7 Solutions for Sticky Driving Situations

6 06 2011

You’re Lost

Don’t panic! Pull over to a safe spot. Then pull out your map. Look for a main road and drive toward it. Once you reached a marked street or intersection, pull over again and use your cell phone to call someone at your destination. Tell them where you are. and ask them to help you get back on track.

You’re Out of Gas

If you think your running out of gas, turn on your hazard lights and pull over. (This will keep you from  having to push.) If you don’t have roadside assistance, call a friend. Ask them to bring or buy a gas can, fill it up and bring it to you. As a general rule, always keep a quarter tank of gas in your car. Then you’ll prevent this situation all together.

You’re Locked Out

Double-check that every things really locked before you freak out. Call roadside assistance if you have it. If you don’t, call a locksmith. (It’s a good idea to go ahead and have a number handy in your phone.) No matter what you do, DON”T break a window! Believe it or not, a window repair costs twice as much as an unlock service.

You’re Driving in Slippery Conditions

Slow down. Keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. And if you find yourself starting to skid, turn the wheel in the direction you’re skidding. (Sounds weird, but it works.) And don’t slam on the breaks, it’ll lock up your breaks, then you’re really in trouble.

You’ve got a Flat Tire

At the first sign of tire trouble, grip the wheel tightly. Turn on your hazard lights and slow the car down gradually as you move into the breakdown lane. Attempt to change the tire only if you can do it without putting yourself in danger. Otherwise, call for help.

You’ve had an Accident

First things first: get to a safe place. Then call the police- no matter what. Don’t consider simply exchanging information with the other person involved. Take a photo of the accident with your cell phone or camera. Then let the police take it from there. Unfortunately there are many crooks out there that will give you false information. If you have police there to witness it, you’re more likely to get the right information.

You’ve been Pulled Over

Stay in your car and wait for the officer to approach you. Take out  your insurance card, driver’s license and registration when the officer asks for them. And prepare to swallow your pride. After all, it always pays to be polite.

Keep these things with you in the car at all times.

  • Road atlas
  • Cell phone and Charger
  • Locksmith’s phone number
  • Roadside assistance phone number
  • Disposable camera (If no camera phone)
  • Insurance card
  • Driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration (Preferably in your wallet)
  • Tire changing kit
  • Blanket
  • Flashlight (With working batteries)
  • Water

And if you ever need help and have no one else to call, call your agent.

We are more than happy to help.

615-889-3640

 

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Tips that may help you if you get pulled over by a Police Officer

1 06 2011

You’re cruising along in a 35-mph zone, maybe going a bit too fast, when you spot the telltale police-cruiser lights in your rearview mirror. No matter what you do, you’re probably going to get a warning or a citation. But what can you do to keep an unwelcome experience from becoming more of a hassle?

Pull over promptly. That means all the way to the right – and stop. Don’t drive a half-mile while you ponder if the officer is really signaling you. If you’re not the offender, you can go on your way; if you are, you’ve at least started out on the right foot. Besides, in many states you can be cited if you fail to pull over and stop promptly. And always remember to use your turn indicators if you must cross lanes of traffic while pulling over.

Reassure the officer. Keep your hands in sight (preferably on the steering wheel) as the officer approaches. If it’s dark or stormy, turn on your dome light. Roll your window down, especially if you have highly tinted glass. This isn’t about a power struggle; too many officers have been killed or injured during routine traffic stops gone awry.

Hand over your documents. Cops are looking for the Big Three: license, registration and proof of insurance. Don’t make the officer sort through a loose bundle or an envelope full of oil-change receipts. Although experts used to recommend keeping your registration and insurance card attached to one another in your glove box, it’s smarter these days to keep your registration in your wallet – with your license – in case your car is stolen. When it comes to showing your license, take it out of your wallet instead of leaving it under the plastic cover. Although rare, some police officers have been accused of pilfering cash. That’s why they typically won’t accept your wallet, even if it’s flipped open to your license. Besides, wallets don’t attach easily to police clipboards.

