When Disaster Strikes What to Put in Your Medication Go Bag - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

When Disaster Strikes: What to Put in Your Medication Go Bag

Atlantic hurricane season is a good reminder that everyone should prepare this potentially lifesaving kit

By Consumer ReportsLast updated: July 05, 2021

A well-stocked Medication Go Bag can be used to soothe a cut or burn—or to save your life during a hurricane, flood, fire, or other emergencies.  

But it’s important not to wait until you’re faced with the need to leave your home in a hurry to assemble your medication go bag, says Geoffrey C. Wall, Pharm.D., a professor of pharmacy practice at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Whether you buy a kit from a drugstore or build it yourself, Wall recommends that all households keep a medication go bag on hand. It should contain the essentials, including: 

  • At least seven days’ worth of over-the-counter and prescription medications you take on a regular basis. Label the containers clearly, and include a printed-out list of everything you take and the regimen for each medication, plus a copy of your health insurance card (in case you need medical care while you’re away from your home).
  • An antihistamine for allergic reactions, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl Allergy and generic) or loratadine (Claritin and generic).
  • Pain relievers, including acetaminophen (Tylenol and generic), aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and generic), or naproxen (Aleve and generic).
  • Stomach and antidiarrheal remedies, including loperamide (Imodium and generic) and bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol, and generic).
  • An antacid for heartburn, such as Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, Tums, or generic.
  • Antiseptic wipes; an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin, Bacitracin Plus, Curad, or generic (use only for infected wounds); and bandages, gauze, and tape, for treating burns, cuts, and wounds.
  • Mosquito repellent to prevent bites, and aloe gel, hydrocortisone cream, or calamine lotion to soothe bites and skin irritation.
  • An eyewash solution for flushing out eye irritants.
  • Water-purification tablets.
  • Scissors.
  • Thermometer.
  • Tweezers.

If you and your family have special medical needs, you can build a more sophisticated medication go bag—for example, one that contains hearing aids with extra batteries, an epinephrine auto-injector, glasses, contact lenses, or syringes.

Fill Prescriptions in Advance

For prescriptions, you and your family members take, consider asking your doctor for 60- or 90-day refills rather than a month’s worth. That way, you’re more likely to have extras on hand for your medication go bag. (This can also save you money.)

Always fill prescriptions on the first day you become eligible for a refill, rather than waiting until the day you run out. If you are able to obtain an emergency supply, establish a plan for rotating your go-bag supply so that it remains up to date. And remember to check medications periodically to ensure that they have not expired.

“During an emergency, some states allow pharmacists to dispense an emergency supply of medications without doctor authorization,” Wall says. But, he adds, “certainly if a known potential disaster, such as a hurricane, is predicted, make sure you have prescription meds and supplies before it hits.”

You might also ask your health insurance company to assist you in obtaining enough medication and supplies to have on hand.

Storing and Maintaining Your Kit

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How to Get Rid of Ants - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

How to Get Rid of Ants

By: Francisco Guzman | Updated: Aug 13, 2021

Ants invade homes for one reason: food. Whether you left crumbs on the kitchen table or forgot to take the trash out, where there’s food, there are ants. Ants aren’t all bad. They help to clean up dead animals and naturally create topsoil as they burrow into the ground. But they can also pose a danger to you and your home.

Ant bites aren’t only annoying, they can trigger an allergic reaction in some people. A typical ant bite can cause pain and discomfort, but bites from a fire ant can lead to difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, nausea, and dizziness. While fire ants pack a big sting, other ants can do different types of damage.

Carpenter ants, similar to termites, can cause damage to your home’s walls, decks, doorframes, and other wooden materials. These ants create nests in wooden areas that are moist and starting to decay and cause damage by tunneling through the wood.

But if your home has become infested with ants, don’t worry. Getting rid of them is fast, easy, and cheap. Most of our suggestions below use ingredients that are safe to use around babies and pets. Here are some home remedies to quickly and successfully rid your house of ants.

