With summer in full swing, we're beginning the process of getting back to a new normal. While no one knows for sure what that will look like, there are still plenty of fun activities for the whole family while summer camps, organized sports, community pools, music festivals and other large gatherings are mostly on hold. Here are a few summer safety tips to get your summer off to a smart start.
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Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall on the East Coast by Friday morning. While you prepare to evacuate or shelter in place, here are some helpful safety tips from your temporary housing source.
· Follow all directions and orders from local officials and leave immediately when instructed to do so.
· Bring emergency supplies, including: a first aid kit, medicine, food, water, formula and diapers, toiletries, cell phones, radios, and batteries.
· Take extra cash and copies of important papers such as insurance policies.
· Pack blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games.
· Unplug appliances, turn off utilities such as electricity and the main water valve.
· Lock the windows and doors of your home.· Don't forget about your pets! Pack their food, beds, a toy and any meds.
· STAY AT HOME! Leave the roads available for those who must evacuate. If you absolutely must leave your home, NEVER drive through floodwaters. Turn around, don't drown.
· Clean your bathtub with bleach and fill it with water for washing and flushing (not drinking).
· Set your refrigerator to maximum cold and keep it closed.
· Turn off your utilities if told to do so by local officials.
· Go to an interior room and stay away from windows and doors, even though they're covered.
· During very strong winds, lie under something sturdy.
· Do not go outside, including during passage of the eye of the hurricane.
CRS is tracking and preparing for Hurricane Florence. Our Catastrophe team is ready to assist both insurance adjusters and policyholders with immediate emergency hotel and housing assistance.
Running over the entire summer from June 1st to November 30th, hurricane season brings serious damage risks from high winds, rain, and flooding in storm-prone regions. Is your biggest asset well protected? Your home is most likely your family’s most valuable investment. Know that your current homeowner’s insurance policy may cover some damage brought on by a hurricane, but not all.
Running concurrently with hurricane season, wildfire season is a period when wildland fires are likely to occur, spread, and affect resource values sufficient to warrant organized fire management activities. Higher temperatures, reduced snowpack, increased drought risk, and longer warm seasons are increasing wildfire activity in the western United States.
Make sure you have the proper coverage
Review your homeowner’s insurance policy today to make sure your policy is up-to-date and you are properly protected for anything that may happen. Here are a few tips regarding damage brought on by hurricanes and wildfires.
In most states, standard homeowner’s policies cover damage caused by wind, including hurricanes. But if you live in a high-risk coastal state you might need to buy separate windstorm insurance. Check with your insurance company as it might also be available as a rider on your current policy. Windstorm insurance covers damage from any high wind, not just hurricanes. The cost of a separate windstorm policy depends on the amount of your deductible, where you live, and how much it would cost to rebuild your house.
Flood damage brought on by, or as the result of, a hurricane is not typically covered in a private homeowners insurance policy. U.S. law requires people to purchase basic flood insurance if their home is in a designated high-risk flood area with a federally backed mortgage. (See floodsmart.gov for more information.) But in 2017, Hurricane Harvey showed that flooding can also damage properties outside the highest-risk zones and affect homeowners who weren’t required to buy the additional coverage.
Check with the National Flood Insurance Program as you may be able to purchase a separate flood insurance to help cover such damage in your area.
Flood insurance policies impose a 30-day waiting period between the time you buy and the time coverage takes effect, so review your policy today. If a major storm has been forecast, there’s a chance that your current coverage will be locked in until that major weather event has passed.
Damage from wildfires and forest fires is most likely covered by your homeowner’s insurance, but coverage may vary by geographic location and by policy. You may also find that some insurers do not sell homeowner’s policies in areas where wildfires are common, or it may be offered by paying a higher premium. Check your policy or contact your agent to learn about terms and coverage limits.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends reviewing the amount of coverage you have in place and make any necessary adjustments to help ensure your limits are in line with the potential cost of repairing or rebuilding your home.
