Over the span of the last few months, there has been an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus which can be spread from person to person. Certain measures can be taken to reduce the likelihood of contracting the illness. Due to the large number of cases of illness including rising deaths resulting from the virus, it is important to stay informed. Details are still developing and no vaccine is currently available. In order to keep the virus contained, a travel ban has been issued for many countries (NOTE: The Department of State has restrictions posted on their site as well. Before traveling, be sure to get the latest on the region you plan to visit).
As of February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a name (COVID-19) for the coronavirus that originated from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. It is important to remember to use standard hygiene practices to avoid this and any other respiratory illnesses (such as seasonal influenza which is typical this time of year in US communities). UPDATE: As the situation evolves daily, the best source of information is the WHO daily situation report that maintains data on the current number of confirmed cases by country.
CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel to China. If you must travel:
The CDC recommends the following in order to prevent COVID19 and other viral infections:
There are several types of facemasks on the market today. There is a distinct difference, however, between what is commonly known as a “surgical mask” and an N95 respirator:
The CDC website has a wealth of information to remain up-to-date on what you should know. Remember not to make any determinations of risk based on race or country of origin. Confidentiality of people with any health issue including COVID-19 should be maintained. As we know more about transmissibility, severity, and other features of COVID-19, we will do our best to update you. Please visit the dedicated CDC page for updated information.These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.
In light of Hurricane Dorian battering our coast right now, flood prevention & safety seemed like a fitting topic for this week.
Almost anywhere it rains, it can flood. Even if you live in an area of that you think isn’t at risk, preparation is just as critical as with other types of emergencies.
Before we get into how you can prevent, limit or react to flooding, it’s important to note that flood damage is typically not covered by your homeowners or renters insurance. There are specialized flood insurance programs that we can discuss with you. Contact us for more information.
Preparing for a flood
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends a number of steps to stay safe during emergencies and limit damage from flooding. You should:
Acting during a flood
If a flood is likely in your area, quick action may be necessary to protect your family and property. You should:
Coping after a flood
Flooding can cause emotional stress along with physical hazards, so be mindful of the well-being of yourself and your family during the aftermath.
The Red Cross has a free book available called “Repairing Your Flooded Home,” which contains useful information as you clean up. It’s available at www.redcross.org. Of course, don’t hesitate to contact us as well — we’re ready to help!
Flooding is one of the most common hazards in the U.S. Being prepared for any emergency is crucial for the safety of you and your family. Don’t be caught off guard!
3 Steps Homeowners Can Take to Stay Safe This Holiday Season
The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also one of the most dangerous. The United States Fire Administration reported that structure fires, and the dollar loss per fire, is nearly one-third higher between December 1 and January 7. On Christmas Day alone, the incidence of fires caused by candles quadruples compared to any other day of the year.
The holidays can also be a peak time of year for home burglaries as many police departments across the country list the week after Christmas as the highest burglary caseload. You can escape these worst-case scenarios with common sense and a little forethought. To keep your home safe and secure this holiday season, here are three simple rules.
1. Don’t Leave the Kitchen Unattended
One of the leading causes of fires during the holidays isn’t Christmas trees or Christmas lights—it’s cooking. While cooking-related fires are most common on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve aren’t far behind.
Home fires occur in the kitchen more than any other room in the house. Make sure that you have a smoke alarm near the kitchen and that the batteries are in working order before you begin your holiday meal preparations.
If you follow the rule of never leaving the stove or oven unattended, you can avoid a potentially dangerous situation. Distractions are inevitable when your extended family arrives for Christmas Day festivities. Adding an extra set of hands to assist with cooking can help mitigate the risk of a potential fire hazard.
2. Mind Your Festive Lights
Even if you follow all instructions, like making sure that the base of your Christmas tree is always submerged in water, you are still at risk for a fire if you don’t manage your Christmas lights safely. To lower your risk of a fire, always follow these light-safety tips:
Outdoor lights are a little more complex—and just as dangerous. Keep these basic guidelines in mind when setting up your display:
3. Don’t Leave Your Home (and Gifts) Vulnerable
Leaving your house clearly unattended is an open invitation for burglars. If you plan on going out of town, even for a day or two, follow these simple rules:
Even if you’re staying home this holiday season, you still need to take steps to defend your home against burglars:
Get Peace of Mind This Holiday Season from Auto-Owners Insurance
This holiday season is the perfect time to check with your insurance agent to confirm that you are protected against everything that could go wrong. The independent agents are experts at seeing gaps in your home insurance coverage that could leave you and your home vulnerable. For example, what if gifts are stolen from the trunk of your car while it’s parked in your driveway? Is that covered?
Your insurance agent can answer all these home insurance questions and give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your home and your presents are protected this holiday season.
for more information, please visit Auto-Owners' blog.