How to Get Rid of Ants

  • White vinegar: Mix a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water or just use straight vinegar. Wipe your counters, tables, appliances, and jars with the solution to kill ants and prevent them from returning. Although you won’t be able to smell the scent after a while, ants will.
  • Hand soap: Spray a soapy water solution into holes and crevices that may be the entry point for ants in your home. Soap is an effective remedy for preventing ants from entering your home because it removes the scent of ant pheromones, which ants use to communicate with each other.
  • Lemon juice: Similar to vinegar and hand soap, lemon juice can remove an ant’s scent trail. Mix one part lemon juice with three parts water and spray the solution on entryways or around your home.
  • Baking soda: Mix one part baking soda with one part powdered sugar (ants love sweet things) and place it in an area where you see ants. Once they eat the baking soda mix, it will react with an acidic material in their stomachs and usually kills them.
  • Cinnamon: You can use two different types of cinnamon to either kill or repel ants. Mix cinnamon essential oil with water to use as a spray-on ant trail and around cracks in your home. You can also sprinkle powdered cinnamon around openings, which will suffocate ants when they inhale it.
  • Mint: Ants are not fans of mint, especially peppermint. Mix 10 to 20 drops of peppermint essential oils with 2 cups of water and spray the mixture in places where you find ants. Make sure to keep the mixture away from pets.
  • Black pepper/cayenne pepper: If you find an anthill in or near your home, sprinkle black pepper or cayenne pepper into their nest. The spicy powder will prevent them from coming back but won’t kill them.
  • Borax: Although this is not child-friendly, borax is considered a very effective way to kill household ants. That’s because borax kills ants slowly so they have time to take the bait back to the colony for other ants to eat. Sprinkle it in powder form or mix 1.5 tablespoons of borax with a half-cup of sugar and 1.5 cups of warm water. Spray the liquid into ant nests or set it in a small container as bait. (You can also make a paste of borax and honey or corn syrup and set it out). Make sure to keep borax away from babies and young children, because it can cause skin irritations and headaches.

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When is Labor Day 2021 Why We Celebrate Summer's Last Holiday - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

When is Labor Day 2021? Why We Celebrate Summer’s Last Holiday

Who doesn’t love a long weekend? Luckily, we can always count on Labor Day to give us that extra day of relaxation, barbecue, and the perfect excuse to enjoy some fun under the summer sun. Of course, the holiday is a lot more than meets the eye. We could always use a little refresher on why we celebrate and what makes Labor Day more than summer’s last hurrah.

First things first—when is Labor Day in 2021?

Mark those calendars for Monday, September 6, 2021. Labor Day always falls on the first Monday of September. Although the calendar date tends to change each year, you can always count on showing off those grilling skills during the first weekend of September.

Just based on the name alone, you can probably guess that Labor Day has something to do with work. And you’d be completely right! But, did you know the holiday has a captivating history that dates all the way back to the late 1800s?

Labor Day honors the important social and economic contributions of U.S. workers. What better way to do that than with a three-day weekend to squeeze those last-minute summer activities that you’ve added to your to-do list? It’s important to remember that the history behind Labor Day wasn’t always as dandy as enjoying local parades and scoring some of the year’s best shopping deals.RELATED STORYWhich Stores Are Open on Labor Day?

Labor Day was born out of U.S. workers’ experiences and struggles to improve poor working conditions. When the Industrial Revolution was at its peak, employees of large manufacturing companies often endured 12+ hour workdays for seven days a week. Not to mention, their facilities were far from safe or sanitary. In response, workers began to protest because obviously there were some serious changes that needed to be made. Now that we know a bit more about the holiday, it’s time to make the most of our last moments this summer 2021.

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Does getting pre-approved for a mortgage guarantee you'll get a loan - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Does getting pre-approved for a mortgage guarantee you’ll get a loan?