Whether you’re buying homeowners insurance, flood insurance, windstorm insurance or wildfire insurance — or all four — make sure you have enough coverage to pay for the full cost of rebuilding your house. Your insurance agent can help you pinpoint the right amount.
A house or apartment left empty while you’re traveling is a tempting target for criminals. It’s imperative that before you go, take a few key steps to keep your home safe and sound while vacationing. These basic preventative measures, which take just minutes of preparation, can work wonders to help you keep your home safe from power surges, broken pipes, home invasions and more.
— Unplug anything that doesn’t need to stay plugged in, including televisions and computers, to protect them against power surges. This will help you save money as well; many appliances draw energy even when they’re turned off.
— Ask a friend or neighbor to stop by the house randomly (to avoid a pattern or anticipated time) to remove boxes from the doorstep, check the mail, pick up any delivered newspapers and take notices and fliers from the door. Ask them to park in your driveway if they live close by, and make sure they have all your correct contact information.
You can also place a hold on your mail online at USPS.
— Don’t tip off criminals on the web by announcing on social media that you will be leaving your house unattended for two weeks. If the temptation to post is unavoidable, ensure that all possible security measures are in place on all social sites.
— Consider shutting off the water to your washing machine, dishwasher, and toilets if you’re going to be away from the house for longer than a week. This can help prevent nasty, and potentially expensive, shocks when you return.
Another option is to install wireless leak sensors in flood-prone areas like your basement, laundry room, or bathroom, to notify you of leaks before significant damage is done.
— Keep expensive and irreplaceable items such as old family photos, artwork, electronics, and stamp collections off the ground in case of water damage. Store them up on shelves and/or in waterproof containers.
— If you have outdoor furniture, bring glass tables, chairs, and umbrellas inside to avoid wind/storm damage to yard items or the exterior of your home.
— Schedule random light timers throughout your home. This will give the appearance that someone is there and will help to deter burglars and vandals.
— Remove your spare key, that plastic rock isn’t fooling anyone. If a criminal figures out you’re away on vacation, it’s likely that he or she will check your porch for a spare key.
At least once a quarter, we at CRS Temporary Housing make it a priority to find a worthy cause to donate our time and treasure to. We call our special
group of volunteers CRS Helping Hands. Employees are encouraged to participate, along with their families, to help these community groups in a myriad of ways.
On Saturday, April 8th, 65 CRS employees and their families, participated in the 5th Annual Run The Runway in Scottsdale, AZ. This one-of-a-kind morning run benefited Playworks Arizona, the only nonprofit organization in the country to send trained, full-time coaches to low-income, urban schools, where they transform recess and play into a positive experience that helps kids and teachers get the most out of every learning opportunity.
The beauty of this annual event is that 100% of race proceeds go to Playworks. Those funds are used to expand their reach to Arizona schools in desperate need of recess and the learning of conflict resolution to help end bullying.www.playworks.org/communities/arizona
CRS Helping Hands volunteers spent a day in December at the André House, a ministry to the homeless and poor populations of the Phoenix area. Volunteers sorted donated clothing, helped guests select free apparel from the Andre House Clothing Closet and prepared a full dinner for 600 people.
In August, our school supplies drive collected over 2,000 items for nearby Larkspur Elementary School in Phoenix. That gift of supplies, along with a financial donation, helped to jump-start the 2016 school year for the students at Larkspur.
CRS Helping Hands June event was packing emergency food boxes with non-perishable items, sorting food and repacking bulk produce. Our efforts greatly helped St. Mary’s goal to provide more than 250,000 meals each day to those in our community who need their help the most.
Over a weekend in April, members of CRS Helping Hands helped make blankets for the sweet fur babies at the Arizona Humane Society and even gave a few forever homes.
Take a moment to think about you love to do and how you can share your time and passion to help someone in need. Whatever your motivation, whether to share a skill, get to know a community or to learn something new, know that both you and the recipient will benefit from your gracious actions. National volunteer week is coming up April 23 – 29, so get out there and make a difference!
