family safety

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RV Ready: Spring maintenance for summer funAs winter thaws into spring blossoms, summer beckons with backyard cookouts and campfires under the stars. Like many people in New York, spring also means an overhaul of all the recreational toys and gear that make those summertime adventures comfortable, including the family camper. Here are some considerations when readying your RV for all the camping and travel expeditions ahead.
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Spring Tune-Ups for Summer AdventuringWhile the bluster and bite of winter may still reign over much of the country, spring melts and the months of outdoor recreation they usher forth are just around the corner. Now is the time to survey summer gear and prepare for the active months ahead. Boating, camping, and cycling gear can all benefit from a seasonal tune-up. Here are some recommendations for fun summer adventuring.
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Telehealth: Is it here to stay? The pandemic changed many things for many Americans, from how we work to how we socialize. One potentially positive shift is that it accelerated the already growing field of telehealth. Suddenly it became easier and made more sense to see your doctor online for basic ailments and routine check-ins. But is telehealth all it's cracked up to be? Here are some common questions you may have about telehealth:
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' . htmlspecialchars( $aNewBlogPost['META_TITLE'] ) . 'Winter is coming, and with increased costs on gas, food, and just about everything else, it's no surprise that your energy bill might threaten to strain your budget this season, too. But there's actually a lot you can do to stay cozy and warm and reduce your energy consumption this winter. Here are some ways to save on heating.
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The Most Common Holiday-Related Insurance ClaimsThe holiday season is upon us, meaning it's time to be jolly, gather with friends and family, and, hopefully, stay safe. But in addition to the things we're all wishing for, the holidays can bring some unwanted gifts in the form of accidents, damages, or injuries that might result in an insurance claim. So what are the most common holiday-related insurance claims and how can you avoid them? Read on to find out.
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Creating Your Own Emergency Supply KitAs youngsters, the more serious-minded among us were vigilant about making the Scout motto "Be Prepared" a reality. Now with the latest round of fires, earthquakes and hurricanes, the old adage is more relevant than ever. Even in New York, we all have the potential to encounter the occasional unpredicted mishap. But few events can be as unpredictable, or devastating, as natural disasters: hurricanes, floods, wildfires, tsunamis, severe storms, tornadoes, and landslides, many of which we've been faced with lately.
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Pet Care 101: Tips for Hot Weather HandlingPets often become more like family members, and in the case of dogs (and the occasional cat), we tend to take them wherever we go. But before you pack up Fido for a summer road trip, it's important to think about how to keep your beloved pet safe when temperatures are extreme.
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Protecting Your Property from TheftMultiple studies have demonstrated that crime rates increase in the summer. Why? Well, the answer is complex, but researchers have suggested that some of the reasons include:
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Summer Building Project: Fencing"Good fences make good neighbors," wrote Robert Frost in his poem "Mending Wall." And the legendary poet makes a good point, as fences can offer privacy, protect younger family members and pets as they spend time outdoors, and add to the aesthetics and value of a home.
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Avoiding Summer Heat-Related IllnessesHeat-related illnesses are serious business. When left untreated, the symptoms of heat exhaustion can turn into heatstroke, which is life-threatening. During the prime summer months, this can be a big problem and one that can creep up on you, since the signs and symptoms of heatstroke can often look like something else. With normal summer temperatures slowly increasing around the globe, it's even more important to understand how heatstroke occurs and how you can prevent it.
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All About Agua: Water Safety for HomeownersYou hear a lot about water conservation lately, but what about water quality? Where does a household's water even come from, how is it maintained, and how can you know if it's safe for you and your family? Here's what you need to know about the water in your home, and what might indicate a problem
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The Family-Mobile: Choosing the Right Vehicle for Your HouseholdIf you're a typical American family, chances are you spend a lot of time in the car: driving to and from sports practice and music lessons, dropping kids off for playdates and sleepovers, taking road trips to visit friends and family, and the like. So if it's time for an upgrade, you really want to find the right vehicle for your family and lifestyle. Here's what you should think about when planning for a new family-mobile, to make sure your loved ones stay safe on the road.
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Recreational Vehicle SafetyRecreational Vehicle (RV) sales soared during the pandemic, as stir-crazy families across the U.S. realized that road trips might be the safest and only way to get out of the house. And according to recent consumer reports, the trend shows no signs of slowing.
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How to Handle Water Damage in the HomeHaving water where it's not supposed to be can be one of the biggest threats to your home. Water damage can be caused by many things, including faulty plumbing, leaking appliances, or just bad weather. A smart homeowner knows how to check for water leaks and other issues, and what to do if there's a problem.
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Finance Tips for Growing FamiliesStarting a family is a momentous and joyful occasion. But it can also be quite daunting for some, especially when it comes to the financial aspects involved. Frequent questions include: How much is this all going to cost? What type of insurance will I need?
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Dryer Vent Safety FactorsAccording to the U.S. Fire Administration, clothes dryers contribute to nearly 3,000 fires, 5 deaths and over $35 million in property loss each year. So making sure your dryer vent is clear is a simple but important way to keep your home and family safer. Even in the absence of fire, clogged vents cause your dryer to be less effective resulting in greater use of electricity and more breakdowns. If you find your dryer is taking longer and longer to fully dry a load of laundry, chances are your vent has become blocked with lint.
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Inspecting and Maintaining Home UtilitiesUtilities, such as electricity, water, and natural gas, allow us to complete the tasks of daily living. Now that working from home has become the norm, it's that much more important that these critical services work reliably, day after day. As the chances of extreme weather and natural disasters continue to increase, here's what you should know about maintaining your home utilities, and what to do if there's a problem.
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How to Protect Yourself as a RenterAll renters have rights. Some are guaranteed by law, while others will be outlined in your lease agreement. Here are some things you can do to be a savvy renter and protect yourself if things go wrong:
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Safety Tips: Buying and Selling OnlineThis year, many of us got a much more up close and personal relationship with our families, our houses, and our things. And many of us realized: we have way too much of all three. While you can't get rid of your 6-year-old or your spouse, there are plenty of places you can go to unload excess stuff.
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Got the Winter Blues? Get Outside! (Even if it is Cold)Many Americans struggle with depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the winter months. This year, it's been especially hard to stay mentally and physically healthy. When the pandemic has forced many of us to stay cooped up inside our houses, it just gets easier and easier to not get out of your pajamas or venture beyond your front door. But if you want to get back to a healthier lifestyle in the new year, getting outside is one great way to start improving your social life, physical health, and state of mind.
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New Year, New You: Getting back on track after 2020Not many of us will be sad to have 2020 behind us, and the good news is: It won't take much to make this year better than the last! The bad news? Many of us have abandoned our exercise routines, social engagements, and healthy habits just to cope with living through a global pandemic. As we launch into a new, and hopefully better year, here are 10 things you can do to get back on track.
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Tips for Successful College VisitsIf your child is approaching college-age, you might be thinking about planning some campus visits. These visits can provide very valuable information that just can't be gleaned from a website, brochure, or visit with a designated college representative. But how do you choose which colleges to visit? And how do you make sure those visits are worthwhile? Here are some tips to maximize your time and enjoyment on the campus visit circuit.
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Tires 101: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe on the RoadGood tires that are in good shape are critical to safe driving. Every driver should know a little bit about how to assess their tires and how to purchase new ones when they're needed.
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Virtual Schooling TipsLike it or not, millions of students are accessing their education virtually this year, and around the country, schools are using different models, platforms, and approaches with varying results. Some students are thriving or getting by, others are struggling or becoming completely disengaged.
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Ten Tips For Safe Holidays With Your Family (and COVID)The holidays are fraught this year. We miss our families and we want to see them. Here are some things you can do to stay on the sane side of family gatherings during a global pandemic.
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The COVID Meltdown: How to Cope with Pandemic-Related StressIt's safe to say that, at this point, everyone around the globe is tired of the pandemic. So much so that there's now an official name for it: pandemic fatigue. Unfortunately, the end of this difficult episode unknown, which means we're going to have to live with the constraints of pandemic life and all of its negative impacts for much longer than we would like.
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Caring for Elderly Family MembersTaking care of elderly parents? Here's how to keep them safe and stay sane. Having the opportunity to spend time with and give back to your elderly parents can be an unexpected gift. But as rewarding as it is, it can also be exhausting, frustrating, and dispiriting at times. Here are some ways to stay sane and enjoy time with your loved ones while you still have them.
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Happy Halloween: Stay Safe and DecorateThe season of ghosts, goblins, costumes and eating too much candy is here. Whether you're a Halloween enthusiast or just someone who loves fall, here are our top 5 home decorating tips, plus a few safety tips for the creepiest night of the year.
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Social Media SafetyThese days, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when many work and school remotely, much of our lives is spent online. And social media is not just for young people anymore, different platforms have become the norm for all ages. Sure, it has its perks, such as catching up with people whom you might not otherwise get to visit with, but it can also be harmful if not used properly. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself online, plus a few tips specifically for teens.
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10 Tips for a baby-safe houseBabies and toddlers are a bit like puppies. They're curious. They don't have complete control of their bodies when they're still very young, and once they're mobile, look out! They put things into their mouths, and explore everything they can get their hands on. As a new parent, it's your job to minimize the risks around your home, so that your baby can play and explore without getting hurt... and without ruining the house.
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Preparing for an EmergencyA few short months ago, many of us, and around the world, quickly learned that we were not prepared for an emergency. And while it didn't turn out to be the type of emergency we thought it was; there was really no need to buy all that toilet paper. It reminded us that we are not invincible, and that we really should have an emergency plan and supplies in place. If you haven't already put together your own emergency plan and supplies, it's not too late. Take the following steps to make sure your family is prepared.
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Home Innovations: Technology for Smarter LivingTechnology-enhanced homes in New York are the wave of the future, but many people might not understand how smart home technology works, believe they can afford it, or know whether or not it's worth the investment. While there certainly are complete smart home systems available, you don't necessarily have to go all in or spend a ton of money in order to take advantage of some of the most practical innovations smart home technology has to offer.
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Back to School (or not): Keeping Kids Healthy During COVID-19This fall, we're heading into an unknown future with the COVID-19 virus. While some schools are doing their best to re-open, other schools and some parents have decided it's best for kids to stay home, at least for now. As adults, we know how to social distance, wash our hands, and do whatever we can to minimize our risk of infection, but these practices are harder to enforce with kids and teens. Whether or not your kids are going back to school in the fall, here are some things you can do to keep them healthy.
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Keeping your Cool in the SummerIn some areas of the country, having an air conditioner is an absolute necessity. But in other areas, such as in the Rocky Mountain Regions, staying cool indoors takes some diligence and effort. Whether your home is equipped with AC or not, here are some things you can do to keep your spaces cooler this summer.
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A Day at The BeachWhile the summer of COVID-19 continues, many Americans are looking for ways to get their recreation and vacation fixes without putting themselves at risk. Having a good old-fashioned day at the beach is a great option. Whether you're trying to minimize the risks of the virus or a jellyfish sting, make sure to follow these guidelines during your excursion to stay safe and protected.
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Top 10 Risks Related to Summer DrivingThis summer, during these unprecedented times, families are taking to the road as a way to vacation in the safest way possible during the pandemic. While driving may minimize your risk of contracting COVID-19, it isn't always the safest way to travel - in fact, the summer months are some of the most dangerous to be on the road. Here are the top 10 risks that you should be aware of if you're planning on taking that summer road trip.
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10 Tips to Prep for Boat SeasonBoating season is here and, fortunately, it's an activity that can be very compatible with social distancing and other pandemic safety guidelines. But before you take your new or beloved watercraft out for a first spin, it's important to conduct basic maintenance and preparations so that your time out on the water is safe and smooth sailing.