There are certain steps it pays to take when you embark on a home search. You should spend some time interviewing real estate agents, make a wish list of the home features you’re looking for, and get pre-approved for a mortgage. Some buyers, however, don’t take that final step, either because they don’t know about it or because they don’t understand how it works. Here are a few things you should know about mortgage pre-approval.

1. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage doesn’t guarantee you a home loan

You might assume that if a mortgage lender pre-approves you for a home loan, you’re automatically guaranteed that mortgage once you’re ready to sign it. But that’s not the case. Mortgage pre-approval is not the same as getting an actual mortgage, and if your financial circumstances change between the time you’re pre-approved and the time you want to apply for a home loan, you may be denied.

Still, getting pre-approved is a step in the right direction. And if nothing changes for the worse, financially speaking, then there’s a strong chance you will get a mortgage once you want one.

2. It can make for a more efficient home search

When you go through the pre-approval process, a lender gives you a specific amount that you can borrow based on your income and the funds you have available for a down payment. Having that number is important because it can help you avoid looking at homes that are outside of your price range.

3. It could help you beat out another buyer in a bidding war

Because housing inventory is so limited these days, many homes that do get listed wind up subject to bidding wars, where two or more buyers attempt to outbid each other in the hopes of getting an offer accepted. And having a pre-approval letter could be your ticket to success in such a situation.

When you come in with mortgage pre-approval, it sends a message to a seller that you’re a serious buyer whose finances have already been vetted by a lender. That should give your seller some reassurance that you’re in a good position to get a mortgage, even though pre-approval doesn’t actually guarantee you a home loan. And that, in turn, could prompt a seller to accept your offer over another.

How to get pre-approved for a mortgage

Once you’re ready to start looking at homes to buy, reach out to mortgage lenders and seek out pre-approval. As part of the process, you will need to provide some basic financial information, including recent pay stubs that serve as proof of income, bank account statements, and a list of your existing debts. The good news, however, is that you’ll also need those items when you apply for an actual mortgage, so you’ll get that legwork done early.

Keep in mind that a mortgage pre-approval letter will usually expire within 30 to 90 days, so it’s best to seek one out only when you’re really ready to start your house hunt. You can also shop around for pre-approval with different lenders, as one may pre-approve you for a higher loan amount than another. That could work to your advantage in a bidding war.

A historic opportunity to potentially save thousands on your mortgage

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Surety bonds reach the tech market 5 new things to know about bonding your tech firm - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Surety bonds reach the tech market: 5 new things to know about bonding your tech firm

Just 15 or 20 years ago, tech companies had reputations for rapid business cycles and increased risk, making surety bonds for technology-related contracts difficult to obtain. But in recent years, the playing field has changed drastically, with financial experts feeling more confident in tech investment now that technology is a foundational part of our world. Despite these market changes, many technology companies still fall into the old routine of utilizing letters of credit or posting collateral to guarantee their performance. For companies looking to move away from old methods, bonds are an attractive alternative for many reasons: they aren’t credited on the company’s bank line, are not typically listed as contingent liabilities in corporate financial statements, and usually provide a more robust defense against default.

Bottom line? The surety process is no longer out of reach for tech companies. If your company is considering a surety bond, here are five things you should know before you start the process.

1. Understand your options.

Surety in the tech sector is still an emerging market, meaning many risk managers simply don’t know what options are available. There are a variety of bonds that are relevant for the tech industry, however. For example, lease and utility payment bonds can help secure commercial space to expand your operations, while worker’s compensation, customs, and tax bonds cover dues owed to employees and government entities. Tech companies may also apply for court bonds to cover legal expenses and appeals. This concern is becoming increasingly important as big tech companies and startups alike face legal action for privacy breaches, anti-trust activity, and more. 

2. Consider a performance bond.

Performance bonds, which guarantee the completion of a project, are most often associated with the construction industry. But these bonds can be relevant in the tech industry as well, where projects can run in the millions of dollars. A project owner might consider a performance bond for large-scale installation projects, for example. Your surety agent or broker can determine whether a performance bond is right for you by looking at the terms of the bond requirement.  

