Seasons Change- So Does the Weather 
March, 18 2016, ,
Posted by Administrator
Seasons Change- So Does the Weather

Spring and summer are just around the corner. The plants and trees are starting to show signs of life, the grass is beginning to green, and the sounds of nature can be heard all around us. If you have lived in this area for very long, you know that with this warming weather and time spent outdoors the threat of severe weather is a definite possibility. Severe weather can bring wind, hail, tornadoes, heavy rains or a combination of them all at once. Preparation and awareness can help to minimize the impact to your property and help ensure the safety of you and your loved ones during severe weather events.

The first line of defense to prepare for severe weather is to be attentive.
• Pay Attention. Check the forecast and keep your eyes open for possible approaching storms.
• If you are traveling, be aware of the weather of where you are traveling to and also along the travel route.

The following tips can help reduce damages and help keep everyone safe:
• Before the storm
• If you have trees near the house, check the overall condition of the tree. If the tree is dying or there are a lot of dead branches, make a plan to have the tree or branches removed to reduce the risk of it falling on the house or other property during a wind storm.
• Make sure that your gutters are clean so water can be drained away from the structure and reduce possible interior damages.
• Take time to get up and take look at your roofing surface. Ensure that the roofing surface is secure and in good condition.
• If a storm is approaching and you have time, secure personal property (trampoline, lawn furniture, etc.) to reduce damage from it being blown around during the storm.
• Keep emergency materials on hand (plywood, tarps, screws, etc.) that might be used to temporarily close openings created by the storm.
• Have a plan. No matter if you are at home or at your job, know where you are going to go in the event of severe weather. Talk about the plan with your family and coworkers to help reduce injuries in the event of severe weather.
• Review your insurance policy. If you haven’t updated your insurance policy in a while or have had recent construction or purchases now if a good time to make sure that there is protection for your possessions before the damages occur.
• If you would like assistance in reviewing your current insurance policy, contact a licensed KFSA agent.
• During the Storm
• Remain indoors.
• As tempting as it is to get one of the large hailstones that are falling, wait until the storm has passed.
• The path of a tornado can change quickly and you could be in extreme danger without warning.
• Remember, debris could be flying around that could cause injuries.
• Stay away from windows and leave the window coverings closed.
• After the Storm
• Survey the damages
• If there are openings (windows, roofing) do what you can to close them to prevent further damage. Ask a neighbor for help or contact a local contractor.
• Call your insurance carrier or agent to file a claim as soon as possible.

Everyone Lives in a Flood Zone 
February, 04 2016, ,
Posted by Administrator
When Flood Insurance is presented during an insurance quote or a discussion with others, some common responses include:

1) Why would I need flood insurance, I don’t live in a flood plain.
2) Why would I need flood insurance, I don’t live near a lake or river.
3) I live on top of a hill!
4) Doesn’t my home owner’s policy cover that, I have an all risk policy?

The list can go on and on when it comes to the topic of flood insurance. FEMA illustrates the need for flood insurance no matter where you live in the following statement from their website - “Everyone lives in a flood zone - it’s just a question of whether you live in a low, moderate, or high risk area.” Flash floods, snow melt, and even a new development could trigger a flood loss to your home. The standard home owner’s policy excludes flood:

Water Damage – Water Damage Means

Flood, surface water, waves, tidal water, overflow of a body of water, or spray from any of these, whether or not driven by wind;

Water or water-borne material below the surface of the ground, including water which exerts pressure on or seeps or leaks through a building, sidewalk, driveway, foundation, swimming pool or other structure

Cause by or resulting from human or animal forces or any act of nature.

Flood insurance in the low to moderate risks may be eligible for a Preferred Risk Policy, which have low per year premiums.

Don’t wait until there is a potential for the loss to occur, as flood policies do not take effect immediately.

Policies do not take effect until 30 days after the policy is purchased.

Safe Winter Driving Tips 
December, 08 2015, ,
Posted by Administrator
The holiday season is quickly approaching. Many people will see an increase in travel during the holiday season. Whether it is visiting family and friends for food and comradery or shopping to get everything for your meals and presents for those family and friends; travel will be involved for many of us. Traveling during this time of year comes with additional hazards. Winter weather can bring snow and ice that can create extremely hazardous conditions on the roadways. The conditions can be present when you start your trip or encountered as your trip progresses. There will also be more people out traveling as well, which mean more people encounter the same conditions. Below are some tips to help keep you and your family safe as you travel during this season:

1. Check the weather
• Monitor the weather in advance and plan accordingly. Make sure to know the conditions where you are leaving from and at points along your route. Just because it is clear where you are, does not mean that things won’t change along the way.

