Summer in Texas – One Heat Wave After Another

Posted on Sun, Jul 24, 2016

Fotolia_30673234_XS.jpgThe weather in Texas has been more challenging than usual this year.  First it rained until our drought was a distant memory and more than a few houses were flooded.  Now we’re roasting in the heat.  We thought you might be ready for ways to avoid the effects of overheating and some tips on staying cooler. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, high summer heat is responsible for more fatalities than all other types of weather events.  One reason could be that we don’t always take hot weather as seriously as we should. 

Defined as a prolonged period of excessive heat, a heat wave is dangerous business.  No one is immune, and the longer the heat persists, the more likely someone in your family will start showing signs of heat-related distress. Pollutants in the air and the reflected heat from city streets and structures can make conditions even worse.

We have shortened some of the ideas for dealing with a Heat Wave from our friends at How Stuff Works – Science.  Author Sara Elliott has more to say in her article, 5 Tips for Heat Wave Safety

Dress for the Weather

In the heat, fashion takes a back seat to safety and comfort.  Cover your skin with light, loose fitting clothing.  When you’re outdoors wear a hot to protect your face and head.  And keep your feet protected with sandals or shoes.  Be friends with your sun screen, too.

Avoid Strenuous Exercise

Potentially you don’t need this advice.  Strenuous activity outdoors should be last on your list of things to do.  If you must work outdoors, stay hydrated.  It’s best if you can arrange your schedule to work outside during the morning hours or evening when the temperature is cooler. 

If you experience dizziness, confusion, fainting, excessive sweating, nausea, a rapid pulse, headache or your skin is hot but you've stopped sweating, you may be suffering from heat exhaustion or possibly even heat stroke. Stop what you're doing immediately. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Drink Plenty of Liquids

Being outdoors in a heat wave means that you will be perspiring more than normal.  So it makes sense to replenish the liquid in your body.  Drinking four 16 ounce glasses of liquid an hour isn’t too much.  Even if you aren’t thirsty, drink up.  Stay clear of beverages that are high in sugars or contain alcohol.  Very cold drinks can also cause stomach cramps.

Stay Indoors

The best place to be in a heat wave is indoors – preferably in an air conditioned space.  If your home isn’t air conditioned, take yourself to cool public buildings like the mall, library, or theater during the hottest part of the day.

Protect Those Most at Risk

While the heat is tough on everyone, there are people who are particularly at risk.  Take a moment to check on people in these circumstances:

  • people living alone
  • young children
  • the elderly
  • outdoor laborers
  • the chronically ill
  • those without air conditioning in their homes
  • pets

Ways to Keep Cool When It's Hot

Medicine Net published a list of 15 tips for keeping cool.  We have listed our favorites here. 

  • Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick refreshing spray to your face after being outdoors.
  • Some people swear by small, portable, battery-powered fans. At an outdoor event I even saw a version that attaches to a water bottle that sprays a cooling mist.
  • Instead of hot foods, try lighter summer fare including frequent small meals or snacks containing cold fruit or low fat dairy products.
  • Finally, use common sense. If the heat is intolerable, stay indoors when you can and avoid activities in direct sunlight or on hot asphalt surfaces.

Get Answers

The Center for Disease Control has some great answers to your FAQ.  Click here to see their Frequently Asked Questions About Extreme Heat.  Need a checklist? Click here to get the Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist.

Dean and Draper

We hope you find the information in our blog interesting and helpful.  We appreciate your comments. 

When you have questions about your insurance, we welcome your call. 

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

 The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

 ©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: health insurance, Heat Wave Safety

Pokemon Go – Injury Magnet?

Posted on Sun, Jul 17, 2016

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Just in case you’ve been on a deserted island for the past couple of weeks, Pokemon Go is the newest app top the charts.  Over 5 million people downloaded the free app when it became available on July 6, 2016.

What’s Pokemon Go?

Wondering what Pokemon Go is?  According to Wikipedia, “Pokémon Go is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic and published by The Pokémon Company.”

