Best Emergency Supplies to Have at the Ready

From Fire Starters to First Aid Kits, These Are the Best Emergency Supplies to Have at the Ready

Emergencies happen — be it snow storms, wildfires, or tornados. Here are some of the best emergency supplies to make sure you’re prepared

Rolling Stones | OSCAR HARTZOG | Emergency Supplies | Shield Insurance Quoting Portal | Shield Home

NO MATTER WHERE you live, emergencies can (and do) happen. But whether it’s snow storms, tornados, wildfires, or hurricanes, the danger of serious emergencies can almost always be mitigated by investing in the best emergency supplies.

But choosing the right emergency gear — or just figuring out what types of emergency supplies you should have — can be tricky. To make things easier, we’ve created a checklist of the best emergency supplies to help your household stay safe in the worst-case scenarios.

What Are the Best Emergency Supplies?

When stocking up on the best emergency supplies, you’ll want to start by considering what needs your emergency stash has to meet. Namely, you’ll need food and water, first aid supplies, and light and heat. If you want to go beyond the basics, we also recommend adding power, shelter (like an emergency tent), and survival tools to your emergency supplies checklist.

No matter what kind of emergency supply you’re looking at — be it a multi-tool, a camping stove, or an emergency food supply — be sure it’s well-built and capable of staying in working order while shelved. The best emergency supplies can be tucked away and taken out months, if not years later, and still function properly.

Read on for a full checklist of the best emergency supplies to stock up on now.

1. Survivor Filter Pro

The most important thing to secure in most emergency situations is clean drinking water. One way to create an emergency water supply is to buy a water tank that you fill up if you know an emergency is on the horizon (i.e. if there’s a tornado warning).

But a more efficient option for securing drinking water is to get an emergency water filter, such as this Survivor Filter Pro. The compact rig uses a pump mechanism to suck up water, run it through a filter, and pump out 500 milliliters of clean drinking water per minute. It’s also very lightweight (half a pound), so you can transport it if need be.

2. Leatherman Wave+

A reliable multi-tool has always been part of our everyday carry, but they become absolutely essential when disaster strikes. Our favorite multi-tool is this Leatherman Wave+, which packs 18 tools in a small package, measuring just four inches when closed. Inside, you’ll find basics like knives, scissors, screwdrivers, and pliers, as well as some good extras like a saw and a wire stripper.

3. Judy Mover Max

Survival kits are a great way to create an emergency supplies stash with just one purchase. Good examples include the Oprah-endorsed Judy Mover Max, which has water and food, safety and warmth, and tools and first aid — all in one ultra-durable, weatherproof backpack. It has enough supplies to sustain four people for 72 hours, and you don’t have to worry about grabbing multiple items during an evacuation.

4. Mountain House Classic Bucket of Emergency Supplies

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International Snowmobile Safety and Awareness Week

International Snowmobile Safety and Awareness Week

NationalToday.com | January 21, 2023 | Snowmobile Safety | Snowmobile Insurance

International Snowmobile Safety and Awareness Week starts on the third Saturday of January every year. Did you know that it has been more than 70 years since the first snowmobile was made? Snowmobiles are vehicles designed and built to be used in the snow. They’re a fun way to go about in places where there is heavy snowfall and are enjoyed by millions all over the world as a winter sport. But it does not come without safety concerns. Snowmobiles can quickly become dangerous if not used with the necessary precautions. International Snowmobile Safety and Awareness Week was created to spread awareness among the people about the safety precautions one needs to ensure before using a snowmobile, to keep them and the people around them safe.

HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL SNOWMOBILE SAFETY AND AWARENESS WEEK

Sledding has been a popular recreational activity for many centuries. However, the motorized sled was invented in 1927 by a mechanic in Valcourt Quebec named Joseph-Armand Bombardier. Bombardier made the first-ever motorized sled by using a propeller. A few years later in 1927, the motor toboggan was made. Bombardier used the wheel and track system to further improve his invention, and thus in 1935, the first snowmobile was made.

In the coming years, Bombardier would make modifications to the snowmobile, which became immensely popular. He patented the first seven-member snowmobile in 1937 and the 12-member capacity one in 1941. Bombardier’s snowmobiles turned out to be extremely useful for people, especially people working in the law enforcement, fire service, hospital emergency services, etc. Some of these vehicles were modified for military use and used by American troops in World War II.