3. Clarify your surety and insurance coverage.

Occasionally, project owners will blur the lines between insurance and surety coverage, but it’s important to separate these coverages within your contract and in your bond form. For example, misunderstandings about surety may lead to requirements in your contract around cybersecurity, when in fact, the bond is meant to cover physical software requirements like servers, equipment, and installations.

4. Get your surety team involved early.

The bond process in the tech sector is unique and complex, which is why it’s critical to get your surety team involved during the early phases of your request for proposal (RFP) process. Your surety agents or brokers can support your review process and assist in making qualifications in your proposal—especially for your bond requirements—to help reduce your risks. Additionally, your surety team can serve as consultants during your bond process to answer your questions and help all three parties achieve a better outcome.

5. Stay in touch with your broker.

Technology is constantly changing, and that means staying in touch with your brokers to evaluate your surety program needs as they shift. Risk managers should have a clear channel of communication with surety agents or brokers.

New strategies for tech leaders

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Automation, digitization, and more 5 trends disrupting the wholesale industry

Automation, digitization, and more: 5 trends disrupting the wholesale industry

For decades, wholesale distributors have been the primary source of inventory to retailers. Over the past decade, however, technology, e-commerce, and shifting customer expectations have altered the wholesale landscape. Today’s distributors are evolving their business models—and fast.

In this article, we’re diving into five trends disrupting the wholesale industry, from navigating competition like e-commerce giants to embracing technological innovation.

1. Digitization and the wholesale industry

With access to a massive catalog of products that they can ship quicker than most competitors, digital giants like Amazon and Alibaba have sent shockwaves through the traditional wholesale industry. This threat is particularly serious when it comes to commoditized products like printing supplies and paper. The problem? Businesses are looking for the fastest, easiest, and most affordable way to obtain these products—and traditional wholesalers often struggle to keep up with their digital competitors.  

In 2017, 92 percent of wholesale distributors cited Amazon as a competitor—and for good reason. According to a recent report from the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), Bank of America/Merrill Lynch estimates that Amazon Business, the tech giant’s wholesale branch, will reach $34 billion in gross merchandise sales by 2023, and $125 to $245 billion by 2029. And Amazon and Alibaba aren’t the only competitors in the digital space—new business models are constantly emerging, including eBay Business & Industrial, Digi-Key, and Zoro. With all these businesses competing for the same pool of customers, their profits will likely come at the expense of traditional distributors.

2. Disintermediation

As digitization continues to connect more people and systems, it creates an opportunity for manufacturers and retailers to skip traditional wholesalers and work directly together, blurring the line between wholesale, retail, and manufacturing. As a result, disintermediation has become more common in the marketplace. The number of direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands is projected to grow by almost 20 percent in 2021, with many manufacturers leveraging e-commerce platforms to bypass wholesalers entirely. For example, Boeing invested heavily in business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce and acquired a leading aerospace parts distributor, helping increase its share of the replacement aerospace parts market by 7 percent. Many companies find that they can also improve shipping speeds and customer service by cutting out the middleman role that wholesalers traditionally play.

3. Evolving customer demand

Amazon has disrupted the marketplace in multiple ways. As a result of this retail behemoth’s influence, businesses and consumers alike are experiencing something called the “Amazon Effect,” a psychological phenomenon that has shifted customer service expectations in virtually every industry. Customers today expect their wholesale distributors to be able to match Amazon’s speeds—even if that means shipping products in just a few hours. And businesses expect to have the same responsive customer-service experience from their distributors that they get from retail e-commerce. To keep up, today’s wholesalers are reconsidering old models that rely on regional representatives and storefronts and introducing a more versatile, tech-savvy buying experience.

4. New technological innovations

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How do we move away from all the screen time - Shield Insurance Blog

How Do We Move Away From All The Screen Time?

