First Community Financial Group, Inc. Blog
Driving is dangerous at all times of the day or night, no matter what the weather might be. Still, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that roughly 21% of all vehicle crashes in the U.S. occur in adverse weather conditions. Plus, between 2007 and 2016, more than 5,300 people were killed in weather-related crashes, which accounted for roughly 16% of all traffic fatalities.
During the summer months, weather risks are very unpredictable. Flash floods, severe thunderstorms and similar occurrences could pop up suddenly on the road in front of you (even if you left home under blue skies). As a result, you must do your due diligence to stay safe despite these occurrences. It all involves staying calm, following the rules of the road, and taking extra precautions that might not be obvious at any other time.
Rain and Thunderstorms
Thunderstorm activity is widespread across most of the United States during the summer. Though they’re often brief, summer storms can be intense and cause a lot of roadway hazards in a short time.
Should you drive into a thunderstorm:
A Note About Tornadoes
Compared to thunderstorms, tornadoes are entirely different ball games. Do not attempt to drive through a tornado or outrun one. Instead, get out of your vehicle and find shelter. If there is not a building nearby, lie in a ditch and place your arms over your head.?
Driving in Fog?
Due to summer humidity, fog, mist and haze are not uncommon, particularly during the early morning.
Trees are pretty amazing things. They produce oxygen. They serve as natural air conditioners, both by blocking sunlight and through evaporation. And they even absorb sounds, helping to keep things peaceful.
These benefits, along with countless others, are great reasons to keep the trees on your East Texas property in good shape. Looking for another? Unhealthy trees can actually pose great danger to your home and property, as well as to your family and other people.
With these tips from the National Arbor Day Foundation, you can help prevent tree trouble – and potentially save yourself from a home insurance claim:
1. Inspect trees frequently. The size, color and condition of leaves, and overall leaf cover, are good indicators of a tree’s health. Cavities or disfiguration can be a warning sign, although they don’t always mean a tree is a hazard. Just keep a close eye on it. Dead branches are a big risk, because they can fall easily. Those that cross or rub can create weak spots.
2. Plant in an appropriate space. Putting in a tree that will grow to be large? Don’t put it near power or sewer lines, or close to your home. And avoid brittle trees – their limbs are weak and more likely to break and fall. Examples include Silver Maples and Willows.
3. Prune correctly. Cut outside the branch collar, and prune regularly as trees age. Don’t allow a tree to be topped.
4. Leave it to an expert. Once a year, have a qualified arborist thoroughly evaluate the trees on your property. An arborist can identify ones that need to come down immediately, as well as those to watch. In particular, trees that have been topped, or that have lost large limbs unexpectedly, could cause trouble. Taking down trees can be very dangerous, so leave it to a professional.
5. Remember, you’re responsible. Property owners are generally responsible when their hazardous trees cause damage or injury to others. So keep your trees healthy, your space beautiful and your liability low!
When a tree does fall, you may or may not have coverage through your homeowners policy for any damage it may cause. If you’d like to discuss your coverage, please give us a call today. It may be a good time to think about adding extra liability coverage to your insurance portfolio with an umbrella policy.
Hurricanes. Just the thought of them can make a person tremble in fear. Whether you've experienced a hurricane yourself or you've just heard about their destructive patterns, these bad boys know how to make their name heard.
The technical definition of a hurricane is a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph. A major hurricane is a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph. To put that into perspective, imagine sticking your head out the window of a car as you travel down the highway – that's the speed of wind you would be up against during a low-scale hurricane. Sound scary? It is. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions to take, you may be able to reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.
Hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30. Foremost wants to share some tips to ready your home and family prior to a severe storm, may it hit. It's never too early to:
Whether the hurricane threats are immediate or they seem off in the distance, it's important for all residents of hurricane areas to be prepared and think ahead. Foremost offers detailed hurricane preparedness plans, emergency checklists for storms, and what to do after a storm hits your area.
Stay safe through these storm seasons! Your safety is number one to us.
Hurricane Preparedness Checklist | Foremost Insurance Group
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