Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How to Determine if You Need Flood Coverage

Are you covered for flood damage?

Too many people assume that if their home is not in a flood zone, their homeowners’ policy will pick up the tab if flood damage occurs. This is not the case. In fact, most standard homeowner policies don’t include flood coverage. So how do you determine whether you need it?

For a preliminary assessment, go to www.floodsmart.gov  and enter your address information in the flood risk profile. The level of risk is determined by your property's location on your community's flood map.

The lower the degree of risk, the lower the flood insurance premium.

However, keep in mind it doesn’t always take a coastal disaster or being in a high risk zone to bring flood damage your way. Excessive rain, poor drainage systems, broken water mains and rapid snowmelt could all lead to flooding. In fact, according to the National Flood Insurance Program, nearly 25% of flood insurance claims come from moderate to low risk areas. Therefore, even if your home is not in a high risk location, you may still want to consider purchasing flood insurance as a precaution.

Horizon can help.

If you choose to purchase your National Flood Insurance Program policy through Horizon, I can help
make sure that your home and its contents have the coverage you want in the event of a flood.

Not sure what your policy provides?

Call me to discuss your coverage and find out more about a flood policy through Horizon. Or, for more information on flood coverage, visit the following websites:

For more information on our products, please visit:


Product availability is based on authority and all products may not be available in all areas.

This does not constitute legal advice. For a complete list of the specific landlord and tenant laws in your state visit

www.landlordassociation.org/statelaws.html, or for legal advice, speak with a real estate attorney.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Water Damage Safety Tips for Homeowners

Protect your property in an emergency

What to do in an emergency


    If you discover a build-up of water on the floor, find standing water in your home or experience severe, sudden and accidental water damage, take steps to begin ventilating and drying out your home immediately. Here are some precautions to start with until help arrives:

Shut off the water source, if possible.

Protect your property from further damage with temporary, reasonable and necessary repairs, like

plywood or plastic covers over roof or wall openings. Move household items to an undamaged area of
your home or cover them with plastic.

Mop, blot up or wet vac as much water as possible.

Don’t leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpeting.

Remove oriental or other colored throw rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpeting. Remove the pad from
under saturated carpets.

Place wood blocks or aluminum foil between furniture legs and wet carpeting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture.

Open drawers and cabinets to aid in faster drying.

Open windows to speed drying. Turn on the air conditioner or fans for maximum drying in hot weather.

Make small holes in sagging ceilings to drain trapped water, using a pan or bucket below to catch the
water. Never turn on a ceiling fixture if the ceiling is wet!

Replace any wet insulation with new, dry insulation.

Treat minor mold growths quickly with a solution of one cup chlorine bleach to one gallon of water.

Leave this solution on the mold for approximately 15 minutes to kill the mold spores. Wipe away the
debris with a disposable cloth and discard it. Thoroughly dry the area where you applied the bleach
and water.

Make sure flooring and carpets are dry before starting any repairs or making replacements.

Hire a professional to clean and re-lay your carpet after the carpet pad has been replaced.

If you discover mold in the areas you are cleaning, consider calling in a professional cleaning firm.

There is speculation that some mold may lead to health problems.

For further information on this and many other topics regarding your personal or business property, please call or visit us online at:  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sept. 11 is Grandparents Day and Patriot Day

On Sept.11 fly flags at half-staff

   Wondering what to do this Sept. 11?

   Why not spend it visiting your grandparents, or an elder person who may appreciate having company. Here are some ideas for things to do this Sept.11, 2011 along with a reprint of some great information from The Joe Foss Institute.

Visit your grandparents, or take your kids to visit their grandparents. Take them out to lunch, then attend a memorial or lay flowers for a Veteran for Patriot Day. Don't forget to fly your flag at half staff.

Here's a reprint from The Joe Foss Institute:

Patriot Day

Patriot Day takes place on September 11th each year in order to remember those killed in the attacks on the US, by a group of terrorists who were able to hijack and take control of four commercial airliners in 2001. Two of those planes struck the World Trade Center and one struck the Pentagon.

The fourth plane was intended to collide with either the White House or the Capitol Building; however, a group of heroic passengers on that flight were able to overpower the hijackers and the plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, PA. Sadly, there were no survivors from any of the four planes and a total of approximately 3,000 lives were lost that day.

On October 25th, 2001, Congress voted unanimously for President George Bush to designate September 11th as Patriot Day as a result of the immense sadness this day carries with it. On September 4th, 2002, President Bush officially proclaimed September 11th Patriot Day.

As a discretionary holiday, it is nationally accepted that all American flags should be flown at half-staff; especially the flags that decorate the White House and US government buildings both home and abroad. The President also requested that a moment of silence be observed on this day at 8:46am, the time at which the first plane hit the North tower of the World Trade Center.

Patriot Day Activities

To help foster an appreciation for the sacrifices of Americans who bravely lost their lives on September 11th, here are a few suggestions for Patriot Day school activities.

  • Sing The National Anthem: There is no greater way to show your patriotism than to sing the national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner. Teach your students the words to the Star Spangled Banner and then have them sing it prior to beginning any of the other activities listed here, much like what is done at a sporting event. Click here to see why the National Anthem is Important.
  • Create Cards For Local Firefighters And Policemen: Unless you reside in New York or Washington D.C., the members of your local firefighting and/or police departments were not directly involved with the September 11th attacks. However, because all firefighters and policemen refer to each other as brethren, sharing your gratitude for the services your local departments have rendered will still make a difference to the recipients.
  • Fly Your Flag At Half-Staff – Allow your children or students to help you fly the flag and explain to them that the purpose of flying your flag at half-staff is to illustrate respect and/or mourning.
  • Observe A Moment Of Silence – This does not necessarily have to take place at the aforementioned 8:46am, but it would show students how a tragic day in American history is typically observed.
  • September 11th Lesson Plans – Although there are few lesson plans that encompass this dismal day, there are things that children can do that may increase their capacity of understanding of what happened in 2001. A few suggestions include Q & A, giving a brief lecture on the events of that day, and having the students write a letter to a student 50 years in the future explaining what they have learned about the holiday. Click here to see more Patriotic school activities.

Patriot Day Activities Beyond The Classroom

Another Patriot Day school activity that you can partake in is to have your children actual speak to a veteran of a US war. You can do this through The Joe Foss Intstitute's VIP (Veterans Inspiring Patriotism) Program.