How Do We Move Away From All The Screen Time Our Kids Are Used To Now?

For 18 months, we’ve used screens to teach our kids and keep our collective sanity. Here’s how to cut back.

By Catherine Pearson 08/09/2021 04:58pm EDT

My two sons always got some screen time daily, but my husband and I tried to set relatively clear limits about what they could play and watch, and for how long. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and like so many other parents and caregivers, we leaned into screens hard. Our 6-year-old got an iPad. Our toddler grew accustomed to multihour Blippi marathons while my husband and I worked. My children have become legitimate screen monsters.

Various surveys suggest that my experience isn’t an anomaly and that kids’ screen time during the pandemic has soared. American kids now spend more than four hours a day on screens, and screen time has basically doubled over the past 18 months. One psychologist recently warned The New York Times that America’s kids are headed for a “period of epic withdrawal.”

I haven’t fretted too much about any of this yet, because I do believe my sons’ screen use was a matter of necessity. Screens babysat my kids when we were locked down together in our tiny apartment and didn’t have outside child care. They gave me a much-needed break when my stress levels were so high I felt like I was practically vibrating.

But things feel different now. For one, I am hopeful that — for the first time in more than a year — both of my children will soon actually be in school full-time. I don’t really want the amount of screen time my kids have gotten accustomed to to be what they expect moving forward. I also feel more pressure about how long this has been going on — and with the delta variant circulating and rates increasing again around the country, I’m aware that the pandemic is likely to continue for a while. In other words, the “survival use” of screen time is over — and I don’t want my kids to expect it in the same way every day.

Are you also thinking about dialing back your children’s screen time? Here are some strategies and ideas to have in mind.

Consider The Content And The Costs

Every family develops their own screen time rules, and even groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry tend to be pretty vague with their recommendations for kids over the age of 6. They urge parents to “encourage healthy habits” and “limit activities that include screens” — whatever that means.

What experts generally recommend is that you be deliberate about setting those limits, rather than winging it. And when devising your own family boundaries and rules, consider what kids are watching and playing, knowing they can absorb content from TV, movies and video games.

In her new book “The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years,” economist and parenting guru Emily Oster recommends that parents also think about what she calls the “opportunity cost” of spending time in front of screens. Basically, there are only so many hours during the day. So if your child is spending time watching TV, they’re not using that time to play or learn or engage in an extracurricular activity of some kind. You might be totally OK with that, and Oster notes that kids really need a break sometimes. But it’s something to consider.

“Help your child transition from screen time to active play time. For instance, if your child is watching a cartoon, turn off the TV and encourage your child to build on the storyline themselves with toys.”- EXPERTS FROM THE CENTER ON MEDIA AND CHILD HEALTH AT BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

In my house over the past 18 months, my kids were watching screens so they weren’t interrupting me during a meeting or driving me mad while I tried to get something done. Now that things have opened up more, though, their screen time is definitely replacing potentially more valuable pursuits, like hanging out with friends or reading.

Know that your child probably won’t be thrilled if you change your screen-related rules now that the opportunity costs are potentially more significant.

“As we come out of this, there are definitely going to be some moments where we are going to have make rules that take away privileges, and as our kids age that isn’t as common,” Oster told HuffPost. “They will be angry. And that’s just kind of what it is.”

Emphasize Play

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A Guide to Tick Prevention for Dogs - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

A Guide to Tick Prevention for Dogs

A Guide to Tick Prevention Options for Dogs, Including How to Choose the Right One for Your Pet

They differ in terms of how they’re administered, according to experts.By Roxanna Coldiron July 30, 2021

Summer means sunny, warm weather and with it, unfortunately, an abundance of fleas and ticks. While your dog enjoys the great outdoors, it’s important to make sure that your canine friend is fully protected against these parasites. Ticks are very small arachnids that stick their heads into a host to feed off of their blood. “Tick prevention is important because ticks can carry many diseases such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever,” explains Laura Pletz, DVM and scientific services manager at Royal Canin. Thankfully, there are several types of tick preventative methods that stop them from taking hold on your beloved pet.