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How To Have A Social Distance Summer (And Still Have Fun)Summer in New York is almost here and, unfortunately, the global pandemic we've been faced with is still here too. While most of the country, and the world for that matter, are reopening, fears of a resurgence still linger, and we are faced with the unknown. Around the nation, everything from festivals to summer camps have been cancelled, vacation plans have changed, and we're all wondering if summer will even feel like summer at all.
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Family Flying: Tips for surviving a plane trip with young kidsFlying with young kids can be a breeze or a nightmare, and with many factors involved, it's nearly impossible to predict which kind of trip you're going to have. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to make a trip with young kids more relaxing.
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Tips for Watering Summer GardensSummer is coming, and with that, gardeners everywhere are pulling on their gloves, dusting off their shovels, purchasing seeds, and getting into the dirt. Whether you're an experienced gardener or a novice, knowing how to keep your garden properly watered is an important skill to develop. Here are some tips to improve your watering game.
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Fire Prevention - Power Strip SafetyWhat would we do without our handy power strips? Those convenient blocks of electrical sockets, which enable us to convert one outlet into several, make it possible to plug in all the gear that we can't live without these days. A typical location for a power strip is the home office, where it helps computers, speakers, printers, monitors, and all sorts of other necessities come to life. But many households have power strips in multiple rooms, if not every room, since there are so many items that require plugging in these days. Hairstyling tools, cooking equipment, and phone chargers come to mind!
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How to Safely Handle a Flat Tire (Almost) Like a ProIf you don't have the resources to handle it, a flat tire can ruin your plans, and sometimes, your day. But, under the right circumstances, anyone can safely change a tire. Here's what you need to know to be ready for a flat, how to change it yourself, and when to call for help.
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Fire Safety: Keeping Appliances in CheckMost people rely on dozens of appliances to support their daily tasks and activities, including small but significant tools like alarm clocks or hairdryers; toasters and stand mixers; and heavy hitters like the dishwasher or washing machine. So, how do you keep your appliances running their best, and getting a good return for your investment by having them work for as many years as possible? Here are a few tips to improve the performance and longevity of appliances.
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Snow, Ice, and RoofsThere are a variety of potentially serious and costly problems that can happen when you allow too much snow to pile up on your roof: water damage, leakage and in some extreme cases, collapse. If you're a homeowner who lives in a wintry climate, it's important to understand how snow and ice can impact your roof, preventative measures, and when to take action.
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Homeowner Safety: Tips for Outdoor LightingYou put so much into the interior of your home, and maybe even its landscaping and outdoor spaces. But you may not have considered how the right outdoor lighting can protect your home and its contents; keep you and your family safe as you navigate walkways and entrances in the dark; and elevate your home's exterior and outdoor living areas. Here's what you need to know to begin the process of selecting and installing outdoor lighting for your home.
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Bundle Up For Winter: Insurance Policies for Home, Recreation, Travel & MoreWe've all got plans for the holidays and winter season: trips to take, winter activities to try, and the everyday to-do lists that don't stop just because the cold weather has arrived. But difficult conditions have a way of causing plans to go awry or causing damage that we just didn't expect. Here are some of the extra insurance protections you should consider purchasing this season, in case things don't go exactly the way you planned.
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Homeowner Safety: Before You Dig..."Call before you dig" is a refrain you may have already heard from Public Service Announcements on the radio or TV. But many homeowners still ignore this basic advice, sometimes with deadly results. If you're planning to dig anywhere on your property, here's what you need to know--and do--to get the job done safely.
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Bon Appetit: Holiday Food SafetyThe holidays are a time for potlucks, office parties, and food-related gifts. But how can you be sure that mystery casserole, fruitcake gift basket, or shrimp cocktail are safe to eat? Here are some tips to keep in mind when you're cooking for a crowd, attending a holiday party, or deciding what to bring to an office potluck.
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Car Recalls: Everything You Need to KnowEvery week there's a new recall in the news, and it seems that no auto retailer has gone unpunished for some minor or major manufacturing defect that has put its customers at risk. Problems and safety concerns have been discovered with everything from airbags to brakes to backup cameras, and sometimes entire vehicles have been recalled. Whether your vehicle is new or old, it's important that you know when a safety issue arises, and the steps you can take to get your car fixed. Here are some tips for keeping up on and dealing with recalls.
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Fall ATV SafetyAll Terrain Vehicles, or ATVs, can provide hours of thrilling fall fun. But they can also be extremely dangerous. Over 100,000 people wind up in the emergency room each year due to ATV accidents. Here's what you need to know to be safe on your ATV, and to help prevent injuries to yourself and others:
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Safety tips for trampolines and other high-risk backyard funTrampolines, swing sets and other backyard play equipment can be scream-your-head-off fun, but also incredibly dangerous. So how do you keep your kids safe, and what can you do to protect yourself in case something happens? Here are some things you should know, and steps you can take to make your backyard a haven for safe play:
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Car Seat installation Tips and InspectionsIf you're a new parent, a car seat is one of the most important pieces of baby gear you'll purchase but it must be installed properly to be safe. Unfortunately, studies show that a large majority of parents make at least one mistake when installing a new car seat. But it doesn't have to be complicated, and there is help out there. Follow these guidelines for proper installation and to keep your child safe in the car from day one:
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Wearing a HelmetWhether you're on a bike, motorcycle, or an all-terrain-vehicle (ATV), you should always wear a helmet. Of course, not everyone does, and not every state requires it in all situations. Although many states have helmet laws, they can vary quite a bit. So why should you wear a helmet, even if it's not the law? There are several reasons, including the most important: It could save your life.
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Driving Safety: Tips & Tricks for Securing CargoIt's summer, which means that millions of Americans will soon start packing their cars to go camping, visit the beach or faraway relatives; or to take part in recreational activities like surfing or biking only to find that there's not enough room for all of their stuff. Fortunately, there are many ways to carry that extra gear or cargo on the roof of your vehicle but it's important that you do it safely. Here's all you need to know about securing your stuff before you hit the road.
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Pool Safety: Taking Care of Your PoolOwning a pool takes some time and energy, but keeping it clean both inside and out ensures the safety of your guests and the longevity of your investment. While pool care requires effort, it doesn't have to be painful. Follow these tips for regular upkeep so you can spend more time enjoying your pool than you do maintaining it:
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Tree Care for HomeownersTrees add a lot to a community and neighborhood in New York, and they even enhance the value of the properties they inhabit. But if not properly maintained, they can cause safety issues, increase the risk of fire, damage homes, interfere with power lines or plumbing; or become diseased and even die. Whether your trees are new, young or mature, don't leave their health up to chance. Here are some ways to maintain trees on your property.
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10 Boating Safety TipsFor boating enthusiasts, being out on the water is the best part of summer--but only if nothing goes wrong. While unexpected situations do happen, many accidents and injuries that occur while boating can be prevented, or the potential damages can be substantially reduced. The U.S. Coast Guard and the National Safety Council offer many ways that recreational boaters can stay safe on the water and minimize the risk of injury for themselves and their loved ones:
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Safe Driving Tips, Part 2: All About FocusWe're all distracted these days. In every moment, there are dozens of things competing for our attention, and well, driving is no exception. Loud music, texting, or an unruly kid in the back seat can threaten to take our focus away from the road just long enough for an accident to happen.
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Spring Homeowner Safety ChecklistSpring is here: The grass is turning green, flowers are budding, and birds are singing their songs from morning to night. Before you get too excited about the vegetation and the warmer weather, take a weekend to tend to your home's basic needs after a long winter. These important home maintenance tasks can save you time and money in the long run as well as prevent serious problems or safety hazards that could damage your home or put your family at risk.
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ATV InsuranceIt can be a thrilling experience to get out and experience nature in an off-road vehicle. But off-road vehicles can also be extremely dangerous, accounting for hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries each year. If you're the owner of an ATV or UTV, it's important to be sure you're properly covered to protect yourself, others and your vehicle from loss or damage.
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Safe Driving TipsAccording to the National Safety Council, someone is killed in a car accident every 15 minutes, and many more are injured each day. Car accidents remain a leading cause of death in the U.S. year after year, and yet, reducing our risk on the road isn't something most of us think about once we've passed the exam and joined the ranks of everyday drivers. Here are some basics to review to make sure that you're doing your part to be a responsible driver, and to protect yourself and your community.
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Spring CleaningWe all love how fresh and wonderful a home can feel after a good spring cleaning; but getting started can be overwhelming. Fortunately, you don't have to clean your home perfectly to rejuvenate your living space. Here's how to get maximum results, whether you have a few hours, a few days, or no extra time at all.
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Many parents rightly experience a strong anxiety when turning over the car keys to their new teen driver. There are a several things a parent can do to make sure that the teenage driving experience is a safe one. First, teenagers need to understand that driving is a privilege, not a right. With privileges come certain responsibilities. It is best to make those responsibilities and the consequences for not meeting them as clear as possible. One way to do that is with an actual contract between parents and teenagers built around the concept of graduated licensing and restrictions for high risk situations.
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The Effects of StressEveryone experiences stress and not all of it is bad. But when stress levels stay high or become chronic, they can cause a huge variety of health issues or make existing health problems worse. Overproduction of stress hormones can damage the brain, heart, and other organs and prevent cells from functioning normally. As the Mayo Clinic explains, chronic stress impacts the body, which impacts the mood, which can impact behavior. In this way, too much stress can impact our entire lives, affecting health, relationships and our quality of living on a day to day basis.
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Protecting your Privacy InsuranceThis past year, it seemed like just about every week there was a new headline about some serious privacy breach, intentional or otherwise, occurring at a major organization. With the increasing popularity of technologies, from genetic testing to health tracking apps and electronic payment services, we're putting more of our important personal information online, and we have less and less understanding of what's being done with that information or how to keep it safe. Here are a few important takeaways from the year in digital privacy, and a few things you can do to make your information safer this year.
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Change Furnace FilterLet's face it, most of us probably don't think much about replacing everyday household items, the ones we hang onto for months or even years. But hiding in our kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms are many tools and products that should be refreshed on a regular basis to prevent illness and disease, or just to ensure that they're actually working properly.
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winter sportsMany popular winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and even sledding can be high risk. Every year, thousands of people are treated for head injuries associated with these winter activities, and too many of those injuries turn out to be serious or, sometimes, fatal. January is National Winter Sports Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, sports injuries are rarely fatal, but the majority of fatalities due to sports injury are the result of traumatic brain injury. Keep reading to find out the real risk and how can you protect yourself and your loved ones from sports injuries this winter.
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Trip Insurance for Ski tripsSo you want to plan a ski trip? Whether you're an advanced skier or just starting out, a ski vacation can be a wonderful way to relax, have fun, and spend hard-earned time off with family and friends. Getting all the details right might seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Follow this guide to plan a hassle-free trip.
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Holiday Toy SafetyThere's nothing more magical than seeing a child's eyes light up upon opening a special gift during the holidays. But not all toys are created equal: some can contribute to accidents, injuries, and even cause death in some cases. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 240,000 toy related injuries were treated in emergency rooms around the country. Here is what you need to know to choose safe and healthy toys for your kids.
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Holiday Season Travel TipsIt's exciting to pack up the whole family and make a journey to see close friends, visit a magical (or just warm) location, or spend time with extended family over the holidays. But traveling this time of year can also be especially exceptionally stressful. Here are some tips for making your holiday travel time more relaxed, enjoyable, or at least a little more tolerable:
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How much do you know about your skin or skin overall, for that matter? November is National Healthy Skin Month, and a good time to set aside all the latest skincare fads and get some real information about your skin, what it does, and what truly is the best way to take care of it.
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End of Summer InsuranceSummer in New York is officially over. And it may seem tempting to just throw everything in the garage and be done with it until the warmer season rolls around again. But taking the time to put your summer gear away properly will ensure that it doesn't get damaged during the winter season, and make it that much easier to jump right into warm weather recreation and activities when things heat up again.

