Safe Driver Series 4: 6 Winter Driving Tips

6 Winter Driving Safety Tips

6 Winter Driving Safety TipsWinter brings all sorts of driving headaches: snow, freezing rain and slush, which all make the roads more hazardous. To handle the hassle of winter driving follow these 6 important Winter Driving Tips:

  1. First of all, buckle up. Basic car safety encourages the use of seat belts and car seats at all times. They’re one of your best defenses in a crash. And it’s the law.
  2. Use extra caution in areas that ice up quickly, especially intersections, shaded areas, bridges and overpasses.
  3. Get in the habit of regularly checking weather reports on TV or online so you can prepare for bad weather. Consider staying at home if you don’t need to be on the road.
  4. Keep an emergency kit in the trunk of your car – including blankets, a first aid kit and jumper cables. Check out our full list of items for your emergency car kit.
  5. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and that your car always has a full tank of gas.
  6. To ensure you always have someone on your side when it comes to keeping you and your vehicle safe, learn more about auto insurance from Dwyer Insurance.

Nationwide Mobile AppBE PREPARED: Keep important items in your car’s glove box such as paper and a pencil for taking notes, a card that lists local law enforcement agency contact numbers and your medical allergies or conditions that first responders should know about.

MAKE IT EASY: The Nationwide Mobile app is available for free from the iTunes or Google Play store. It can guide you through the steps to take after an accident, helps you notify law enforcement, find a Nationwide Blue RibbonSM Repair Facility and towing services, and start the claims process.

Make sure you are adequately covered in the case of an accident. Call us a call at 401-846-9629 for a FREE Auto Policy Review; We’re Always Here to Help!

And remember SAFE DRIVERS are often eligible for premium discounts!

Content: ©2020 Nationwide®

4 Essential Protections of Homeowners Insurance

D.F. Dwyer Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners coverage provides financial protection against loss due to disasters, theft and accidents. Most standard policies include these four essential types of coverage:

  1. The Structure of Your Home:Home Building Plans Your homeowners policy pays to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning or other disasters listed in your policy. Most policies also cover detached structures such as a garage, tool shed or gazebo—generally for about 10 percent of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of the house. A standard policy will not pay for damage caused by a flood, earthquake or routine wear and tear. When considering homeowners insurance it is important to purchase enough coverage to rebuild your home.
  2. Your Personal Belongings: Your furniture, clothes, sports equipment and other personal items are covered if they are stolen or destroyed by fire, hurricane or other insured disasters. The coverage is generally 50%-70% of the insurance you have on the structure of the house. The best way to determine if this is enough coverage is to conduct a home inventory.Homeowners Insurance covers personal belongingsPersonal belongings coverage includes items stored off-premises—this means you are covered anywhere in the world. Some companies limit the amount to 10 percent of the amount of insurance you have for your possessions. You also have up to $500 of coverage for unauthorized use of your credit cards.Trees, plants and shrubs are also covered under standard homeowners insurance—generally for about $500 per item. Trees and plants are not covered for disease, or if they have been poorly maintained. Expensive items like jewelry, furs, art, collectibles and silverware are covered, but there are usually dollar limits if they are stolen. To insure these items to their full value, purchase a special personal property endorsement or floater and insure the item for its officially appraised value.
  3. Liability Protection: Liability covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or family members cause to other people. It also pays for damage caused by your pets. So, if your son, daughter (or even your dog) accidentally ruins a neighbor’s expensive rug, you are covered.Homeowners Insurance coverage includes liability protection (However, if they destroy your rug, you’re out of luck.) Your policy also provides no-fault medical coverage, so if a friend or neighbor is injured in your home, he or she can simply submit medical bills to your insurance company. This way, expenses can be paid without a liability claim being filed against you. The liability portion of your policy pays for both the cost of defending you in court and any court awards—up to the limit stated in your policy documents. Liability limits generally start at about $100,000. If you have significant assets and want more coverage than is available under your homeowners policy, consider purchasing an umbrella or excess liability policy, which provides broader coverage and higher liability limits.
  4. Additional Living Expenses (ALE): ALE pays the additional costs of living away from home if you cannot live there due to damage from an insured disaster. Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverages pays expenses of living away from home covers hotel bills, restaurant meals and other costs, over and above your usual living expenses, incurred while your home is being rebuilt. Keep in mind that the ALE coverage in your homeowners policy has limits—and some policies include a time limitation. However, these limits are separate from the amount available to rebuild or repair your home. Even if you use up your ALE your insurance company will still pay the full cost of rebuilding your home up to the policy limit. If you rent out part of your house, ALE also covers you for the rent that you would have collected from your tenant if your home had not been destroyed.

