As you are probably aware wildfire season is upon us in the NW. WA and OR residents have already seen a large number of fires spark in the eastern portions of both states. Meanwhile, CO was hit with another deadly blaze and several other western states unfortuantely kick started wildfire season in early June. This is a dangerous time of year and preparation is key to protecting your family and your home from wildfire.
Three simple steps take just a little time to complete and provide valuable time for fire fighters to do all they can to protect your property.
Safety is top priority during a wildfire. Make sure your family is safe, use the community resources that are available and contact your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate coverage for your home and belongings.
Considering this information and Vancouver Crime Data that nearly 90% of all major Vancouver crime is property crime there is a critical need to raise awareness about this issue.
Here are a few resources and tips from the State Farm Learning Center to protect your homes and families: Video and Web Article.
Some of the key tips to remember are:
Use Common Sense – Keep valuables out of plain sight and avoid posting vacation updates on social media.
Reduce chance of break-in – Always lock your doors and windows and park your cars in the garage with the garage door shut.
Make your Home a Tough Target – The average burglar spends 4 -5 min trying to break in. Secure exterior doors with good quality deadbolt locks and prune branches to reduce hiding spots near windows and access to the second story.
While away from home – Have a trusted neighbor pick up mail and take garbage cans to the road. Have someone maintain the yard by mowing the lawn.
Be a good neighbor – organize or participate in a neighborhood watch, organize block party so neighbors can get to know one-another and contact police immediately if you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood.
Remember, a little common sense can go along way to curb this preventable statistic.]]>
The lines between public relations, marketing and advertising continue to blur, and the boss expects you to do it all under tighter deadlines. Learn to thrive in this environment at the 2013 Communicators Conference: Integrate to Innovate.
The program, held at the Governor Hotel on May 8, will include presentations from industry leading professionals like: Shel Holtz, Lee Odden, Michael Pranikoff and local favorite Jim Endicott. These speakers are in high demand at national events that cost up to $1200 just to register. The difference here is that you will tap into their expertise for a fraction of that, not to mention the reduced stress and expense of traveling.
There is still time to register: 2013 Communicators Conference, PRSA and OIABC member fee is $110, non-member $125. Do not miss out on the NW’s premier conference for communications professionals.]]>
Let Water Flow: Clean gutters allow heavy rains to flow easily off the roof and away from your home. Add extensions to your downspouts if necessary to keep water from flooding your foundation.
Trim Back the Limbs: Trim limbs and branches back so they do not break during high winds damaging your home or power lines.
Check your Pump: Make sure your sump pump is clear of debris and operable. Consider a battery back-up if the power goes out.
Stow your Stuff: One of the simplest things you can do is stow the items in your yard. Make sure patio furniture is secure as well as yard decorations. This is also a good time to keep your trash cans in the garage.
Set your Emergency Kit: While you are at it, go ahead and set up an emergency kit. Be sure to include items like a flashlight, radio, water, canned food, blankets and extra batteries. FEMA offers lists of additional emergency supplies, and you can learn more about preparing for storms from State Farm.
If you have questions about insurance coverage in relation to Spring storms contact your local agent for more information.]]>
Please help spread the word that a donation collection site has been set up at the Brandon Rossman State Farm Agency (13521 SE 3rd Way Ste 200) for students affected by the Crestline Elementary fire.
The school district is requesting several supplies like pencils, crayons, tissues, hand sanitizer, notebook paper and binders.
We are unable to accept monetary donations at this site, but we will make sure all school supplies dropped off will be delivered to the school district on your behalf.
No matter which team you root for in this year’s Super Bowl the #1 responsibility as a party host is to help friends and family make it home safely once the confetti flies and the Lombardi Trophy is hoisted by J. Harbaugh.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 40% of vehicle related deaths after the 2010 Super Bowl were the result of drunk drivers.
Here are a few suggestions from State Farm and the Insurance Information Institute to make the party and the trip home a safe one:
The Home Team:
• Take a minute to speak with your local insurance agent about your liability coverage and familiarize yourself with Social Host Liability Laws.
• Serve plenty of food and water to help offset the effects of alcohol.
• Do not pressure guests to drink or rush to fill empty glasses.
• Stock coolers with non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers.
• Stop serving alcoholic beverages when the fourth quarter begins.
• Reward designated drivers with perks like first dibs on seating near the big screen.
• Help guests make travel arrangements with a designated driver or taxi. Make sure guests feel comfortable spending the night.
The Visiting Team:
• Leave your keys at home if you plan to drink.
• Make arrangements beforehand to designate a driver, save a cab company’s number on your phone or stay the night at your friend’s.
• Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
• Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
• If you’re sober, keep an eye on friends who are drinking. Don’t be afraid to take away their keys.
• Extend a kind gesture to your designated driver, such as offering to pay for gas.
• Watch for drunk drivers during your ride home, and report suspects to the police.
• Always wear your seatbelt.
• Leave your phone alone and stay focused on the drive home.
For more information visit: http://learningcenter.statefarm.com/family/
Earlier this week State Farm released data ranking the top states for dog bite claims. It was not a real surprise that CA, home to both more people and dogs than any other state, ranked #1 on the list with 527 claims. Nor was it a real surprise that OR and WA showed up in the middle of the list at #21 and #27 respectively.
