Vaccination Proclamation: The Importance of Keeping Current on Immunizations

You may be diligent about your children’s vaccinations, but do you know if yours are up to date? Indeed, vaccines are not just for kids! Whether you’re young or older, we all need immunizations to help keep us healthy. Immunizations are a proven and highly effective method to help prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases.  To stay protected against serious illnesses like the flu, measles, and pneumonia, adults need vaccinations too.

Immunizations can become critical, as protection from vaccines received as a child can wear off over time, and adults may also be at risk for new and different diseases based on age, health condition, lifestyle, job and/or travel.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), immunization prevents deaths every year in all age groups from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles. The WHO estimates that immunizations prevent between 2-3 million deaths every year.

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Preparing You for Hurricane Michael

HURRICANE SEASON: PREPARATION AND RECOVERY TIPS

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE HURRICANE SEASON

  • Establish an Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) that takes prevention, emergency response, and disaster recovery into consideration. If an EPP is already in place, review and update it as needed for hurricane readiness.
  • Designate an Emergency Coordinator and an EPP Team.
  • Assign responsibility to specific employees for advance arrangements to initiate the plan.
  • Insure that your insurance carrier claims reporting information is up to date.
  • Brace outside storage tanks and outer structures.
  • Inspect all battery powered equipment and backup power.
  • Inspect sewers and drains.
  • Check all drainage pumps.
  • Inspect the roof and flashing for serviceability.
  • Check the landscaping; prune dead branches.
  • Have a supply of plastic or tarpaulins on hand ready to cover water-sensitive equipment.

AT THE APPROACH OF THE HURRICANE

  • Secure and duplicate vital financial records; determine who will be responsible for claims filing/handling in your organization; determine how you will maintain a record of expenses associated with a loss, etc.
  • Review your property insurance policy to familiarize yourself with coverage, deductibles, and your obligations/duties under the policy as coverage can be impacted negatively if those duties are not followed.
  • Inspect roof drains and piping; are they clear of debris and fully functional?
  • Check floor drains and sumps; are they clear of debris and fully functional?
  • Check all storm water catch basins and grates to be sure they are clear of debris.
  • Be sure that roof flashing is secure.
  • Make sure that doors and windows will remain latched.
  • Protect windows from flying debris.
  • Walk the grounds; move objects inside that could become missiles in high winds.
  • Anchor any equipment stored outside that could be moved by high winds.
  • Move supplies stored outside to inside storage.
  • Assemble supplies for the emergency crews and for emergency repairs.
  • Protect vital records against flooding and wind.
  • Secure backup records.
  • Inspect fire protection equipment.
  • Top off fuel in the emergency generators ; test run.
  • Evacuate non-essential personnel.
  • Have remaining personnel take shelter.
  • Check the supply and serviceability of sandbags.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE: DURING THE HURRICANE

  • Patrol the facility continuously, as long as it is safe to do so.
  • Check for any damage to the structure.
  • Check for leaks and fire systems impairment.
  • Complete any emergency repairs that are possible and safe to perform.
  • Shut off any valves where pipes have been broken.
  • Watch for flooding. Use sandbags when necessary.
  • Watch for reverse winds after the eye of the storm has passed. They will affect different areas and perhaps break trees that had been blown in the other direction.

EMERGENCY RECOVERY: AFTER THE HURRICANE

  • Conduct a roll call of all personnel on the premises.
  • Check for safety hazards (downed trees, branches, downed power wires, leaking gas, blocked roof drains, reptiles).
  • Assess the damage.
  • Promptly report the loss to your insurance carrier, contact your MMA Mid-Atlantic Risk Services team for assistance.  Visit www.mma-midatlantic.com to get detailed information on claim reporting.
  • Make temporary repairs to protect the structure and supplies.
  • Photograph and document any damage before making repairs.  If temporary repairs are needed, remember to keep all receipts for materials purchased or costs incurred.
  • Prepare a list of damages in preparation for discussion with an adjuster.
  • If possible, do not discard damaged items before discussion with an adjuster unless that may cause further damage.  If that is the case, take whatever photos you can prior to discarding materials.
  • You may be contacted by various vendors (contractors, public adjusters or restoration firms) asking you to enter into contracts for work.  As always, due diligence should be utilized when deciding which vendors to utilize and/or what contracts to sign.    If emergency work is necessary and authorization is required before an adjuster can respond, any scope of work should be limited to that which would be to reduce the potential for additional bodily injury or property damage.
  • Begin salvage operations.

Here are some helpful links to help you prepare:

We sincerely appreciate your business and are committed to doing everything we can to assist you in the event of a loss. If you have any questions, please contact us.

For more information on Hurricane Preparedness, you may want to visit:
https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php
https://www.osha.gov/dts/weather/hurricane/preparedness.html

Don’t Forget the Benefits of Hand Washing

As we leave summer behind and enter into fall and winter, we so too enter the cold and flu season. While you should indeed get your yearly flu shot, don’t mistakenly think that vaccinations can protect you from every illness or from getting sick altogether. To be sure, the very basic act of hand washing can protect your health just as well as some of our most recent and sophisticated treatments.

Good old-fashioned hand washing is one of the simplest and most important things you can do to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Proper washing removes germs from your hands. If you have harmful germs on your hands and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth you can get sick.

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Watch Out For Price Gouging Scams During Hurricane Florence

As Hurricane Florence approaches our coast this week, all of North Carolina is under a state of emergency. This means that our state’s price gouging law is in effect as well. Price gouging occurs if businesses or vendors charge excessively high prices in a time of crisis. If you notice businesses in your area charging too much while under a state of emergency, report them to our office by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint online at http://ncdoj.gov/pricegougingcomplaint. The price gouging law took effect when the state of emergency was declared on Friday, Sept. 7, and will remain in effect until the state of emergency is lifted.

As we track the storm’s progress over the next few days, please be sure to follow readync.org for state weather updates and safety alerts. You can also read more from Attorney General Josh Stein on how to prepare for natural disasters and their aftermath.

This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.

Preparing You for Hurricane Florence

HURRICANE SEASON: PREPARATION AND RECOVERY TIPS

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE HURRICANE SEASON

  • Establish an Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) that takes prevention, emergency response, and disaster recovery into consideration. If an EPP is already in place, review and update it as needed for hurricane readiness.
  • Designate an Emergency Coordinator and an EPP Team.
  • Assign responsibility to specific employees for advance arrangements to initiate the plan.
  • Insure that your insurance carrier claims reporting information is up to date.
  • Brace outside storage tanks and outer structures.
  • Inspect all battery powered equipment and backup power.
  • Inspect sewers and drains.
  • Check all drainage pumps.
  • Inspect the roof and flashing for serviceability.
  • Check the landscaping; prune dead branches.
  • Have a supply of plastic or tarpaulins on hand ready to cover water-sensitive equipment.

AT THE APPROACH OF THE HURRICANE

  • Secure and duplicate vital financial records; determine who will be responsible for claims filing/handling in your organization; determine how you will maintain a record of expenses associated with a loss, etc.
  • Review your property insurance policy to familiarize yourself with coverage, deductibles, and your obligations/duties under the policy as coverage can be impacted negatively if those duties are not followed.
  • Inspect roof drains and piping; are they clear of debris and fully functional?
  • Check floor drains and sumps; are they clear of debris and fully functional?
  • Check all storm water catch basins and grates to be sure they are clear of debris.
  • Be sure that roof flashing is secure.
  • Make sure that doors and windows will remain latched.
  • Protect windows from flying debris.
  • Walk the grounds; move objects inside that could become missiles in high winds.
  • Anchor any equipment stored outside that could be moved by high winds.
  • Move supplies stored outside to inside storage.
  • Assemble supplies for the emergency crews and for emergency repairs.
  • Protect vital records against flooding and wind.
  • Secure backup records.
  • Inspect fire protection equipment.
  • Top off fuel in the emergency generators ; test run.
  • Evacuate non-essential personnel.
  • Have remaining personnel take shelter.
  • Check the supply and serviceability of sandbags.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE: DURING THE HURRICANE

  • Patrol the facility continuously, as long as it is safe to do so.
  • Check for any damage to the structure.
  • Check for leaks and fire systems impairment.
  • Complete any emergency repairs that are possible and safe to perform.
  • Shut off any valves where pipes have been broken.
  • Watch for flooding. Use sandbags when necessary.
  • Watch for reverse winds after the eye of the storm has passed. They will affect different areas and perhaps break trees that had been blown in the other direction.