Still have questions? We’re Here to Help!

Call 401-846-9629 or email us for a FREE policy review.

 We’ll Always Do Our Best for You!

Content: iii.org

Safe Driver Series 3: Hit & Run

Hit & Run Car leaving accident scene

A car accident can be a very traumatic and stressful event in your life especially if you are the victim of a hit-and-run. As with any accident, the first rule is to stay on the scene in a safe location. After that it is vital to gather information to help police locate the other driver and ensure that you don’t get stuck paying for damages.

4 Essentials After A Hit & Run:

  1. Record Information of Fleeing Vehicle:
    • License Plate Number and State
    • Make, Model, Color and Approximate Year of the Car
    • Time & Location of Accident
    • Direction the Driver Headed
  2. Gather Evidence at Scene:
    • Contact Information of Potential Witnesses
    • Photograph the scene and damage to your vehicle
  3. File A Police Report
  4. Contact Your Insurance Company
    • Depending upon your coverage, they can help with towing and finding a rental car. If you can identify the driver that hit you and they’re insured, you can likely get their car insurance information from your insurance company and file a claim with the other driver’s company.

In a hit-and-run accident scenario, having the minimum car insurance coverage may not offer the protection you need. To avoid being held financially responsible for potential costs, consider an uninsured motorist insurance policy. This coverage may protect you against drivers who don’t have liability insurance or the money to pay for injuries and damages they cause.

Contact us to learn more about how uninsured motorist coverage can protect you, your passengers and your car in the event of a hit-and-run accident.

Stay tuned for part 4 of our SAFE DRIVER SERIES next month with steps to take If You Are Pulled Over.


Nationwide Mobile AppBE PREPARED: Keep important items in your car’s glove box such as paper and a pencil for taking notes, a card that lists local law enforcement agency contact numbers and your medical allergies or conditions that first responders should know about.

MAKE IT EASY: The Nationwide Mobile app is available for free from the iTunes or Google Play store. It can guide you through the steps to take after an accident, helps you notify law enforcement, find a Nationwide Blue RibbonSM Repair Facility and towing services, and start the claims process.

Make sure you’re adequately covered in the case of an accident. Call us a call at 401-846-9629 for a FREE Auto Policy Review; We’re Always Here to Help!

And remember SAFE DRIVERS are often eligible for premium discounts!

Content: ©2020 Nationwide®

Think Big, Shop Small; For the Good of Us All!

Think Big, Shop Small to Boost Our Local Economy

It’s not just a nice notion to buy from local businesses, it actually pays to shop local. According to the Retail Merchants Association, for every $1 spent at a big box store only $.15 stays in the community, while $.45 of the same dollar spent at an independent merchant is reinvested locally. This not only results in a heartier local economy and job creation, shopping small also bolsters community involvement and support for nonprofits.

Ben Schiller, Managing Editor at CoinDesk points out: “The extra dollars in the local economy produce more jobs for residents, extra tax revenues for local governments, more investment in commercial and residential districts, and enhanced support for local nonprofits. In short, independent businesses create better places.”

Buying locally significantly reduces the carbon footprint of acquiring goods. Items produced and sold locally require less shipping, which reduces the need for fuel, packaging, warehousing, refrigeration, and other carbon-intensive services.
Independent businesses create better places.