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After a long summer, most parents and (some) kids alike are ready to go back to school. But going back to school also means sending your kids into a sea of germs, and increasing their likelihood of getting sick. In fact, most school-aged children will get 6-10 colds every single year. But there are several things you can do to help your child and the rest of your family stay healthy, and decrease their chances of catching an illness at school.
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September is Healthy Aging MonthWhat does it mean to age in a healthful way? Although it's different for each person, healthy aging is about maintaining a high quality of life at every stage, and cultivating habits that allow you to continue to enjoy your life and do the things you love to do. And while aging is inevitable, aging well is a choice.
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Back-to-School Basics for College: How to PrepareFall in New York is fast approaching, and back-to-school sales are already underway, everywhere you look. If you're sending your teenager to college for his or her first year, you're going to need much more than just notebooks and pencils. Make sure your student is ready by following these guidelines.
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Tips for Creating Great Outdoor Living SpacesIt's summertime, and many of us long to spend more time outside. Creating an outdoor living space can make it easier to take advantage of wonderful weather, and bring some simple joy and serenity to daily living. Here are some things to consider when planning an outdoor living space, and how to begin the process.
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Mother applying sunscreenWe all know we're supposed to wear sunscreen, but with hundreds of options on the shelves every summer, many of us end up choosing the wrong one. Here's what you need to know about how to choose the right sunscreen, and why.
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Tips for a Safe and Sensational BarbecueOutdoor grilling season in New York is here, a time to relax on the deck and enjoy some ribs or a juicy burger cooked to perfection on the grill. But even the most experienced grill master should take safety precautions before firing up the grill. Make sure your outdoor entertaining goes according to plan by following these grilling safety tips.
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Your Next Great American VacationSummer is here and families of all shapes and sizes are looking for affordable ways to relax, learn, adventure and enjoy the season with their loved ones. Here are our top five suggestions for a fun, flexible, family-friendly getaways.
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A Guide to Summer Camp PreparednessCamp, whether it's a day camp or sleepaway camp may offer parents a much needed break from kid-wrangling over the summer. Camp usually also becomes a wonderful experience for kids, too; but getting through that first day drop off can be challenging for both kids and parents. Here's how to make sure your journey to camp goes as smoothly as possible.
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Concerns About Teen VapingWe have all heard about the sharp increase in e-cigarette use, aka "vaping," among young people. If you are a parent or educator of teens, you're probably more familiar than most. So why are e-cigarettes suddenly so common on middle and high school campuses? Here's what you need to know about vaping, and how to protect your teen.
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Insurance for PoolsSo you're thinking of buying a pool and imagining those lazy, hot summer days when you'll get to slip into the cool water, sunbathe, play with the kids, and invite friends and neighbors to share in your good fortune. But there's more to owning a pool than just the fun stuff. Make sure that it's truly something you want and are willing to put in the work to maintain. Here are a few things to consider before you "dive in" -no pun intended.
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Tips for Planning a Successful Summer for KidsThink back to your best childhood summer. Was it action packed, or full of lazy days? Did you spend time with family, visit your grandma down South, or just run around the neighborhood with friends? Maybe your memories include helping your dad out at the office, working a summer job, or taking on a challenging internship. Keep those memories in mind and follow these guidelines to plan a summer your kids will remember forever.
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Spring is here, and summer is close behind. Time to start daydreaming about driving off into the sunset...
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Kids and Concussion-Prone SportsWe all know the benefits of participating in youth sports: they provide exercise, enjoyment, and a sense of belonging, while teaching valuable lessons about teamwork, disappointment and persistence, among other things. Nowadays, however, it's hard to ignore the research on concussions in youth sports, and the fact that participating can have potentially serious, long-term consequences. Here's what you need to know to make an informed decision.
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Winter sports are all about making the most of the frigid temperatures. But because conditions can be so unpredictable, there are also some serious safety concerns that go along with being active outdoors this time of year. Here's how to stay safe and get the most out of your favorite winter sports from skiing and snowboarding to ice skating, hockey, sledding and snowshoeing.
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National Radon Action MonthDid you know that your home could be harboring toxic levels of radiation in the form of Radon gas? To raise awareness of this silent killer, January has been designated National Radon Awareness Month. It's a time to get your home tested and to encourage those around you to do the same, in an effort to reduce the thousands of preventable deaths caused by Radon each year.
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Tips for a Hassle-Free MoveMoving can be stressful, it's like uprooting your life and all of your belongings, and settling back in. But it doesn't always have to be overwhelming. Here's how to make sure you're covered, insurance-wise, plus tips on hiring a mover and making your big day hassle-free.
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Unpredictable weather, at least in most parts of the country, is here. Suddenly, regular activities like driving and walking outdoors have become more hazardous. Whether you're going about your daily tasks, celebrating the holiday season, or taking part in fun winter activities, here's how to make sure you're safe and protected.
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Food Allergy AwarenessHosting a family dinner this holiday? There's a very good chance that a guest at your table will be allergic to something you're thinking of serving. Here's what you need to know about food allergies and how to be hospitable, no matter who you're hosting.
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The spookiest season in New York is here. On Halloween, an evening when millions of Americans wear costumes, run around in the dark, willingly take candy from strangers and try to scare themselves silly, well, a lot can go wrong. Here are some not-so-spooky suggestions to keep you and your kids safe this Halloween.
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Preventing Falls Inside and Outside of the HomeAccording to the World Health Organization, falls are the second leading cause of accidental injury deaths worldwide. Falling disproportionately impacts adults age 65 and older, and can lead to serious injury, further health problems, decreased quality of life, and a loss of independence.
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Domestic violence affects men, women, families and communities, and its impacts are far-reaching. According to the National Coalition on Domestic Violence, one in three women and one in four men will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime. In the U.S. alone, victims seeking help place more than 20,000 phone calls to domestic violence hotlines each day. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, offering a good time to bring this serious issue to light.
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Kathleen Hansen -

