Why You Need Flood Insurance

Why You Need Flood Insurance

It’s no secret that spring storms can bring heavy rainfall in short amounts of time. This not only can cause rivers and lakes to rise outside their banks, but it can also cause flooding in city streets and near homes.

Contrary to what many may think is covered under their insurance policy, a Home or Renter’s insurance policy will not cover a flood. If you live in an area prone to flooding, you need to also purchase flood insurance. Floods are one of the most dangerous disasters in the United States, and if you don’t purchase flood insurance, they can cost you big time. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) estimates that just one inch of water in a 2,000 square foot house will result in $23,000 in damage.

Flood season has arrived. Here are five reasons you need flood insurance now:

1. It’s not just for homeowners and businesses.
Flood coverage is available for renters. Condo owners can also purchase it. It will cover damage to your possessions from a flood.

2. Flooding is not covered under your standard policy.
Homeowners and renters need to purchase separate flood policies. Umbrella insurance does not usually cover flooding, either.

3. Floods aren’t limited to flood plains.
Every state has experienced flooding, and it can happen anywhere. The NFIP estimates that 25 percent of flood claims come from areas outside of high-risk flood zones.

4. Flood insurance doesn’t take effect immediately.
There is a 30-day waiting period from the date you purchase the insurance until you are covered, in most cases.

5. It’s often not as expensive as you think.
The average policy costs about $700 per year. The higher your risk, the higher your premium. Costs do vary depending on your flood risk and the year and type of construction. Keep in mind, the average residential flood claim amounted to more than $38,000.

Don’t delay, there is a 30-day waiting period before flood coverage goes into effect. Call a California Casualty advisor today at 1.877.652.2638 to make sure you’re covered. Or, contact our Agency Services department at agencyservices@calcas.com.

 

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

5 Realistic New Year’s Resolutions for Teachers

5 Realistic New Year’s Resolutions for Teachers

Author: Erin Randolph has taught elementary school for ten years.  She lives in Olathe, KS with her husband, son, and daughter.

 

After a short winter break, teachers will be returning to their classrooms (and virtual classrooms) to begin the 2nd semester of the school year. The new semester brings with it a fresh start. It can also be stressful jumping back into a hectic schedule after such a blissful break.

Try making some of these small changes to help ease this transition.

 

Get Organized

An organized classroom and workspace are important for students and for teachers. Start small, like that messy, top desk drawer, or home office desk. Then work up to the big stuff, like the 4-drawer filing cabinet you haven’t touched in years.

I try to get one “space” completed each day. A good rule of thumb for questionable items: if you haven’t used it, looked at it, or touched it in a year, toss it or give it away. With your classroom and workspace uncluttered, you can focus more of your attention on students.

 

Make a Plan to Positively Communicate About Students 

I began doing this a few years ago and I’ve never looked back. At the beginning of the 1st and 3rd quarters (September and January), I send home a message to each family regarding their student. I plan for one message per day, moving alphabetically through my roster. For teachers that are teaching remotely, an email or a text works just fine too!

In the messages, I praise students for accomplishments, positive behaviors, and hard work. My messages are only about a paragraph long and take less than 10 minutes to compose. Parents appreciate the communication from me and students are excited about being recognized for the things they are doing well in the classroom.

Don’t have time to do that? Try these printable positive notes home from The Brown Bag Teacher

 

Dedicate a Time to Enter Grades

With everything that is going on in the world and in classrooms today, it’s hard to keep up with the grading itself, much less entering it into “the system.” To avoid this stress, carve out a time that you will solely dedicate to entering grades. This might be a daily routine or a weekly one.

Mine happens to be on Friday morning (before all the weekly homework comes in). I dedicate 30 minutes of my Friday plan time just for this task. When the quarter is over, I don’t have to worry about scrambling to get my “grades in.”

 

Plan Spot Checks for Struggling Students

Most teachers are consistently monitoring students who have difficulty. To more accurately monitor student progress, my district uses a web-based universal screener and progress monitoring program for reading and math. I set a notification on my school calendar to check on my struggling students. 

Every other week, I check on my students who receive a math or reading intervention (help outside of the regular, core instruction time). I make note of students who are not making progress in their interventions and follow through with the appropriate teachers/interventionists. I also like to use student data folders; students track their own progress on weekly tests and quizzes. It’s efficient and effective for tracking student progress throughout the year and something to share with parents at conference time.

