Hurrican Shutters

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Posts Tagged ‘Hurricane Protection System’

Qaulity Jobs By CAT 5 Shutters

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on January 14, 2014

Qaulity Jobs By CAT 5 ShuttersCat 5 Shutters LLC is especially proud to offer the most advanced Hurricane Protection systems on the market today. Available in a wide array of designer styles and colors our easy to use hurricane shutters will add value to your property! Hurricane Protection, Hurricane Shutters, Storm Shutters, Window Shutters or Accordion Hurricane Shutters, whatever you call them we can do them. Below are some of the products we offer, take a look and let us know what we can do for you.

Accordion Shutters: Our Accordion Shutter system is one of the strongest in the industry, the blades in the open position only take up one inch per foot including uni-mate. We are the Manufacturer & Installer!

Bahama Shutters: Bahama shutters provide storm protection as well as sun protection. Available in three types from lightweight to Heavy Hurricane approved.

Colonial Shutters: Provide storm protection as well as cosmetic enhancement. Available in three types from lightweight to Heavy Hurricane approved.

Roll Down Hurricane Shutters: Are the most convenient and easiest system to operate. Roll down shutters will reduce your Air Conditioning costs and lower noise by up to 70% They also will protect your furniture’s exposure to direct sunlight. Available in Clear, White, Ivory Beige and Bronze.

Storm Panel Hurricane Shutters: Inexpensive hurricane protection. These steel or aluminum shutters attach to the walls around windows and doors on bolts or tracks. Storm panels are corrugated, and each piece overlaps the next for maximum strength. There are several styles of storm panels to choose from.

Roll Down Hurricane Screens: Fabric Based Hurricane Protection With Storm Catcher Roll Down Screen. Enjoy incredibly effective hurricane protection and the convenience of an electronically controlled or manually operated rolling hurricane screen system.

Stainless Steel Screens: Energy Savings and protection. Fort Security Storm & Door Systems will save you money on your electric bill on the window exposed to the sun. You may also be entitled to a discount from your insurance company. We are the first in the industry to pass the tough Dade County hurricane protocol. Offering 24/7 protection, no more worries for the last minute installation rush of cumbersome, heavy sharp edged or clear hurricane storm panels as the hurricane approaches.

Garage Door Braces: High quality aircraft grade aluminum. Lightweight (14 lbs). Incredibly strong. Telescoping design. Fits garage doors up to 8′ tall. 5 minute install. Even with shutters, if your garage door fails, the full force of the hurricane will enter your home and could possibly blow off your roof or otherwise seriously damage your home.

We do work in the following cities throughout Palm Beach County:

Atlantis, Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Briny Breezes, Cloud Lake, Delray Beach
Glen Ridge, Golf, Greenacres, Golf Stream, Haverhill, Highland Beach, Hypoluxo, Juno Beach, Jupiter,
Jupiter Inlet Colony, Lake Clarke Shores, Lake Park, Lake Worth, Lantana, Manalapan, Loxahatchee Groves
North Palm Beach, Ocean Ridge, Mangonia Park, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Pahokee, Palm Springs
Riviera Beach, Palm Beach Shores, South Bay, South Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington and
West Palm Beach .

Here is another quality job done by CAT 5 Shutters:  187 Mulberry Grove Rd. Royal Palm Beach

Drive by any of our jobs we have done and take a look! If you would like to see a quality CAT 5 Shutter job in your area contact us and we will be happy to give you references. Once you see our quality work feel free give us a call to schedule your free estimate for your hurricane protection needs. Call toll free at 1-800-CAT-FIVE or visit us on the web at http://www.cat5hurricaneshutterswpb.com.

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Make sure your business is prepared

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on January 14, 2014

Make sure your business is preparedLess than two years after starting a wholesale and retail footwear business, Kyle Berner saw his entrepreneurial dreams come to a screeching halt.

The April 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a delayed shipment of about 10,000 pairs of flip-flops he was planning to package and ship to customers ahead of the busy summer season. Though the items had already been paid for by the customers, the hold-up lasted six weeks—and by then his customers weren’t interested in reordering his company’s eco-friendly flip-flops, as they had the previous spring.

“We were in trouble of actually going out of business because we didn’t have any cash reserves,” says Mr. Berner, 32 years old, who juggled odd jobs before founding Feelgoodz in New Orleans in 2008.

To salvage the situation, he quickly signed up with daily-deal website Groupon GRPN -1.28% to run a three-day sale of his flip-flops for 50% off. While the stunt didn’t net him a profit, it did generate enough cash for his business to make a loan payment on time.