By the 1960s, new snowmobiles with powerful engines emerged. It was popular among people around the world who lived in frigid regions where there was heavy snowfall. People enjoyed snowmobiles as a recreational activity and as a winter sport. It was also useful for going from place to place during the times heavy snowfall would block the roads.

Many incidents of accidents and mishaps involving snowmobiles were reported. Many were also concerned about fuel usage and its impact on the environment. In 1993, International Snowmobile Safety and Awareness Week was created to encourage people to use necessary safety equipment like helmets and protective gear and to use snowmobiles made by authorized companies that produce snowmobiles that undergo strict pollution checks.

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5 key specialty lines insurance trends affecting businesses

5 key specialty lines insurance trends affecting businesses

Liberty Mutual | Published 12/07/2022 | Specialty Lines Insurance

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on many businesses. What began with supply chain issues soon transformed into even more complicated challenges, including labor market difficulties, an economic recession, and fraught geopolitical obstacles.

These changes left risk managers and other business stakeholders looking for innovative ways to help protect their specific and sometimes unusual risks — something they could only find in the specialty lines market.

Kristin McMahon, senior vice president, Global Risk Solutions North America specialty claims for Liberty Mutual and Ironshore, outlines five trends affecting the specialty lines market that businesses should be aware of and prepare for in the current risk environment.

1. Cyberattacks continue to loom. | Specialty Lines Insurance

As businesses increase their reliance on video platforms, continue to store more data in the cloud, and adopt remote and hybrid working models, the danger of cyberthreats looms larger.

“Cyber is one of the only risks that has the capacity to impact every company and industry,” said McMahon.

And while any industry size and type can be affected, businesses with fewer than 100 employees are currently experiencing 350 percent more attacks than larger companies.

“Historically it was the larger accounts in the crosshairs,” McMahon said. “But this year, we are seeing small- and medium-sized businesses suffer ransomware events more frequently than larger operations.”

Why? According to 2022 research by CNBC, small businesses are ill-prepared to handle cyberthreats. Less than half of small businesses have installed antivirus software or backed up their files externally, while only a third have implemented basic security measures like automatic software updates and two-factor authentication. Noted McMahon, “Without the proper digital ‘hygiene’ and contingency plans in place, organizations will increasingly place themselves in harm’s way.”

“Cyber is one of the only risks that has the capacity to impact every company and industry.”
-Kristin McMahon, senior vice president, Global Risk Solutions North America specialty claims for Liberty Mutual and Ironshore.

This doesn’t mean that larger organizations can be complacent. According to a 2021 Accenture survey of senior executives, the average number of cyberattacks experienced per company increased 31 percent compared to 2020.

“For larger companies, cyber hygiene is certainly critical. What’s also important is having the board of directors take an active role in protecting the business from cybercrime. Getting support from the top helps an organization prioritize cybersecurity and take active steps to stay on top of trends, conduct due diligence of third-party vendors, and more,” said McMahon.

2. A backlog of civil jury trials results in “rocket dockets”. | Specialty Lines Insurance

As businesses closed their doors to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, so, too, did the courts. While some innovations, such as holding trials in stadiums or over Zoom, allowed for the necessary social distancing, many cases were outright delayed. In Texas, for example, courts processed only 200 trials in 2020, compared to their normal 10,000 annual average.

Noted McMahon, “Since the return of in-person trials, the courts continue to navigate a significant case backlog. To get caught up, some judges are employing ‘rocket dockets,’ an approach that encourages plaintiffs and defendants to either settle or try their cases on an accelerated schedule.”

“Since the return of in-person trials, the courts continue to navigate a significant case backlog. To get caught up, some judges are employing ‘rocket dockets,’ an approach that encourages plaintiffs and defendants to either settle or try their cases on an accelerated schedule.”
-Kristin McMahon, senior vice president, Global Risk Solutions North America specialty claims for Liberty Mutual and Ironshore.

One side effect of this phenomenon: plaintiffs’ attorneys in some cases will settle in pretrial for a reasonable amount, opting to only try cases with juror appeal for which they could receive large jury awards.      

“It’s the older pre-COVID-19 cases accruing prejudgment interest where you have aggressive plaintiffs’ attorneys who believe in their high-damages cases — they’re going to hold out and try it to a jury,” McMahon said.   

3. Societal and legal trends continue to drive social inflation and nuclear verdicts.

Read the full story here…


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How To Winterize Your Car in 8 Easy Steps

How To Winterize Your Car in 8 Easy Steps

Winterize Your Car. You know freezing conditions can be dangerous. Here’s how to be well-prepared if you need to take the car out when snow and ice coat the roads.

