Uncategorized | Boizelle Insurance Partnership - Part 2

How to Prepare for a Hurricane

Your ability to anticipate an upcoming hurricane is extremely important and is something that you should prepare for. How well you prepare could be the difference between staying afloat, leading a pathway to eventual recovery, and financial ruin.

Preparing the outside of your home is essential to minimizing any potential damage caused by the hurricane. If a hurricane is in your area, you should do the following:

  • Trim you trees or remove trees that appear sickly or diseased. They are less likely to be able to withstand high wind speeds.
  • Store all of your outdoor furniture in a dry, enclosed space.
  • Use permanent shutters to protect your windows.
  • Have a substantial supply of plywood and nails on hand, so you’re able to board up your home if you need to. If you wait until the last minute to do this, you may be subject to inflated prices. As more and more people run to the store for these supplies, a shortage may occur. As a result, prices will go up.
  • Have you talked to your insurance agent about flood insurance? Typical homeowners insurance policies exclude flooding caused by a hurricane.
  • Have an emergency communication plan in place. If you’re ever separated from other members of your family, they will be able to get in contact with you.

It’s a good idea to put together a survival kit in case of emergencies. The following items should be in your survival kit:

  • Water
  • Non-perishable food
  • Medications for yourself, your family, and your pets
  • A portable radio
  • Flashlights
  • Spare batteries
  • Battery chargers for your cell phones
  • Any other chargers for other electronic devices you may own i.e. an Apple Watch, laptop

 

Hurricane Watch

During a Hurricane Watch, you should do the following:

  • You should make sure your car’s fuel tank is full in case an evacuation order for your area is given.
  • If you own a boat, use rope or a chain to secure it to a trailer.
  • Use tie downs to anchor your trailer to the ground or to your house.
  • Any valuable items like jewelry or personal papers should be stored in a waterproof container.Hurricanes can be extremely dangerous. It’s important to take the proper precautions to ensure the safety of yourself and others.
Read more

Traveling Safely During COVID-19

 

Our lives have been upended since the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus. Many of us have had to cancel vacation plans we may have had for months. Vacation may be one thing. But, what if we have a job that requires us to travel far across the country or to another country altogether? Sometimes, we don’t have a choice.

If you must travel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend following certain steps to ensure your own safety as well the safety of those around you:

  • When possible, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and other people.
  • Wear a mask that covers both your nose and your mouth to prevent droplets from escaping.
  • Limit your contact with surfaces that are frequently touched i.e. handrails, elevator buttons, and kiosks. If you have to touch these surfaces, either wash your hands immediately or use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Wash your hands often. This is especially important after using the restroom and before eating. If you cough or sneeze, wash your hands immediately, so that any bacteria that may have landed on your hands is killed.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a safe hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Depending on where you are traveling, you may encounter a situation where you are required to wear a face covering or quarantine yourself for 14 days. In order to avoid these unpleasantries, check for restrictions at your destination before you make your final decision. Your most reliable source for this kind of information is a state or local health department website. Changes occur frequently, so be sure to stay up-to-date.

Due to the fact that it’s considerably more difficult to practice social distancing while on an airplane, the CDC and FAA have issued precautionary measures for potential passengers. Most major airlines in the U.S. are requiring both crews and passengers to wear face coverings. These measures may differ depending on the airport or airline. Check their websites for details.

To help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented more vigorous cleaning procedures at security checkpoints.

TSA employees have made various changes to the process of screening passengers before they board flights. For example, passengers have been asked to wear masks during screening, but may be asked to adjust them for proper identification. Each individual is allowed to travel with one container of hand sanitizer up to 12 ounces in their carry-on luggage. Keep in mind that these containers will need to be screened. Food items should be in a plastic bag and put in a bin for proper screening. Keeping food separate from other items may reduce the time it takes to be screened by security. Instead of placing them in bins, items such as keys, wallets and phones should be stored in carry-on bags to minimize handling of these items.

If you and your friends are planning to hit the road for a roadtrip, here are few things you might consider before starting leaving:

  • Plan out your trip, so you’re able to make the least amount of stops possible.
  • Pack face masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes and store them in a place that’s easy to get to.
  • Should restaurants be limiting patrons, be sure to pack your own non-perishable food items, that is until you get to your intended destination.
  • Gas stations are some of the dirtiest places you can go to. Countless people fill up their cars every day. In doing so, they touch a lot of different surfaces and you shouldn’t count on the fact that they washed their hands. It’s better to be safe than sick. Wipe down handles and buttons with disinfectant wipes before and after you use them. After filling up your car, use hand sanitizer until you have a chance to wash your hands with hot water and soap.
  • If possible, use drive-thru when stopping for meals.