2. Plan ahead
• Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination safely. Don’t put yourself into a situation where you have to put yourself or others in a potentially dangerous situation because you did not plan accordingly for weather or additional traffic. Let someone know when you are leaving and approximate arrival time.

3. Check your vehicle
• Make sure that your wiper blades are in good condition. Make sure that you have plenty of windshield washer fluid.
• Inspect your tires before you plan to travel. If the treads are getting shallow, replace them before traveling to help ensure proper traction in adverse conditions.
• Make sure that you have plenty of gas, at least half a tank.

4. Winter Survival Kit
• Put together a survival kit to keep in your vehicle; include at least the following items:
- Blankets - Shovel - Flashlight - Jumper cables - Tow Straps - Water - Snacks - Signal Device
- Sand/Grit - Phone Charger - First Aid Kit

These tips can help you avoid a potential dangerous situation and also help keep you safe should a situation occur.

Space Heater Safety 
November, 30 2015, ,
Posted by Administrator
Although we have yet to see significant cool day time temperatures, those time are sure to change as we get later into fall and into the winters months. Whether it is in the home or at the office, many people will turn to space heaters to help keep them warm on these cold days. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), stationary and portable heaters, including wood stoves account for 4 out of 5 heating fire deaths (81%), more than 2/3 of injuries (70%) and half of property damage (51%) of heating equipment related incidents.
If you are going to be using stationary heaters, portable heaters, or wood burning stoves to cut through the chill of your space, following these tips will help keep you warm and safer:

1) Choose the correct space heater – Choose the correct size heater to proper heat the area that you intend it for. Also make sure that you are using a safety-certified space heater.

2) Check the area surrounding the heater – Keep all combustibles, blankets, bedding, walls, etc. at least three feet away from the heating equipment.

3) Turn them off – Don’t leave your heater running unattended. Make sure to shut them off when going to bed. Add an extra blanket to your bed for extra warmth. Shut them off and/or unplug them when leaving for the day.

4) Power supply – Plug portable heaters directly into the wall socket. Do not plug them into a power strip or extension cords.

5) Installation – Have the installation completed by a professional. This will help insure that all equipment will operate correctly and be properly vented.

6) Smoke Alarms – Make sure that smoke alarms are located in all bedrooms, outside bedrooms and on each level of the home. Also make sure to check the smoke alarms periodically to ensure that they are functioning properly.

There are many causes of fires. Following these tips will help reduce the exposure and possible tragic consequences of fire resulting from heating your space during the cold winter months.

Have a Safe Thanksgiving - Tips for Frying a Turkey Safely 
November, 17 2015, ,
Posted by Administrator
You’ve done it, you found the perfect turkey at the store for Thanksgiving and you have decided that you want to deep fry your turkey. While this is a common way of cooking the main dish for your Thanksgiving spread, it has the potential to cause serious injuries and property damage. Everything from burns to the skin to house fires can result from improper cooking and set-up practices. Following these tips will help ensure that you, your family and friends will be able to enjoy the holiday without worry.

1)Plan your cooking spot
a. Keep your distance from the house. Stay at 10 feet away from the house to avoid a potential fire should the oil catch fire.
b. Pick an area that is flat and level to place the cooker. This will help reduce the chances of the oil splashing out or the pot tipping over when immersing the bird in the grease.
c. Pick an area that is out of high traffic and play areas. Keep children and pets away from the cooker while it is hot to avoid burns from the cooker or the grease should it leave the container.

2) Preparation
a. Make sure that you are using the correct amount of cooking oil when frying. You want to make sure to have enough oil to completely cover the turkey when submerged in the oil. (Tip – fill the cooking pot with water and put the turkey in, this amount of oil will be needed to properly submerge the turkey)
b. Make sure that your turkey is completely thawed and towel dried prior to putting into the fryer. If there is excess water in the turkey, this will cause the oil to bubble furiously, which could lead to a potential fire or burns when it exits the container.
c. When submerging and removing the turkey from the oil, make sure to have a pair of gloves to reduce the risk of burns.

3) Cooking
a. Monitor the temperature of the oil. Avoid allowing the temperature of the oil to exceed 350 F.
b. Keep a fire extinguisher available to quickly extinguish a fire.
c. Before removing the turkey make sure to turn off the fuel source and extinguish the flame to reduce the fire risk. Allow the oil to drip from the turkey before removing from the pot.

A little preparation and precaution can ensure that everyone can enjoy the feast that has been prepared and no plans have to be changed or ruined due to an avoidable mistake.

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