Friday, January 12, 2018 
A GUIDE TO SAFETY & PREPAREDNESS IN 2018
is your insurance coverage ready for the unexpected?
Review your coverage today. Before it’s needed. Call for a free insurance review. 253-833-5140. HBTInsurance.com | Commercial >> Personal
201 Auburn Way N, Suite C • Auburn, WA 98002 2032817
 Friday, January 12, 2018
BE READY! A GUIDE TO SAFETY & PREPAREDNESS IN 2018 3 Steps To Properly Insure Your Small Business in a Natural Disaster
he recent spate of natural disasters that devastated parts of North America included a violent variety of events. There were three major hurricanes – Harvey, Irma and Maria – wildfires in Northern California, an earthquake in Mexico and tornadoes in Oklahoma.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
4 Tire Safety Tips for Winter (Family Features)
better contact with the road through winter weather conditions.
The same temperature you can begin to see your breath - 45 F - is also when the all-season tires on your car can start to lose traction and grip.
2. Don’t forget the wheels. Having a set of wheels specifically for your winter tires can save you money in the long run. Pairing a separate set of wheels with your winter tires can eliminate certain changeover costs and save your everyday wheels from the wear and tear brought on by ice, slush, snow and salt during the winter months.
As temperatures drop, drivers should remember that if you can see your breath, you should think about winter tires. Whether you’re planning a crosscountry trek or simply driving to and from work daily, exposing your vehicle’s tires to colder weather could lead to potential trouble on the road. Snow and ice may be fun to play in, but they make for dangerous driving conditions. Winter tires are built for cold-weather conditions and deliver improved starting, stopping and steering control in temperatures 45 F and below. The difference is the tread compound of winter tires, which stays soft and pliable in colder temperatures for superior traction. Add the tread design of winter tires with thousands of extra gripping edges and you get as much as a 25-50 percent increase in traction over all-season tires. To help stay safe on the road this winter, the experts at Discount Tire recommend following these four tire safety tips: 1. Get ready now. It is important to replace all four of your vehicle’s all-season tires with winter tires if you regularly drive in temperatures 45 F or below, snow or no snow. Winter tires are made of a softer rubber that allows the tires to stay pliable and maintain
3. Know your numbers. Check your tire pressure at least once a month to make sure tires are at the appropriate inflation level. Temperature changes affect tire pressure - for every 10 degrees of temperature change, tire air pressure changes 1 pound per square inch. Low tire pressure can lead to decreased steering and braking control, poor gas mileage, excessive tire wear and the possibility of tire failure. Also don’t forget to check your spare tire. 4. Rotate, rotate, rotate. To help increase tread life and smooth out your ride, rotate your tires every 6,000 miles or sooner if irregular or uneven wear develops. Your safety is important, that’s why Discount Tire encourages drivers to beat the rush by getting winter ready before the first snowstorm or cold streak of the season hits. To locate a tire store near you, or search for winter tires specific to your vehicle’s make and model, visit discounttire.com.