The Main Methods

First, when and how often should you give your dog a tick preventative treatment? “Many tick preventions also include protection for fleas, so they are often recommended for year-round use, but should be given during tick season,” says Pletz. “Depending on the preventative recommended by your veterinarian, they are given monthly or every three months.” Adhering to this treatment schedule consistently means that your dog stays protected from ticks and fleas.

The main types of tick preventatives differ based on how they’re administered: oral, topical, and collar. “Oral preventatives are some of the most popular preventatives because of ease of administration and they are effective for one to three months depending on the product,” explains Pletz. “Products such as Bravecto ($59.99, chewy.com) and NexGard ($22.99, chewy.com) are common recommendations for fleas and ticks. Simparica TRIO ($136.94, chewy.com) is another option that also includes prevention for heartworm disease and intestinal parasites.”

Topical applications are good for dogs that may have gastrointestinal issues or food allergies; however, these can be washed off which reduces their effectiveness. Pletz also warns that some topical medications can have unwanted side effects. Never select an over-the-counter tick or flea treatment without first consulting a veterinarian, and then only follow their recommendations.

Collars are generally used in conjunction with another method and usually only in areas with heavy tick populations. “Collars are rarely recommended as the sole source of prevention,” Pletz says, noting that Seresto ($59.98, chewy.com) is the collar that is usually recommended in these cases. However, the pesticides found in collars tend to be highly potent and carry more risk for pets; highly sensitive animals may need to find another solution.

Choosing the Right Treatment

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The top 10 Causes of Disabling Injuries - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

The top 10 causes of disabling injuries

2021 Workplace Safety Index: the top 10 causes of disabling injuries

From back injuries to broken bones, the top 10 causes of workplace injuries cost U.S. businesses more than $1 billion a week.

Workplace injuries are not limited to high-risk industries such as manufacturing and construction. Disabling injuries can occur on any job, making workplace safety a top concern for employers.

The 2021 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index (WSI) compiles the 10 causes of the most serious disabling workplace injuries – those that caused employees to miss work for more than five days – and ranks them by direct cost to employers based on medical and lost-wage expenses.

The top 10 causes of disabling workplace injuries

Disabling workplace injuries cost businesses more than $58 billion every year.

The first step in protecting your business and workforce is knowing how serious injuries happen.Download PDF

1. Handling objects

Cost per year: $13.30B

Watch for: heavy boxes

2. Falls on the same level

Cost per year: $10.58B

Watch for: wet floors

3. Falls to lower level

Cost per year: $6.26B

Watch for: wobbly ladders

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The US has 10 million job openings

This is a first: The US has 10 million job openings

New York (CNN Business) It’s a hallmark sign of this strange pandemic labor market: America had a record 10.1 million jobs available in June, as businesses struggled to hire enough staff to support the full reopening of the economy. That mismatch between worker demand and supply has been a defining characteristic of the pandemic recovery. Hiring is rampant across industries, as businesses are still rebuilding the capacity lost during last year’s lock-downs. Professional and business services, retail, hotels, and restaurants added the most job openings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Monday.

But many jobless workers are facing complexities. Some continue to struggle with finding child care, while others are concerned about the risk of contracting the virus at work.

“If we want to sustain our economic recovery, we have to get serious about removing barriers to filling these open jobs,” said Neil Bradley, executive vice president, and chief policy officer of the US Chamber of Commerce.

Specifically, Bradley added, “that includes addressing childcare needs, rightsizing unemployment programs, skills training, and increasing legal immigration.”

Economists expect that at least the child care aspect will be addressed when schools reopen in person after the summer. But the rampant spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant is adding exposure risk. Meanwhile, the generous pandemic-era unemployment benefits that have already ceased in multiple states will run out in September, which could affect the rate of hiring as well.

Hires, layoffs and voluntary quits

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