“The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world. It makes use of GPS and the camera of compatible devices. The game is free-to-play, although it supports in-app purchases of additional gameplay items. An optional companion Bluetooth wearable device is planned for future release, thePokémon Go Plus, and will alert users when Pokémon are nearby.”

Watch Out for Injuries

Interestingly, while Pokemon Go is being heralded for getting people outside and active, many trainers (Pokemon Go Players) are reporting injuries.  

"Not even 30 minutes after the release last night, I slipped and fell down a ditch," said the Reddit user. "Fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in my foot, 6-8 weeks for recovery. I told all the doctors I was walking my dog lol ... Watch where you're going, folks!"

The Pokemon Go app itself includes a warning in the loading screen asking players to pay attention to their surroundings, but it's clear that some people are getting so excited that they forget to heed it. Niantic, which partnered with the Pokemon franchise to create the game, has some rules of the road for its other major title, “Ingress,” that may prove useful.

“Pay attention to your surroundings; you never know what beautiful or interesting things you'll see while playing the game,” the company cautions in its advice to players.

Niantic has also reminded “Ingress” players to respect real-world rules when an in-game point of interest shows up on someone’s private property -- no trespassing -- which is a good reminder for Pokemon Go players and any augmented-reality game the future may bring, too.

In a statement, The Pokemon Company said, "We are constantly looking at ways to add safety features to Pokémon GO and expect to incorporate some features based on user experience into future builds."

Check Out Your Insurance

Our friends at PropertyCasualty365 have a great take on how your insurance can serve you well as this Pokemon Go obsession crosses the country.  A blog Playing Pokemon Go? Here are 3 kinds of insurance you need released on July 15, 2016 and written by Rosalie L. Donlon, reveals how your current insurance can be really helpful if you are playing the game.

Home Owner’s and Renter’s Insurance

“While you’re out and about pursuing those elusive pocket monsters, rest assured that your possessions are covered if thieves break into your home. And, if someone runs off with your mobile phone, you’re in luck if you have cellphone insurance — though it might not reimburse for your lost Pokémon!”

“Also, if you accidentally trample somebody’s flowerbed while hot on the trail of a Bellossome (or a fellow player is injured in your home and decides to sue), most homeowners' and renters' policies have coverage for damage you cause to other peoples’ property and possessions as well as liability for mishaps on your property.”

“Lastly, your Pokédex may be in good order, but you might also want to consider creating an inventory of your real possessions, which can make filing a claim easier in the event of an insurable loss.”

Motor Vehicle Related Incidents

“Hit while running down a Rotom? Depending on who’s at fault (and local statutes), you may be able to file a claim against the driver’s auto liability insurance policy.”

“Almost all states require that vehicle owners and drivers carry liability insurance to cover personal injuries to third parties. Or your own uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage may pick up the tab if not.”

Identity Theft and Cyber Crime

“Sure, the game’s called Pokémon Go, but it’s really your data that’s in play.”

“If thieves make off with your information, many insurers will cover identity theft, either as part of a homeowners' or renters' policy or as a stand-alone policy. Identity theft insurance reimburses victims for the cost of restoring their identity and repairing credit reports and related expenses.”

Have Questions About Insurance?

Taking a break from Pokemon Go?  We’re ready to answer your questions about your insurance coverage.  We’re only a phone call away and can deliver the answers in moments so that you can get back to Pokemon Go.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs..

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: Renter's Insurance, auto insurance, Identity Theft, Cybercrime, Home Insurance, Pokemon Go

High-Tech Car Thieves

Posted on Sun, Jul 10, 2016

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Since most of us are driving cars that have on-board computers, the concept of hacking a car is probably not a surprise.  Thieves are using laptop computers on late model cars to steal the vehicles, raising alarms about the auto industry’s greater use of computer controls.

In a recent article by Jeff Bennett in The Wall Street Journal, he talks about thieves hacking their way into a Jeep in Houston.

