.
These are just a few ways to help minimize your utility costs and stay warm this winter.
Contact The Roberts Insurance Group for all your insurance needs at www.therobertsinsurancegroup.com
Insurance companies recommend preparing your babysitter in fire safety.
As the holiday season approaches, you’ll probably have invites to some parties. If you need to get a babysitter, you can make sure they are prepared in case of an emergency.
First, always leave a phone number where you can be reached and a copy of the home address. Also, make sure the sitter knows the escape plan in the event of a fire or other emergency.
If your babysitter is allowed to cook, make sure the kids stay at least 3 feet away from the stove. Make sure they understand that they should never leave the stove unattended and never leave the room while cooking. If the smoke alarm goes off, they should know how to get the kids out of the house and call for help when everyone is safe.
It’s okay to ask your sitter, or their parent, if they have had any formal babysitter training. Some schools and hospitals offer training classes. They teach first aid, CPR, and what to do in an emergency.
Contact The Roberts Insurance Group for all your insurance needs at www.therobertsinsurancegroup.com
If A Tree Falls On Your House…Who’s Insurance Company Will Hear It?
Record setting rainfall in the region has many homeowners feeling a little unsettled at the thought of a tree falling and causing property damage, or even worse, injury. In the unfortunate event that this does happen, here are a few scenarios and general guidelines to follow.
If your neighbor’s healthy tree falls on your house, it is usually your own homeowner’s policy that covers any damage. Check your homeowner’s policy to take note of what it covers and perhaps any exclusions. Storms causing damage are an act of nature and therefore no one’s fault. General rule of thumb….Your property, your policy. Remember that this also applies the other way around as well. If said tree falls on your vehicle, your comprehensive auto policy will then cover the damages. Again, if your tree damages your neighbor’s vehicle, their auto policy will apply.
Maybe you’ve been trying to convince your neighbor that they have a diseased tree that looks like it could fall at any time? If it does come down and cause damage, it’s possible that your insurance carrier will try to get your deductible reimbursed from your neighbor’s policy. This is provided you have proof of your efforts, such as a certified letter, to get them to remove the tree prior to the incident. The same rules apply if it’s your tree in question and your neighbor’s property is damaged. If you are unsure of the condition of your trees, it’s recommended that you have them inspected by a professional arborist.
Check your policy to confirm if other unattached structures on your property are covered. i.e. a fence, unattached garage, shed, etc. Most will be at least partially covered.
Removal and clean up are generally covered if a downed tree blocks your driveway or pathway into your home. If it falls in the middle of your yard and doesn’t cause any damage, it will probably not be covered.
Check with your insurance broker to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding tree loss and damage. It’s important to have sufficient coverage for whatever might blow your way.
Traditionally boozy St. Patrick’s Day can affect your auto insurance rates!
Did you know that there are over 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving each day? And St. Patrick’s Day is the 4th most popular day of the year for drinking. While most people know it’s not only dangerous, it’s also a crime that will likely result in legal, financial, personal and even career ramifications.
According to industry insight, some of the likely consequences may result in:
* Most states will suspend your license for a varying lengths of time. Multiple convictions will sometimes result in revocation of a license.
*Some states require a mandatory jail sentence, even for a first offense, as well as a hefty fine and/or fees.
*A drunk driving conviction may lead to job loss or restrictions if you operate a company vehicle.
* Higher insurance rates almost always accompany a drunk driving conviction. if you are involved in an accident as a result of drunk driving, your insurance may deny payment for injury treatment.
To avoid higher insurance rates and other potentially disastrous results, don’t drink and drive!
Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day responsibly and use your ride share app!
Summertime is the worst for distracted drivers, causing more claims for auto insurance companies
This article is from Property and Casualty magazine, By Danielle Ling | July 24, 2018 at 03:36 PM
Summertime: school is out, children are at play, and for some reason or another, distracted driving is at its peak, as new research from Travelers and TrueMotion shows.
In their study, researchers at TrueMotion, a leading smartphone telematics platform, analyzed the behavior of more than 20,000 drivers from January 2017 to May 2018. The results found that drivers spent less time looking at the road and more time looking at their phones during the months of June, July and August, more than any other time of the year.
With this information in hand, experts at Travelers are working to warn drivers about the increased risks of distracted driving.
As technology develops, new cars are made safer year after year. Despite this adoption of safer technologies, vehicular deaths continue to rise. A major explanation for this is distracted driving, which Rafi Finegold, VP of Product and Experience at TrueMotion, says is an obvious takeaway from the data study.