As consumers our actions matter now more than ever; below are eight key benefits of patronizing our local businesses:

  1. BOOST OUR LOCAL ECONOMY: Buying locally enables us to invest directly into our local economy, we help to preserve existing local jobs, create new skilled jobs and increase the prosperity of the people around us. When we buy from small independent businesses, the salaries, the revenue, and the profit are more likely to stay local instead of going to a distant corporation. Studies show that when we buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than from a nationally owned chain, a significantly greater portion of our money is then used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers, and farms — further strengthening the economic base of our entire community.
  2. SUSTAINABILITY: Buying locally increases our knowledge of available resources, builds trust and positivity, opens minds and hearts, and makes us more independent as a community. While we focus on the positive, we live in a world where disasters happen– having a strong and sustainable local infrastructure and food network is crucial. A more connected community is safer, more resilient and self-reliant in times of uncertainty.
  3. RESPONSIBLY GREEN: Buying locally significantly reduces the carbon footprint of acquiring goods. Items produced and sold locally require less shipping, which reduces the need for fuel, packaging, warehousing, refrigeration, and other carbon-intensive services. Why buy food that travels thousands of “food miles” when we can buy fresh, local produce here?

    One-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinct character of our community.
    Buying locally is responsibly green, it significantly reduces the carbon footprint of acquiring goods.
  4. STRENGTHEN OUR COMMUNITY: Buying locally demonstrates community pride. By patronizing a local hardware store instead of a big box alternative, we contribute to helping a local business to stay in business. One-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinct character of our community.
  5. YOUR VOICE IS HEARD: Buying locally shrinks the distance between producer and consumer creating a direct seller><buyer feedback loop. Both parties can keep tabs on quality and when buyers make special requests or offer suggestions, sellers learn how to better serve their customers. Though large retailers may advertise a wide selection, the variety of what they market is decided by a small group of corporate buyers. Real choice comes from dozens of independent businesses tailoring their goods and services to the unique needs, tastes, and interests of their communities.

    Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers and provide more personalized service.
    Local businesses provide better service by knowing their products and customers.
  6. BETTER SERVICE: Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers and provide more personalized service. Plus, we get to see the familiar faces of our neighbors each time we visit!
  7. NETWORK BUILDING: Buying locally provides opportunities to connect and interact with others who live and work around us. In doing so, we expand our own community sphere. (Notably, in 2020 most local merchants have developed contact-free purchase options, including online ordering, take-out, curbside pick-up, etc. to safely serve customers while protect staff.)
  8. SUPPORT NON-PROFITS: Independent businesses donate more per sales dollar to local non-profits and are the most ardent supporters of parks, libraries, events, and the great area amenities that make our community unique.
Buying locally significantly reduces the carbon footprint of acquiring goods. Items produced and sold locally require less shipping, which reduces the need for fuel, packaging, warehousing, refrigeration, and other carbon-intensive services.
A more connected community is safer, more resilient and self-reliant in times of uncertainty.

By making conscious decisions to support local merchants, food growers and service providers, we are embracing our local economies and empowering our cities, our neighbors and ourselves to grow and thrive. Our actions matter now more than ever. As you plan your next purchase, ask yourself if you can find what you’re seeking at a locally owned establishment rather than online or at a major chain. Now that we know the powerful impact our buying habits can make in our community, let’s vote with our wallets and challenge others to do the same!

Sources: SustainableConnections.org, Wisebread.com, Localism.com

Safe Driver Series 2: If You Are In An Accident

What to do if you are in an accident, 7 steps

Accidents can happen quickly, and it can be hard to remember everything you should do after one occurs. If you’re like most people, you studied it in driver’s education class in high school, then drove off with your freshly minted license and promptly forgot. To complicate matters, things have changed since the days when most of us took Drivers Ed. There are more cars on the road, traffic is heavier and there’s no telling how the other person involved in an accident may respond. So even if you always practice safe driving it never hurts to go over what to do after an accident, and how you can be prepared.