“The discovery (of thieves hacking into cars) follows a recent incident in Houston in which a pair of car thieves were caught on camera using a laptop to start a 2010 Jeep Wrangler and steal it from the owner’s driveway. Police say the same method may have been used in the theft of four other late-model Wranglers and Cherokees in the city. None of the vehicles has been recovered.

“If you are going to hot-wire a car, you don’t bring along a laptop,” said Senior Officer James Woods, who has spent 23 years in the Houston Police Department’s auto antitheft unit. “We don’t know what he is exactly doing with the laptop, but my guess is he is tapping into the car’s computer and marrying it with a key he may already have with him so he can start the car.”

While a code is necessary to get computer access to a car, thieves are suspected pf bribing dealer employees or hacking into dealer websites to gain access.  Entering the code into the car’s computer will grant acceptance of the new key. 

The recent reports highlight the vulnerabilities created as cars become more computerized and advanced technology finds its way into more vehicles. Fiat Chrysler, General Motors Co. and Tesla Motors Inc. have had to alter their car electronics over the last two years after learning their vehicles could be hacked.

Last year Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.4 million vehicles to close a software loophole that allowed two hackers to remotely access a 2014 Jeep Cherokee and take control of the vehicle’s engine, air conditioning, radio and windshield wipers.

“In an era where we call our cars computers on wheels, it becomes more and more difficult to stop hacking,” said Yoni Heilbronn, vice president of marketing for Israel-based Argus Cyber Security Ltd., a company developing technologies to stop or detect hackers. “What we now need is multiple layers of protection to make the efforts of carrying out a cyberattack very costly and deter hackers from spending the time and effort.”

This month, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx is slated to attend an inaugural global automotive cybersecurity summit in Detroit. General Motors Co. Chief Executive Mary Barra and other industry executives are scheduled to speak.

“In the Houston car theft, a home-security camera captures a man walking to the Jeep and opening the hood. Officer Woods said he suspects the man is cutting the alarm. About 10 minutes later, after a car door is jimmied open, another man enters the Jeep, works on the laptop and then backs the car out of the driveway.

“We still haven't received any tips,” the officer said.

“The thief, says the NICB’s Mr. Morris, likely used the laptop to manipulate the car’s computer to recognize a signal sent from an electronic key the thief then used to turn on the ignition. The computer reads the signal and allows the key to turn.”

“We have no idea how many cars have been broken into using this method,” Mr. Morris said. “We think it is minuscule in the overall car thefts but it does show these hackers will do anything to stay one step ahead.”

Dean and Draper

We welcome your questions about your auto insurance – in fact we’re happy to answer your questions about personal and commercial insurance, too. 

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs..

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: auto insurance, cyber car theft

Celebrating the 4th of July

Posted on Sun, Jul 03, 2016

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Americans take their holidays seriously and one of the most celebrated, unique American holiday is the 4th of July or Independence Day.  While we’ve been celebrating the date since July 4, 1776, the holiday finally became official when it was declared a federal holiday in 1941.

In the beginning…

In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

The Liberty Bell

Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777, while Congress was still occupied with the ongoing war. George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence in 1778, and in 1781, several months before the key American victory at Yorktown, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday.

Federal Holiday

In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday; in 1941, the provision was expanded to grant a paid holiday to all federal employees. Over the years, the political importance of the holiday would decline, but Independence Day remained an important national holiday and a symbol of patriotism.  Falling in mid-summer, the Fourth of July has since the late 19th century become a major focus of leisure activities and a common occasion for family get-togethers, often involving fireworks and outdoor barbecues. The most common symbol of the holiday is the American flag, and a common musical accompaniment is “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States.

Fireworks

One thing for sure, when we celebrate Independence Day there better Be some fireworks involved.  Our ancestors used their cannons to make some noise for the early celebrations.  After the cannons were retired in the late 19th century, fireworks were used for both noise and their beauty.

Who has the best fireworks?

