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How to Help Nurses in Your Community

How to Help Nurses in Your Community

Nurses, doctors, and health care professionals are our frontline heroes in the fight against coronavirus. With almost 4 times as many nurses as physicians in the U.S. (3.8 million vs 1.1 million, respectively), nurses are the largest segment of providers seeing, treating, comforting and providing ongoing care for the patients that are and will continue coming into hospitals and clinics.

Nurses know they will be hit hard, yet they are stepping up heroically in the face of incredibly long hours, heartbreaking care cases and increased personal risk. So, it’s time for the rest of us to step up and support them by doing our part to keep our healthcare workforce strong, healthy and resilient, we can help turn the tide on the crisis.

Here’s how you can help nurses in your community.

Stay Home

Across the country, various forms of shelter-in-place and social distancing orders have gone into effect. The basic idea is that by limiting exposure to others, we can significantly limit the spread of coronavirus infections. That will help us “flatten the curve” and prevent our hospitals from getting swamped beyond capacity. What you do matters. Stay updated on your city’s instructions by visiting its website, TV channel or social media channels.

Donate Supplies

Many facilities are in need of gloves, goggles, N95 masks, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, gowns, and other PPE. Look through your closets and garage and see if you’ve got extras (new and unused) you can donate. Check your local news pages, public health agencies or health care provider’s social media pages for specific needs and drop off instructions. Some are even asking crafters to sew masks!

Follow the Care Protocol

If you feel you might be sick, contact your doctor or advice nurse about your symptoms, then follow their instructions. Given the pressure on the health system, they are working hard to provide high-quality, personalized care to their insureds via telehealth, while also ensuring that high-risk and vulnerable patients have access to emergency and hospital services. And if you haven’t done so already, cancel or postpone any elective or routine care appointments.

Be a Good Neighbor

Many of us know nurses and health care workers personally. Whether they’re in your family, friend circle or neighborhood, make a point to reach out (virtually) and check-in. See if there’s anything you can do for them or their families. This could be something like picking up groceries, walking their dog or picking up their takeout. They are and will continue to be overwhelmed—physically, mentally and emotionally. Let them know you’re there for them.

As nurses and other healthcare professionals treat more and more patients, their risk of infection increases. That’s a real danger—both to their own personal health and to the number of providers that will be available to take care of patients in the months ahead.

Never in our modern lives have our personal choices made such an impact on the health of our greater community, that is why it is so important that you help do what you can today.

 

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

Superheroes Fighting on the Front Lines

Superheroes Fighting on the Front Lines

As much of the U.S. adjusts to social distancing and shelter in place guidelines, our first responders and healthcare workers continue to fight on the frontlines of COVID-19. Every day these heroes are showing up to serve their communities- while knowingly putting themselves at risk of exposure.

 

Extraordinary Times

Our frontline heroes are used to risk—it comes with the job—but these are extraordinary times. In many areas, their facilities are short on personal protective equipment (PPE); and a number of them have made the choice to self-isolate while working in order to protect their families.

And yet, every day they continue to help those in need, no matter how many people arrive to the ER, dial the advice line or call in distress. In hard-hit cities like New York and Detroit, police officers are working double shifts in their communities to cover colleagues who’ve gotten sick or have had to self-quarantine. First responders and volunteer departments are working hard to improve systems and protocols to stay ahead of the anticipated increase in calls. Nurses and other healthcare workers are coming out of retirement to help meet the increasing patient needs in hospitals.

 

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

On top of it all, some are even finding ways to connect with their community, bringing comfort, joy, and positivity to an anxious public:

  • Firefighters in Massachusetts, Missouri, Indiana and elsewhere are recording themselves reading stories and posting them online for parents to share with their kids.
  • A West Virginia nurse is keeping her community’s spirits up by hosting cake giveaways.
  • Peace officers in Utah organized child care services for and by families of first responders.
  • Alabama firefighters are making sure kids’ birthdays aren’t forgotten. They’re driving their firetruck to lucky children’s homes and turning on the sirens and lights to celebrate.
  • As a way to spread positivity, an ICU nurse started a Facebook group dedicated to sharing found or handmade rainbows.
  • Police officers across the country are reaching out to their youngest community members online by hosting art projects, reading them stories and even giving singing lessons.

 

We rely on our frontline heroes every day—to keep us safe, to protect us, to care for us when we’re sick. There’s no better way to thank them for their service and sacrifice than to do our part in helping keep them safe and healthy.

By following local guidelines around social distancing (or shelter in place, depending on your location) you can help “flatten the curve”—which means reducing the spread of infections and, by extension, the pressure on healthcare workers and first responders.

Take time to send a (socially distant) thank you to the nurses, peace officers, firefighters, and other emergency personnel.

 

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.

 

 

Communities Connect While Social Distancing

Amid a federal issuance of social distancing guidelines and orders across many cities for residents to “shelter in place,” people are having to quickly adjust to our new (thankfully temporary) normal. No more gatherings, picnics, playdates or dinners out for the time being.

Yet, while our physical connection is severely curtailed, communities are finding creative ways to remain virtually connected.