EMERGENCY RECOVERY: AFTER THE HURRICANE

  • Conduct a roll call of all personnel on the premises.
  • Check for safety hazards (downed trees, branches, downed power wires, leaking gas, blocked roof drains, reptiles).
  • Assess the damage.
  • Promptly report the loss to your insurance carrier, contact your MMA Mid-Atlantic Risk Services team for assistance.  Visit www.mma-midatlantic.com to get detailed information on claim reporting.
  • Make temporary repairs to protect the structure and supplies.
  • Photograph and document any damage before making repairs.  If temporary repairs are needed, remember to keep all receipts for materials purchased or costs incurred.
  • Prepare a list of damages in preparation for discussion with an adjuster.
  • If possible, do not discard damaged items before discussion with an adjuster unless that may cause further damage.  If that is the case, take whatever photos you can prior to discarding materials.
  • You may be contacted by various vendors (contractors, public adjusters or restoration firms) asking you to enter into contracts for work.  As always, due diligence should be utilized when deciding which vendors to utilize and/or what contracts to sign.    If emergency work is necessary and authorization is required before an adjuster can respond, any scope of work should be limited to that which would be to reduce the potential for additional bodily injury or property damage.
  • Begin salvage operations.

Here are some helpful links to help you prepare:

We sincerely appreciate your business and are committed to doing everything we can to assist you in the event of a loss. If you have any questions, please contact us.

For more information on Hurricane Preparedness, you may want to visit:
https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php
https://www.osha.gov/dts/weather/hurricane/preparedness.html

Five Most Expensive Causes of Home Property Damage

When you leave your home, there’s no guarantee that it will be there when you get back.

Unpredictable accidents can happen at any time. Gas leaks, burst pipes and extreme weather can rain destruction on a home in minutes. And while homeowners’ insurance is a reliable form of coverage, certain events may fall under coverages. Continue reading “Five Most Expensive Causes of Home Property Damage”

Preparing for a Hurricane or Tropical Storm

You can’t stop a tropical storm or hurricane, but you can take steps now to protect you and your family.

If you live in areas at risk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages you to begin preparing for hurricane season. The Atlantic hurricane season is June 1 through November 30 each year. Continue reading “Preparing for a Hurricane or Tropical Storm”

Top 10 ways parents can help teens become safe drivers

As parents, we hope that our kids will become safe and courteous drivers. But that won’t happen on its own. Your teenagers need you to help get them off to the right start. Here are 10 things you can do to help them become safe drivers:

1. Don’t rely solely on driver education.
High school driver education may be a convenient way to introduce teens to the mechanics of driving, but it doesn’t produce safer drivers on its own. Young people tend to overestimate their skills and underestimate their vulnerabilities. Training and education don’t change these tendencies, and while peers are influential, parents have much more influence than typically is credited to them. Continue reading “Top 10 ways parents can help teens become safe drivers”

The Smart City Transformation Has Already Begun

Recent projections predict that by 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in urban metropolis areas. This makes it imperative that the cities of the future are smart, urban localities that are healthy, enjoyable places to live, work and play.

Smart urban centers of the future will be places where roads, automobile dashboards and lamp posts communicate with one another, making life in cities safer and easier. The smart city transformation has already begun in many cities across the U.S.  A smart city connects key things in the environment using advanced technology, such as 5G wireless and the Internet of Things (IoT). The types of things that will be connected include streets, traffic signals, vehicles, personal devices, power grids and buildings, all rapidly communicating in real-time. Continue reading “The Smart City Transformation Has Already Begun”

Customer Service a Key Role in Smart Home Business Success

The demand for smart home connected devices is exploding and early adopters are taking notice. Sales in the connected home retail space are growing and big brands are paying attention. But after the “cool” factor wears off, consumers have expressed skepticism about the true value that smart home devices will bring their lives.

Early adopters are tech savvy, strive to be on the leading edge, and are generally happy to work with new technology and the challenges which it inevitability creates. Today, early adopters expect to research products online, understand the nuances of the new technology and read detailed product reviews. They are completely comfortable purchasing online, working through the device set-up process – and in many cases don’t need additional assistance.

Mainstream consumers, however, want a seamless, pain-free set up and a guaranteed purchase experience. Many still prefer a retail store experience, seeking to speak with a knowledgeable representative that understands the product and can help them make the best selection for their needs. Continue reading “Customer Service a Key Role in Smart Home Business Success”