Based on current research, the single best firework display on July 4 is indisputably New York presented by Macy’s for the 40th year.  Sources fall apart in their rankings after agreeing on New York.  In the Top 4, Boston with their Pops concert and fireworks, Washington, DC, and San Diego are almost always included.  

Dean and Draper

We wish you a 4th of July filled with laughter, family, friends, patriotism, and a deep appreciation for our country. 

We’ll be back in our office on Tuesday, so if you have questions about your insurance, please call us.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: How Americans celebrate July 4

Disaster Plan for Pets

Posted on Sun, Jun 26, 2016

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With the above average amount of rain we’ve had here in the Houston area and the number of weather disasters in Texas, we thought that some information about creating an emergency plan for your pets would be appropriate. 

In the event if an evacuation, pets often are left behind.  By creating a plan, you can include your pets in the evacuation process.  We found some great information on the FEMA website and want to share it with you.

Emergency Planning

Prior to a disaster create a family emergency plan that includes your pet(s).  It is very important to:

  • Make sure each pet's tags are up-to-date and fastened to its collar.
  • Have a current photo of you and your pet(s) for identification purposes.
  • Make a pet emergency kit.
  • Identify shelters in advance that will allow your pets.
  • Have a secure pet carrier, leash, or harness for your pet.

Ready.gov has a section with more information on taking care of your animals plus great ideas and tips for Caring for Animals.

Pet Confusion

Following a disaster, familiar scents and landmarks may be altered.  Pets may become confused and lost, so it is critical to maintain close contact with and leash pets when they go outside.  Also, snakes and other potentially dangerous animals displaced by the disaster may have migrated into the area (especially after flooding).  In addition, downed power lines can also be a hazard for people and their pets.  Be aware of your surroundings and protect your pet(s) and yourself.

Similar to children and adults, disaster-related stress may change a pet’s behavior. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive.  Watch your animals closely, and be cautious around other animals – even pets you know.  If you evacuate, take your pets with you!

Emergency Shelters for Pets

Contact local emergency management for information regarding availability of emergency shelters for pets.  However, if you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet(s) at home alone can place your animal(s) in great danger! Confine your pet(s) to a safe area inside -NEVER leave your pet(s) chained outside!  Leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water.

Locate a Missing Pet

Pets displaced by a disaster are frequently kept in shelters and by organizations in the State where the disaster occurred.  Contact your local humane society, animal welfare organization, County or State Animal Response Team to locate the shelters or organizations near you. 

The search and rescue of pets lost during disasters is undertaken in a coordinated effort between State and local government and local animal response groups with support from FEMA and a range of national animal welfare organizations (such as NARSC, the Humane Society of the United States [HSUS], and Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams [VMATS]).  If you are trying to locate pets lost as a result of a disaster, contact your local or State emergency management agency.

You can check www.211.org to determine if a particular area has 2-1-1 services.  There can be additional services which can assist in locating pets or caring for pets after a disaster.

Dean and Draper

We hope that you have found this information useful and interesting.  If you have questions about your insurance, we welcome you call.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs..

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: Disaster Plan for Pets

The History of Father's Day

Posted on Sun, Jun 19, 2016

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First, we would like to congratulate the fathers we know and love.  In preparing this blog we also have to admit that we’re surprised on exactly how long it took to officially honor the fathers in this country.  Let’s start with Mother’s Day.  The first Mother’s Day celebration was in Grafton, West Virginia in 1908 and Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation creating a national day to honor mothers in 1914.  Thanks to our friends at Wikipedia for their compiled history of Father’s Day.

The Beginning of Father’s Day

In 1910, a Father's Day celebration was held in Spokane, Washington, at the YMCA by Sonora Smart Dodd.  Its first celebration was in the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Her father, the civil war veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there. After hearing a sermon about Jarvis' Mother's Day in 1909 at Central Methodist Episcopal Church, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honoring them. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father's birthday, the pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June. Several local clergymen accepted the idea, and on June 19, 1910, the first Father's Day, "sermons honoring fathers were presented throughout the city.”