Now that January has come to a close and Super Bowl Sunday is just days away, fans will cheer on the Patriots and Falcons in the final game of the 2016-17 NFL season. Less fanatic fans will be glued to the set during commercials to see which company has the best Super Bowl 51 ad, including the first ever LIVE Super Bowl commercial: www.adweek.com/news/live
Quite often I get bored seeing every commercial try to outdo the next, especially knowing the exorbitant number of dollars being spent, and find myself switching over to the Puppy Bowl (www.puppy-bowl). This year, Fox is reportedly asking up to $5.5 million for a 30-second spot. That’s a shocking $183,333.00 per second. (And that amount is only the fee paid to Fox for the time slot. Companies often spend upwards of a million to have their commercial produced.) To help put that into perspective, in 2016 the median cost of a home in the U.S. was $193,800.00. How incredibly marvelous would it be if just one company pledged their $5.5 million to put 30 families-in-need into homes?
The majority of us, minus an elite, exceptionally-talented few, will never have the experience of playing in and winning a Super Bowl...or an NCAA Championship, or maybe not even a softball league. With that slightly humbling reality check, what is the Super Bowl of your life?
Was it buying your first car or maybe getting married? Could it be owning a home or being blessed with children? And most significantly, were you genuinely prepared?
There are so many things in life that take us by surprise that we couldn’t possibly prepare for. But for the events you know are coming, preparing financially, mentally and physically will help to reduce your stress and help to ensure your success.
Do any of the following three phrases sound familiar?
At CRS Temporary Housing, we understand that an unexpected calamity can destroy your home. Weather-related disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes and floods, along with other incidents such as a house fire or pipe burst, can thoroughly disrupt your life. Repairs and/or reconstruction of your home can be a long haul and challenging process to endure. We strive to do our very best to reduce the stress of our customers’ temporary living situation by listening to their needs and expectations to create comfortable solutions.
Do you make one or several New Year’s resolutions each December 31st only to break them in the first week? Why not give yourself a break this year and have a Resolution Revolution!
Resolve to better yourself in a way that is attainable, realistic and sensible. Goals are good to have, but actually hitting those goals is stellar.
Some common resolutions are to lose weight, get in shape, quit smoking or save money. Instead of making a general plan to “lose weight”, try to more clearly define your goal. For example, are you trying to lose a specific amount of pounds, or slim down 2 sizes? Breaking down your goal into more manageable, bite-size pieces makes hitting those milestones achievable.
Have patience. Making lasting behavioral changes takes time. Keep in mind, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t expect to go from eating badly to eating perfectly healthy overnight. Take small steps to change your diet gradually, thoughtfully and mindfully.
When you slip, and you will, get up and get back on track. Don’t quit! If you missed a day of exercise or you had that whole pint of ice cream instead of just a half cup; don’t punish yourself. We are human and we mess up. Resiliency is the key.
If you have a financial emergency and can’t save your full 10% this month, just save what you can. Any effort towards your goal is better than no effort at all.
We at CRS strive to improve our services based on customer feedback. By listening carefully and continually improving our processes, we hope to better serve families in need of temporary housing.
Do your best in 2017 to be a part of the 8% of resolution-makers who actually attain their goal.
Hurricane Matthew hit the Southeast over the weekend leaving devastating damages in its wake. Lives have been lost, thousands were left without power, property has been damaged and there’s still continuing risk of flooding.
As damage assessment continues in the affected areas of Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia, many homes and businesses are inhabitable and in need of repairs.
When reporting damage, the CFA recommends that you:
After you file your claim:
For more information from the CFA on filing a claim visit: http://consumerfed.org/press_release/what-consumers-should-do-to-get-fair-claims-payments-in-the-wake-of-hurricane-matthew/
What to expect when using CRS for temporary housing during a catastrophe: