Shark Safety Tips

Shark Safety Tips

 

We know, We know. Being in the Midwest the only way to see sharks are on television, in the movies, or at your local zoo/aquarium. But seeing as how this week is Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week”, we thought we would jump on that bandwagon and share some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe if you happen to vacation or live near shark-infested waters…

These tips come from the great state of Hawai’i, land of tropical (& deadly) beauty. Be sure to check out the original article for more tips on how to be safe swimming in areas where sharks are prevalent.

– Swim/surf/dive with other people and never swim too far away from assistance.

– Don’t enter the water if you have open wounds or bleeding in any way. Sharks can detect blood and other fluids in minuscule concentrations.

– Don’t ware high contrast clothing or shiny jewelry, sharks can see fairly well underwater.

– Swim or surf on beaches with lifeguards and only where indicated

– If you notice fish or turtles start to act erratically, get out of the water. Be aware of dolphins as they are prey for some larger sharks.

 

Be sure to read the rest of the tips provided by the state of Hawai’i and check out the shark bite statistics above for 2018.

 

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

 

 

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Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

 

This week we look at something that I have been witness to recently while walking around the downtown area. Recent information states that 91% of drivers on the road today suffer from some form of distracted driving. To help combat those statistics, here are some tips gleaned from drivingtips.org to be safe:

 

1) Be well rested and alert – physical/mental exhaustion can spell disaster, take a short nap if possible before heading home or consider calling for a taxi/Uber/Lyft to get you home safely.

2) Make driving priority #1 – multi-tasking is great at the office or at home, but not while driving your vehicle.

3) Drink with a lid on your cup – when getting coffee/drinks from fast food restaurants, make sure the lid is secure before you drive off and DON’T reach for the cup when turning – keep both hands on the wheel.

4) Keep sunglasses within reach – the sun’s glare can catch people off-guard and could cause accidents. Keep your sunglasses within easy reach in case you need them, don’t keep them in the glove box or center console!

5) Tell passengers you need to focus on the road – oftentimes we get caught up in the interesting things around us as drivers, but keeping our eyes on the road should be #1.

6) Keep your pets restrained while driving – sure it’s cute for little puffball to be leaning out the window catching some air as you’re whizzing down the freeway, but little puffball could be a serious distraction. Use pet seat belts or carriers to keep your pets safe while traveling.

 

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Sprinkler Fun

Sprinkler Fun

 

Thanks to Myria for this week’s tips on having fun and being safe with water sprinklers! Be sure the check out the entire article for more games to play with water sprinklers!

Fill the Cup – use unbreakable cups (plastic Dixie cups work well) and have the kids fill them using the sprinkler without touching it. Make it more fun by having the kids stand in one place and if they move – they have to dump their cup over their head and start over.

Freeze Tag – Have an adult handle the sprinkler hose and kink it, kids can dance/jump/walk around until the hose is let go – then they have to freeze in place. If you move, you’re out!

* Incorporate a “no running” rule since surfaces/toys can get slippery.

* An adult should supervise

Parents Today had some tips as well for being safe at home while playing in water:

– Ensure adult supervision regardless of swimming capability

– Ensure your pool is fenced properly with a self-latching gate

– Consider requiring all non-swimmers to wear a life jacket to keep them floating above water

Be sure to check out the other tips from the Parents Today article on how to be safe around water!

 

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Staying Cool

Staying Cool

 

All this month we are going to share tips on keep yourself, your home, and your vehicles cool during the hot summer days!

We got this week’s article from Better Homes and Gardens with tips on how to stay cool when your home air conditioner conks out:

– Let It Breathe. Use breathable fabrics for your bed and pajamas. Lightweight cotton & bamboo fabrics are excellent for keep you cool while you sleep.

– Head Underground. Often the coolest part of the house is the basement. Take advantage of your finished basement as an escape from the heat.

– Cold Showers. Taking a cold shower or bath will reduce your body temperature quickly and having wet hair can cool you down for hours. No time for a bath? Soak your feet in ice water and splash water on your face.

– Cold Cooking. Cooking with a hot stove or oven is not ideal when it is already warm in the house. Opt instead for cooler options like salads or sandwiches, dishes that don’t require the use of a stove or oven.

Be sure to read the rest of the article at Better Homes and Gardens for the rest of the tips they have to stay cool when your air conditioner conks out…

 

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Air Conditioning Maintenance

Air Conditioning Maintenance

 

For the month of June we are going to be looking at ways to stay cool this summer!