However, in the 1920s, Dodd stopped promoting the celebration because she was studying in the Art Institute of Chicago, and it faded into relative obscurity - even in Spokane.

More Support Helps Efforts

In the 1930s, Dodd returned to Spokane and started promoting the celebration again, raising awareness at a national level. She had the help of those trade groups that would benefit most from the holiday - the manufacturers of ties, tobacco pipes, and any traditional present to fathers. By 1938 she had the help of the Father's Day Council, founded by the New York Associated Men's Wear Retailers to consolidate and systematize the commercial promotion.  Americans resisted the holiday for its first few decades, viewing it as nothing more than an attempt by merchants to replicate the commercial success of Mother's Day, and newspapers frequently featured cynical and sarcastic attacks and jokes. However, said merchants remained resilient and even incorporated these attacks into their advertisements. 

Bill Declined

A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father's Day celebration and wanted to make it official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized. US President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. Two earlier attempts to formally recognize the holiday had been defeated by Congress. In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus "[singling] out just one of our two parents". 

Proclamation Signed

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

So we were celebrating Mother’s Day for 58 years before Father’s Day became official.  Thanks to our fathers who carried on – Father’s Day or not. 

Dean & Draper

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs..

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

 ©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: Father's Day History

Going Outside with the Zika Mosquito

Posted on Sun, Jun 12, 2016

Fotolia_103183097_XS.jpgSchool is out and it’s now really summer.  Spending time outdoors is just about the top of the To Do List now that the rain had quit.  Or is it?  What about that pesky Zika mosquito?  We’re a little worried about it, too. So we have an update from the Center for Disease Control with i nformation about dealing with the pests.

Transmission & Symptoms

Zika is caused by a virus which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

History

Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 and is named after the Zika Forest in Uganda. In 1952, the first human cases of Zika were detected and since then, outbreaks of Zika have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Zika outbreaks have probably occurred in many locations. Before 2007, at least 14 cases of Zika had been documented, although other cases were likely to have occurred and were not reported. Because the symptoms of Zika are similar to those of many other diseases, many cases may not have been recognized.

What We Know

  • No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease (Zika).
  • Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites (see below).
  • Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime.
  • Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.

If You Have Zika, Prevent Others from Getting Sick

  • During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.
  • To help prevent others from getting sick, strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the first week of illness.
  • Zika virus can be spread during sex by a man infected with Zika to his sex partners.
    • We do not know how long the virus can stay in the semen of men who have had Zika, and how long the virus can be spread through sex.
    • We do know that the virus can stay in semen longer than in blood.
  • To help prevent spreading Zika from sex, you can use condoms, correctly from start to finish, every time you have sex. This includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Not having sex is the only way to be sure that someone does not get sexually transmitted Zika virus.

Mosquito Bite Prevention

Get great ideas on Mosquito Bite Prevention from the CDC, click here

Dean & Draper

We hope that your summer is filled with laughter, good food, along with great times with friends and family.  If you have questions about your insurance, we have the answers so you can get back to your summer.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserve

Topics: Staying Well, Zika Update

Top 10 Dogs Likely to Increase Insurance Cost

Posted on Sun, Jun 12, 2016

Fotolia_84646474_XS.jpgHere’s a different twist on the dog you choose to bring into your home.  The breed of dog you choose can make it more difficult to get Homeowners Insurance.  According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites (and other dog-related injuries) accounted for more than one-third of all Homeowners' insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2015, costing in excess of $570 million.

Insurers are hesitant in offering coverage to homeowners who own breeds and mixes that insurers believe are more likely to bite and cause injuries. According to DogBites.org, more than 700 cities in the U.S. have adopted breed-specific laws since the mid-1980s, following the rise in popularity of pit bulls in the general population.

Einhorn Insurance, a San Diego, CA, agency has compiled a list of the 10 breeds most often deemed dangerous by insurance companies. Let’s take a look at them.

