In light of the tragic alligator attack in Orlando, we are sharing some information on these potentially dangerous animals.
Not all alligators are considered nuisance alligators. The mere presence of an alligator does not qualify it as a nuisance, even if it is located in an unexpected place. Most alligators, if left alone, will move on. Alligators less than 4 feet in length are naturally fearful of humans and are generally not a threat to pets, livestock or humans. Alligators at least 4 feet in length that present a threat to pets, livestock or humans are considered “nuisance” alligators. The following information should help you determine if an alligator may pose a threat to you, your pets/livestock or your property.
For more information: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/nuisance-alligators
Source: TX Parks and Wildlife Department, LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
We’ve all heard the quote, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And those words certainly ring true when it comes to preparing your home to withstand the often crazy spring storm season. Taking just a few preventative measures now can save you from dealing with substantial damage later.
Now that warmer temperatures are here and homeowners are thinking about spring cleaning and projects around the house, it’s an ideal time to take steps to prevent storm damage to your home. Here are a few tips to prepare for the stormy season ahead:
1. Identify any existing roof or siding problems: A licensed contractor can inspect your roof for missing shingles and possible leaks and do any repair work if necessary. It’s also a good idea to inspect and reinforce any loose siding, which can quickly rip off during high winds.
2. Use shredded bark mulch as landscaping material: If you have rock or gravel landscaping, it’s a good idea to replace it with bark, which won’t cause damage if blown around in high winds.
3. Maintain trees and shrubbery in your yard: Spring is the perfect time to remove dead or weak branches or remove trees that could fall on your home during a storm. Check trees and shrubs regularly to identify potential problems.
4. Ensure gutters aren’t loose or clogged: Clear your gutters of debris and make sure they are tightly attached to your house. Strong winds can quickly tear loose gutters from your home and cause damage. Also, it’s important to make sure downspouts are positioned away from your home’s foundation to help prevent basement flooding.
5. Secure top-heavy furniture: Don’t forget about the inside of your home too. Walk around your house and secure large, top-heavy pieces, such as bookcases, to the wall.
Now it’s time to follow through and take action. We have been fortunate that the last two years have produced quiet hurricane seasons in the tropical Atlantic. And according Colorado State University researchers, this year also looks to be quiet. However, we all know that forecasts are subject to change and it’s always important to be prepared.
Of course, sometimes careful prevention and planning can’t withstand the wrath of Mother Nature. An Access Home Insurance Company policy provides coverage for most severe weather-related losses – other than flooding. A separate policy to cover flood damage is available. If your home does sustain damage during a storm, contact your insurance agent.
For information on our claims process or to submit a claim, visit the Claims page.
Have you ever noticed how much smoother things go when you’re prepared? It’s like you’re on auto pilot – you know the steps to take, you know where things are, and you just get it done! NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) would like us to take that same approach right now. During March, the NWS is asking us to prepare for severe storms. Spring is an unpredictable and active season. It can sometimes bring us a weather mixture that makes our heads turn. It’s quite possible that in the next three months we’ll make our way through severe storms, tornados, heavy wind and rain and possibly even floods.
So what can you do to be prepared? Actually, quite a bit. Access Home Insurance and NWS encourages all families to take a few steps BEFORE severe weather hits. Knowing your risks before you start can help outline what steps you should take. And while you’re at it, bring your family into the task. Get them involved and they will more likely be respectful of your wishes.
Here are six action items you can take to prepare you and your family for severe weather.
To learn more about local weather preparedness and awareness events for your state, visit the
Weather Preparedness Events Calendar.
It’s that time again and for most of us in the United States we are ready to change those clocks and welcome spring with a big warm hug! On Sunday, March 8 at 2:00 a.m. daylight savings time begins and setting those clocks forward means it’s time for a seasonal safety check.
As you make the rounds in the house setting clocks ahead, make time for a short safety checklist of other items in your house that may need attention.
Change the clocks, change the clock batteries.
Change smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries.
Safety experts recommend replacing smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries twice a year–so celebrate Time Change Sunday with fresh batteries all around.
Check/replace fire extinguishers.
Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Fire extinguishers can become useless over time so now is the time to test and replace it if needed. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher in your home, you should get one as it can save you money on your homeowners insurance premium.
Replace light bulbs.
Consider replacing conventional bulbs in your home with energy-efficient compact fluorescent or LCD bulbs. The U.S. Environmental Protection estimates that replacing standard bulbs with energy-efficient ones saves over $30 in electricity costs over their lifetime.
Daylight Savings Time is an excellent opportunity to check under sinks, toilets, in the basement, behind your washer, shower/tub, and other household plumping to make sure you don’t have even a small leak.
Review your family emergency plan.
If an emergency strikes, will your family know what to do? Review your family’s emergency plan, or create one for the first time. Hold a meeting with family members to explain what to do and where to go in case of an emergency. Update phone numbers, addresses and contact information, and post an emergency information page near the phone.
Review your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Now is a great time to review your homeowner’s policy with your agent to ensure you have the coverage needed to protect you, your family and your belongings. To begin, it is important to know what your policies cover and don’t cover. For a review of what is included in a standard insurance policy, read our article on “How Well Do You Know Your Insurance Policy?”
Your agent can also help evaluate your coverage. If you don’t currently have an Access Home Insurance residential homeowner’s policy and would like more information, ask your agent or go to Find an Agent on our website.
Freezing temperatures and wind can devastate homes and businesses if proper precautions aren’t taken. Winter temperatures can cause water lines to freeze and rupture, spilling water and causing significant damage to homes. Next to hurricanes, water damage is the most common and costly cause of homeowners insurance claims every year.
What to do before the temperatures drop:
Here are some tips on how to protect your plumbing from freezing temperatures:
Resources: NOLA.com, National Weather Service