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inSIGHTS Personal Risk management topics brought to you by Henriott Group, Inc

WINTER installment

IN THIS ISSUE HOME MATTERS Avoid Winter woes by keeping cold winter weather OUTSIDE of your home by preventing frozen pipes and water damage.

AUTO INSIGHTS While winter snow is one of nature’s beauties, you won’t find yourself appreciating it’s beauty if you’re stranded in your car! Follow these tips for safe driving on slick roadways!

LIFE LESSONS As winter gets underway and the hours of daylight fade, it’s not unusual for people to begin feeling bummed out. These symptoms may be signs of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Learn how to avoid the winter blues.

SAFETY CORNER Winter is a wonderful time of year. Spending time with family, the many holidays, snow and the warmth from a fireplace are traditions many of us enjoy during these winter days. It’s also important to make safety a tradition of the winter holiday season.

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>>> Prevent Bursting Pipes & Water Damage When weather moves from cold to freezing, the potential for a home disaster, in the form of bursting pipes, increases dramatically. Did you know that a pipe crack just an eighth of an inch can release more than 200 gallons of water EACH day? Here are some tips to help you prevent this “winter woe”:

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Leave faucets dripping to keep the water moving Set your heat above 60°, even when you aren’t home Leave the under-sink cabinet doors open to circulate the warm air Wrap pipes in unheated areas with insulating or electric heat tape (think basements, attics, and garages)

If you do experience freezing pipes, be sure to act quickly! Use a blow drier to unthaw the most frozen parts of the pipe first. Do not use an open flame to help unthaw frozen pipes. As the pipe warms, if you notice leaking water, the pipe has burst and you need to shut off the water as soon as possible to prevent water damage!

>>> Safe Driving on Slick Roadways Staying safe while driving during the winter months is a task that no driver enjoys, but one that requires a lot of attention. Here are a few tips to help prevent skidding...and how to recover if you do:

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Slow down before reaching curves and turns. When you reach the curve, apply the power slightly and steer steadily. Avoid abrupt changes in direction or excessive braking. When changing lanes, check your blind spots, turn on your blinker, and slowly move into the next lane. Make this move with the smallest possible steering changes and with a light foot on the gas. Watch out for ice patches or piles of wet leaves in overpasses as well as in shady areas. Anticipate stops by slowing down gradually. Be aware that heavily traveled intersections may become “polished” and slick, making it difficult to come to a stop. Increase the following distance behind the vehicle in front of you. Use only a light foot on your gas pedal when driving in heavy snow. Pushing the gas pedal down hard will only cause your wheels to spin with little or no forward movement.

If you go into a skid, remember the following: * Do not steer against the skid or hit the breaks. * Steer in the direction that your vehicle is sliding until you feel your wheels recover traction. Then slowly straighten your wheels and keep rolling.

Post Holiday Safety: According to NFPA 1/2 of all Christmas tree fires occurred between December 22nd and January 5th. Just as safety should be a foremost concern when putting up & maintaining decorations during the holidays, it is also a critical component for cleanup activities after the holidays have passed. Start the New Year off right and get a head start for next holiday season with these important post-holiday safety tips: 

* If braking is necessary before you regain traction, apply the brake carefully so that you don’t lock your wheels or intensify the skid.

>>> Beating the Winter Blues

Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the winter months—in fact as many as one in five Americans suffer from SAD This is a recurring depression that subsides in spring and summer. The cause of SAD is unknown; however, experts suspect that an increased level of melatonin in the blood could be the main contributing factor. Melatonin increases the need and desire to sleep, which is more readily produced when it is colder and darker outside. With less daylight, the biological clock that regulates mood, sleep and hormones in the body are also delayed and run more slowly in the winter.