The surprise to these claims is the cost. Last year in WA, 47 claims were reported to State Farm at a cost of $1.7 million while 62 claims were reported in OR at a cost of $900,000. That is nearly $24,000 per claim in the Pacific NW.
The important point to note is that each one of these claims represent both physical and emotional damage to a victim and that any dog can bite in certain circumstances.
Nearly 60% of all dog bites involve children. Now that the weather is beginning to turn and we start to take the family and pet outdoors more consider the following tips:
• Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
• Teach children NOT to approach strange dogs.
• Teach children to ask permission from a dog’s owner before petting.
• Do not run past a dog. Dogs naturally love to chase and catch things. Do not give them a reason to chase you.
Remember it is not the breed of the dog, it is the way it is brought up and the surrounding circumstances that will cause it to bite.
Be safe and enjoy your pets this summer!
For more information on Dog Bites visit: http://www.iii.org/issues_updates/dog-bite-liability.html
The Village EcoSystem, Battle Ground, answered the call from State Farm to make a difference in their neighborhood and they have been selected as a Top 100 finalist.
Earlier this year, State Farm solicited everyone in the country to Cause An Effect via the company’s Facebook page. Over 3,000 entries were received and the State Farm Youth Advisory Board has narrowed it down to the top 100.
Now, Battle Ground, Clark County and Portland residents can rally behind their Cause and help bring $25,000 to the community by voting via the State Farm® Facebook Page, http://www.facebook.com/#!/statefarm. From April 27 through May 17, you are encouraged to vote up to 10 times per day for your local Cause.
“We are thrilled to be in the top 100,” said Mavis Nickels, Village EcoSystem Treasurer. “Now we are asking our neighbors, friends and local community to help us finish strong.”
The 40 Causes that receive the most votes will each receive a $25,000 grant to help their community.
For more information on Cause An Effect or a complete list of the top 100 Cause An Effect Causes visit the State Farm Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/#!/statefarm) or search #causeaneffect on Twitter.]]>
April is Disaster Preparedness month which is the perfect time to make sure you have all the resources you need when a natural disaster impacts you and your family. As you take the time this month to study the great information provided by the American Red Cross and FEMA to build your personalized emergency kit, and develop evacuation plans be sure to review your insurance policies to make sure you have the right coverage after the disaster.
A standard homeowner’s policy will cover a lot of Mother Nature’s wrath but some catastrophes, like earthquakes, require additional coverage.The best thing someone can do is talk to a local agent about their specific situation.
To get coverage for an earthquake you will need to add an endorsement and the additional premium will vary based on several factors including age of your home, building materials and proximity to known fault lines. Flood insurance, which is regulated by the federal government, must be purchased as a separate policy.
State Farm Insurance recommends a yearly insurance checkup with your local agent. This ensures that you notate any updates to your property, review your specific risks and adjust your policies to get the best coverage for the best price.
Each family is unique and we should treat our insurance that way as well; what works for your neighbor may not be the ideal coverage for you.
Take the time today to prepare for tomorrow’s disaster. Do not wait until it is too late to build your emergency kit, practice your evacuation routes and talk to your agent about the proper insurance coverage for your unique situation.
For more information on preparing for natural disasters visit the following:
http://www.emd.wa.gov/index.shtml – Washington Emergency Management Division
http://insurance.oregon.gov/consumer/consumer-tips/4845-5_earthquakes.pdf – Oregon Consumer and Business Services Earthquake Insurance Tips
http://www.fema.gov/plan/index.shtm – FEMA Plan and Prepare
www.floodsmart.gov – Official website for the National Flood Insurance Program
http://www.oregonredcross.org/index.asp?IDCapitulo=663B0ID44V – American Red Cross Oregon
http://www.seattleredcross.org/ – American Red Cross Seattle
http://learningcenter.statefarm.com/ – State Farm Learning Center
The spring snow fall and subsequent melt this week is a good reminder that even though the weather is beginning to improve we still need to remain focused behind the wheel.
As the flowers bloom and spring showers settle in do not forget that those wet roads can be just as slippery as the ice covered roads we dealt with right before spring break.
Before you hit the road this spring here are a few tips to help ensure a safe journey to your favorite locations:
Do not use cruise control during heavy rains or hail. Cruise control in areas of low traction can lead to hydroplaning, it also allows you to move your feet away from the pedals creating a longer reaction time in an emergency situation.
Replace those worn wiper blades. The better your visibility the better prepared you are to see everything that happens on the road in front of you. In a wet climate like this it is advisable to replace your blades at least once a year.
Clean the windows and check all the lights. Rain, snow and grime can build a residue on your car’s windows. Cleaning both the inside and outside of your windows will improve visibility and allow your wipers and defrost to operate efficiently. Also, be sure to check ALL the lights on your vehicle and keep the lens covers clean. Your lights not only help you see but help other motorists see you when visibility is limited.
Finally, watch your speed and always follow at a safe distance. Taking the time to follow these steps today will hopefully keep you out of harm’s way tomorrow.
For more auto safety tips visit: http://learningcenter.statefarm.com/auto/safety/]]>