Be respectful. Answer questions politely. If you’re wondering why the officer wants to know if you wear contacts, it’s not personal: It’s that “corrective lenses” box that you checked at the license agency last year. Officers are obligated to make sure you’re operating your vehicle under the conditions your license requires. Save your arguments for court. Sure, you can offer clarifications if they’re relevant – for instance, you’re a doctor on the way to emergency surgery. But engaging in a dispute over the “rolling stop” or challenging the calibration of the radar gun won’t score any points, and it won’t stop the officer from issuing a citation. You should also avoid the really toothless excuses: ignorance of the law, or the fact that everyone else was driving 85. The officer saw you breaking a law that’s on the books – not someone else, and not a law written in invisible ink.

Don’t be a chatterbox. Refrain from launching into long stories, telling your cousin’s latest jokes or trying to become the officer’s friend. The traffic stop is not your local watering hole or a speed-dating session. On the other hand, if the officer engages in small talk, it can’t hurt to follow suit. There’s a chance you’ll get off with a warning – or that you’ll just go on your way sooner.





Cicadas

25 05 2011

A cicada (play /sɪˈkdə/ or /sɪˈkɑːdə/) is an insect of the order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha, in the superfamily Cicadoidea, with large eyes wide apart on the head and usually transparent, well-veined wings. There are about 2,500 species of cicada around the world, and many remain unclassified. Cicadas live in temperate to tropical climates where they are among the most widely recognized of all insects, mainly due to their large size and unique sound. Cicadas are often colloquially called locusts,[1] although they are unrelated to true locusts, which are a kind of grasshopper. Cicadas are related to leafhoppers and spittlebugs.

Cicadas are benign to humans in normal circumstances and do not bite or sting in a true sense, but may in fact bite after mistaking a person’s arm or other part of their body as a tree or plant limb and attempt to feed.[2] Cicadas have a long proboscis under their head that they use for feeding on tree sap, and if they attempt to inject it into a person’s body it can be painful, but is in no other way harmful. This sting is not a defensive reaction and should not be mistaken for aggression; it is extremely uncommon, and usually only happens when they are allowed to rest on a person’s body for an extended amount of time.

Cicadas can cause damage to several cultivated crops, shrubs, and trees, mainly in the form of scarring left on tree branches while the females lay their eggs deep in branches.[3][4] Many people around the world regularly eat cicadas; the female is prized, as it is meatier. Cicadas have been (or are still) eaten in Ancient Greece, China, Malaysia, Burma, Latin America, and the Congo. Shells of cicadas are employed in the traditional medicines of China.[5]

The name is a direct derivation of the Latin cicada, meaning “tree cricket”. There is no word of proper English, or indeed Germanic, etymology for the insect. In classical Greek, it was called a tettix, and in modern Greek tzitzikas—both names being onomatopoeic.

Male cicadas have loud noisemakers called “tymbals” on the sides of the abdominal base. Their “singing” is not the stridulation (where one structure is rubbed against another) of many other familiar sound-producing insects like crickets: the tymbals are regions of the exoskeleton that are modified to form a complex membrane with thin, membranous portions and thickened “ribs”. Contracting the internal tymbal muscles produces a clicking sound as the tymbals buckle inwards. As these muscles relax, the tymbals return to their original position producing another click. The interior of the male abdomen is substantially hollow to amplify the resonance of the sound. A cicada rapidly vibrates these membranes, and enlarged chambers derived from the tracheae make its body serve as a resonance chamber, greatly amplifying the sound. The cicada modulates the sound by positioning its abdomen toward or away from the substrate. Additionally, each species has its own distinctive “song”.[1]

Average temperature of the natural habitat for this species is approximately 29 °C (84 °F). During sound production, the temperature of the tymbal muscles was found to be slightly higher.[10] Cicadas like heat and do their most spirited singing during the hotter hours of a summer day, in a roughly 24 hour cycle.