Not surprisingly, people are taking advantage of the internet (90% of adults in the U.S. use the web) and a multitude of apps and platforms to connect with their family, friends, and neighbors—even if they’re right next door. Here’s how communities are connecting while social distancing.

 

Feeling Chatty

Facetime, Skype, and WhatsApp video are among the go-to’s for video-enabled mobile chatting. For larger gatherings, web-based Google Hangouts, Zoom and others fit the bill. All these allow users to connect virtually, even if they live in different states or countries. For families with members who must self-isolate for safety, web and mobile chats allow close family time without the risk of exposure.

 

Finding Each Other on Facebook

Like online chatting, Facebook is connecting families and friends now more than ever. But it also offers people the ability to reach much larger audiences and communities.

In Holbrook, Massachusetts, firefighters are using the platform to record videos of themselves reading bedtime stories and share them for parents to play for their children. Libraries are taking storytime and education online, and zoos and aquariums are bringing their animals to people’s living rooms via live streams on Facebook Live and YouTube channels.

Facebook Groups are another way that people are creating tailored communities around a specific cause, topic or interest. On the safety front, many news organizations and local authorities are using the platform to keep their communities informed and up to date on COVID-19.

 

Checking in Near and Far

For those who are separated from friends or family in another country, WhatsApp is a free messaging app that can help them stay in touch across oceans or continents. On the other end of the spectrum is Nextdoor, a hyperlocal platform that helps neighbors post and share information relevant to their neighborhood.

 

Dance Parties & PSAs

Who says people have to be in the same room to dance together? Tiktok, a new platform for creating short dance, comedy and lip-sync videos, has seen an explosion of friendly dance challenges in a time of social distancing. Families, co-workers and friends alike are using the app to break out their moves. In Louisville, Kentucky, a father and his two grown sons held a dance competition on the platform—it went viral and got almost 10 million views.

Halfway across the world, in Vietnam, TikTok users helped spread a government PSA about handwashing to many millions by turning the catchy tune into a global dance challenge. It’s gotten more than 20 million views, proving that creativity and community can help spread the word on steps we all must take to protect ourselves and each other.

By taking advantage of remote tools and technology—and adding some fun and creativity—we can stay connected to family, friends and our community while adhering to social distancing guidelines that will help flatten the curve and keep everyone safer.

 

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.

8 Ways to Be a Good Neighbor During Trying Times

8 Ways to Be a Good Neighbor During Trying Times

Our world has changed seemingly overnight. As we deal with the immediate crisis—and learn behaviors that ensure the safety and well-being of ourselves and others—we all have an opportunity to make our world a kinder and more generous one.

Here are 8 ways to be a good neighbor during trying times.

 

Stay safe, stay home

Across the country, various forms of shelter-in-place and social distancing orders have gone into effect. Stay up to date on your city’s instructions and follow the orders and advice of local officials. By slowing and limiting the spread of infection, we can “flatten the curve”—protecting vulnerable community members and preventing local hospitals and emergency services from overwhelm.

 

Check-in

For the elderly, immunocompromised or otherwise vulnerable, these are especially scary times. Reach out to those neighbors and friends (on the phone, email, through a closed door) and see if there’s anything you can do for them. A grocery run, food pickup or dog walk could make a huge difference. Let them know you’re there for them. If you yourself are in the vulnerable cohort, make it easy for others to know how they can help—there are plenty who want to help but don’t know how.

 

Donate blood

In the midst of coronavirus anxiety, blood drives have been canceled and donations have dropped. However, maintaining our nation’s blood supply is still critical:  Every 2 seconds, a patient needs a blood transfusion. If you’re healthy, consider giving blood. Donation centers are skilled in infection control practices and adhere to strict safety procedures.

 

Do a virtual food drive

You can deliver needed groceries to families and community members right from your computer. Check the websites of your local food banks, city or city health departments or non-profits that focus on food insecurity. You can sign up as an individual or as a group. For the latter, get creative and launch a drive with friends, family, colleagues or neighbors.

 

Volunteer

Check with local non-profits, charities or your city for volunteer needs. Many neighborhoods are also forming their own emergency response teams. Volunteers can sign up for a range of activities or projects. If you have the gift of health and security, volunteering is one of the most rewarding ways to pay it forward.

 

Shop local

Local businesses are hurting, and some may not recover. Patronage right now is more crucial than ever. Place orders online; buy gift cards; keep up your membership. Many restaurants are staying afloat by offering take-out and delivery—if you can afford it, mix up your in-home creations with local cuisine. And if you can be generous in tipping your delivery drivers, you’ll be helping them through a rough time.

 

Donate

Public health crises spotlight the gaps in our communities and this crisis is no different. Many hospitals are in need of gloves, goggles, N95 masks, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, gowns, and other PPE. Look through your closets and garage and see if you’ve got extras (new and unused) you can donate to local hospitals. Also check in with your favorite charities, causes or non-profits and see how you can help.