When it's time to store your boat for the winter, sit down with a member of the marina's staff and discuss what you can expect to have done. Most marinas are prepared to service your boat efficiently, but you are responsible for seeing that all work is done. Ask that they call you when the winterizing is complete.
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Categories: annual review, annuity, asset protection, atv, automotive, boat , boat and yacht insurance, boat insurance, bonds, business auto, business continuity, business insurance, business interruption, business management, business safety, car insurance, car safety, christmas, claim examples, college students, collision, community involvement, comprehensive, computer security, contractual liability, cyber security, deductible, disability insurance, disaster insurance, discounts, domestic employee, driving safety, earthquake, electricity, employee retention, employee safety, epli, family fun, family safety, finances, fire insurance, fire prevention, fireworks, floaters, flood, flood insurance, food safety, gun safety, health, health insurance, healthy living, hmo, holiday, home business, home insurance, home safety, hsa, identity, identity theft, immunization, inland marine, insurance, insurance claims, insurance cost, insurance credits, insurance exclusions, insurance history, insurance quiz, insurance records, internet, inventory, investments, jack and sara, joke, just for fun, lawsuits, liability insurance, life insurance, long term care, mental health, money, motorcycle, new york, ocean marine, online safety, outdoor safety, paid family leave, personal property, pet insurance, pets, planning, ppo, prevention, product liability, professional liability, retirement, risk management, safety, security, small business, smoking, spouse, spp, structured settlements, technology, teen drivers, term life, trailer safety, travel insurance, umbrella, umbrella policy, water damage, weather, weather safety, wedding, winter, winter storage, winterizing, work safety, workers compensation | View all Categories