Popular Mechanics | BY MANASEE WAGH | NOV 4, 2022 | Winterize Your Car | Shield Auto Insurance

It’s November, which means now is the perfect time to get outside and start prepping your car for the ice and snow ahead. We put together a list of eight easy ways to winterize your car and stay safe. Our first three tips concentrate on your car’s tires, since rubber meeting ice presents the greatest potential hazard. The rest are simply good practices that will help you maintain your vehicle over time and prep for the worst-case-scenario.

Even if you follow all of our instructions to the letter, remember to make smart decisions depending on the current and forecasted weather outside. Make sure you know how to drive in different winter conditions. And finally, if you plan a road trip and wake up to find a blizzard approaching, consider postponing the drive unless you must travel for an emergency.

1. Switch to Winter Tires or New All-Season Tires

Winter tires don’t harden in the cold, so they have better traction on ice, slush, and snow. If you live in an area not normally hit by heavy snow, you may decide to stick with all-season tires—but you should still give those tires a check-up.

Get out a pair of thin rubber gloves and run a hand over each of your tires. “The tires are really going to make a difference in your ability to get around in inclement weather,” EricTheCarGuy explains on his YouTube channel. He recommends checking for abnormal wear, bumps, or spots that “catch your hand,” which are all signs that you should probably check your alignment, too. If a tire is worn out, change it. If you’re not sure if your tread is worn or not, you can use a handy tool called a tire tread depth gauge. Alternatively, you can stick a penny into the treads, with Lincoln’s head facing down into the tire. If you can see the top of his head, get those tires changed right away, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Also remember that tires become harder on their surface from repeated heating and cooling over the seasons and years. Cars with apparently healthy treads can have poorer traction than you think they do. So when in doubt, swap those tires out.

2. Check Your Tire Pressure to Winterize Your Car

Make sure your tire pressure is correct, as stated in your owner’s manual, the tire placard located on the driver’s side door jamb, or in your car’s digital status center. For every 10 degrees Fahrenheit that the temperature drops, you could see a gain or loss of 1 pound per square inch of pressure. That’s because air molecules pack together more closely when the temperature drops. As the air becomes denser, the pressure it exerts on the interior tire walls drops. Make sure you’re refilling your tires whenever they’re a little low to maintain good traction and durability.

3. Put Chains On Your Tires in Extreme Cases

Chains should only be used while driving on snowy or icy roads. Never use chains on bare pavement, or they could cause damage to both your car and the road; Pull over and remove them if that’s the case. Check out this handy how-to video from the Oregon Department of Transportation about installing winter tire chains and how to correctly use them.

4. Install Winter Windshield Wipers to Winterize Your Car

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Specialty Insurance

Specialty Insurance Policies For Your Recreational Toys

What specialty insurance?

In simple terms, specialty insurance coverage is exactly what it sounds like: It’s insurance that can be purchased for items that are special or unique. Specialty insurance policies are important for items that are not typically covered under other insurance policies.

From motorcycle insurance to boat insurance, protect your unique items.

We hear it all the time: “Specialty insurance? What’s that and why do I have it or why do I need it?”

In simple terms, specialty insurance coverage is exactly what it sounds like: It’s insurance that can be purchased for items that are special or unique. Specialty insurance policies are important for items that are not typically covered under other insurance policies.

Type of Specialty Insurance Coverage Available

Consider the items you own that are not covered by other insurance policies. For example, what vehicles do you drive that aren’t included on your auto insurance policy? What additional coverage is required to protect your home in the event of a flood? Specialty insurance policies complement your existing auto, home and umbrella policies. Types of specialty insurance offered through CONNECT and its partners include:

Classic car insurance – Whether you’ve spent hours and hours on restoration or bought a one-of-a-kind collector’s item, protect your antique car with classic car insurance.

ATV insurance – Enjoy the ride with coverage for your all-terrain vehicle. This specialty insurance coverage will protect you whether you ride for fun or function.

Flood insurance – Find coverage for your home or car—and yes, there is a difference!

High-value homes and rental insurance – Take the worry out of being a landlord or covering your high-value home.

Motorcycle insurance – In case of storm, accident or other natural disaster, make sure your bike will be still be ready to ride with motorcycle insurance.