7 Things To Do:

Stay at the scene of the accident

  1. STAY AT THE SCENE: Leaving the scene of an accident can result in legal consequences, like fines or additional violations. If you are on a busy highway, stay inside the car and wait for the police or an ambulance to arrive.
  2. Check for InjuriesCHECK FOR INJURIES: Before you do anything else, make sure that you are okay and that your passengers are as well. Do your best to stay calm
  3. Protect the accident scenePROTECT THE ACCIDENT SCENE: Follow the law about moving your car – or not. If local or state laws require you move your car and you can do it safely, you should move it immediately, according to James Aubrey Solomon, a defensive driving expert at the National Safety Council. Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s just good manners. It’s not polite to stay in someone’s way, even if that someone is another driver. If you can’t move your car, you should use your hazard lights to alert other drivers.
  4. Contact Law EnforcementCONTACT LAW ENFORCEMENT: You can help the 911 dispatcher by giving as much detail as possible. Be prepared to provide your exact location, including the highway mile marker or closest intersection. Let the dispatcher know about potential injuries, the number of cars involved and whether cars can get by on the roadway.
  5. Take pictures of the accidentRECORD & EXCHANGE INFORMATION:  While you’re on site, write down the location of the accident and how it happened. Take pictures of the damage done to all of the vehicles involved. Ask any witnesses for their contact information in case the drivers disagree about the events. Drivers involved should provide each other with their:
      • Name
      • Address
      • Phone Number
      • Insurance Company Name
      • Insurance Policy Number
      • Name of the insured person and relationship to the driver
      • Driver’s license state and number
      • License plate number for the driver and owner of each vehicle
      • Car year, make, model and color

    Don’t get into an argument or a fight with the other driver.  Resist the urge to apologize for the accident even if you think it might be your fault, or to keep it between you and the other parties. Law enforcement officers will determine the degree to which each driver may have contributed to the collision.

  6. Place an accident reportPLACE AN ACCIDENT REPORT: Even if law enforcement officers don’t respond to the accident, which sometimes happens if there are no injuries, download an accident report form from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website, fill it out and submit it.
  7. Inform your insurance providerNOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE PROVIDER: Rather than relying upon the goodwill of the other drivers to ensure that damages are paid for, submit an insurance claim. Doing so can help you protect your finances in the long term and get your car fixed more quickly in the short term.

Stay tuned for part 3 of our SAFE DRIVER SERIES next month with steps to take If You Are Involved In A Hit & Run

Nationwide Mobile AppBE PREPARED: Keep important items in your car’s glove box such as paper and a pencil for taking notes, a card that lists local law enforcement agency contact numbers and your medical allergies or conditions that first responders should know about.

MAKE IT EASY: The Nationwide Mobile app is available for free from the iTunes or Google Play store. It can guide you through the steps to take after an accident, helps you notify law enforcement, find a Nationwide Blue RibbonSM Repair Facility and towing services, and start the claims process.

Make sure you’re adequately covered in the case of an accident. Call us a call at 401-846-9629 for a FREE Auto Policy Review; We’re Always Here to Help!

And remember SAFE DRIVERS are often eligible for premium discounts!

Content: ©2020 Nationwide®

Safe Driver Series 1: Avoid Accidents

Safe Driving, kids wearing seatbelts

When you’re behind the wheel of a car – whether alone or with passengers – driving safely should always be your top concern. We’re more distracted than ever, so it’s crucial to know the basics of safe driving and practice them every time you’re on the road.

Top 4+4 Driving Safety Tips

Delete Distracted Driving1. FOCUS ON DRIVING:
Keep 100% of your attention on driving at all times – no multi-tasking.
• Don’t use your phone or any other electronic device while driving
Slow down. Speeding gives you less time to react and increases the severity of an accident.

2. DRIVE DEFENSIVELY:
• Be aware of what other drivers around you are doing, and expect the unexpected.
• Assume other motorists will do something crazy, and always be prepared to avoid it.
• Keep a 2-second cushion between you and the car in front of you.
• Make that 4 seconds if the weather is bad.

Delete Distracted Driving3. MAKE A SAFE DRIVING PLAN:
• Build time into your trip schedule to stop for food, rest breaks, phone calls or other business.
• Adjust your seat, mirrors and climate controls before putting the car in gear.
• Pull over to eat or drink. It takes only a few minutes.

4. PRACTICE SAFETY:
• Secure cargo that may move around while the vehicle is in motion.
• Don’t attempt to retrieve items that fall to the floor.
• Have items needed within easy reach – such as toll fees, toll cards and garage passes.
Always wear your seat belt and drive sober and drug-free.

A deer in car headlights on highway+4 MORE DRIVING SAFETY TIPS:
• Don’t allow children to fight or climb around in your car – they should be buckled in their seats at all times. Too much noise can easily distract you from focus on the road.
• Avoid driving when you’re tired. Be aware that some medications cause drowsiness and make operating a vehicle very dangerous.
• Always use caution when changing lanes. Cutting in front of someone, changing lanes too fast or not using your signals may cause an accident or upset other drivers.
• Be extra careful while driving during deer season.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our SAFE DRIVER SERIES next month with steps to take if you are in an accident or hit and run.

