We are still seeing devastating scenes from cities and towns still suffering from Hurricane Sandy. With homes under water, cars under trees, and buildings destroyed, Sandy definitely made her mark. We can only hope those millions of Americans can restore their life after the devastation. Here are some scary facts and figures of Hurricane Sandy’s effects:
- At least 30 deaths have been reported in the eight states along the eastern seaboard. In the Caribbean, more than 65 deaths were reported last week.
- More than 1 million people in a dozen states along the storm’s path have been ordered to evacuate and the Red Cross estimated more than 11,000 people were housed there.
- There have been more than 8.1 million homes and businesses without power on Tuesday and an additional 145,000 lost power in Canada.
- New York closed 7 major bridges, New Jersey closed one of its busiest toll roads because of flooding, and more than 15, 000 flights have been cancelled so far. The New York City subway
system is expected to take at least 5 days to get the water out.
- One disaster-forecasting company predicted economic losses for Sandy could reach $20 billion, only half of which would be insured.
There’s no denying that Hurricane Sandy was a disaster, especially for those hit really hard in New York and New Jersey. Were you covered by your New Jersey Home Insurance policy? What about your New Jersey Car Insurance if your car got hit by debris or flooded? Call your agent today to discuss your damage or file a claim. If you weren’t hit too badly, Hurricane Sandy may have you wondering “what if?” While we can only hope we won’t have another Sandy anytime soon (or ever!), it’s important to be prepared with the right coverage. It might even be a good idea to ask your agent about a flood insurance policy to cover your property in the event that your basement is starting to fill with water, or worse you find your home under water. It’s time to ask yourself: What kind of coverage do I need?
For flood insurance information, visit our Flood Insurance section.-->
Hurricane Sandy sure did leave her mark on the East Coast. Some of us were lucky not to have been hit too hard and others, especially those in New York and New Jersey, will be spending a lot of time picking up the pieces. While the first thing you should do before beginning a clean-up is contact someone to make sure it’s safe, the list below is a good start to clean-up. If the debris or water has caused damage to your home, you should also take photos before you start your clean-up. If your Massachusetts or Connecticut Home Insurance covers the damage, it may come in handy later to have photos of the damage.
- Keep battery-powered radios or televisions at hand for important flood or power updates
- Check the home’s exterior and hose down debris and mud left by floodwater
- Open interior doors with caution – doors that stick at the top could indicate a ceiling ready to fall.
- Use fans, dehumidifiers and products such as calcium chloride pellets and cat litter to get rid of excess moisture.
- Remove wet wallpaper because damp wallpaper paste is a prime location for mold to grow.
- Call a contractor or building inspector to check for mold damage after a flood.
- After talking to a contractor or building inspector, scrub all interior surfaces that were in contact with floodwaters with bleach or a household disinfectant containing bleach.
If you have a claim for your Massachusetts or Connecticut car insurance or home insurance, call our agent or visit the site for a list of claim phone numbers. The clean-up process after something as serious as Hurricane Sandy is no easy task and we know there’s a long list of things to do. We are here to help you throughout the process.
To keep track of flood insurance news, and for help learning more about your policy, visit our flood insurance section.-->
Before we share some Hurricane Sandy safety tips with you, we would like you to know in the event that you need to make a claim, during or after the storm, you will find relevant claim numbers here.
- You have your flashlights, batteries and emergency kit all prepared for Hurricane Sandy. What else should you know about preparing for a hurricane? With the wind, flooding, rain, and possible snow that Sandy will be bringing our way, many will be left without power. Here are some important things to remember if the power goes out:
- In cold weather, wear layers of clothing that can help keep in your body heat.
- Avoid power lines and use electronic tools and appliances safely to prevent electrical shock.
- If the power has been out for more than two hours, throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees.
- The United States Department of Agriculture wants you to be safe from food borne illnesses that could come from your food not being stored at the right temperature during a power outage. Chances are you will have enough to worry about during Sandy; you don’t want to also be stuck at home with the power out not feeling well. Here are some helpful tips for food safety when the power goes out:
- Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer to help determine if food is safe during power outages. The refrigerator temperature should be 40° F or lower and the freezer should be 0° F or lower.
- Group food together in the freezer — this helps the food stay cold longer.
- Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately.
- Once Sandy passes, it seems as though we will all be left with the job of cleaning up her mess. Know that those of us at Encharter Insurance will be ready to help you with any insurance needs you have after Hurricane Sandy. Whether it is your Massachusetts Home Insurance or your Connecticut auto insurance, we are here to help. We will be doing our best to work with you and help you to deal with the any damage to your home, auto, or other property caused by Hurricane Sandy.
For flood insurance news and information, visit our resource center.-->
Everyone these days is worried about their carbon footprint, as they should be, but what about your social media footprint? I love sharing tips with you on how to create great content and how to get more followers or clicks, but with social media it sometimes comes down to having great habits. These 3 habits for managing your social media footprint are great for your work AND personal account!
Practice Self Control. Didn’t your mother ever teach you “everything in moderation”? Well, it applies to social media too! It can be easier to say things on social media you may not say in person, but it’s important to monitor yourself. When it comes to your work account this should be obvious, but it seems as though a major company is caught posting something inappropriate once a month! You cannot erase things like this and your personal and professional reputation is at risk. While it’s most important to be careful of what you’re posting, it’s also important to be careful how much you’re posting. One of the
easiest ways to lose followers and likes for both your personal and professional accounts is TOO much content. Don’t overwhelm your loyal fans, practice self control.
Get Off the Grid. While this is geared more to your personal use of social media and all things web, we bet if you get off the grid every once in awhile your work might improve! It’s hard to not always be connected in today’s world of feeling like we always need to be connected and available. If you step away from your work email after hours every once in awhile you’ll probably find yourself more relaxed and happier! And a more relaxed, happier version of you will most likely lead to a more productive worker the next day.
Curation. There’s SO much out there, how do you find the information most valuable to you and your company? Filter the search results by narrowing down your Google news to topics most relevant to you or set Google alerts for topics in your industry. Let’s face it we could all spend hours going through “top news”, but what is it that you’re really interested in hearing more about? There are also apps and services out there that can save you search time and help get you the info you need faster!
What are some of the habits that are important to your brand, personally and professionally that are helping to shape your social media footprint? I admit I could be better at being more consistent in my personal social media use (a little less of five tweets in two hours then zero the next day)!
How’s our LinkedIn Social Media Footprint?
This past week, we cannot turn on our TV or open a newspaper without seeing something about Hurricane Sandy or as she’s now being called “Frankenstorm”. Take all the talk of Sandy as a warning and start preparing your home for a possible storm. As she travels through the Bahamas and after killing 21 people in the Caribbean, it’s time to start preparing ourselves on the East Coast for what could be a terrible storm.
Ways to prepare before the storm:
- Have a family emergency plan. Make sure you have a safe place to go, if you have an older home, this may mean staying with friends or family. Be prepared that if you live or work in a high rise building you’ll need to take shelter in lower floors. Make sure you also have emergency contacts ready. Make a list of emergency phone numbers and contact information.
- Make sure you have water (at least one gallon per person per day and prepare a three-day supply). Also stock up on food and other provisions. Prepare a three-day supply of non-perishable (canned or dried) food per person; include baby supplies and pet supplies as needed.
- Make sure you have a first-aid kit and seven-day supply of medications and medical items.
- Personal documents such as medication list and medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies and contact information for your home insurance agent. Keep these in a plastic bag.
Some more great tips that you will find in the list also include what to do during the storm. For example, it’s important to keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed, turn off or unplug your propane tanks, appliances, and other electronics. Stay inside! If you do go outside, stay away from loose power lines, avoid flooded roads, and wear protective clothing and closed-toe shoes.
While you’re preparing your home and family for what may happen before or during the storm, it can be easy to forget to prepare for the aftermath of a storm. If something were to happen to your personal property and your home, where would you stand? Carriers have already started to restrict policy coverage changes and new policies on agents, so it’s important to act now if you have questions about coverage on your Massachusetts or Connecticut home insurance. Please be reminded that coverage for water damage on your home is dependent on policy and potentially very limited, the basic water coverage usually includes malfunction for equipment such as pipe blockage and sump pump failure–simply having water in your basement is not necessarily covered on your home insurance policy. The best way to know how you are covered is by contacting your agent about your current insurance coverage and possible additions you may need to protect yourself. You also may want to ask your agent about a Connecticut or Massachusetts Flood Insurance Policy. While flood insurance doesn’t officially kick in until 30 days after purchase date, Hurricane Sandy is a good reminder that it may be a good idea to have that extra coverage for the future!