Travelers and TrueMotion research found that on average, nearly 40% of drivers are distracted for 15 minutes or more per hour driven during the summer. The study results also found that nearly 10% more distracted driving happens in summer through June, July and August than any other season.
Many employees (43%) say they respond to work-related communications (phone calls or emails); 38% say they always need to be available for their bosses, making this a big issue for employees and employers.
Why are we so distracted?
So, why can’t the phone wait?
According to the study, 61% of respondents say they respond to texts, emails and calls while driving because there may be an emergency. Roughly a quarter (23%) say they pick up the phone in fear of missing out on something.
What’s interesting is that 85% of respondents acknowledge that driving while using personal technology is risky, but 25 % say they believe they can do so safely.
To explain the rise in distracted driving in the summer months, Finegold offers two hypotheses. One is a change in demographic profiles on the road. School’s out, and more high schoolers and younger drivers, who are statistically a more dangerous demographic, are more active on our roadways.
The second hypothesis Finegold suggests focuses on a change in travel patterns. More drivers are going on vacations and day trips with more passengers in the car, breaking away from their typical routine, and taking alternate, unfamiliar routes.
Every second matters
Vehicular deaths are the number one cause of death of young people in the United States, and distracted driving continues to be a major contributor to these fatalities.
Looking at the numbers, Woodward says she and her colleagues at Travelers were extremely concerned about the continued increase in policy prices and vehicular deaths related to distracted driving. In an effort to save lives and spread awareness, Travelers launched its Every Second Matters campaign in the summer of 2017 to combat distracted driving.
The initiative of Every Second Matters recognizes that every driver, passenger and pedestrian has a role to play in changing social norms around distraction. The campaign’s mission is to drive change with data and research through its many partnerships, and to empower others to drive and walk present.
“The bottom line reason why we’ve taken this on is because the fatality rates are through the roof,” says Joan Woodward, executive vice president of Public Policy at Travelers and president of the Travelers Institute.
“Pedestrian fatalities are also through the roof. There’s a toxic mix of both distracted drivers and distracted pedestrians that can intersect to create deadly accidents. Almost 6,000 pedestrians died in vehicular accidents last year. It is a crisis.”
So maybe it’s time to put the phone down and limit our activity in the car to simply driving!!?
Did you know that your Home insurance does not cover Flood?
We’ve had so much rain this summer and lots of it in a short periods of time. Rain is terrific for our yards, trees, flowers and to replenish our water supply, but bad for our homes, especially those with basements. I don’t know if you knew that home insurance does not cover water damage if outside water comes into your home. Did you see the floods that flowed through Ellicott City in Maryland a month or so ago or the flood currently flowing through a small town near Philadelphia? Unless those folks have FEMA’s Flood insurance policy, they will not have coverage to repair their damage or replace their personal property!
If you feel that you are in a low lying area that has a potential for lots of flowing water to pour through your yard or stand and fill up your yard, then you may want to look into a flood insurance policy. If you are in a 100 year, 50 year, 25 year or definite flood zone, you should have been told that when you purchased your home. Some homes are in areas that are not considered flood zones, however, with changes being made to typography in and around your neighborhoods and homes, can create waterways that can direct water toward your home. When it is raining hard and water is flowing, look to see where it is going. If you see that it is flowing through your yard or filling up near your home with a potential to spill over into your yard and home, you need to call your county officials to make corrections. Another way to combat that is to get a flood insurance quote. Chris and I can help you.
Protect your car from sun and heat.
Auto insurance will repair your car from an accident, however, it’s up to you and me to keep it in tip top condition to maintain it’s value. To help keep your car looking great, please take proper precautions to keep the sun from severely damaging key components of your vehicle. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the exterior to reach 194 degrees when exposed to direct sunlight! This amount of heat can not only wreak havoc on your car’s finish, but its interior as well! Ways to protect your vehicles:
- Park in the shade – this will keep your interior and exterior from drying and cracking.
- Use a windshield sun protector – Very affordable and will keep your interior cool and help prevent sun damage.
- Install seat covers- to protect leather and keep your seats cool.
- Wash and dry your exterior often – sun and heat can fade and crack the paint of your car. Frequent washing and drying can help remove dirt and dust particles that can cause issues to a vehicles finish.
- Wax your car – This will add a layer of protection against ultraviolet rays.
- Check the tire pressure – Hot pavement and underinflated tires can easily lead to blowouts. Even good tires can lose about one pound of air pressure a month, so it’s important to check them often.
Summer grilling safety tips
To save from having a claim on your home insurance, when grilling, never place the grill on your deck to cook. Grills heat up and can catch deck on fire or worse catch your home on fire.
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