Prepare Kansas

Tag: #weather-ready

Kansas Commissioner of Insurance provides checklist of storm season insurance precautions and preparations

In light of recent and anticipated severe storm activity in Kansas, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance, Ken Selzer, CPA, provides the following checklist of storm season insurance precautions and preparations:

·         Check your homeowner and vehicle policies to make sure you have proper coverage for hail and windstorm damage.  Review your homeowner’s policy with your insurance agent to check for current coverage and adequate protection.

·         Take inventory of your personal property, including model and serial numbers when available. The Kansas Insurance Department has a good Personal Home Inventory booklet that can be downloaded at www.ksinsurance.org.

·         If possible, take photos or make a videotape of personal items to give to insurance adjusters in the event of loss. Store this information, along with receipts, in a safe deposit box or somewhere other than in your house.

·         See that trees or branches are not in danger of falling on your house. Closely inspect your trees, and remove weak branches that could fall in high winds.

·         Check your roof for leaks or damage to gutters.

·         Be sure to use a generator wisely if your power goes off. Make sure it is connected properly, and ventilation is adequate.

·         Have plenty of fresh batteries for radios and flashlights, as well as a supply of bottled water, blankets, dried foods and canned goods, in case of a power outage. Also, regarding food spoiling in your refrigerator or freezer, a homeowners or renters policy often allows for compensation for food losses, but only up to a certain (usually fairly low) dollar amount.

·         Be aware of the latest forecasts from television or radio news and smartphone applications.  Severe weather warnings are activated to protect you and your property.

·         If you have time to act in a severe storm warning, move vehicles into a safe structure.

For questions or assistance, contact the Consumer Assistance Hotline (for Kansas residents) at 800-432-2484. You can also go online to their website, www.ksinsurance.org, to use the live chat line feature from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

It’s summer and it’s HOT

Listen to local weather forecasts to prepare for extreme heat. NEVER leave children or pets alone in hot vehicles! Cars can heat up 20 degrees in just 10 minutes!

Make sure you drink LOTS of water to stay hydrated and prevent dehydration, heat stroke & more. #BeatTheHeat and have emergency supplies in place at home, at work, and in the car.

Dog sweating in a car with text

Is there an app for that? Free phone app for winter travelers

App can locate car, contact 911, and alert family and friends. Timely information for winter travelers from K-State Research and Extension. Released: Dec. 18, 2015

Whether commuting to work or traveling across three states to visit relatives for the holidays, winter travel can be hazardous.

Now is the time to download the Winter Survival Kit smartphone app in addition to gathering a winter survival kit for your vehicles. The app is for people traveling in areas where roads can be icy or who run the risk of getting stuck in the snow.

The free app is available for iPhones and Android smartphones.  It’s provided by the North Dakota State University Extension Service, a member of the national Extension Disaster Education Network.

“The Winter Survival Kit app can be as critical as a physical winter survival kit if you find yourself stuck or stranded in severe winter weather conditions,” said Mary Knapp, assistant climatologist with the Kansas Weather Data Library at Kansas State University. K-State is also a member of EDEN.

The app will help users find their current location, call 911, notify friends and family, and estimate how long they can run a vehicle’s engine to keep warm before running out of fuel. It can also store important phone and policy numbers for insurance or roadside assistance and you can designate emergency contacts you want to alert if you become stranded.

The app alerts the user every 30 minutes as a reminder to turn off the vehicle’s engine and check the exhaust pipe for snow buildup, which is critical to avoiding potentially deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, it provides information on putting together a physical winter survival kit, preparing a vehicle for winter driving and staying safe when stranded in an ice storm or stuck in snow.

“Even though your phone can find your location, call 911 and store contacts, the Winter Survival Kit app can help you stay calm when you may be in a dangerous situation,” Knapp said. “The gas estimation gauge and alerts especially may save lives. Parents can have their less-experienced drivers download the app for peace of mind.”

The Winter Survival Kit app was developed by Myriad Devices, a company founded by students and faculty in NDSU’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and College of Business in the NDSU Research and Technology Park incubator. The NDSU Extension Service provided design and content input, and funded the project with a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture Smith-Lever Special Needs grant.