Almost 40 percent of small businesses don’t Peter J. Strauss reopen after a disaster because the cost of recovery is so high, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. One of the major reasons is that the businesses didn’t have sufficient insurance. “Many small business owners will face additional losses due to these disasters, some of which may not be as obvious as flood or wind-damage claims,” says Peter J. Strauss (www.peterjstrauss.com), an attorney, captive insurance manager and author of The Business Owner’s Definitive Guide to Captive Insurance Companies. “While utilizing the commercial market for major lines of coverage – property, general liability, etc. – is crucial for major events like a hurricane or tornado, it is very likely that not all the losses your small business could suffer will be covered. “It’s a big blow – often a terrible surprise. So as a business owner, it’s critical that you know you’re completely covered. If you’re unsure, a little homework is necessary.” Strauss gives three steps small business owners should take to be properly insured in a disaster: • Weigh the worst-case scenarios. A natural disaster can affect a small business in many ways so the owner needs to schedule a complete risk assessment and consider every aspect of potential damage when seeking an insurance policy. “Things like costs incurred by the property while the business is closed; extra expenses for moving to a temporary location; loss of customers and loss of employees because their home was badly damaged and relocating is the only feasible option for them,” Strauss says. “There are a multitude of scenarios that could occur, and as the business owner you really can’t afford to leave anything exposed.” • Don’t roll the DICE. Strauss references the insurance acronym DICE as a checklist for analyzing your policy. DICE includes the Declarations page, the Insuring agreement, Conditions, and Exclusions. “The business owner should read the policy thoroughly or go one step further and have an expert review the policy,” Strauss says. “The Declarations page is as far as most people will read. But when you dig into the Insuring agreement and beyond, that is where you will find the real meat of what is actually covered. Pay attention to key words and phrases and research the terms.” • Consider insurance alternatives. Some small business owners shopping the commercial insurance market find that the coverage is too restrictive or expensive for their kind of business. One of the best options available is to form a captive insurance company, or more commonly called a ‘Captive.’ “A Captive is an insurance company that their business owns and controls. Not only does a Captive help control the cost of premiums, because the business determines the risks it is going to insure, but there can also be significant financial advantages,” Strauss says. “The commercial insurance market can be a sticky wicket,” Strauss says. “We make the conscious choice to spend money on various insurance policies versus sweating the odds of not being covered in an emergency. But what if the real gamble was buying the insurance in the first place?”
Be Ready for Winter! Inverter Generators EU2000i.............$999.95 EU3000i.........$1,999.95
About Peter J. Strauss Peter J. Strauss (www.peterjstrauss.com) is an attorney, captive insurance manager and author of several books, including most recently The Business Owner’s Definitive Guide to Captive Insurance Companies. He is the founder and managing member of The Strauss Law Firm, LLC, on Hilton Head Island, S.C, and also the founder and CEO of Hamilton Captive Management, LLC. A graduate of the New England School of Law, he holds an LL.M. in estate planning from the University of Miami and speaks regularly at public seminars.
Special Financing - OAC
308 W Main St Auburn, WA 98001 • 253-833-0870 • AgriShopAce.com
One thing these calamities had in common: They inflicted billions of dollars in property damage and adversely affected many small businesses. History portends that many of those operations won’t completely recover – ever.
Friday, January 12, 2018 
BE READY! A GUIDE TO SAFETY & PREPAREDNESS IN 2018
Are You Financially Prepared for an Emergency or Natural Disaster? provide you and your family with temporary housing needs, meals and other life necessities.
StatePoint) Being financially prepared for an emergency or natural disaster is about more than just having savings set aside. Having access to critical personal and financial information will help you on the road to recovery.
• Compile information. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Financial First Aid Kit includes fillable checklists, and is a handy and free way to compile important information, such as driver’s license numbers, birth certificates and Social Security numbers, bank accounts, insurance policies, mortgage statements, credit cards, taxes, health insurance cards, accounts, medications taken and any other health records, as well as household contact information, including landlords, doctors, schools, employers, contractors, lawyers, and insurance agents. Be sure to revisit this information
“When FEMA announces that individual assistance programs have been extended in major disaster areas, we quickly respond by offering mortgage relief Photo courtesy Monkey Business/stock.Adobe.com options for those in the impacted areas. This inperiodically and update it as needed. cludes suspending mortgage payments for up to 12 months so • Review your paperwork. Review victims of natural disasters can focus your insurance policies and financial on what’s important: their own safety paperwork to be sure that they are and the safety of their families,” says current. Update any policies as soon Yvette Gilmore, Freddie Mac VP, Singleas possible, so you are not without Family Servicer Performance Managecoverage when you need it most. After ment. “As soon as it’s safe to do so, it’s an emergency, contact your insurance important that impacted homeowners agents about your policies to find out contact their mortgage company right what you can expect, including an explanation of benefits. For example, many homeowners policies cover alternative living expenses that can help
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, NOW HOW TO BE NOTIFIED IN AUBURN (cut out this list and keep with your emergency information)
City of Auburn website (www.auburnwa.gov)
Auburn Alert/Code Red (reverse 911) In the event of an emergency, the city can call you with important emergency information. System can also send email and text message alerts. Sign up at www. auburnwa.gov or call 253-8761925.