SAFE DRIVERS are often eligible for premium discounts…
Call us a call at 401-846-9629 for a FREE Auto Policy Review; We’re Always Here to Help!

Content: ©2020 Nationwide®

Stop, Look & Cook SAFELY

D.F. Dwyer Insurance Fire Safety

Did you know that cooking is the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries? Unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires and scald burns are the second leading cause of all burn injuries.

This year our kitchens have become a true beehive of family activity, in addition to cooking, many are serving extra-duty as remote offices and classrooms. With more eating-in and holiday cooking ahead, the most dangerous room of the house will be busier than ever this fall! Appropriately, Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen was selected as the 2020 theme for National Fire Prevention Week. Follow the recommendations below to keep your family safe at home this season and all year round!

STOP: Mise En Place (Prepare)

  • Clear away clutter and give cooking appliances space, coil cords and keep away from counter edges
  • Maintain a clean stovetop and oven to prevent grease buildup
  • Use only microwave-safe containers in your microwave
  • Don’t hang dishtowels on the oven door
  • Keep all flammable items away from the stove including:
    • Fabric: curtains, oven mitts, aprons, towels, napkins
    • Paper: wrappers, paper towels, school and office paperwork
    • Plastic: storage containers, wrappers
    • Aerosols!
  • Dress appropriately when cooking; avoid blousy clothing and roll up long sleeves
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried
  • Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops.

D.F. Dwyer Insurance Fire Safety

LOOK: Focus on the Food

  • Never leave cooking unattended
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food
  • Turn off the burner if you leave the kitchen—even for a short period of time
  • Cook on back burners and turn pot handles inward to prevent spills and burns
  • Always keep a lid nearby when cooking
  • Turn gas stovetop flames off before reaching above the stove
  • Prevent steam burns by removing lids carefully facing away from you to use as a shield
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home
  • Use a timer to remind you that you are cooking or carry around a wooden spoon as a reminder
  • Keep your face away from the oven door when checking or removing food
  • Open microwaved food slowly, away from your face
  • Keep hot foods and liquids away from table and counter edges
  • Let food cool before eating

Put A Lid On ItCOOK: Put A Lid on It

  • If a small grease fire starts, slide a lid over the pan, turn off burner and leave covered until cool
  • Never discharge a portable fire extinguisher into a grease fire because it will spread the flames
  • In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed until the oven is cool
  • If case of a microwave fire, turn the appliance off immediately and keep the door closed
  • After any appliance fire, have the unit serviced before attempting to use again

Some content: National Fire Protection Association

Take Time to Take Stock

Home Inventory

In the event of a fire or other disaster, would you be able to remember all your possessions? Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance.

Nationwide Home Inventory video

While spending more time at home and preparing for the change of season, September is a perfect month to take stock of what you’ve got!

3 Simple Ways to Get Started:
  1. Pick An Easy Spot: A contained area like your small kitchen appliance cabinet, your sporting equipment closet or your handbag shelf are all good places to begin.
  2. Last-First: Start with your most recent purchases and work backward to tackle older possessions.
    Include basic information to describe each item noting the make and model, point of purchase, price paid and any other detail that might help to make a claim.
  3. Go Seasonal: Count summer clothes and sandals as you put them away for next year and count winter clothes and boots as you take them out for the season. Continue with other seasonal items as you move them into or out of storage– such as outdoor furniture, decor and tools.
Details Matter:
  • Record Serial Numbers— usually found on the back or bottom of major appliances and electronic equipment.
  • Keep Proof of Value— store sales receipts, purchase contracts and appraisals with your list.
  • Jewelry, Art and Collectibles may have increased in value and/or require special coverage separate from your standard homeowners insurance policy.
  • Don’t Forget Off-Site Items— your belongings kept in a self-storage facility are covered by your homeowners insurance too. Make sure you include them in your inventory.
Home InventoryDon’t Get Overwhelmed:

Once you’ve started your inventory, keep going even if you can’t get it all done immediately. It’s better to have an incomplete inventory than nothing at all! A simple pencil and paper will suffice, but technology can make creating a home inventory much easier.