Although only males produce the cicadas’ distinctive sound, both sexes have tympana, which are membranous structures used to detect sounds and thus the cicadas’ equivalent of ears. Males can disable their own tympana while calling.[11]

Some cicadas produce sounds up to 120 dB (SPL)[11] “at close range”, among the loudest of all insect-produced sounds.[12] This is especially notable as their song is technically loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss in humans, should the cicada sing just outside the listener’s ear (unlikely). Conversely, some small species have songs so high in pitch that the noise is inaudible to humans.[13] Species have different mating songs to ensure they attract the appropriate mate. It can be difficult to determine from which direction(s) cicada song is coming, because the low pitch carries well and because it may, in fact, be coming from many directions at once, as cicadas in various trees all raise one another to make noise in unison. Although relatively loud, cicada song can be comforting and even hypnotic at times, as it is at its loudest during the hottest time of an already hot day.

In addition to the mating song, many species also have a distinct distress call, usually a somewhat broken and erratic sound emitted when an individual is seized. A number of species also have a courtship song, which is often a quieter call and is produced after a female has been drawn by the calling song.

After mating, the female cuts slits into the bark of a twig, and into these she deposits her eggs. She may do so repeatedly, until she has laid several hundred eggs. When the eggs hatch, the newly hatched nymphs drop to the ground, where they burrow. Most cicadas go through a life cycle that lasts from two to five years. Some species have much longer life cycles, such as the North American genus, Magicicada, which has a number of distinct “broods” that go through either a 17-year or, in some parts of the world , a 13-year life cycle. These long life cycles perhaps developed as a response to predators, such as the cicada killer wasp and praying mantis.[14][15][16] A predator with a shorter life cycle of at least two years could not reliably prey upon the cicadas.[17]

Cicadas live underground as nymphs for most of their lives, at depths ranging from about 30 cm (1 ft) down to 2.5 m (about 8.5 ft). The nymphs feed on root juice and have strong front legs for digging.

In the final nymphal instar, they construct an exit tunnel to the surface and emerge. They then molt (shed their skins) on a nearby plant for the last time and emerge as adults. The abandoned skins remain, still clinging to the bark of trees.





Joplin, Mo. Tornado and the Iceland Volcano

23 05 2011

Tornadoes

Think about tornado safety with these tornado protection tips

With winds blowing up to 300 mph, a tornado that touches ground can destroy everything in its path for up to 50 miles. They strike quickly with little warning, so it’s important to consider these tornado preparation tips now to protect your family and your home from disaster.

Here are a few facts about tornadoes:

  • They typically strike between March and August
  • They can appear transparent until they pick up dust and debris
  • They often have the following warning signs:
    • Dark, often greenish, sky
    • Large hail
    • A large, dark, low-lying cloud
    • A loud roar, similar to a freight train

Your home

Although no house can withstand a direct hit from a severe tornado, good construction will help your home survive if it’s on the fringe of the tornado’s path. Consider the following tornado protection tips to strengthen your home:

  • Install impact-resistant window systems.
  • Make certain your doors have at least three hinges and a deadbolt security lock with a bolt at least 1 inch long.
  • Install permanent wood or metal stiffeners on your garage door, or contact the door manufacturer for information on temporary supports you can attach and remove easily when severe weather threatens.
  • Make sure that both your roof covering and the sheathing it attaches to will resist high winds.
  • Replace landscaping materials such as gravel and rock with mulch such as shredded bark.
  • Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed, paying particular attention to weak branches that could fall on your home.