 

Get Students Involved in Goal Setting

Adults set New Year’s resolutions, so why shouldn’t students? The New Year is a great time for students to set academic and behavior goals for the semester. I ask students to:

    • Identify the specific goal (ex: score 8 out of 10 on weekly spelling test 4 weeks in a row)
    • Make a plan for how they will accomplish the goal (ex: write spelling words 2 times each night)
    • Provide evidence that they met goal (ex: 4 consecutive teacher-graded tests with a score of at least 80%)

If you are learning in-person, post the goals in the classroom where students will always see them. If not, have each student write them on sticky notes and place them where they can see them daily.

Take time during the quarter or semester to conference with students about said goals. Are students making progress towards goals? Why or why not? What needs to change?

 

Check-in with yourself at the end of every school week and see if you are sticking to your resolutions, this will help hold you accountable and keep you on track.

Happy New Year and happy second semester, you’re almost there! You can do it!

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

 

Take a Virtual Field Trip for Free!

Take a Virtual Field Trip for Free!

Our Education Blogger is a public school teacher with over a decade of experience. She’s an active NEA member and enjoys writing about her experiences in the classroom.

Field trips can be memorable, meaningful learning experiences for students, and can deepen student understanding. Although class trips probably won’t be in the cards this year, students and teachers can still enjoy field trips – virtually!

Virtual field trips allow students and teachers to go beyond the classroom, and even their own country and planer, to experience a variety of adventures. Here are some fun, educational, and free field trips to take with your class this year!

 

Museums

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Virtual Tour

This comprehensive virtual tour presentation allows visitors using a desktop computer (Windows, Mac, Linux) or a mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android) to take virtual, self-guided, room-by-room tours of select exhibit and other areas within the natural history museum building as well as select research and collections areas at our satellite support and research stations and even past exhibits no longer on display.

 

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Museum’s collections database contains more than 270,000 records, including: photos and albums—Images of life before, during, and after the Holocaust; Personal stories—Interviews, home movies, memoirs, and diaries; films—historical footage and contemporary films about the Holocaust.

 

National WWII Museum

The Online Learning Series allows an unprecedented look into the Museum’s collection for those WWII enthusiasts the Museum can’t always reach in person.

 

The Louvre

Visit the museum’s exhibition rooms and galleries, contemplate the façades of the Louvre.

 

Virtual Colonial Williamsburg

Immerse yourself in an interactive 3D model of Virginia’s 18th-century capital. The project integrates architectural, archaeological, and historical information, presenting the city as it has not been seen in more than 200 years.

 

Go On A Journey

Reach The World

Since 2009, 930 travelers have shared their journeys online with more than 17,000 youth in the U.S., publishing more than 16,000 first-person travelogues in the process. By using technology to enable youth to form relationships with global travelers, RTW is sparking a process of personal development that can truly be described as “reaching” the world!

 

National Aquarium

Visit the famous, Baltimore aquarium where kids can have fun learning while exploring different regions, like the tropics and the tundra.

 

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo has ten live cams to choose from! The zoo also has a website for kids that is full of videos, activities, stories, and games!

 

 

World Destinations

National Geographic Education

National Geographic Education brings geography, social studies, and science to life. Using real-world examples and National Geographic’s rich media, educators, families, and students learn about the world and the people in it.

 

Google Arts and Culture Street View and Google Arts and Culture Places

Tour famous sites and landmarks.

 

Panoramas

panoramas.dk is Virtual reality VR panoramas from all the world made by some of the best
360 VR Photographers in the world.

 

AirPano

AirPano is a project created by a team of Russian photographers focused on taking high-resolution aerial 360° photographs and 360° video. Today AirPano is the largest resource in the world — by geographical coverage, number of aerial photographs, and artistic and technical quality of the images — featuring 360° panoramas and 360° videos of the highest quality shot from a bird’s eye view.

 

Do you have a favorite free virtual field trip?

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Fall Preparation Tips for Your Home

Fall Preparation Tips for Your Home

Fall is the perfect time of year! The summer heat begins to fade, leaves don their annual colors, football games take over the weekend, and pumpkin-flavored everything hits the shelves. fall preparation

However, it also serves as a reminder, that as the days grow shorter and the leaves start to fall, now is the ideal time to look around your home and get prepared for the oncoming winter. Fall’s mild temperatures and adequate daylight provide an opportunity to check the heater, repair gutters, and add extra insulation to the attic. An early autumn storm or blizzard is no time to learn you have leaks or other problems.

The Insurance Information Institute estimates that winter-related damage causes over a billion dollars in insurance losses annually. So, enjoy the nice weather and your pumpkin spiced latte while you can. Just don’t forget to look ahead. Prevent your home from being a winter-storm statistic and make the necessary preparations to your home this fall.