  • Take Pictures: Create a photo record of your belongings. Capture important individual items as well as entire rooms, closets or drawers. Label photos with what’s pictured, where you bought it, the make or model- whatever information might be important to replace and/ or getting reimbursed for the item.
  • Record It: Walk through your home videotaping and describing the contents. For example, you might describe the contents of a kitchen cabinet: “Poppies on Blue by Lenox, service for 12 that includes a dinner plate, salad plate, bowl, cup and saucer. PUrchased in 2015.”
  • Use An App: There are mobile app options that can help you create and store a room-by-room record of your belongings.
Up to Date & Safely Stored:

Home InventoryYour home inventory is only useful if it’s accurate and you can access it to provide information to your insurance company in case of fire, theft or other destructive disaster. Regardless of the medium you’ve used to create your list, keep it backed up and in a safe place.

  • Make it a habit to add new purchase to the list while the details are fresh and the receipts are handy.
  • Store a copy of your paper inventory, applicable receipts and appraisals outside the home in a safe deposit box or at a friend’s or relative’s home. Make at least one backup copy of your inventory document and store it separately. An easy way to make digital backup copies of your paper list is to take pictures of it on your smartphone.
  • Backup digital files – Keep a copy on an external drive or online storage account.
  • Understand your app – Be sure the information you input is backed up by the app developer and that you know how to access information when you need it.
Show Us Your Work!
  • Let’s review your Inventory together; to make sure that you have the coverage you need. Call us today at 401-846-9629 for a free policy review.
Content: Nationwide Insurance ©2020

Hurricane Preparation During COVID-19

Hurricane Preparation and Coronavirus

This year Rhode Islanders were warned of one of the busiest hurricane and tropical storm seasons in recent history. Experts note that due to significant sea level rise and coastal development, tropical storms need not make a direct hit to wreak havoc on our region with storm surge and flooding.

Now, during the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, emergency planning presents additional challenges for everyone which makes it more important than ever to have a solid plan. Public health and emergency response professionals have advice to help you safely prepare, evacuate, and shelter for severe storms while protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.

Hurricane Season Prep During Covid-19PREPARE FOR HURRICANE SEASON:

  • Understand that your planning may be different this year because of the need to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
  • Give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water, and medicine supplies. Home delivery is the safest choice for buying disaster supplies; however, that may not be an option for everyone. If in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect your and others’ health when running essential errands.
  • Protect yourself and others when filling prescriptions by limiting in-person visits to the pharmacy. Sign up for mail order delivery or call in your prescription ahead of time and use drive-through windows or curbside pickup..
  • Pay attention to local guidance about updated plans for evacuations and shelters, including shelters for your pets.
  • When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet from others) and other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.

Storm Evacuation PlanningPREPARE TO EVACUATE:

  • If you may need to evacuate, prepare a “go kit” with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency.
    • Include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, bar or liquid soap, disinfectant wipes (if available) and two masks for each person.
  • Identify a safe place to shelter and have several ways to receive weather alerts, such as National Weather Service cell phone alerts, NOAA Weather Radio, or (@NWS) Twitter alerts.
    • Find out if your local public shelter is open; your shelter location may be different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • If you need to go to a disaster shelter, follow CDC recommendations for staying safe and healthy in a public disaster shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Follow guidance from your local public health or emergency management officials on when and where to shelter.
  • Make a plan and prepare a disaster kit for your pets. Find out if your disaster shelter will accept pets. Typically, when shelters accommodate pets, the pets are housed in a separate area from people.
  • Follow safety precautions when using transportation to evacuate. If you have to travel away from your community to evacuate, follow safety precautions for travelers to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Family with facemarksSTAYING WITH FRIENDS OR FAMILY:

  • Talk to the people you plan to stay with about how you can all best protect yourselves from COVID-19.
  • Consider if either of your households has someone who is at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19, including older adults or people of any age who have underlying medical conditions. Make sure everyone knows what they can do to keep them safe from COVID-19.
  • Follow everyday preventive actions, including covering coughs and sneezes, washing your hands often, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Consider taking extra precautions for people living in close quarters.
  • Know what to do if someone in your family or in the household you are staying with becomes sick with COVID-19.
  • Take steps to keep your pets safe.