If he could do things over again, Mr. Berner says he would account for extra working capital when raising start-up funds.

“We would’ve made sure we had a miscellaneous pad of cash for the unknown,” he says, adding that he now stashes away enough money to cover about three months’ worth of business expenses. “You just never know what life will toss your way.”

Taking “what if” precautions may not seem urgent or even necessary if you’re an entrepreneur just starting out. But it can be wise to set aside some funds and plan ahead in other ways in case a calamity strikes. Just one tragic event could set a new venture back several months or even destroy it for good.

Roughly 25% of small businesses fail to reopen after a major disaster, according to the Institute for Business & Home Safety.

Protecting a new venture from the threat of an unexpected fiasco doesn’t require a lot of money or hard work, says Gail Moraton, business-resiliency manager for the Tampa-based nonprofit.

For starters, she recommends writing up a set of instructions describing exactly how your business functions, including who is responsible for doing each task, security passwords and contact information for key vendors. Then store it in a safe place outside of the office that you and your management team can easily access if necessary.

“It’s about having all this information available because when a disaster hits, you’re not going to remember all of these things,” she says.

Meanwhile, begin building a cash safety net to cover short-term expenses, such as a few months’ worth of payroll and supplier fees, says Dennis Ceru, an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. This could help you keep your business going while you wait for things to get back to normal following an unforeseen event that temporarily puts your operations on hold.

Taking this step also could help you avoid a disruption should a key vendor or customer suffer from a disaster—preventing you from receiving the inventory or income you rely on. In fact, you might want to ask your prospective business partners if they have a business-continuity plan before agreeing to team up with them on any major projects, adds Ms. Moraton.

As for insurance, your business may be required by law to purchase a certain amount of protection, such as if you’re located in an area prone to flooding or tornados. But don’t assume this will cover you for other potential hazards or that once you’ve taken out a policy, you’re in good hands for the long haul.

“You have to understand what your insurance covers and what it excludes,” says Mr. Ceru. “You always want to have at least an annual review of your coverage, especially if you’re a start-up, because you may quickly exceed the initial coverage as your business grows larger.”

Finally, keep in mind that disaster takes many forms.

Zachary Rose of New York lost tens of thousands of dollars last year when an employee stole critical paperwork from his lead-certification-training business.

He says he wishes he had the $2,000-a-year insurance policy that he’s since taken out to protect his firm from any damages caused by dishonest employee behavior. The business-continuity coverage also includes losses due to other calamities, such as fires, power outages and natural disasters, he says.

Mr. Rose, 31 years old, founded Green Education Services in 2009 after getting laid off from an architecture firm.

In the beginning, “I didn’t really have any money at all, so to look into policies like this wasn’t something that even crossed my mind,” he says, adding that the incident also required him to spend several weeks making sure his students’ certifications weren’t compromised.

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Lining up your contractors

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on January 8, 2014

Lining up your contractorsLicensed, insured, and in business.

Professional licensing is a means by which the state of Florida regulates professionals who can cause harm through the malpractice and misconduct of their trades. Some of the diverse professionals regulated by professional licensing are CPAs, realtors, architects, and contractors. Many construction tradespeople are regulated because their work, if performed incorrectly, can cause fire, flood, and collapse. But, because not every construction tradesperson requires a professional license, verifying his or her compliancy with these laws is a two-step process. First, you need to determine if the contractor’s trade is regulated by licensing. Second, if licensing is required, you need to verify that the contractor’s license is current and active. This information is readily available in the database maintained by Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). To help ensure that you navigate to the state website, use the words “State of” in your search term. For example, the search terms “State of Florida DBPR” and “State of Florida contractor licensing” will prioritize DBPR as a search return. Once you navigate to DBPR’s website, you will see a link titled “Verify a License.” To determine what trades are regulated by professional licensing, click the dropdown menu under “License Type.” If a contractor requires licensing, you can then enter his or her name into the database to determine the license status. License complaints can also be viewed. Contractor insurance can also protect you from the harm that can befall you from unqualified practitioners. In construction, workers’ compensation insurance and general liability insurance are essential. A major difference between the two is that workers’ compensation covers the employees of a company while general liability covers the public affected by a company’s operation. In addition to personal injury, property damage may also be covered in a general liability policy. Because both types of claims can be costly, you must verify that a contractor has insurance and that the policy limits and terms are acceptable. Analysis of policies is best handled by your insurance agent, who will understand your business circumstances, as well as the complexities of insurance. But, you may want to perform some preliminary research before the experts step in. Using the Internet, you can verify a contractor’s workers’ compensation coverage with Florida’s Division of Workers’ Compensation. Authorized workers’ compensation exemptions can also be verified. This information is contained in a database that is readily marked and easy to use. To reach the state website, use a concise and accurate search term such as “State of Florida Worker’s Compensation.”

