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Helpful tips, advice, information and fun facts on topics including safety, maintenance and homeowners insurance.
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From category archives: Florida Peninsula

Hurricane Food Shopping List

  You’ve just heard word a hurricane is approaching and your first instinct is to head to the store to fill up the pantry. Remember, you should plan for the worst possible outcome; purchase food items which do not require a refrigerator, microwave, stove or oven, as electricity may not be available for a few days should you lose power. Here are the best foods to stockpile in the case of an emergency:   Drinks: Bottled water is a must-have item during a hurricane. You can also purchase Gatorade or Powerade, which are great sources of electrolytes and carbohydrates and can help rehydrate. Powdered milk is a great substitution for fresh milk if you have no power to your refrigerator. Energy: Children can get very cranky, especially when all their resources are cut off, such as the TV and radio. Stock up on items like fruit, peanut butter, nuts, trail mix, granola and power bars to keep their moods and spirits alive. Vitamins: Even though you have access to food, not eating nor ...

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Preparing the Landscape for a Hurricane

The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1st and ends November 30th, 2017. Each year, we gear up for this season by stocking up on canned food, bottled water, batteries and more. Although this is important, we should not forget about our plants and trees. We recently offered tips on protecting your plants during the winter season. Now, here are some tips to protect your plants during hurricane season.   Make a plan: If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you should plant high quality trees that have good structure. Planting more wind-resistant trees makes it more likely they will survive hurricane season. When the season comes near, pay attention to your trees to make sure they are in good shape. Look out for large, dead branches, as these should be removed to prevent damage to your home.   Protect the Harvest: If you have a vegetable garden, harvest all vegetables before the storm arrives to keep them out of harm’s way. Chances are, if high winds arrive, there will be littl ...

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Hurricane Mitigation: Protect Your Home

Hurricane mitigation encompasses the actions and measures taken before a hurricane strikes. Being a homeowner makes your home one of your largest investments. Therefore, protecting it from natural disasters should be a top priority.  A natural disaster can occur at any given time. The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast predicts a reduced amount of activity than last year, but this does not mean we should let our guards down. Here are a few steps you can take to protect your home from damage before this year’s Hurricane Season is in full effect:   Home Inspection: Is your home ready for a natural disaster? Consider having your home inspected each year before Hurricane Season approaches to ensure your personal safety, along with your home and belongings.   Shutters: If you hear news of an approaching hurricane, installing shutters to your windows can be beneficial. If a window in your home is broken during a hurricane, it can expose the inside of your house to excessive winds ...

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The Importance of Flood Insurance

April showers bring May flowers, and floods. According to FEMA, no other type of natural disaster in the United States produces more destruction and devastation than flooding. It can only take one heavy rainstorm to cause significant flooding and damage. Floods result in billions of dollars in damages each year, which it is why it is imperative to be prepared and protected.  Every home is at risk for flooding, and surprisingly, only a small percentage of homes are covered by flood insurance. Did you know, flood coverage is not typically covered by a standard homeowners, condo, or renters policy? Home insurance policies may protect you against water damage, such as a pipe leak or hole in your roof, but will not cover flood-inducing factors such as torrential rainfall or storm surge. Flood water can find its way into your flooring, walls, appliances, electrical system and furniture. It can only take an inch of flood water to cause thousands of dollars in damages to your home.  Stay above water by ...

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Understanding Flood Insurance

    One of the best ways to learn is to follow by example. The photo below is a home affected by a disastrous flood. As you can see, a majority of the home is destroyed, and will require major repair in order for the homeowners to live here again. Now, imagine if this was your home, and you found out none of this damage was going to be covered by insurance. First-time homeowners usually assume homeowners insurance covers everything. Here are some common questions people would ask when found in this situation:     “I have homeowners insurance. The flood happened in my home, so why isn’t it covered?” A typical homeowners insurance policy does not include flood coverage. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, this fact gained publicity when thousands of homeowners submitted claims to their insurance providers and learned the damage would not be covered because it had been caused by a flood. The debate back then was, the damage was caused by wind and not ...

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“A Dry Home is a Happy Home” - Ways to Protect Your Home from Flooding

  Flooding can affect your home and belongings any day, anytime and anywhere. According to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), no state or territory is safe from floods. Being the most common and expensive natural disaster in the United States, it is important to take proper measures to protect your home from flooding.   First things first; know the flood levels in your home. This is the official measure of how high floodwaters could rise where you live. By doing some research and checking FEMA’s website for the flood maps, you will be able to locate this information.   Safeguard in-home electrical and climate systems. According to IBHS (Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety),  by raising switches, circuit breakers, sockets, etc. at least one foot above the expected flood level in your area, you could save a lot of money and time on repairs if you were to experience a flood.   Once waters rise, stay above. Take proper measure ...

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Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

Although Florida's winter hasn't been so terrible for us, our homes will still require a bit of maintenance as the season changes. Here is a list of areas in your home which may require maintenance to help you stay on track this Spring:  Examine roof shingles: You should conduct a close inspection of your roof to see if any shingles were lost or damaged over time. Even the sun can damage shingles. Cracked, loose, or missing shingles should be replaced as soon as possible in order to protect your roof.  Inspect the gutters: Check for loose, leaky, or clogged gutters. If your gutters are not draining properly, this can lead water into the basement of crawl space. Remember: downspouts should drain away from the foundation and should be clear of debris.  Clean or replace your filters: This is something all homeowners (and renters) should do multiple times a year. If you filter is dirty, it will force your heat and air-conditioning system to work much harder than it should ...

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What to Inspect When You’re Inspecting

Taking the time to do a complete inspection of your home, before and after purchasing it, is always a great idea in terms of saving money and preventing extreme damage to your home. By inspecting the house before purchase, you will know in advance what you are buying if there are any areas which may need your attention. Doing further inspection each year after purchase can be useful in order to keep track of preventative maintenance, repairs, etc. Here are some less-obvious areas to pay attention to, when conducting a home inspection: Water Heater: Look particularly at the water heating system to make sure there is no damage. If you hear any water gurgling, popping or snapping, this may mean you need to drain out sediment.  Septic System: If you are not sure, find out how old your septic system is and the last time it was pumped. Also check for any signs of surface leakage.  Roof and Flooring: Check for any damage, sinking, contamination and dampness. Be sure to take a loo ...

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Christmas Tree Safety

  As the holidays approach, it is important to make safety your number one priority. When it comes to decorating your Christmas tree, keep these 5 safety tips in mind:  Watch out for the little ones: Until you can be sure your Christmas tree is standing on its own without tipping over, you should not allow small children to be in the same room. With all the excitement going on surrounding the tree, they may not be aware it may still be unstable. When the tree is sturdy and positioned, you can welcome them into the room to decorate.  Avoid glass ornaments around children: Ornaments are extremely fragile, especially glass ones. Much younger children do not have full coordination, therefore, it is suggested you use plastic or soft ornaments. If there are glass ornaments, they should be hung higher on the tree by adults only. Should they fall and break, a child could be startled and injured in the process.  Fire-Proof: Consider purchasing a flame-retardant Christmas ...

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Fire Prevention Week

October 9th-15th is the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) "National Fire Prevention Week".

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