 

If you’re traveling by bus, do your best to maintain proper social distancing, wear a mask, and use hand sanitizer (until you have an opportunity to wash your hands) until you reach your final destination.

If you’re staying at a hotel, be sure to follow all health and safety guidelines being implemented.

As always, if you’re feeling sick, stay home.

Read more

How to Build Your Very Own Raised Vegetable Garden

 

How many of you have dreamed of having your own home garden, imagined the wonderful smells of fresh basil, thought about taking that first bite into a freshly picked plump red tomato? Since the outbreak of COVID-19, have you found yourself with more time at home? If so, now may be your perfect opportunity to build your own home garden oasis.

Now, some of you may be intimidated by the thought of building your own home garden. But, don’t fret. We’re going to guide you through an easy-to-follow, step-by-step process to make this dream a reality for you!

First, you’ll need to create the bed frame in which your soil and plants will rest. To do this, understand that the frame itself will need to be at least six inches high. This height provides easy access and gives the roots substantial room to grow and flourish.

Step 1: Measure and mark the length of the walls you’ll want to have for your garden and then cut the boards. Keep your fingers a safe distance away from the saw. Measure and cut 2 x 4s for the corner posts so support the walls of your garden. They should match the height of the garden bed wall. If you want additional support, cut posts to install along the walls.

The boards for each wall should be clamped together. Set the corner posts on top of the wall boards, flush with the ends of the 6-foot walls and set back 1-1/2 inches from the ends of the shorter walls. Drill pilot holes and attach the posts with screws. If you choose to cut additional posts for more support, those should be attached as well.

Drill pilot holes and connect all the sides with screws to form a box. The posts should be on the inside of the bed.

Choosing Your Location

It is essential that the location for your garden has enough sun exposure. Without enough sunlight, your plants will not grow.

Choose a flat area that has ample access to sunlight to build your raised garden bed.

Remove with a shovel any ground that restricts the bed frame from resting on a flat surface.

It’s possible to stack your raised garden beds, so you can grow plants with long root stems. If you want to add a second level to your garden, repeat the steps you took to build the initial bed frame with a second level of lumber.

Line with Landscape Fabric

This may be one of the most important steps you take when building your raised garden bed. Create a barrier between the soil in the bed and the soil in your yard in order to keep weeds and grass from growing in the bed from below.

 

Add Your Soil to Your Raised Garden Bed

When you use a raised garden bed, it allows you to control soil and amendments to help the plants you are growing to flourish. It’s important to follow the proper steps to ensure the best health for your plants:

  • Choose the right kind of soil for the plants you want to grow.
  • For most circumstances, the recommended mix contains 60% topsoil, 30% compost, and 10% potting mix.
  • The ratio of soil and amendments will vary depending on the particular plants you choose.
  • Make sure you add enough soil to fill the entire bed.
  • Use the formula LENGTH x WIDTH x DEPTH to determine the correct amount of soil you need to fill the container.

Add Seeds or Plants to Your Garden Bed

Your next step will be adding seeds or plants to your garden bed. Enough space is necessary between the plants or seeds in order to allow them enough room to grow.

Arrange everything in such a way as to not have the taller plants block sunlight from the shorter ones.

As your plants grow, make sure you support them with stakes, props or cages.

Consider using bird netting to keep unwanted visitors to your garden.

Be sure that your plants are consistently getting enough water.

Once established, it is recommended that plants need about one inch of water per week in order to grow.

Now comes the fun part! What should you plant in your garden? Well, it really depends on what you like! If you love salads, consider planting the following:

  • In the front of your raised bed, plant carrots, radishes and onions.
  • In the middle, plant lettuce and baby spinach.
  • In the back, plant chives and basil.
  • Once your plants are mature, it’s important to harvest some of them every few days, so that the plants continue to produce.

If you want a kitchen garden, consider planting the following:

  • In the front your raised bed, plant oregano, cilantro and parsley.
  • In the middle, plant thyme, sage and rosemary.
  • In the back, plant chives and basil.