In contrast to workers’ compensation information that you can access through state government sources, you will need to verify the contractor’s general liability coverage with his or her insurance agent. You must request that the contractor have his or her agent mail you a certificate of insurance. This certificate contains important information about policy limits and special conditions, and it must be reviewed by your agent to ensure that you are adequately protected. For example, your agent can request that the certificate show if there are any exclusions, such as property damage, under the products/completed operations coverage form, as well as any exclusions related to uniquely hazardous construction activities, such as demolition. Your agent should explain the benefits of being listed as an “additional insured.” Although the government websites provides sound information about contractor insurance, frequent and comprehensive communication with your agent is essential.

Florida’s Secretary of State office has the important role of maintaining records. The Division of Corporations is a division with this office, and it maintains a business’s filings. The types of business entities include corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and sole proprietors doing business under an assumed, fictitious name. Because it is highly recommended that you contract with a business, in contrast to a person, you should ensure that the contractor’s company is in good standing with the state. In addition to verifying that the company is active, you can also view the date of registration to determine how long the company has been in business. Officers, directors, and registered agents are listed here.

Because owning a business and successfully running it are two separate matters, you may find the information held at the Building Departments useful. Building Departments are the state’s first line of defense against unlicensed and non-code-compliant work. Not only can the Building Department help you determine if a contractor meets the state’s requirements for licensing and insurance, it may also maintain a permit database that show the contractor’s customers and the inspection results. The Building Department may also have the blueprints and site plans used to construct your facility. If you are planning to alter your existing building, these documents may be helpful.

Qualifications and character

In addition to confirming that the contractor meets Florida’s requirements for contracting, it is also important that he or she meet certain standards of personal integrity. This is especially important when there are no state licensing and insurance regulations in place for the contractor’s trade. For example, Florida’s DBPR does not issue professional licenses to painters, flooring installers, and other tradesmen. Although referrals and references are essential (because you want an experienced contractor with a successful track record,) legal records can provide insight into a person’s possible criminal and civil offenses, such as fraud, drug abuse, and theft.
The Clerk of Court Office is the government office that performs court-related duties, such as the docketing and maintaining of civil and criminal records. Documents such as deeds, tax warrants, and claims of lien may also be recorded by the clerk’s office or at a separate office, such as the recorder’s or comptroller’s office. To get a general impression about a contractor’s legal history, you can read the docket entries, if records exist. To do a comprehensive search, look for records in the counties where the contractor works, lives, and maintains an office. You should also search using the contractor’s personal name and business name. When reviewing any legal information, strive for fairness and accuracy. Because legal information is often complex, you may want to seek counsel from an attorney.

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

As with any undertaking, preparedness improves your chances of success. When you are prepared, you can act purposefully and in a timely manner. Without forethought, your efforts are likely to be inefficient and can waste time and money. Finding qualified contractors to repair or remodel your building is a focused process that takes time to do properly. It is not a task to undertake when an emergency is at hand. With qualified contractors ready to go and an inclusive scope of work to guide them, your projects are more likely to be done correctly, on time, and on budget, even following a disaster.

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Hurricane Shutters is a solid investment

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on January 6, 2014

Hurricane Shutters is a solid investmentFloridians trying to save money on their home insurance premiums can guard against hurricanes at the same time. If you don’t have hurricane shutters installed yet, now is the perfect time. Insurance Claim Guides provides an excellent review why it is important to have hurricane shutters installed. If you have questions about types of hurricane shutters or looking to get a quick feedback, contact Cat 5 Shutters, professional installer of hurricane shutters in South Florida.

For coastal residents in areas hit by hurricanes (the “wind zone”), it is hard to tell what insurance companies want from you when it comes to protecting your home with shutters. If you are in a hurricane zone and do not yet have shutters on your home yet, you may want to consider doing them soon.

Mandated Shutter Installation. In Florida’s designated “wind zone” (nearly all of its entire coast) all homes over $300,000.00 in value must add shutters to any home improvement project that requires a permit as required by state law. For these same beleaguered home owners, the state sponsored Citizens Property Insurance (the largest insurer for these targeted homes) will deny any storm-related claims if shutters are not installed. Homeowners in Florida got the message loud and clear and obtained permits to add shutters. As a result of these measures, 700,000 Florida residents installed shutters and were qualified for a generous “wind-mitigation” insurance discount by installing high quality window shutters. Owners received up to $5000.00 in annual premium savings by protecting their homes with shutters that perhaps set them back about $10,000 to $25,000 dollars. The added protection plus the generous insurance premium discount allowed these Florida residents to feel they were making a safe investment. It really made sense at the time.