For additional flood insurance information, as well as the latest news, check out our Flood Insurance Resource Center.-->
Witches, vampires, and zombies, oh my! With every child’s favorite candy-eating holiday creeping up on us, it’s time to face the annual task of picking out costumes. For all of you parents out there, purchasing store bought Halloween costumes for your kids can be both time consuming and costly. Luckily, many costumes can be made by using your children’s clothes and other basic household materials. Thanks to CountryLiving, we’ve found a few fun and creative options that are less expensive and just as adorable as costumes you’d find at the store.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Hot-Air Balloon What kid hasn’t wanted to ride in a hot-air balloon? Well now your son or daughter can float around all Halloween night in this charming costume. All you’ll need is a cardboard box, a utility knife, paint, and an assortment of colorful balloons.
- Owl This costume idea is nothing less than precious. Instead of dressing up as the typical cat or mouse, dare to be different as this simple-to-make bird of the night. To complete this look, you’ll simply need a couple of old t-shirts and fabric glue. Voila!
- Rubix Cube For children that are more interested in math and science than video games and sports, this is the perfect Halloween get-up. Just find a cardboard box, black duct tape, and construction paper and your son or daughter can sport the coolest Rubix cube you’ve ever seen.
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Although we’re sure that your kids are cute enough to eat, in this Halloween costume they’ll be downright irresistible. Use pillows (or seat cushions), brown fabric, fabric glue and ribbon to create the sweetest cookie outside of the cookie jar!
While your kids are out enjoying Halloween in their costumes, we’re sure you’ll be spending the evening passing out candy from your home. Even though it is a fun holiday, we all know that some Halloween pranks can damage a house’s structure or your personal property. Ensure that your home is safe with Connecticut home insurance so that you’ll be able to tend to trick-or-treaters without a care in the world. The pranks and mischief that comes with Halloween night, especially for those kids that are “too old to trick-or-treat” can bring problems for your home. A small prank can easily turn into damage on your home or property, if you have concerns review your CT homeowners insurance policy with your agent today!-->
Have you ever wondered who gets to choose the names for hurricanes? Hurricane names used to be chosen by the National Hurricane Center, but the World Meteorological Organization recently took over the job. The names come from a fixed, yearly alphabetical list which excludes the letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z. Storms at the beginning of the year will begin with the letter A and the names will continue down the list throughout the year, with just six years worth of lists that are used in rotation. Pretty interesting? I think so! Even more interesting is that names will be taken off the list if they have been previously used and turned out to be particularly devastating. For example, we will not have another hurricane
A sure sign that we are at the end of the year is the latest potential storm beginning with an “S”, let’s hope the name doesn’t end up off the list in the future. Hurricane Sandy is about 120 miles from Jamaica today, already with 70mph winds about to become a hurricane. You may be asking yourself why I am talking about a storm that isn’t even at Jamaica yet, the reason is that this storm may be heading for the Northeast early next week. If it hits the coast, it could bring 10-12 inches of rain and strong, tropical-force conditions. Weather forecasters are expecting a more accurate prediction this weekend, but are adamantly tracking the storm because if it hits, it could hit us hard.
The good news about Sandy already being buzzed about is that those of us on the East Coast have time to prepare. Just a couple of inches of water can cause a lot of damage to your home—what would happen if we were to get 10-12 inches? It’s important to take a closer look at your New Jersey Home Insurance policy. With a potential storm on its way and winter not too far behind, it’s a great time to talk with your agent. You may find that you need more coverage, possibly even a Flood Insurance Policy to keep your family and home safe. Homeowners insurance does not cover floods and having the extra protection of flood insurance for losses due to heavy and lengthy rain falls, snow melts, blocked storm drainage systems, and storm surges could possibly make a huge difference. Talking with an agent will be the best way to clear up any questions about your coverage, because every policy has its limitations, even flood policies. Please make sure you are aware of your current coverage by speaking with your agent.
Click here for rates and coverage information on flood insurance.-->