Ah, freedom... if learning to drive is on the horizon for your teenager, he or she is probably thrilled about the prospect of getting to travel outside the confines of your schedule and neighborhood. You, on the other hand, might be thrilled about not having to drive them everywhere but the excitement ends there.
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Smart home technology is quickly becoming commonplace in New York, and also affordable to the average consumer. The increased quality and availability of high-tech security devices means that anyone can safeguard their property and belongings. If you're looking to protect your home, family and property, here's an overview of some smart home security tools that might work for you:
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Extreme heat can be fatal. Already this year, 29 children have died from being left in hot cars, and hundreds of adults die each year from heat stroke or other conditions that are made worse by the high temperatures. As unusually high temperatures become more common, it's important to be aware of the symptoms of heat-related illness, and how to prevent them from happening.
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The school year is fast approaching in New York. Whether your child is elementary, middle, or high school age, the first weeks of school can be stressful. But there are things you can do to make the transition from easy summer days to academics and structured activity less painful.
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The abuse of prescription and non-prescription opioids is a national epidemic, affecting individuals and families of all races, ages, and classes. According to the Center for Disease Control, overdose deaths related to prescription painkillers have quadrupled since 1999. Every single day, approximately 90 Americans die of overdose, making opioid abuse the number one cause of death by injury in the US. Opioids include prescription painkillers, like Vicodin and Hydrocodone, synthetic opioids, like Oxycodone, and the street drug heroin. Some of these drugs may initially be prescribed by a doctor for legitimate pain. But even under the care of a medical professional, opioid use can lead to dependence and addiction, causing the user to seek more drugs by any means necessary, despite negative consequences.
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Kathleen Hansen -

Dear Valued Client:

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Categories: annual review, annuity, asset protection, atv, automotive, boat and yacht insurance, boat insurance, bonds, business auto, business continuity, business insurance, business interruption, business management, business safety, car insurance, car safety, christmas, claim examples, college students, collision, community involvement, comprehensive, computer security, contractual liability, cyber security, deductible, disability insurance, disaster insurance, discounts, domestic employee, driving safety, earthquake, electricity, employee retention, employee safety, epli, family fun, family safety, finances, fire insurance, fire prevention, fireworks, floaters, flood, flood insurance, food safety, gun safety, health, health insurance, healthy living, hmo, holiday, home business, home insurance, home safety, hsa, identity, identity theft, immunization, inland marine, insurance, insurance claims, insurance cost, insurance credits, insurance exclusions, insurance history, insurance quiz, insurance records, internet, inventory, investments, jack and sara, joke, just for fun, lawsuits, liability insurance, life insurance, long term care, mental health, money, motorcycle, new york, ocean marine, online safety, outdoor safety, paid family leave, personal property, pet insurance, pets, planning, ppo, prevention, product liability, professional liability, retirement, risk management, safety, security, small business, smoking, spouse, spp, structured settlements, technology, teen drivers, term life, trailer safety, travel insurance, umbrella, umbrella policy, water damage, weather, weather safety, wedding, winter, work safety, workers compensation | View all Categories

Summer in New York is the perfect time to get out there on your dirtbike or All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and have some heart-pounding fun. But ATVs and dirt bikes can be deadly if not used properly. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 97,200 ATV-related injuries occurred in 2015; approximately 28 percent of those involved children under the age of 16.
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There's an app for everything these days, but not all of them are worth downloading. Here are a few user favorites worthy of space on your device, that will help you to make the most of your summer plans.
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It's only July. But for those in New York that have a child heading to college in the fall, you may be a little or a lot concerned already, depending on their maturity level and how far away he or she will be when September comes around. Here are a few ways to help an aspiring adult along with the process before they leave the nest, hopefully, for good.
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Considering becoming a boat owner? Buying a boat can be a wonderful investment that brings many joyful moments to those warm summer days. But how much you pay for a boat is really just the beginning. Maintenance, repair, storage, transportation, registration, and insurance are just a few of the costs associated with owning a boat.
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Written about frequently in medical journals, Alzheimer's disease is one that's been widely studied, but is still an anomaly to many scientists. Since, June is Alzheimer's Awareness Month, it's a good time to look at what we do know, along with things one can do to prevent it.