If you like fresh salsa, consider planting the following:

  • In the front of your raised bed, plant one oregano plant, two cilantro and ten red onions.
  • In the middle, plant one serrano, fresno chili or chile de arbol pepper, and one Roma tomato. Make sure the tomato is caged to protect it from unwanted visitors.
  • In the back, plant two tomatillos. In order for tomatillos to flourish, they must be planted in pairs, so they can cross pollinate.

We hope you enjoy the outdoors as you embark on your home garden journey! We’re here for you!

 

 

 

Read more

Have Some Fun at Home During the Quarantine!

We are living in uncertain times. With the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, families all over the country have been told to practice safe social-distancing and quarantine. Although these actions have been deemed necessary by world leaders, it still leaves us wondering when our lives can and will return to some semblance of normalcy. It is not uncommon – in these times – to feel down or depressed. So, it’s important to surround yourself with those you love. If you live alone, do the best you can to reach out to a friend or a loved one. If you know an elder who struggles to move around or who lives alone, consider bringing them groceries. We may not be able to have physical human contact right now, which is oh so important to our mental health and overall well-being, but we can take advantage of our technological advances. Pick up the phone and call someone, schedule a zoom meeting with your friends, FaceTime your grandparents, WhatsApp your in-laws. We can all do more to stay connected to each other.

Take a virtual trip at home

With travel restrictions in place and our own fears of contracting COVID-19, perhaps it’s time to try another way to see your favorite vacation destination. At least, until things return to normal. The Internet is an extremely effective and powerful tool that we have today. It allows us to see places all over the world we never even imagined. We can even see Antarctica if we wanted to! Okay, okay…you probably don’t want to imagine yourself in such a cold place. Maybe something far warmer, with the sun beaming down upon you. The Caribbean? Pretty much anything is possible with the Internet.

What to eat and drink while we’re all stuck at home

If you need some help deciding what to cook at home during quarantine, there are several tools you can use for some inspiration. YouTube videos are a great way to find recipes you enjoy. You can follow along with your favorite dishes and create something truly spectacular for yourself or your loved ones! While you’re in the kitchen making pasta and meatballs, why not turn on a little Frank Sinatra to really brighten the mood?

Wine Happy Hour

Since you’re away from your friends, why not buy a bottle of a wine and create a zoom meeting where you can interact with your friends? If you’re like me, you can talk about how much you miss baseball or going out to the movies. Sitting in your seat at the ballpark with a sausage and peppers sandwich on a toasted hoagie roll with mustard…an ice-coke to wash it all down! And don’t forget the chili dogs, nachos and peanuts! Who else misses Nationals’ baseball? **tear**

What to watch at home during quarantine

If there’s ever been a legitimate excuse to binge-watch your favorite shows, now’s the time! If you’re a comic-book or superhero enthusiast like me, Arrow and The Flash are great! If you have the STARZ channel, you can still watch Spartacus if you rent of buy the seasons or episodes. Unfortunately, it’s no longer on Netflix. Tiger King has proven to be an extremely popular choice!

 

Play with your pets

Our Frenchie has never been happier! Usually, we need to wake up and leave for work in the morning. Because we’re all working from home right now, she’s the happiest dog in the world!

How to stay in shape during quarantine

Gyms have been said to be some of the most risky places to be right now. Typically, germs are everywhere because as people are exercising, they sweat. And…yeah. It can get pretty nasty! When gyms finally open again, I think everyone is going to see cleansing wipes at every workout station around. Could that become the new normal? Going back to YouTube, it’s a wonderful source to find workout videos that you can follow along to. I know that a lot of people like to use weights when they work out. If you don’t have access to them right now, buy some gallons of milk and do some lifting exercises. Stretch bands and yoga are also really great! You can find step-by-step yoga instructional videos on YouTube that you can follow along to. If you’re having a hard day, you can also find videos with a focus on meditation to help you bring your mind back to a sense of tranquility and peace. My wife and I like to light candles or burn incense to create a more relaxing atmosphere. It’s almost like being in a spa!

Reward your children for completing chores

As I was researching information for this blog, I came across a fantastic idea! Since we’re all at home, perhaps it’s a good idea assign certain tasks to your children during the quarantine. To make it more fun, have a family movie night, but create a movie theater atmosphere where you have popcorn and candy. Make movie tickets that your kids can buy with the money they earned from doing their chores. It’s a great learning experience where your kids can learn the value of completing a job well and getting rewarded for it!

 

Remember, you’re not alone in this. Let’s all stay connected to each other!

 

Read more