RV insurance – Recreational vehicles give you the freedom to adventure anywhere. Whether you travel cross-country or simply use your RV for weekend camping, stay on the road with RV insurance.

Boat insurance – From sailboat to pontoon or even jet ski, stay afloat with boat insurance coverage.

Added Protection from our Agency Partners

Losing a one-of-a-kind item or a unique vehicle to fire, theft or flood damage is painful enough. Finding out your insurance doesn’t cover the replacement of the item, vehicle or your home or auto would make a heart-breaking situation even worse.

That’s why we’ve developed partnerships with industry leaders in specialty insurance. Our goal is to help you find coverage for these unique items. Through our trusted partnerships, you can purchase insurance policies for a wide range of specialty items.

This is a great compilation video of some of the specialty insurance products Shield Insurance can offer our clients from one of our many carriers.

  • Is your RV ready for winter?
  • Do you need umbrella insurance?
  • Safe Boating Checklist
  • Looking for fully loaded Watercraft coverage? Check out Safeco’s Captain’s Package
  • Choose Safeco’s Captain’s Package and get fully loaded watercraft coverage
  • From motorcycles to ATVs: Do you have enough custom parts protection?
  • Safeco’s Classic Car Insurance
  • Safeco’s RV Insurance
  • Safeco Insurance & Liberty Mutual Small Commercial
  • Safeco Boat and Personal Watercraft Insurance


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How to save for a family vacation

How to save for a family vacation

Family Vacation Time?

Financial literacy is an essential life skill necessary to make informed decisions about budgeting, borrowing and more. Equipped with this knowledge, kids grow up prepared for financial independence.

Teaching kids and teenagers financial literacy often falls on parents’ shoulders — and it isn’t always easy. You need to both keep your youngster involved and interested and make the process fun. One way is to use exciting opportunities, like family vacations, to teach your kids good saving habits.

Set goals for you and your kids

So, you’re going on a family vacation. It’s time to set some goals.

  • Decide where you’re going

First, decide on where you’re going. Use selecting a destination as an opportunity to get your kids talking about where they want to go and to create excitement. Pick a place together and let your kids know that the trip can only happen if they chip in financially.

  • Determine the costs

Whether your family is planning a Disneyland trip or a vacation to your kids’ favorite spot, it’s time to determine the costs.

Involve your kids in the process. Break down the numbers for transportation, lodging, entertainment and other expenses. Show your kids the total and discuss how they’ll help you save that amount.

  • Set a timeline

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DIFS Alerts Consumers to Recurring Scam and How to Avoid It

Tips Following Northern Michigan Tornado

FROM: Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Offers Insurance Tips Following Northern Michigan Tornado

Media Contact: Laura Hall, (517) 290-3779, DIFS-press@michigan.gov 
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442, Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 23, 2022

(LANSING, MICH) As residents across northern Michigan assess the damage and begin to recover from Friday afternoon’s tornado, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is providing tips to assist residents when working with insurance companies to file claims and repair damages.

“DIFS stands ready to assist the residents of northern Michigan as they begin to recover from the incredible devastation wrought by Friday’s tornado, hailstorm, and power outages,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “It is important that those who have experienced damage understand their rights and responsibilities when filing insurance claims. They should carefully review their policies and work with their agents and insurers to see what coverage is available to them. DIFS is available to answer questions and assist consumers 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442.”

Anyone impacted by storm damage should:

  • Contact their insurance company’s claims hotline and/or agent to report the claim. Have the policy number and other relevant information readily available. DIFS has prepared an Insurance Claims Tracking Sheet to make this process easier.
  • Take steps to protect the property and prevent further loss. Be sure to keep receipts for any purchases of supplies that are needed to protect the property.
  • Document the loss. Take pictures or videos of the damaged items and do not get rid of the items until instructed to do so by the insurance company.
  • Review insurance policies to understand their coverage and discuss with their agent or insurer if there are any questions.
  • If there is water damage to a home or other structure, consumers should tell their insurance company that there is water damage and they are looking to determine what coverage is available. Consumers should not simply state that the damage is due to a flood as there may be additional causes for water damage, such as storm-related rainwater intrusion, sewer backup, or failing sump pump, that may be covered under the policy.
  • If there is damage to a vehicle, consumers should contact their auto insurance company. They may have coverage for the damage if they carry comprehensive coverage on their auto policy.

More Information

Additional disaster recovery information is available on the DIFS website.