Before the storm

If weather conditions are right for a tornado in your area, take these tornado safety precautions:

  • During a tornado warning, your family’s safety is your first priority. Get everyone to shelter. If you have a basement, move everyone there immediately; otherwise, find a closet, a small room or a hallway away from windows. The more walls between you and the outside, the better.
  • Lean a mattress against the wall of the room you’re in.
  • Don’t open your windows. Keep the wind and rain outside.
  • Turn off all utilities.
  • If you own a mobile home, find shelter elsewhere.
  • If you are in your vehicle when a tornado hits, get out and try to find shelter inside a sturdy building. A ditch can provide shelter if nothing else is near
  • Don’t take shelter under a bridge or overpass because these structures could be destroyed.
  • If authorities have announced a tornado watch (not a warning), move anything in your yard that may become flying debris inside your house or garage.

This tornado safety information is meant to help you make decisions that may reduce your risk. Of course, we can’t note every possible risk, and we can’t guarantee that these tips will work for you. However, we hope that if you use some of them, you’ll better protect your family and yourself.

Earthquakes

An earthquake plan can save you time and money in the event of a catastrophe

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 100 damage-causing earthquakes happen every year throughout the world. A low-magnitude earthquake can shake household items off their shelves, but a high-magnitude force can collapse buildings for miles.

Scientists cannot predict when an earthquake will occur, but you can create an earthquake plan to help protect your family and your home from disaster in the event of one.

For your home

Experts agree that structures built to meet or exceed current model building codes have a much better chance of surviving an earthquake. Consider working with an architect, engineer or a licensed building contractor to make some of these changes:

  • Add anchor bolts or steel plates between your home and its foundation
  • Brace the inside of your home’s cripple wall (the short wood-stud wall between the top of the foundation wall and the first floor) with sheathing
  • Brace loose chimneys, masonry, concrete walls and foundations
  • Anchor large items such as appliances, bookcases and water heaters to nearby walls using safety cables or straps. Lock the rollers of any large appliances or pieces of furniture.
  • Install ledge barriers on shelves, and place heavy items on lower shelves.
  • Apply safety film to windows and glass doors.
  • Fit all gas appliances with flexible connections and/or a breakaway gas shut-off device, or install a main gas shut-off device. (Check your local building codes to determine whether you may install flexible connectors yourself or whether a professional must install them.)

During an earthquake

When an earthquake strikes, your safety depends on staying calm and reacting quickly. Remember,

  • Don’t panic.
  • If you’re indoors, stay there. Move away from windows, skylights, doors and objects that could fall. Look for a sturdy item such as a table or desk to get under. Stay put until the shaking stops.
  • Be aware that the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
  • Don’t use elevators.
  • If you’re outside, move quickly and safely into the open, away from electrical lines, trees and buildings. Drop to the ground and wait for the shaking to stop.
  • If you’re driving, carefully and slowly bring your vehicle to a stop at the side of the road away from traffic. Don’t stop on or under bridges, under power lines or near roadway signs that might fall. Once the shaking has stopped, you can continue driving, but watch carefully for damage to the roadway.

After an earthquake

You still may be in danger once the shaking stops. The aftermath of an earthquake can include building collapse, landslides, floods and fire.

If you’re trapped under debris:

  • Cover your mouth with a piece of clothing.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so emergency rescuers can find you. If you yell, you may inhale large amounts of dust.
  • Don’t light a match or lighter.
  • Don’t move about or kick up dust.

If you’re in your home:

  • Check for gas or water leaks and electrical shorts, and turn off damaged utilities. Don’t try to turn them back on yourself. Have the fire department or gas and electric companies turn the utilities back on once the area is secure.
  • Obey evacuation orders from local authorities.
  • Only use a telephone for emergency calls.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks.

This earthquake preparedness information is meant to help you make decisions that may reduce your risk. Of course, we can’t note every possible risk, and we can’t guarantee that these tips will work for you. However, we hope that if you use some of them, you’ll better protect your family and yourself.

Thunderstorms and Lightning

Working on lightning safety with your family may help protect them during the next storm

Thunderstorms can occur anywhere and at any time. Lightning kills around 80 people each year and injures 500 more. That’s more than the number of people killed annually by tornadoes and hurricanes combined!

