Surviving Extreme Heat, Heat Exhaustion, & More

Surviving Extreme Heat, Heat Exhaustion, & More

It’s summertime and temperatures are quickly on the rise!

Extreme heat is more than an inconvenience though; it is a health hazard. It’s extremely important that we do all that we can to avoid overheating and that we all know the symptoms of heat-related illnesses like:

Heat Cramps

These are muscular pain or spasms in the leg or abdomen – often the first sign of trouble. Getting a person to a cooler place and hydrating them with water or sports drinks usually alleviates them.


Heat Exhaustion

This is much more severe with symptoms of:

    • Cool moist pale, ashen or flushed skin
    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Nausea
    • Weakness
    • Exhaustion

Treatment includes moving to a cooler place with circulating air, remove or loosen clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Spraying a person with water helps as well as giving small amounts of fluids such as water, fruit juice, milk or sports drinks. If symptoms persist, call medical help immediately


Heat Stroke

This is a life-threatening condition. Symptoms include high body temperature (above 103 degrees); hot, red skin; rapid and strong pulse; confusion, and possible unconsciousness. Immediately:

    • Call 911
    • Move the person to a cooler place
    • Cool them with water by immersing them or spraying them
    • Cover them with ice packs or bags of ice

Children and Pets are at Risk

Don’t forget your precious cargo when the weather heats up. We think that it will never happen to our families, unfortunately, each year an average of 37 children and many hundreds of pets die from being left in hot cars. The majority is the result of a parent or caregiver who forgot the child or pet was in the vehicle. Even on a 70-degree day, the inside temperature can climb to a dangerous 110 degrees.

New technology and apps are being developed to warn parents of a child left in a car or truck, and the 2017 GMC Acadia will be the first vehicle with a built-in sensor that alerts drivers to check the back seat for children or pets left in the car. Until these are tested and more readily available, safety groups have mounted campaigns to prevent child heatstroke danger with these warning tips:

    • Never leave a child or pet in an unattended vehicle
    • Keep vehicles locked so children can’t climb in
    • Always check the back seat before leaving the vehicle
    • Place a stuffed toy in the car seat when it’s unoccupied and move it to the front seat as a visible reminder when you put a child in the seat
    • Put a purse, briefcase or other important items in the back seat with your infant or young child
    • Alert childcare facilities to notify you if your child fails to show up
    • Call 911 if you see a child alone in a vehicle and take action if you see they are in distress or unresponsive (break a window and remove them to a cool place and wait for emergency responders)

Personal Safety

When extremely hot weather hits, these are things you can do to alleviate the danger:

    • Drink plenty of water and rehydrating sports drinks
    • Avoid strenuous work during the heat of the day
    • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing
    • Stay indoors as much as possible
    • Never leave children or pets in a vehicle
    • Go to a basement or lowest floor of a house or building if there is no air conditioning
    • Consider spending the warmest part of the day in cool public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, malls, and other community facilities
    • Spend time at a community pool or water park
    • Check on family, friends, and neighbors (especially the very young or old) who do not have air conditioning

Home Prep has an extensive list of recommendations to help keep your home cool when the temperature rises:

    • Install window air conditioners snugly and insulate them
    • Check air conditioning ducts for proper insulation
    • Install temporary window reflectors (such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard) to reflect heat back outside
    • Cover windows that receive direct sunlight with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers
    • Keep storm windows up

Automobile Prep

Your car takes a beating in extreme heat. It’s a good reminder to:

    • Test your battery
    • Check your fluids – oil, coolant, and wiper fluid
    • Get your air conditioning serviced
    • Inspect all hoses and belts for cracks or tears
    • Carry extra water or coolant



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.800.800.9410 or

8 Easy Summer Fitness Tips for Educators

8 Easy Summer Fitness Tips for Educators

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.


For many teachers, summer is the time to complete projects you’ve been putting off during the school year. Exercise tends to be one of those projects…

But the summertime is a great opportunity to begin building workout habits! You don’t have to own a Peloton or do 75 Hard to get into shape, the following can help get you started with an easy summer exercise routine and transition into much healthier habits leading into the next school year.

Use A Fitness App
I like Map My Run and My Fitness Pal.  I can log workouts, track how far I run (along with some other stats), and count calories from food.  Couch to 5K is also another free, popular app that helps you progress your way to a 5K in 8 weeks.  Check out this list of The 38 Best Health and Fitness Apps from to see if you can find an app that works for you!

Start Small
If exercise isn’t part of your regular routine, start with just 2 or 3 days a week.  From there, add on days as you feel more comfortable.  You can also up the intensity of your workouts.

Keep A Routine
Find a time and day that works for you and commit to it.  You are more likely to stick with something if you make it a part of your routine.

Exercise With A Buddy or Group
If you are able, find a friend or a group of friends with whom you can work out.  You can hold one another accountable if you commit to group workouts.   When you skip out on a workout, there’s an element of guilt added in, which makes you more likely to stick with it.

Mix It Up
For me, one type of exercise becomes boring.  To combat the monotony, I use different types of exercise. Yoga, kickboxing, cardio, dance, etc., are all great ways to mix up the workout routine.  You can find videos online for just about any kind of workout!

Set A Goal
What is your fitness goal?  Is it to lose weight, build muscle tone, run a marathon?  Establish your goal, write it on a sticky note, and place the note in a visible place you will see each day.  Use an “I will” statement and have an end date.  For example, “I will lose 10 pounds by July 31st.”  It is also helpful to decide HOW you will meet your goal.  Will you run for 20 minutes 3 times a week?  Lift weights every day?

Motivate Yourself
Take selfies.  I know.  I hate this part.  If you take pictures of yourself regularly, you should be able to see the changes in your body as you progress towards your goal.  Hopefully, these pictures will motivate you to keep going.  Positive self-talk is also beneficial.  Again, use your sticky notes to write positive affirmations to place in a visible location (“I can do this!” or “I am strong!”).  This may be cheesy, but it has a surprisingly positive effect!

Tell Your Family/Partner
Your partner or family is a great source of support and encouragement.  Tell them your fitness goals and plan. They can help motivate you and hold you accountable (if you choose).


What summer fitness activities or advice do you find works best for you?


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.800.800.9410 or

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



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

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


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!



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



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

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