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When he was 12-years-old, Steve Jobs looked up Bill Hewlett's, co-founder of The Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), phone number and asked for help building a frequency counter. Not only did the CEO of HP agree to help Jobs; he offered the aspiring developer a summer job. Other well-known success stories were not so lucky with their first attempts at employment: Oprah Winfrey worked at a grocery store; Tom Cruise was a paperboy. But at least they learned what they didn't love to do.
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Happy spring! It's that time of year in New York when flowers, plants, and trees are blooming, the grass is green, requiring maintenance, and the air is fragrant with new life. It's also that time of year when millions of Americans are battling seasonal allergies. For some, spring is hopeful; for others, it's miserable.
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Purchasing a car isn't as simple as it used to be when your only option was a Model T in a single color: black. With so many choices, makes, models, special features, etc. it's hard to figure out where to begin.
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Every single day, sexual violence impacts hundreds of Americans. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and whether you are male or female, there are things you can do to protect yourself or your loved ones from sexual violence. Here's what you need to know:
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Spring is here in most places around the country, and that means that summer isn't far behind. Instead of leaving all of the work until the sunny days of summer, there's a lot that can be done in the meantime to get ready for outdoor living. Here are some tips for preparing your home and garden before the sun and balmy weather start to beckon you.
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Just as health care for humans is always advancing, so is health care for you pets. Here are some of the latest hot topics in pet care:
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They may be your own, or they're your grandkids or your friend' kids, but driving with kids is a task that should always be taken seriously. Having kids in the car can be quite distracting. Perhaps they are fighting in the back seat, or maybe one is asking you for a snack while the other has to make an urgent bathroom stop. Paying attention to the road and to the kids is a trying experience. Read these tips to find out how to keep your pint-sized passengers safe and sound, for any trip at any age.
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In early February, the U.S. celebrates the truly American sport of football. Recently we've heard some pretty tragic stories about the effects of head injuries on professional football players but did you know that regular people who play contact sports or participate in activities like skateboarding or snowboarding are also at risk? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about sports-related head injuries and how to reduce your risk:
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In regions with any kind of wintery weather, you probably know exactly how to prepare for and navigate the unique risks caused by snow, ice, and low temperatures. And since they can't change the thermostat or put on cold weather booties, your pets count on you to get them ready for the season, and to keep them safe through the cold winter months.
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With the days getting colder, at least for those in the northern part of the country, you might be starting to regret not taking a closer look at the insulation in your home during the summer months. But it's not too late to make your home more efficient, and cozy, for winter!
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Kathleen Hansen -

A 5-Step Checklist for Financial Health in 2017

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Categories: annual review, annuity, asset protection, automotive, boat and yacht insurance, boat insurance, bonds, business auto, business continuity, business insurance, business interruption, business management, business safety, car insurance, car safety, christmas, claim examples, college students, collision, community involvement, comprehensive, computer security, contractual liability, cyber security, deductible, disability insurance, disaster insurance, discounts, domestic employee, driving safety, earthquake, electricity, employee retention, employee safety, epli, family fun, family safety, finances, fire insurance, fire prevention, fireworks, floaters, flood, flood insurance, food safety, gun safety, health, health insurance, healthy living, hmo, holiday, home business, home insurance, home safety, hsa, identity, identity theft, immunization, inland marine, insurance, insurance claims, insurance cost, insurance credits, insurance exclusions, insurance history, insurance quiz, insurance records, internet, inventory, investments, jack and sara, joke, just for fun, lawsuits, liability insurance, life insurance, long term care, mental health, money, motorcycle, ocean marine, online safety, outdoor safety, personal property, pet insurance, pets, planning, ppo, prevention, product liability, professional liability, retirement, risk management, safety, security, small business, smoking, spouse, spp, structured settlements, technology, teen drivers, term life, trailer safety, travel insurance, umbrella, umbrella policy, water damage, weather, weather safety, wedding, winter, work safety, workers compensation | View all Categories

Most of the modern world is plugged in these days to smartphones, ipads and laptops, among other things. And many of us complete the loop by coaxing earbuds into our ears, turning up the sound to shut the world out, even just for a minute. But this practice, along with the increased amount of dangerous noise present in the modern world, is causing epidemic levels of early hearing loss in children, adults and teens. Read on to find out what you can do:
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The holidays can be a tough time for those who are prone to depression, and for some, the shift of seasons means a shift in moods. This specific kind of depression that fluctuates with the seasons is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. People who have seasonal depression actually meet all of the same criteria as those with more streamlined depression, the only difference is that their depression is linked to seasonal changes and follows a predictable pattern.
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Thanksgiving and Christmas are popular times to travel, to make that journey to be with family. They can also be the worst times to travel, especially if you during peak times or with kids in tow.
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You're expecting, and there's so much to consider: pink, blue or gender neutral colors for the baby's room? Which parent will stay home, or will daycare be an option? Midwife, birthing center or hospital? Another thing you may want to think about before your new bundle of joy comes into the world is how it will affect your insurance. You'll be surprised at all the different ways having a child can impact all different types of insurance. Here are a few:
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For New York residents, having a dog can be one of the great joys in life but that doesn't mean it's right for everyone. If your family is considering getting a dog, there are many things to consider in order to make the best choice. Here are a six things you should do before making the leap:
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Summer is wedding season, and couples throughout New York will be tying the knot. If you're one of the lucky couples, wedding safety might be the last thing on your to-do list, but if something goes wrong on your big day, you'll wish it had been the first.
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June is National Safety Month and a great time to review your personal safety profile to find out how you can minimize the risk of accident or injury. Due to multiple factors, summer is a time of year when the risk of many common hazards increases.
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Zika VirusHeadlines announcing the spread of Zika virus have probably been showing up on your news feed for months. But what is Zika? And should you be worried about it?
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Boating season is on the horizon in most parts of the country, and for boaters, it's time to get your vessel out of storage and start performing the necessary inspections and maintenance to ensure that you're ready to hit the water as soon as the weather allows. Follow these tips to get your boat water-ready for summer:
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In the U.S., melanoma diagnoses and deaths are on the rise, especially among women under the age of 30. With increased education and treatment, it's possible to reverse this trend. Read on to find out how you can decrease your risk of melanoma and help to educate others in honor of Skin Cancer Detection Month.
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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and we can all use it as a time to reflect on an issue that's unpleasant and often overlooked. Child abuse can happen in many forms, and it doesn't always occur just within the home. Here is some information about child maltreatment and what you can do to help prevent it in your home or community.
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Kathleen Hansen -