  1. Pit Bulls and Staffordshire Terriers

Pit bull attacks make the news more than any other dog. The term “pit bull” comprises both the American pit bull terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier; the breeds were originally developed as fighting dogs, by breeding bull dogs and terriers together. Advocates from The Humane Society of the United States and other groups say the breeds, which have a reputation for being unpredictable and dangerous, are unfairly demonized.

  1. Doberman Pinschers

As the breed’s popularity grew in the 1970s.  The American Kennel Club (AKC), says Dobermans can be affectionate, obedient and loyal, however.

  1. Rottweilers

According to the AKC, Rottweilers make good police dogs, herders, service or therapy dogs and are very protective of their territory.

  1. Chow Chows

The breed is known for its scowling expression, black tongue and thick coat, and likes to hunt, herd, protect and pull. According to Animal Planet, the Chow Chow can be aggressive toward strange dogs out of a need to protect its human family and the other pets in its household.

  1. Great Danes

Great Danes are usually associated with the lovable Marmaduke from the comic pages and the 2010 movie.  Vetstreet recommends that the breed, which can weigh more than 100 pounds, receives early training against jumping or acting aggressively.

  1. Perro de Presa Canario

Also called the Presa Canario, the Perro de Presa Canario usually makes the list of banned breeds, in places where this is done.  A Presa Canario needs a leader who can develop and manage those characteristics by guiding the dog with firmness and consistency and without using force or cruelty.  This dog is large, powerful, intelligent, and headstrong.

  1. Akitas 

Akitas are popular show dogs, but have strong guarding instincts and temperaments ranging from calm to aggressive. The AKC advises constant supervision of this breed when they are around small children and other animals.  

  1. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes have become popular as family pets, but they were originally bred as sled dogs for work in the Arctic. Known for their strength, endurance, intelligence and ability to learn quickly, the breed also can be strong-willed.

  1. German Shepherds

The AKC says the German Shepherd is the world’s leading police, guard and military dog. According to The American Veterinary Medical Association, German Shepherds frequently appear in lists of dogs implicated in biting incidents.

  1. Siberian Huskies

The American Kennel Club describes the characteristic temperament of the Siberian Husky as friendly and gentle, but also alert and outgoing. He does not display the possessive qualities of the guard dog, nor is he overly suspicious of strangers or aggressive with other dogs.

Dean & Draper

We hope the dog information in our blog is interesting and helpful.  We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about making your insurance choices.  Please feel free to call with your questions. 

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

 

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: Home Safety, Home Insurance, Dog Bites

Where Does Your Time Go at Work?

Posted on Sun, May 29, 2016

Fotolia_77940463_XS.jpgLast week productivity seemed to disappear.  I actually spent some time looking for it, too.  Then in a moment of real frustration, I took a look at my schedule for the week.  What showed up was great intent interrupted by meetings (most not so meaningful), additional work with a short return time, and some of my own distractions. 

Creativity provided the opportunity to put the wasted time issue on my research list.  Writing this blog was on my To Do list and this is a great topic – one that could be useful for a lot of people. So here I am satisfying my curiosity and getting some work done. 

One of the best examples of where work place time goes and what to do about it came from Scoro Software, a company that gives you everything you want to know and need to do on one page.

Top 5 Time-Wasting Activities at work:

Email 43.5%

Meetings 42.3%

Browsing Online 21.8%

Commuting 17.4%

Procrastination 10%

According to office workers the number one time wasting activity is too many meetings.  When you look at your own calendar, you see that one is true.  What does an average day look like according to Scoro?

Lunch: 30 minutes

Coffee breaks: 15 minutes

Checking emails: 30 minutes

Social media:  1 hour

Team meeting: 1 hour

Total:  3.15 hours per day of potentially wasted time

Pesky Meetings

Meetings per month; 62

Unproductive meeting time: 31 hours

How about some “Don’ts”

Delay complicated tasks. 

Stop your work to read emails when they in.

Implement entire task at once.

Work without a clear goal.

Set tasks without milestones.