 

Fall Preparation Checklist:

  • Have your heating system checked and cleaned.
  • Inspect ceilings, windows and outer walls for cracks.
  • Change air filters.
  • Check your pipes and plumbing.
  • Inspect your roof for wear or damage and clean the gutters.
  • Install weather stripping and caulk around windows and doors.
  • Seal up foundation and driveway cracks.
  • Check your fireplace and chimney for cracks or leaks.

Look around your deck or patio and yard. Now is the time to clean and store seasonal outdoor furniture and flower pots, drain sprinkler systems, trim trees and shrubs, fertilize lawns and mulch gardens. Before your lawnmower goes into hibernation, schedule a time to have it serviced. If your snowblower needs some TLC after its summer break, bring it in with your mower and tackle two chores at once. 

During the fall it is also important to make sure your home is fire safe. Hundreds of fires break out each day during the autumn and winter months. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure everything is working properly. The National Fire Protection Association warns carbon monoxide poisonings also climb during the fall and winter months.

 

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Preparation Checklist:

  • Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on all levels of the home.
  • Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries.
  • Have all heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected.
  • Keep all flammable material at least three feet from heat sources.
  • Check fire extinguishers. Replace or have them serviced as needed. 
  • Know and practice home escape routes. 

A vital preparation step for any season is to review and understand your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Make sure you know what is covered under your policy, if you need to up your coverage, or add additional coverage for the coming winter months.

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty. We specialize in providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

10 Items to Keep at Your Desk

10 Items to Keep at Your Desk

Our Education Blogger is a public school teacher with over a decade of experience. She’s an active NEA member and enjoys writing about her experiences in the classroom.

 

You spend about eight hours a day in the classroom; it’s basically your second home. You never know what your day in the classroom will throw at you, especially these days, so be sure you’re prepared. In addition to your basic supplies, stock up with these 10 essential items every teacher should have at their desk.

 

10 essentials for your desk - flair pens

 

  1. Good Grading Pens/Markers – You can never have too many colorful grading utensils! I like Papermate Flair Pens and they come in a variety of bright, fun colors.

10 Items Teachers Should Have at Their Desk - Stain Remover

  1. Stain Remover – I always spill my coffee on my shirt! I use a quick stain remover, like Shout Wipes or Tide Pen, to clean myself up in a snap!

Travel Size Deodorant

 

  1. Travel-Sized Deodorant – The temperature of my classroom is never consistent! One hour I’m wearing my parka while I teach and the next I’m down to my sweat-stained shirt. Keeping a stick of deodorant on hand is also helpful on those warm days that I have recess duty.

face masks

 

  1. Extra Masks – For those days when you are rushing out the door and forget we are living in the “new normal”.
    Teacher Desk Essentials - Pain Reliever
  2. Pain Reliever – It’s hard to teach when you’re head is pounding! Keep a small bottle stashed in your desk drawer so you can make it through a tough day.

 

Teachers Desk Essentials - Disinfectant Wipes or Spray

 

  1. Disinfectant Wipes – Even though the janitorial staff is consistently wiping down surfaces, between classes this will most likely be your responsibility to help you (and your students) stay safe.

 

Teachers Desk Essentials - Bandages

  1. Bandages – No need to send students to the nurse (and risk exposure) for minor cuts and scrapes.

 

hand sanitizer

 

8. Hand Sanitizer– For when you don’t have time to run to the bathroom and wash your hands between periods.

 

Teachers Desk Essentials - Non-Perishable Snacks

 

  1. Snacks – Keep a few healthy snacks, that you don’t have to eat with your hands, tucked away so you aren’t tempted to go to the vending machine-like cereal bars, applesauce, or jerky sticks.

 

Teachers Desk Essentials - Refillable Water Bottle

 

  1. Reusable Water Bottle – Water fountains can be full of germs, invest in a large enough water bottle that you won’t have to refill throughout the day.

 

A few extra items that could also help you out include K Cups, a Fun Coffee Mug, a To-Do List, Lotion, Mechanical Pencils, Post- its, Kleenex, Gum, a Desk Fan, and a Bluetooth Speaker 

Worried about shelling out your own money? Ask parents and families to donate items that are for student use, like cough drops, wipes, Post-its, pencils, and bandages!

Check out our Pinterest Board, Teachers: What To Keep at Your Desk, for more and don’t forget to give us a follow at California Casualty to stay up to date on every new idea we discover! Scan our Pincode with your Pinterest camera to follow:

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters and nurses. California Casualty does not own any of the photos in this post, all are sources by to their original owners. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

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