Your home

Lightning can cause major damage to your property, so follow these thunderstorm safety tips to help keep your home intact:

  • Remove dead or rotting trees that could fall on your house if it is struck by lightning
  • Know the weather before beginning any trip or adventure and plan accordingly
  • Put your whole house on a surge-protection system
  • Unplug any appliances or electronic equipment before a thunderstorm threatens

Your safety

If a thunderstorm occurs, the first thing to know is the 30/30 lightning protection rule. When you see a flash of lightning, start counting. If you don’t make it to 30 before hearing the thunder, go indoors. Then, stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last boom of thunder.

If you’re inside when a storm hits:

  • Seek shelter when you first see dark clouds or lightning or hear thunder.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones, electrical equipment and plumbing. Don’t wash your hands, take a shower, wash dishes or do laundry.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Don’t use your cell phone during a thunderstorm.

If you’re outdoors:

  • Get inside a completely enclosed building immediately if one is accessible. Don’t go into a carport, open garage or covered patio.
  • If you can’t find a completely enclosed building, get inside a hardtop, all-metal vehicle. Avoid leaning against vehicles. Get off bicycles and motorcycles.
  • If no shelter is available, squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible.
  • Get out of water and avoid metal. They both can carry an electrical current.
  • If you’re in a group of people, spread out.
  • Take care of your pets. Doghouses aren’t lightning-safe, and lightning can strike dogs tied to trees or other tall objects.
  • If you’re boating or swimming, get to shore right away.

This lightning safety information is meant to help you make decisions that may reduce your risk. Of course, we can’t note every possible risk, and we can’t guarantee that these tips will work for you. However, we hope that if you use some of them, you’ll better protect your family and yourself.

Give us a call today and get yourself and your family protected!

615-889-3640





Attention all Farmers!

11 05 2011

Please call us today if you would like a quote or would like to get Nationwide AgriChoice for your farm. 615-889-3640

Nationwide Agribusiness’s AgriChoice insurance package protects your farm buildings, machinery, equipment, and livestock. And you can round out your plan with a variety of optional liability coverages. Whether you’re a farm owner or tenant, one policy does it all.

AgriChoice provides protection for property and casualty covered causes of loss, including:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Wind and Hail
  • Theft
  • Riot and Civil Commotion
  • Vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Explosion
  • Vandalism

Property Protection

  • Basic farm dwelling and contents coverage
  • Additional living expense or fair rental value
  • Refrigeration failure for household contents
  • Debris removal
  • Direct physical loss coverage on farm machinery and farm implements
  • Newly-acquired machinery protection
  • Limited coverage on trees, shrubs, and plants
  • Buildings under construction
  • Fire department service charge
  • Limited coverage on farm operations records
  • Replacement cost of qualified dwellings
  • Replacement cost on qualified outbuildings
  • Cab glass breakage on machinery and equipment with no deductible
  • Automatic coverage for other private structures up to 10 percent of Coverage A
  • $ 1,000 in automatic coverage for private power and light poles per location
  • Borrowed farm machinery ($ 10,000 limit subject to special terms)
  • Rental reimbursement on farm machinery
  • Improvements, alterations, and additions (10 percent of Coverage C)
  • Extended coverages on livestock, including:
  1. Electrocution
  2. Drowning
  3. Accidental shooting
  4. Attack by wild dogs or other animals
  5. Collision or overturn of conveyances
  6. Loading or unloading onto vehicles

Liability Protection

If you are sued, AgriChoice covers judgements up to your policy limits, plus the cost of your defense. You are protected in the event that products you raise and sell cause bodily injury or property damage. Reasonable medical expenses will be paid for persons who are injured on your farm, subject to the medical payments limit.