Follow us on Twitter (@coaupdates)
Emergency email notification directly from the City Sign up at www. auburnwa.gov Auburn Community Radio (AM 1700) Auburn Government Access Television (Comcast channel 21)
• Get secured. Secure your property as best as possible, keeping it safe from damaging natural elements and, if you are evacuating, potential vandalism while it sits empty. Consider protecting valuables, mementos and personal information in a safety deposit box or a fire- and water-proof safe. When it’s safe to return home, document any damage to your home and belongings with photos or videos, if possible. • Get smart. Unfortunately, crises tend to bring out scam artists. Be wary of post-disaster scams and anyone offering to provide you with immediate assistance for money. Government officials will never ask for money and will always show their ID badges. For more disaster preparedness tips and resources, visit www.FreddieMac. com/blog. Saving for a rainy day is an important step that everyone should take to prepare for the unexpected. But remember, true financial preparation for emergencies and disasters goes beyond a savings account. For peace of mind, use free online resources to get organized.
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR A DISASTER?
Regional Public Information Network (RPIN) Sign up to recieve email or text messages from local, regional agencies at www.rpin. org Battery powered NOAA Weather Radio Can be purchased at most stores that sell electronics Local television and radio stations
PREPARE NOW SO YOU ARE READY LATER!
Universal Gas Valve Key • Flashlights • Lanterns • Tarps Hand warmers • Lamp Oil • Matches • Dust Masks
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The experts at Freddie Mac offer the following tips for getting organized and prepared for the unexpected.
• Seek mortgage relief. In the event of an emergency, having access to your mortgage information can be critical, as you may be eligible for mortgage relief.
away to discuss their mortgage relief options.”
 Friday, January 12, 2018
BE READY! A GUIDE TO SAFETY & PREPAREDNESS IN 2018
IN KING COUNTY
Every year residents in King County face a number of weather-related hazards, such as flooding, wind storms, freezing temperatures, and power outages. Having a family communication plan, emergency supplies, and trusted neighbors will help you weather any storm. Learn more about the various hazards that threaten the King County region, and what you can do, at www.kingcounty.gov/prepare.
King County Council, Vice Chair King County Flood Control District, Chair
MAKE A PLAN.
During an emergency, you may be separated from loved ones, your normal way of communication may be affected, and transportation routes may be blocked. •
Understand your worksite, school, and childcare provider’s emergency policies and procedures.
Determine how you will communicate and where you’ll reconnect with family if you are separated or it isn’t safe to remain home.
Texting may work, when local calls don’t, but have a back-up plan. Identify an out-of-area friend or relative your family members can call or text that you’re “OK”.
Identify several alternate routes to and from your home and office.
BUILD A KIT.
During a disaster, emergency services may not be available to help you for days or weeks. So, having a supply of food, water, and other essential items are critical to surviving on your own. Because you don’t know where you’ll be when disaster strikes, consider items you and your family (including pets) might need at home, in your vehicle, and at the office. •
Assemble essential supplies such as water and non-perishable, ready-to-eat food, a first aid kit, hygiene items and medications, a flashlight with extra batteries, a change of clothes and sturdy walking shoes, and blankets. (Find checklists at www.makeitthrough.org.)
Build a larger kit for your home and smaller portable ones for your vehicle and office.
Start with at least a 3-day supply of these essential items, with the goal of being self-sufficient for ten days or more.
Being ready to help others and knowing where you can get resources makes a big difference in your safety and comfort during an emergency. •
Get to know your neighbors and offer to help each other in an emergency.
Register for emergency alerts at www.kingcounty.gov/ALERT (for regional disasters) and www.kingcounty.gov/Flood (for flood conditions).
Take CPR and Basic First Aid training – the life you might save could be in your own household.
Review and practice your emergency plan.
BEING PREPARED CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING.
By planning ahead, you increase the chances of survival for you and your family, and gain peace of mind knowing you are ready. Want more information, or have questions? Contact your local emergency management office or visit King County Emergency Management Services online at www.kingcounty.gov/prepare.