POST STORM SAFETY

  • Continue to follow preventive actions to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, like washing your hands and wearing a mask during cleanup or when returning home.
  • It may take longer than usual to restore power and water if they are out. Take steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning if you use a generator.
  • If you are injured or ill, contact your medical provider for treatment recommendations. Keep wounds clean to prevent infection. Remember, accessing medical care may be more difficult than usual during the pandemic.
  • Dealing with disasters can cause stress and strong emotions, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is natural to feel anxiety, grief, and worry. Coping with these feelings and getting help when you need it will help you, your family, and your community recover.
  • People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  • After a hurricane, it’s not unusual for rats, mice, and other pests to try to get into your home or building. Be aware that with restaurant and commercial closures related to COVID-19, there are already reports of increased rodent activity as they try to seek other sources of food. Follow recommendations for keeping pests out of your home.

If you have not yet done so, TODAY is the day to prepare!

Content Source: CDC.gov

Got Power?

Power Outage: What to do when the lights go out.

Whether caused by lighting, high winds or an overloaded power grid, extreme summer weather can trigger power outages— will you be ready when the lights go out? A lengthy power outage that affects your home can also threaten your family’s safety or damage your property.

Flashlights and batteries Be Ready When the Lights Go Out!
  • Have plenty of flashlights and fresh batteries on hand.
  • Stock up on extra food and water. Keep a manual can opener and food that doesn’t requires cooking – unless you have an alternate cooking source like a propane grill or camping stove with plenty of fuel.
  • Have at least a week’s worth of prescription medications available.
  • Have a first aid kit, list of emergency phone numbers and a charged mobile phone.
  • Fill up car gas tanks and have cash on hand, since gas stations and banks may be out of service.
  • Invest in a surge protector for your electronics.
  • Regularly back up critical computer files.
  • Have one or more coolers ready for perishable foods in case of long-term outages.
  • If you have room, fill jugs of water an inch from the top and keep them in your freezer. If the power goes out, the frozen jugs will slow the defrosting of your freezer.
  • Stock up on playing cards and board games. Playing games will help pass the time and keep everyone’s mind off the situation.
  • Store extra clothes and blankets for when power and heat are lost. (winter)

Prepare for a power outage with board games.

Enduring a power outage, what to do until the power is restored:
  • Unplug the TV, computer and other electronics to protect them from electrical surges.
  • Give each family member a flashlight to use for trips to the bathroom or around the house.
  • Have a battery-operated or hand-crank radio to monitor weather alerts and disaster instructions, as well as music and entertainment to help brighten the mood.
  • Use water sparingly. For example, flush the toilet with leftover cooking or washing water.
  • Eat and drink regularly to stay hydrated and help regulate your body temperature.
  • Scan the area around your house for downed electrical lines.
    • If you see sparks, hear crackling or spot a downed line moving, report it to your electric company – and stay away from it.
  • Don’t run a generator inside your home. They create deadly carbon monoxide.
  • Leave one light in the “on” position so you know when power has resumed.
  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer closed. A half-full freezer will hold for up to 24 hours, a full one for 48 hours.
  • Have everyone sleeping in one room, so that children won’t be frightened or disorientated if they wake up in the dark.
  • During a winter blackout, store milk or other perishables in a cooler on a deck or porch, or in a garage.
  • If using a gas generator, or a kerosene or gas stove, open a window a few inches to keep the house ventilated.
  • Cover north-facing windows with heavy plastic. Arctic air usually sweeps down from the north and east.
  • Place sheets, towels, or draft stoppers at the bottoms of poorly sealed doors or windows to keep frigid air out.
  • Choose activities to keep calm and entertained until the power comes back on.
Check frozen food for spoilage after a power outageRecovering from a power outage:
  • Once power has been restored, check your frozen and refrigerated items with a thermometer to make sure they’re still safe to eat.
  • Before plugging in electronic equipment, be sure the electricity is fully restored.
  • If you believe your home or belongings were damaged as a result of blackout conditions, gather documentation about your possible claim and contact your insurance company or agent.

Source: Nationwide Insurance ©2020

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