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A significant earthquake on the east coast?  Who knew?

You might remember the magnitude 3.6 earthquake with the epicenter in Gaithersburg, Maryland that was felt in the Washington DC metro area on the morning of July 10, 2010. It was reportedly the first to hit the state since 1990.

earthquake aftershocks videoNow, just over a year later, comes the recent magnitude 5.8 earthquake centered in Mineral, Virginia, just south of Washington, DC.  While it is a rare event here on the east coast of the United States, it does make one wonder if it could it happen again.  Michael Oskin, Geological Professor at UC Davis tells Reuters News that there likely will be aftershocks felt days, weeks and even months following this earthquake and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) experts concur.

If you live and work in Maryland, Virginia, or surrounding states, would you be prepared to withstand an earthquake and its aftershocks? You might find that you need to be self-sustaining for hours or perhaps even days afterwards.  So access to food, water, medications and other essentials would become very important.

Earthquakes can damage highway bridges and bring traffic to a stop and disrupt rail and air traffic as well.  In the recent earthquake, cell phone service was unreliable.  If you could not reach your family, would they know what to do, where to go?  Often in such an emergency, a text message will go through where a voice message will not.  Do you have the necessary phone numbers to be able to send text messages as well as phone calls?

Wednesday, 07 September 2011 20:07

As hybrid and electric vehicles become more popular, advocates for the blind are reporting concerns about the lack of operating noise.   A 2009 government study found collisions with pedestrians and bicyclists more prevalent among hybrids than among gasoline-powered vehicles because it appears that these green vehicles just don’t produce enough noise – especially at low speeds – to warn pedestrians. Some auto makers are meeting that challenge by producing synthetic noise in their hybrid and electric vehicles.

The Infinity M35 and the Hyundai Sonata hybrid produce synthetic sounds. Likewise, the electric Nissan Leaf emits a whooshing sound at low speeds, and the Chevrolet Volt optionally produces a chirping sound and activates flashing lights if the driver activates the alert system. 

In January, 2011, President Obama signed a law which moves the effort along by designating a 2014 deadline for equipping these hybrid and electric models with synthetic sound that can be heard by pedestrians. So we'll look for more of the same results from other auto makers as more of these green vehicles hit the roads. 

 

Wednesday, 07 September 2011 19:50

college devicesAs your college student heads back to campus this fall with a computer, cell phone, perhaps a video game and other valuable items in tow, perhaps you have already considered what might happen if these items were vandalized, damaged by fire or perhaps even stolen.  Would your homeowners policy cover such a loss, allowing replacement of your student's possessions while away at college?

In fact, you can protect your student's valuables against these kinds of losses through the right insurance. If you plan ahead, you can avoid the risks of being caught unaware about your homeowners insurance coverage.

A little advanced planning can often save the day. You'll want to sit down with your child and list everything that will be moved to college. This will then allow you to put a value on each item.

Wednesday, 07 September 2011 18:08

auto safety crash test picIt is probably not news to you that many factors influence your auto insurance premium. These elements include such items as your driving record and credit score, here you live, how you use your vehicle among others. But did you know that your vehicle's industry safety rating is also considered a significant factor.

Auto insurance companies consider your vehicle's safety record and safety features as well as their analysis of the industry rating and replacement value for each car, truck, van and SUV when determining the risk level of your particular vehicle. Auto insurers study the risk of insuring a vehicle by considering items like the amount of glass in the vehicle, whether or not it has acceptable traction control, airbags, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft devices, daytime running lights and others.

In addition to all those items, the results of industry-performed crash test have a large impact on an insurer's decision.

Wednesday, 07 September 2011 17:35

Burglar Entering To HouseOf all the months from late spring to early fall, August seems to be a burglar's favorite month because that is the month when most people tend to take a vacation.  Burglars know that homeowners many times leave their homes unprotected at vacation time. Even so, according to experts, taking basic precautions is all that is necessary to prevent most burglaries.  The Insurance Information Institute (III) advises that light, time and noise are the homeowner’s greatest weapons against home invasion by burglars. 

Wednesday, 07 September 2011 16:56
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