Preparing for emergencies: Are you ready for the Zombie Apocalypse?

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If flesh-eating zombies suddenly start roaming your streets, do you know what to do? If not, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has an important guide for you: Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse.
On the great scale of hazards, it’s probably not all that likely, but as insurance agents, we are all about the concept of being prepared – so after you read the CDC Guide, if you have questions about what your homeowners or business insurance would or wouldn’t cover should a zombie attack occur, give us a call. Or for an abundance of caution, there’s always Zombie insurance.
All kidding aside, alerting the public about the importance of preparing for emergencies such as hurricanes or pandemics is one of the CDC’s most important public health missions. Normally, when they post alerts or resources on the CDC blog, they get a few thousand viewers. But by offering this clever spin, they attracted more than 1.2 million page views in the less than 10 days since the zombie item was posted, according to the WSJ Health Blog. The Zombie preparation guide was obviously a good way to harness the public’s fascination with a pop culture fad to call attention to a more serious message.
The CDC has a wealth of emergency preparation, planning and response resources aimed at businesses, families, healthcare facilities, and local & state governments. They also have a variety of tools and resources on other public health issues – ranging from illnesses and diseases to life stages and populations. So whether it’s traveler’s health, natural disasters, workplace safety or even an attack of zombies, the CDC is a good one-stop source of reliable information.

Thinking of starting a business? Here’s a Small Business Insurance Tool Kit

As you plan for a new business, are you confident that you know enough about your insurance needs? Test your business insurance IQ with a quiz prepared by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to see how you fare.
If you’re currently in the planning stages for launching a new or home-based business, an important aspect of the business plan is factoring in insurance costs. An independent insurance agent should be part of your planning and advisory team. But meanwhile as you do your planning, there are a lot of good online resources where you can learn some of the business insurance basics.
NAIC offers Insure U for Small Business. The site is a great primer on business insurance, offering helpful information, tips and considerations about for owners of small companies and home-based businesses.
Here are links to the major groupings that the site covers.

The Insurance Information Institute is also an authoritative and non-biased source of information on general business insurance as well as a helpful glossary of insurance terms. Here are a few other essential tools they offer for a small business:

Tips to save money on the high cost of gas

Gas prices are going crazy and many predict that things could get considerably worse over the summer months before they get better. Some industry experts are predicting that prices could rise as high as $6 a gallon – ouch! Here are some tips to help you save money.
Shop around for prices
Online tools like GasBuddy.com or GasPriceWatch monitor prices and allow you to get the best deal in your geographic area.
Track usage over time to improve performance
Fuelly is a free site that lets you track, share, and compare your gas mileage.To date, 48,208 Fuelly users have tracked 1,274,693 fuel-ups in 65,192 vehicles over 359,298,581 miles of driving. Tracking your usage over time can help you monitor changes to your driving habits. Plus, the site has many user submitted tips for fuel economy. Site users vote on how effective they found the tips.
Rideshare; consider starting a carpoolclub
Carpool with friends, relatives or colleagues. Consider starting a carpool with work friends. Or check e-Ride Share and Carpool Connect to find others in your area who might want to carpool.
Change driving habits to improve fuel economy
Consumer Reports offers tips for how to get the best gas mileage. Click to read the details, but here’s an overview of the pointers.

  • Drive at a moderate speed
  • Drive smoothly
  • Reduce unnecessary drag
  • Don’t use premium fuel if you don’t have to
  • Minimize driving with a cold engine
  • Keep tires properly inflated
  • Buy tires with lower rolling resistance
  • Avoid idling for long periods

Go green and healthy with pedal power
Why not ride your bike to work? It’s a pretty economical way to travel, and you’ll improve your health too.
More tools
FuelEconomy.gov – this site provides gas saving tips, vehicle fuel ratings, comparative tools, and more.
How to Get Better Fuel Economy – advice for improving economy on an existing vehicle as well as for how to buy a fuel-efficient vehicle.
Edmunds – Fuel Economy and Green Cars – a variety of articles and tools. Don’t miss their road test of 4 fuel-efficiency iPhone apps.