Thinking that you or a loved one is suffering from SAD? Here are some of the most common symptoms:

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Difficulty concentrating Low energy and fatigue Decreased interest in daily activities Moodiness and irritability

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Increased appetite and weight gain Cravings for carbohydrates Increased sleep and more daytime drowsiness Loss of interest in sexual intercourse

To relieve the symptoms of SAD, experts recommend increasing the amount of light that is in your home by opening the shades, trimming trees around windows and adding skylights. It is also helpful to get outside and take a walk on a sunny day, even when temperatures are chilly. In addition, incorporate exercise into your daily routine to relieve stress, find ways to relax and take a vacation to somewhere sunny.

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Take down and put away all electrical decorations at the beginning of January. Check for damaged wires, cracked sockets, or burned out bulbs. Discard broken or faulty lights. Make sure that electrical cords are in good condition. Inspect for damaged wires and cracked insulation. Discard damaged cords. Separate and label indoor and outdoor decorations. Store decorations in a dry location that is safely out of reach of children and pets. Send warranty and product registration forms for new decorations to manufacturers in order to be notified about product recalls. Remove and properly dispose of Christmas trees. The best way to dispose of a tree is to bring it to a recycling center or contact a community pickup service.

250 Main Street | Suite 650 Lafayette, IN 47901 www.henriott.com 800.382.7875


PLAYING IT

SAFE WINTER STORMSAFETY >>> A Guide to Surviving Winter’s Fury Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain. One of the primary concerns is the winter weather's ability to knock out heat, power and communications services to your home or office, sometimes for days at a time. Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region. The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the “Deceptive Killers” because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. About 70% of winter deaths are due to traffic accidents on icy roads and about 25% occur in due to hypothermia from prolonged exposure to the cold. Therefore it is important to be prepared for winter weather before it strikes by being prepared in the following ways: sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry,  Before the storm approaches, make sure your seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning family’s emergency kit is complete with fresh stove. supplies.  This means having your own food, water and  Flashlights and extra batteries other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for  Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (This may be at least 72 hours! your only source to emergency information!)  Be sure to have adequate clothing & blankets to  Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter keep you warm. weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.  Keep a sufficient amount of heating fuel. You may  Don’t forget your pet’s emergency kit! become isolated in your home and regular fuel

HEATINGSAFETY

Winter Survival Kit Even with the best maintenance and cautious driving, winter hazards still get the best of your vehicle. Being prepared to handle potential slide-offs, accidents, and car trouble in winter is a simple but crucial step to take in preparing for the next few months.

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>>>Put a Freeze on Winter Fires

Cold weather is here, and many Hoosiers turn to alternative heating methods to keep warm, but it is imperative to be sure to take extra care when turning to alternative heating methods to warm their homes. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2010, heating equipment was the second leading cause of home fires in the United States. More than 57,000 reported fires caused 490 deaths, 1,530 injuries, and more than $1 billion in property damage. Half of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February! A few simple precautionary steps can prevent most heating fires from happening:

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Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away  from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, woodstove, or portable space heater. Never use your oven to heat your home. Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and  inspected every year by a qualified professional.  Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home. Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. Remember that space heaters need space. Keep heaters away from flammable materials such as bedding, drapes, clothing, etc.

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Ice scraper and snow brush At least 2 blankets or a sleeping bag Flashlight or battery-powered lantern and extra batteries Booster (jumper) cables Extra clothing, particularly boots, hats and mittens A steel shovel and rope to use for towing Bottled water and nonperishable highenergy foods (granola bars, raisins, nuts, peanut butter or cheese crackers) First-aid kit and necessary medications Sand or non-clumping cat litter for tire traction if your vehicle gets stuck in snow or ice A cell phone and charger which can be adapted to vehicle use Tire repair kit and pump

Be sure to ALWAYS keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in your tank or your fuel lines!!

250 Main Street | Suite 650 Lafayette, IN 47901 www.henriott.com 800.382.7875


Winter Insights | 2012  

inSIGHTS provides Personal Risk management topics brought to you by Henriott Group, Inc. In this winter installment we discuss tips on prev...

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