And here are the “Do’s”

Make the least pleasant task first on your list.

Check emails 3 times a day. 

Break tasks into smaller blocks.

Focus on 20% of tasks that return the most benefit.

Set short 60 – 90 minute deadlines for each task.

And on top of it all, only 2.5% of people can multi-task without a decrease in performance. 

Dean and Draper

We hope that you have found some time saving ideas in our blog and perhaps some tips on improving the time you lost in your own day.  When you need information about insurance – both personal and business – you’ll think of us.  We can certainly save you some time finding the information you want and need.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

 

Topics: Improving productivity

4 Ways Your Car Windshields Will Change Soon

Posted on Sun, May 22, 2016

Fotolia_89798789_XS.jpgJust when we’re getting used to revolutionary new ideas for cars, a whole new aspect is introduced.  Now we’re hearing from Robert J. Rosenfield is chairman and CEO of Bowrail Group, a Boston-based investment management group about windshields.  According to Mr. Rosenfield, windshields, too, have joined the innovation party.

They are being fabricated with stronger, thinner and more lightweight materials. Like carbon fiber, glass is becoming strong enough to contend for structural roles.

Not only will car designers start using more of it, but glass is being used as an interface to run entire Internet of Things (IoT) systems, from entertainment to cloud connectivity, from 3D imaging to vehicle-to-vehicle communications.

We have selected 4 of the ideas that caught our eye and did some editing to the original article.  To see the original information, click here.

1. Say goodbye to headlights and sun visors

In the future we’ll see the same photochromic dyes that dynamically cause vision lens [eye glasses] to darken when exposed to sunlight and lighten in the shade, applied to windshields. This type of glass adjusts to current light conditions. Adding another layer of driver protection is the potential for windshields to block harmful ultraviolet radiation. Studies show that consumers are willing to pay a premium for this kind of sun and glare blocking.

Speaking of glare, imagine never having to turn on your headlights or switch to high beams. Engineers well versed in nano technologies are already discussing ways to incorporate military style night vision capability using thermal imaging. This would allow drivers to literally see in the dark.

2. Vehicle communications

Before we can navigate without lights, road vehicles of all kinds will adapt solar panel technology to not only power hybrids and electrics, but to replace or augment alternators for charging batteries and to supply the needed power for new services.

A thin layer of photovoltaic cells could conceivably cover the hood, roof and trunk or flatbed, providing energy to more sophisticated GPS units that share info beyond map directions. Vehicles will be able to share traffic data compiled from all vehicles in the same geo location. The U.S. Department of Transportation is testing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications on 3,000 cars and trucks in Ann Arbor, Mich., and claims the technology can improve safety.

3. Windshield as world interface

We will see glass offering an immersive experience, projecting live TV, video on demand, social media chats and smartphone apps that can be directly accessed on glass by using special motion and optical sensors to turn standard glass into a touch sensitive surface. Because of the emphasis on safety, designers will look at using the steering wheel or dashboard for activating features, per status quo.

As an interface, touch will most likely take a back seat to voice-activated prompts. Apple is naturally in the game, working with Honda on versions of its Siri voice-activated assistant. And Toyota and Microsoft have teamed up to experiment with gesture commands just like those used by the Xbox Kinect gaming console.

4.  Say goodbye to wiper blades

In 2008, Italian designer Leonardo Fioravanti devised a self-cleaning and water-repelling nano-dust system into his prototype Hindra vehicle.

The new system eliminates the need for wiper blades through the use of advanced nanotechnology and aerodynamic principles that combine to ensure clear visibility for drivers. Specialized coatings exist that can repel water, ice and oil, but most agree these coatings will fade over time given the harsh exposure of weather. That's why McLaren is testing a promising technique of using high-frequency sound waves on smart windshields to fend off the nasty elements.

Now the question is how soon?

With intelligent applications of auto glass and the rush to market of advanced driver assistance systems, it's not a matter of “if” the technology becomes standard, but how soon. 

Dean and Draper

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: Car Innovations