Today’s article is from Hartford Steamboiler Insurance and contains tips on maintaining your home air conditioner. There is nothing worse than to have your air conditioner conk out on the hottest day of the year!

Clean the Coils – you should clean the coils on the outside of the unit, once during pre-start up and again once the unit is in full cooling mode. For window units, you may consider using a fin repair tool (can be found at any home improvement store) to straighten crushed fins and clean the scum/dirt/dust from in-between them. This will increase efficiency as well as prevent leaks/drips from clogged drains/pans.

Inspect the Compressor Motor Starter – the electrical contacts can rust/corrode, best to have them replaced before they fail.

Check/Replace Moisture Filters – If the air unit indicates moisture in the system, call a repairman to vacuum the system and replace any driers/filters.

Check Refrigerant Charge – If the system is low on refrigerant, make sure you check for leaks and repair as necessary.

Clean Evaporators – You should vacuum your furnace cabinet before running your central air and you should be replacing the furnace filter every 30 days.

 

Head on over to the original article for more information on maintaining your air conditioner!

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Motorhome Safety Tips

Motorhome Safety Tips

To round out the month, we are going to share some tips from a UK site that has practical tips for both motorhome safety and getting started with RVing.

Secure Your Motorhome – Keep track of your keys, even though newer motorhomes may have sophisticated fobs and such – the temptation to leave the keys in the ignition for a “quick sec” is still there. When leaving your motorhome, make sure all the doors and windows are secure/locked.

Take Less – Of course we all want to bring the “comforts” from home with us, but this can cause trouble when keeping track of it all. The less you take, the less worry you have about keeping track. Be sure to keep the outside lockers secured when not in use as well.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings – Most people go to RV parks to “camp” in their motorhomes, which tend to be pretty well-lit/secure. If you’re going to use your motorhome in the wilderness, be aware of your surroundings and if the area doesn’t “feel right” – find somewhere else to camp.

When purchasing a motorhome for the first time, there are some tips they offer as well:

Decide How Big – do you want a small van conversion or a large tour bus-type motorhome. Depending on the size, you may have to get an additional drivers license endorsement to operate one.

Separate “Likes” from “Must-Haves” – there will obviously need to be some compromises when it comes to finding the right motorhome, separating the likes from the must-haves can help narrow down the list.

Try Before You Buy – some dealers offer a “loaner period” where you can take a motorhome for a weekend to see how it fits you. Go to RV shows and talk to dealers as well as looking online.

Stay Local, Then Venture Out – When first starting out camping in a motorhome, stay local just in case. Your first few ventures should help you determine your vacation packing, maintenance, & any mechanical issues that may arise. It’s better to be stranded across town or in the next city than to be stranded a thousand miles from home.

The articles have other tips to help you enjoy your motorhome, so be sure to read the full articles!

 

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Memorial Day Tips

Memorial Day Tips

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is upon us, today we share tips on making your weekend festivities safe and delicious!

 

The Asbury Park Press offers tips from their local chefs when it comes to preparing your holiday feast:

– Heat up your grill for at least 5 minutes with the lid closed and then use a grill brush to clean the grates of old food particles & rust. Use a paper towel coated with olive oil to grease the grates which allows food to easily come off.

– When cooking any meat, don’t press down on it while it’s cooking as that allows its natural juices to flow out and dries out the meat.

– Flip your protein once. There is no need to flip steaks/hamburgers/bratwurst/chicken more than once if cooking properly.

– Keep your menu simple and prepare as much as you can beforehand. This will help cut down on the chaos when guests arrive.

 

The website Reviewed offers some tips when it comes to preparing for holiday travel:

– Check your battery. Typical usage life of a car battery is anywhere from 3-to-5 years. Keep your phone charge as well as have a portable cellphone charger just in case.

– A flashlight is your friend. Breaking down at night is bad enough, not having a decent light source makes it even worse. LED flashlights are best as their light is brighter and their battery life lasts longer.

– Check ALL of your tires. Most people do a cursory check of their tires, but really take a look at the tread for worn spots or trouble spots in the sidewalls. Check your spare as well, it isn’t of much use if it is flat.

– Top off fluids. Read your owners manual to see what fluid levels should be and top off as necessary.

 

The state of Massachusetts in their blog post offers tips to those leaving home for the holiday:

– Bring a copy of all email correspondence when renting a vacation property or hotel room.

– Talk to your health insurance provider about their out-of-network procedures in case you are traveling somewhere outside your health insurance network.

– Avoid sharing details of your trip on social media. Avoid checking in at locations and post pictures at the very end of your trip.

 

Above all be safe and have fun!

 

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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