DIFS encourages consumers to first attempt to resolve any claim disputes directly with their insurance company. If a resolution cannot be reached, DIFS will help try to resolve disputes. To learn more and file a complaint, visit Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints. Anyone with questions or concerns about their insurance coverage is asked to call the DIFS toll-free hotline 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442.

The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.


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April Showers Bring May Flowers - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

April Showers Bring May Flowers

April Showers Bring May Flowers

For me, spring and fall are by far my favorite seasons.  After a long, cold winter it was so nice to be outside this past weekend and enjoy the sunshine!  I am so thankful to live in a location that gets to experience all four seasons.  As I was outside this weekend I could not help but stop & look around.  The creation seems to be bursting with life!  There were buds on almost every tree, the flowering trees seemed to explode over the weekend and the spring flowers are appearing everywhere.
     In a household with 4 teenagers, spring is very busy at our house with school activities, sports, year-end school programs, graduations, college finals, work, etc.  Everyone seems to be hustling about, going here, going there.  What about your household?  If it’s anything like mine, there are times when you feel you can’t even catch your breath.
     My challenge for myself and my family (and you too) is to try to schedule – yes schedule – time to take a break and enjoy some quiet time outside.  Enjoy the outdoors, the beautiful city that we live in, the nature around us.  It’s amazing how therapeutic listening to birds singing while soaking up the sunshine and smelling the fresh spring air is.  So take a break!  Allow yourself to relax and enjoy the beautiful spring season.

Submitted by Tammy

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RV Insurance Shield Agency

RV Insurance Requirements in Michigan

Driving an RV in Michigan can provide many a memorable vacation for you and your family, but your state government requires you to carry the same minimum level of insurance on your RV as on your car or truck.

Shield Insurance Agency wants you to understand that there’s no getting around this law. If you get caught driving without auto/RV insurance in the state, you’ll get hit with a costly fine and potentially lose your license, although perhaps temporarily.

RV Insurance Requirements in Michigan

As a no-fault state, Michigan requires every driver on its roads to carry insurance that would cover their own damages or those incurred to another party’s vehicle. You’ll need to purchase at least the following coverage levels:

  • bodily injury coverage in the amount of $20,000 per person per accident,

  • bodily injury coverage in the amount of $40,000 per accident for all persons injured or killed,

  • property damage in the amount of $10,000 per accident,

  • personal injury protection (PIP) with no limits,

  • property protection insurance (PPI) in the amount of $1 million per accident.

You can and should add to your RV insurance coverage by tacking on collision and comprehensive coverage. Your collision coverage provides reimbursement for damages when you incur a single-vehicle accident. Comprehensive coverage protects you from theft and other unavoidable perils. Roadside assistance coverage can help you obtain quick service when your RV breaks down on the road. Car rental insurance can mean you have a vehicle while your RV undergoes repairs.

Contact Shield Insurance Agency to discuss the state minimum requirements and add-ons that would provide full coverage for your RV. Don’t drive without insurance in Michigan.

 


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The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2022 - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2022

From far-flung destinations to hometown favorites, 2022 is the year to get back out there and turn your dream trips into reality.

By Travel + Leisure | December 09, 2021

Planning new adventures as a new year approaches is always a thrill, but finding the best places to visit in 2022 is unique. After two years of border closures, cruise cancellations, and travel restrictions galore, 2022 is the year we hope to get back out there, uninhibited (albeit vaccinated and COVID tested), return to our favorite destinations, and cross new ones off our lists.

Though the hospitality industry was hit hard by the pandemic, many properties used the forced downtime to renovate rooms, add new amenities, and expand outdoor spaces to offer even more once guests return. 2022 is when many travelers will venture further from home, and even overseas, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, finally reaping the benefits of these valiant efforts.

Related: Where to Travel in 2021

Although COVID variants remain, regulations are still evolving, and precautions must still be taken, many of the destinations we chose for 2022 offer what we believe travelers are looking for in a post-pandemic world, from hotels with private accommodations to destinations teeming with fresh-air activities. Others, like Las Vegas, are for those who are ready and raring to make up for all the social time they missed — with a few splashy headliners, including Adele and the Raiders, thrown in for good measure. 

Related: The Top 100 Hotels in the World

As cruising makes its comeback, we included unforgettable places to see by water, from Antarctica to the Nile, and as hard-hit destinations like Italy and Asia recover, we found the buzziest reasons to return. Of course we didn’t forget about all the stateside gems we got to know while domestic travel was surging, from Alaska and California to Florida and Michigan.

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