Coverage Extensions

  • $ 1,000 in coverage for damage to the property of others
  • Up to the policy limit for incidental custom farming when receipts do no exceed $ 5,000 in the previous 12 months
  • Personal and advertising liability
  • $ 25,000 in coverage for bodily injury or property damage by an off-premises chemical drift (not from an aircraft)
  • Neighborly exchange of labor




Recent Tornadoes in Alabama

9 05 2011

Think about tornado safety with these tornado protection tips

With winds blowing up to 300 mph, a tornado that touches ground can destroy everything in its path for up to 50 miles. They strike quickly with little warning, so it’s important to consider these tornado preparation tips now to protect your family and your home from disaster.

Here are a few facts about tornadoes:

  • They typically strike between March and August
  • They can appear transparent until they pick up dust and debris
  • They often have the following warning signs:
    • Dark, often greenish, sky
    • Large hail
    • A large, dark, low-lying cloud
    • A loud roar, similar to a freight train

Your home

Although no house can withstand a direct hit from a severe tornado, good construction will help your home survive if it’s on the fringe of the tornado’s path. Consider the following tornado protection tips to strengthen your home:

  • Install impact-resistant window systems.
  • Make certain your doors have at least three hinges and a deadbolt security lock with a bolt at least 1 inch long.
  • Install permanent wood or metal stiffeners on your garage door, or contact the door manufacturer for information on temporary supports you can attach and remove easily when severe weather threatens.
  • Make sure that both your roof covering and the sheathing it attaches to will resist high winds.
  • Replace landscaping materials such as gravel and rock with mulch such as shredded bark.
  • Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed, paying particular attention to weak branches that could fall on your home.

Before the storm

If weather conditions are right for a tornado in your area, take these tornado safety precautions:

  • During a tornado warning, your family’s safety is your first priority. Get everyone to shelter. If you have a basement, move everyone there immediately; otherwise, find a closet, a small room or a hallway away from windows. The more walls between you and the outside, the better.
  • Lean a mattress against the wall of the room you’re in.
  • Don’t open your windows. Keep the wind and rain outside.
  • Turn off all utilities.
  • If you own a mobile home, find shelter elsewhere.
  • If you are in your vehicle when a tornado hits, get out and try to find shelter inside a sturdy building. A ditch can provide shelter if nothing else is near
  • Don’t take shelter under a bridge or overpass because these structures could be destroyed.
  • If authorities have announced a tornado watch (not a warning), move anything in your yard that may become flying debris inside your house or garage.

This tornado safety information is meant to help you make decisions that may reduce your risk. Of course, we can’t note every possible risk, and we can’t guarantee that these tips will work for you. However, we hope that if you use some of them, you’ll better protect your family and yourself.

Give us a call and see if your protected!

615-889-3640





New Business? You need insurance!

2 05 2011

Business Liability Insurance from Nationwide

Business liability insurance is something you cannot do without. As someone who runs a business, you are familiar with the day-to-day uncertainties of small business management. Isn’t it nice to know that you and your business can depend on premium business liability insurance from Nationwide?

Nationwide understands you need complete business protection not just your “one size fits all” coverage. We cover medical expenses, attorney fees and damages when you are legally responsible and other situations that may not have even crossed your mind, regardless of your planning.

We understand all of the hard work you have spent on your business plan – the number crunching, careful planning and endless hours you’ve invested. And because accidents can – and do – happen, Nationwide’s professional liability insurance can protect you and your business. For example,

Did you know?

Any individual or business providing an opinion, making recommendations, designing solutions or offering a service is at risk for a professional liability lawsuit?

Nationwide can help with defense costs, regardless of fault. And we offer protection for judgments, court costs and more

Get the small business liability coverage you need

Your insurance needs are unique to your business. Based on the business liability insurance requirements for your company, we can work with you to determine the right type of general business liability insurance coverage for every stage of your business.

We offer coverage for:

  • Professional liability insurance
  • Products and completed operations
  • Fire legal liability
  • Medical payments
  • Premises liability
  • Employer’s liability insurance, employee benefits liability and employment-related practices liability

Call us today and get a quote!

615-889-3640

We’d love to talk to you!