Before signing on the dotted line, it's important to know what exactly comes with the new house you're about to buy. In addition to that amazing kitchen, fabulous master bath and lush green backyard, could there be foundation issues? Or maybe a rotting roof in need of replacing? You may not be required to have a home inspection, but it is highly recommended and almost always worth the money. Help reduce your stress and take the guesswork out of potential issues by working with a qualified home inspector.
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Spring break is on the way and summer will follow soon after. If you're planning to take a road trip, long or short, make sure you and your vehicle are safe and ready to go by following these recommendations:
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Water crises seem to be everywhere, from the ongoing droughts in the West to the recent water-related disaster in Flint, Michigan, to the problem of clean water that devastates the people of many third-world countries. Still, if you don't live in these areas, it may feel like these issues don't, or won't, affect you: but that couldn't be further from the truth. Here is what you should know about water safety and how you can contribute to the solution.
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Unless they're giving us problems, we rarely think about the health of our eyes. March is national Save Your Vision Month, and a great time to learn more about your ocular health.
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Gun control is a controversial topic; but what isn't controversial is the idea that firearms should be used safely and responsibly. Whether you're a firearm owner or just a concerned citizen, there are things you can do to promote gun safety in your home.
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When Hurricane Katrina touched down in 2005, humans were not the only species affected by its destruction. And because emergency relief agencies were not in the business of saving pets, nearly half a million animals were left behind, devastating many owners and causing public outrage on their behalf. Passed in 2006 as a direct result of Hurricane Katrina, the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Act now requires state and local agencies to consider pets and service animals in their emergency preparedness plans. While most of us won't experience a disaster like Hurricane Katrina in our lifetimes, it's still up to us to consider our beloved companion animals when planning for emergencies, big and small. Here are a few things you can do:
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Kathleen Hansen -

No matter what the climate is like where you live, keeping the temperature comfortableinside your car often means battling foggy windows. If you live in a climate with cold winters, staying warm in your chilly car means turning on the heater — and battling the resultant fog on the inside of your windows. In warm, humid areas, turning on the AC can cause the opposite issue — fog blurring your windows from the outside.
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Watching a disaster like Hurricane Katrina unfold on national television inspires compassion and a desire to help. But most people in New York still believe that something like that won't happen to them, until it does. Resolve to keep your family healthy and safe in the new year by taking these steps to prepare for a serious emergency or natural disaster:
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Everyone in New York agrees that cyber safety is important, but what, exactly, does it mean to be "safe" online? And what do parents really need to know? Here are the top five things you can do to teach your kids how to become responsible digital citizens:
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There are plenty of potentially hazardous activities that go along with the holiday season and the start of winter, such as stringing up Christmas lights, navigating the icy roads, and hopping on those skis or other snow sports equipment, just to name a few. This is also the time of year when we break out the snow shovels and ice melt, so that we, and our neighbors and visitors, can safely navigate our walkways and sidewalks.
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We all want to be the one to find a gift that makes the holidays unforgettable for that special child in our lives. Whether you're a parent, aunt, neighbor or godparent, don't let your quest for holiday magic steer you towards a purchase that might be unsafe or inappropriate.
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A Christmas tree is a non-negotiable tradition for many families during the holidays. But even those who look forward to those twinkling lights and strings of popcorn may have a small child or mischievous cat that makes having a tree difficult and sometimes even dangerous.

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The holidays are here, and although it's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, it's often the complete opposite. Many people suffer from depression and anxiety over the holidays, for a variety of reasons. Keep your serenity and sanity this holiday season by following these practical suggestions:
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The holidays tend to revolve around food: potlucks, family dinners, cookie decorating and seasonal celebrations offer dozens of opportunities to cook, bake and dine to your heart's content. Whether you're whipping up something in the kitchen or delivering homemade goodies, here are a few tips on food safety for the season:
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Kathleen Hansen -

National Fire Prevention Week is October 4th through the 10th this year. Prevent household fires and protect your family by using some of these helpful tips!

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When it's hot, the cold water calls. If you're lucky enough to have access to a lake, river, or community pool, it's vital to know basic water safety in order to prevent serious consequences. Approximately 10 people die each day from unintentional drowning, and according to the Center for Disease Control, drowning is the leading cause of injury death for young children, ages 1-4.
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Gathering school supplies, updating vaccines, and returning to a regular sleep schedule are part of a long list of things that need to be done before sending kids back to school. If your child also has a food allergy, preparing to go back to school takes extra effort and due diligence. Here are some things you can do to make sure your child's medical needs are met throughout the school year.
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Many diseases that were once common and deadly have been nearly eradicated by modern day immunizations. However, in recent years, there has been a controversy surrounding vaccination safety and mandatory immunization laws, even though major health organizations, such as the Center for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics, still strongly support the use of vaccinations. They even go as far as emphasizing the importance of adhering to vaccination recommendations and schedules for children, teens and adults.
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School's out for summer, and that means that many parents in New York are opening their backyards to their children's friends and neighborhood buddies. It's a parent's prerogative to keep all children safe, even those who are not their own; but did you know that you could be held liable if a child gets injured on your property? Here are some steps you can take to maintain a kid-friendly outdoor environment, so that summer at your house comes with the minimum amount of risk.
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Sleeping under the stars, hiking, swimming, and toasting marshmallows are activities many folks look forward to every summer. But getting back to nature offers its own set of risks. By understanding the following common camping mishaps, you can make it much more likely that your summer outdoor excursions will only include the fun and exhilarating kind of adventures, instead of the emergency-room kind.
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For most American families, summer is outdoor celebration time, fireworks time, barbecue time, and fun-in-the-sun-by-the-pool time. If you're the one who happens to be hosting, however, it's important to recognize that these quintessential summer activities present unique risks, as well as potential liability issues.
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In the United States, gun ownership is still a hot button issue. A 2014 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that having a firearm in the home puts those in the household at higher risk of committing suicide or being the victim of a homicide. And approximately one third of American households keep at least one firearm in the home.
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Summer in New York is coming and with it is the opportunity to experience all kinds of warm-weather mishaps. Here are some common summer dangers and how to avoid them.
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Seeking treatment for mental illness can be an especially challenging task. Fortunately, recent policy changes mean that Americans are that much closer to gaining equal access to mental health services.
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There is no shortage of distractions in the modern world. Distracted driving has become a national issue, and many schools and public agencies are scrambling to raise awareness of the problem. The National Safety Council estimates that one in four car accidents involve cell phone use, but many people still believe that talking or texting while driving is harmless. Using electronics while driving is only one of the dangerous habits that have become all too common for today's drivers.
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Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in America; but according to the National Stroke Association, up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable. Here's all you need to know about stroke, from symptoms to solutions.
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April showers eventually bring May flowers, but in the meantime, wetter and warmer temperatures can cause a variety of hazards along the way. Here are some common spring safety issues, and ways you can prevent their potentially harmful consequences:
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Spring in New York is here, and for many people that means it's time to suffer through seasonal allergies. Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, is the fifth most common chronic illness in the U.S. It is estimated that about 20 percent of people in North America have hay fever, and its prevalence is on the rise. Although most people develop hay fever in childhood or early adulthood, it is possible to begin having symptoms later on in life.
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What do bath salts, houseplants, energy drinks, mouthwash and over-the-counter medicines have in common? All of these items can be poisonous when used inappropriately and it only takes a second for a child or beloved pet to ingest a household chemical or medicine that could cause permanent damage.
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Although avalanche danger doesn't affect most of us on a day-to-day basis, there's something fascinating and terrifying about the possibility of being buried beneath a tidal wave of crashing snow. It's easy to think an avalanche won't happen to you, but it isn't impossible: just last year a massive slide was triggered in a neighborhood in Missoula, Montana, resulting in one fatality and severe damage to several homes.
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Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States? Yet few people take the time to understand their own personal risk factors and take the steps necessary to reduce them. In honor of Valentine's Day, let's talk heart!
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Calculating the cost of natural disasters and extreme weather events is a complex process that takes a myriad of factors into account, including insurance payouts, lost income, property damage, and lives lost. In most cases, the cost of damage caused by these events far exceeds insured losses. Read on to find out some of the most surprising and significant facts about weather and insurance in the United States and around the world.
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Dangerous road conditions can occur any time of year, but winter is prime time for difficult driving in many Northern climates. Be prepared for whatever comes your way on the road by following these safe-driving suggestions:
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According to the American Red Cross, one pint of blood can save up to three lives. Yet only about one quarter of those eligible actually become donors. Every January, the Red Cross and other health organizations in New York ask citizens to donate blood in order to alleviate the shortage that occurs in winter months. Blood donations are critical to treating those with cancer and blood diseases, as well as patients undergoing major surgery and those who have suffered major trauma. Read on for everything you need to know about blood donation, and to find out how you can contribute, even if you do not qualify to donate blood.
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School in New York is in full swing, which means young people are spending more time online using social media, plus a variety of other Internet resources and entertainment options. This leaves many kids at risk for cyber-bullying, online predators, and identity theft.
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Due to a recent West African outbreak this epidemic has claimed more lives than any other since the discovery of the Ebola virus in the 1970s. This potentially deadly virus originates in animals but can be passed from human-to-human once a person becomes infected. A recent CDC report projects that without effective containment the epidemic could reach up to 1.5 million cases by early 2015.
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Approximately one out of four adults experiences mental health problems each year, but over half of those never receive treatment. The impact of untreated mental illness stretches far and wide, affecting everything from lifespan and quality of life to employee productivity and economic security. Mental Health Awareness Week, Oct. 5-11, is a time to recognize those who suffer from mental illness, and to increase public awareness and education about this critical issue.
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We all get nervous when we read in the local news that our favorite restaurant has earned a violation from the health department. But how many of us use the same level of care we expect from a quality establishment when preparing meals in our own homes?
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Back-to-school season can be both exciting and stressful; families in New York are typically busy shopping for backpacks and school supplies while trying to squeeze in a few more pool days before the leaves fall.
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Enormous inflatable bouncy castles also known as bounce houses are often seen at kids' birthday parties and the like. They're colorful, bulbous enclosures where cake and ice cream filled youngsters can jump to their hearts' content, burn off some of the manic sugar buzz, and one would presume stay out of harm's way. In recent months, however, what once seemed to be a benign source of entertainment for the young and young and heart has come to be regarded as a menacing, potentially injurious if not deadly choice for party-day entertainment.
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Did you know this April 26th through May 3rd is National Immunization Week? It's a great time to boost awareness about immunizations and, of course, ensure that you and your loved ones are up to date on vaccinations.
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Tracianne Leggio -