 

Spread kindness

These are stressful times, and a little kindness goes a long way. For those workers on the front lines (who themselves are at increased risk), receiving some patience, kindness, and compassion from customers will buoy their spirits. Be generous where you can. Remember too, that just as with the oxygen mask in the airplane, you can only take care of others after taking care of yourself. So, find ways to make self-care and mental health a priority.

 

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.

Tax-Time Identity Theft

As taxpayers rush to get their tax documents in by the April 15th deadline, the IRS is once again warning thieves may be targeting them as ID theft victims. Hundreds of thousands of Americans find out every year that someone has used their Social Security Number to claim false refunds.

The Insurance Information Institue reported that about 3 million consumer complaints of ID theft and fraud happen each year during tax season.

Here are some tips to have lower your risk of tax identity theft and make sure you stay protected.

Don’t give out your personal information

Identity thieves may try and get you to disclose your personal information over the phone, by text, social media, or by email. The IRS will not reach out to you for this information via electronic media unless you contact them first.

If you receive a scam email forward it to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov

File your returns as early as possible

Once you have all of your documents, go file. If you hesitate an identity thief with access to your information could have extra time to tile a fraudulent tax return on your behalf.

Use a trusted tax preparer

Non-certified tax preparers may bump their rates based on your refund by giving you deductions you aren’t entitled to and leaving you at fault if the IRS chooses to audit you. Scammers can also pose as tax preparers to steal your personal information and your refund. Do your homework and make sure you are going to a certified professional.

Anyone who prepares tax returns for compensation is required to have a tax preparer identification number or PTIN. You can look up any licensed tax preparer on the IRS’s Directory of Federal Tax Return Prepares.

Keep an eye on your accounts

As a rule of thumb, you should actively monitor your credit on websites that won’t hurt your score, like Credit Karma. You can also monitor your tax documents online on the IRS website.

Place a credit freeze or fraud alert on your credit file

If you see something uncommon on your reports or have reason to believe your personal information has been compromised you can place a credit freeze or fraud alert on your account.

You can place a credit freeze or fraud alert on your file by contacting Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.

For more information about tax-time identity theft, visit http://www.irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection.

California Casualty wants to make sure that all customers receive identity theft resolution services at no charge and to make the process as simple as possible. That’s why our customers offers free ID theft resolution services with every policy through CyberScout.

CyberScout assigns a personal fraud specialist who works with our customers until the fraud problem is resolved. That means you have unlimited one-on-one access to a dedicated fraud specialist who will assist you in understanding credit reports, gathering evidence against the fraudsters, working to limit damages, and following up to make sure the problem has been cleared up.

With insurance from California Casualty, if you or a loved one’s personal information is compromised, you can rest assured that a CyberScout fraud specialist will get in the trenches to help speed the recovery process – as long as it takes to restore your good credit.

 

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.

Party Hosting Safety Tips- Super Bowl Sunday

Party Hosting Safety Tips- Super Bowl Sunday

Don’t spend your time worrying about an accident on Super Bowl Sunday, follow these party hosting safety tips and set your focus on the big game (and the commercials).

 

Party Hosting Safety Tips

Be a Good Neighbor

Just in case things get a little loud, let your neighbors know that you plan on hosting a Super Bowl party. As a courtesy let guests know where to park, so they do not block any driveways, and keep the party indoors or in a fenced-in yard.

Keep Your Pets Safe

Bring pets indoors and lock them in a separate room, far away from the commotion, with a TV or noise machine on. This will not only help them feel less anxious, but it will also give you peace of mind that they are safe and can’t run away.

Check the Food                              

Make sure your guests do not have any food allergies before you start prepping your meal. As you are cooking, remember to keep raw meats away from other food items and to always wash your hands between dishes.

Lock Up Valuables

Before inviting guests into your home make sure that you have all jewelry, cash, and other expensive items locked safely away and out of sight.

          Monitor Alcohol Consumption

Have guests who plan on drinking use Uber or another rideshare service, and make sure to have a set cutoff time at least an hour before the party is over.

Make Sure You are Covered

Let’s face it, accidents happen; especially when you have a rowdy crowd on your hands. Make sure you are covered by your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. If you are unsure, give your California Casualty advisor a call today.

 

The Proper Coverage for You

If something in your home gets broken or stolen while you have people over, your policy will cover it. But, if you have high-value items like jewelry, antiques, collectibles, or furs, you will need to add extra coverage – scheduled personal property. 

If you are serving alcohol, be aware, that hosts can be liable if others are hurt by anyone driving from your party while intoxicated. It’s called the social host liability law. Personal liability coverage will also help in this situation by covering payments of medical bills and lawsuits from someone who was hurt on or off (leaving) your property. However, there are limits, so talk to your insurance advisor about an umbrella policy, for greater coverage.

 

Other Hosting Safety Tips

Here are some other important safety tips to keep in mind when hosting a party or get together.

-Hire a babysitter for young children

-Get approval from your Homeowner’s Association

-Install proper lighting inside and outside of your home and remove items that could cause someone to trip and fall

-Consider holding your getting together at a restaurant or bar, so you won’t be liable

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.

 

 

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