Now that spring is here, there are many things we can do for our home and car to recover from the harsh winter.
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Between personal motor vehicles, factories, trains, and other sources of toxic fumes, the outside air would seem to be significantly more toxic than the air within our seemingly pristine indoor environments. Unfortunately, this is an illusion. The air you breathe at home or work can be seriously harmful. In fact, according to a study by the World Health Organization, indoor air pollution kills approximately four million people worldwide every year.
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Most new parents would probably admit that their driving habits changed after having children. The one-time daredevil of the highway has transformed into a doting dad who never pushes the speedometer past a sluggish 65 mph; the lady lead foot who laughed in the faces of cops is now a minivan-loving, law abider who cruises so slow she would try the patience of a turtle.
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Contractors are people, too. What does that mean? Well, even though they may have licenses and many years of experience in their profession, they are fallible. There are good ones and bad ones. Some are ethical and honest, while others seem to be missing a conscience. Just as you would be careful about choosing a nanny, a personal accountant, or a used car salesman, so should you use caution in selecting a contractor before you begin that home building project, renovation, or repair. Here are some good tips to avoid getting taken for a ride:
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Executive Insurance & Financial Services -

Here are some tips to Stay Safe on these Extremely Hot Days:

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The heat and humidity that tend to lurk around in the summer months around New York create the perfect recipe for thunderstorms. Occurring either late in the afternoon after big black clouds slowly build up and rumble or springing up out of nowhere, they often come with high winds and heavy rains.
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Executive Insurance and Financial Services -

Put a hold on your mail and your newspaper deliveries, or have someone take in the mail so your home doesn’t look empty.

2.Don’t Broadcast Your Trip
Don’t tell too many people you will be away, you don’t want the wrong person to know that you left your home empty.
Don’t post your upcoming trip on Facebook, Twitter, or any other Social Networking site.
Don’t “check in” to restaurants, stores or tourist sites online while on vacation.
Don’t post daily updates or blog about your trip while you’re away.
Resist the urge to post pictures from your trip online until you get back home.
No matter how tight your privacy settings are, broadcasting your trip over a blog or social networking site allows strangers (or worse, untrustworthy friends) to know that your home is empty.
3.Have a friend watch your home.
Ask someone you trust to drive by your house daily.Give that person or a key to get in incase of an emergency like a water leak or an alarm sounding. If you have more than one person visiting your house (such as a dog walker or someone watering your plants) make sure they know about each other.
4.Make Sure You can Be Reached
The same someone watching your house should have a way to reach you by phone.If you will be out of the country or on a cruise, plan ahead and test the number, to make sure that you can give your contact person a working phone number to reach you.Give this person other important contact numbers, including your insurance agent’s phone number.(For E.I.F.S. its (888)343-7463)
5.Make Your House Look Lived In
Use timers to have lights go on and off so they think someone is home. Set at least two lights to go on and off at different times in different parts of the house.Leave curtains as you usually keep them; noticeable changes will hint that you’re not around.
Ask the person watching your house to do small things to make your home look lived in.Have them move a car, park in your driveway, or take out the trash and put the garbage can away again the next day.
6.Hide Valuables
Move expensive items such as jewelry, cash, and silver so that it is out of site. Make sure you can’t view anything valuable from the windows of your home.Put laptop and other electronics safely away and out of site. Do not leave purses or bags sitting out where they can be seen, even if they are empty.
7.Change Your Answering Machine
Callers don’t need to know you’re not home. Change your message so it says “we can’t come to the phone right now.”
8.Protect Your Home from Danger (such as Water or Fire)
Unplug all small appliances (such as the toaster oven, coffee pot, TV, and computer).
Don’t leave the house until you check that there is no water left running. If you’re going to be gone for a while turn off the water to your washing machine, icemaker and dishwasher.
9.Lock all doors and windows.
It sounds simple enough but check all doors and windows.Did you forget the garage and basement entrances?Make sure cat/dog doors are locked up tight. Remove your spare key from its hiding place.
10.Don’t Leave Burglars a Map to Your Empty Home
Don’t leave your portable GPS unit in the airport parking lot with your “home” location programmed into the system.Add a working garage door opener and you have not only left them with a convenient map to your home, but also a way to enter it. Also make sure nothing else in the car identifies the address of your empty home.
The best way to protect your home is with a good Homeowner's Insurance Policy.
Call E.I.F.S. today and let us help you relax by making sure your home is protected.
(888)343-7463
or
Contact Us By E-Mail
Now that your home is secure, have a great vacation and relax!

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