“Too many coastal residents are protecting their homes with shutters!”

(Yes, you read that right) Insurance companies, feeling pillaged by the number of wind-mitigation discount customers, despite a major hurricane not occurring for going on six years, are now claiming they are having financial difficulties. Should another major hurricane hit the region, well, there might not be money to pay out because too many people are getting their wind mitigation discounts, so insurance providers claim. Huh? Insurance companies will NOT pay storm claims if residents DON’T have shutters but CAN’T afford the very program they sponsor to make installation of them possible for thousands of home owners. Insurance Companies Make Money First, Protect Homes Second To mitigate financial damage to the company as a result of 700,000 homeowners mitigating damage to their homes during a hurricane, insurers cancelled thousands of higher-risk policies. And they increased insurance premiums, in some cases over 40%, to cover the $700 million in credits they applied to wind-mitigation discounts, which also included credit for roof improvements as well. And, to add insult to injury, insurance companies are now discussing drastically reducing the very credit that enabled a homeowner to invest thousands of dollars into their homes.

By reducing the wind-mitigation credit on homeowner policies, homeowner may not install the best protection and instead choose the minimum needed to gain a discount. Which, in turn, might not be good enough for a hurricane but who cares – the damage from a blown in window or a bad roof that flew off is covered, anyway, right? The State of Florida “shutters” at the thought of a repeat of 2005 hurricane season In 2005, Florida homeowners were paid $36 billion dollars’ worth of claims in the aftermath of eight major storms. The existing insurance coverage debacle threatens the very economy of the state should just one major hurricane hit. There are subsides of “up to $2500” to home owners available through Florida’s My Safe Home program, should the shutter installation requirement be extended to existing homes to help afford them. However, $2500 would generally buy very temporary, poor quality window protection, according to FLASH, a non-profit disaster protection agency in Florida, thus, would cost more than it would help in an extreme tropical storm situation.

What’s a Homeowner in hurricane regions to do about shutter protection? As it stands now, homeowners who are not seeking permits for home construction are not required to install shutters. That being said, without shutters, it is left up to the interpretation of the insurer to decide if appropriate and prudent measures were taken to secure the home given it is located in an area where hurricanes are known to cause damage. Just because good quality shutters are not required doesn’t mean they are not a good investment to protect your home! Should you invest in shutters?

Consider the following:

Strongly consider budgeting in other recommended storm protection measures such as roof improvements (get an expert opinion!) if you plan to go ahead with shutters. If your roof blows off, then the money spent on shutters would be wasted.
Review your homeowner’s policy for premium discounts for wind-mitigation – understand the requirements, what should be inspected and how to submit the claim for a reduction in your premiums.
Know exactly what your policy (policies) cover and doesn’t cover in storm/flood/wind situations and evaluate if time/money spent on such improvements make sense Investigate any state programs that offer subsidies or tax incentives for home improvements and follow the guidelines so you are eligible to benefit.
Before making a final decision, speak with local disaster-relief agencies, neighbors or others who have been through a hurricane in your area and get advice specific to your location. Your neighborhood might be protected from the wind but has issues with flooding whereas a mile down the road, it is the exact opposite.
Prioritize improvements to best protect your property! Document, document, document! Should a storm hit, have your paperwork ready to prove you spent money to protect your home and be sure your policy is able to completely replace any improvements you make.

Contact CAT 5 Shutters, LLC for all your hurricane protection needs. Call us toll free at 1-877-CAT-FIVE or visit us on the web at www.cat5hurricaneshutterswpb.com We offer free estimates.

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End of Hurricane Season

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on November 21, 2013

End of Hurricane SeasonNow that the end of hurricane season is approaching us, many of us are glad we didn’t have to spend the money on hurricane protection. Just because forecasters subjected us to a highly active hurricane season only to see that us Floridians did not see one storm. You still need to protect your home. If you wait for the last minute next year when a storm is approaching you could be without protection. Now is as good as any time to get an estimate of hurricane protection.When only the best will do, ask for Cat 5 Shutters LLC hurricane protection products. Price should not be the only determining factor when choosing a company for your Hurricane Shutter needs. Make a wise choice and consider the following:Licensed and Insured ContractorTop rating by the Better Business BureauEstablished company that will be around for many years for service workAsk for Testimonials from previous customers and for referrals in your areaNot all Shutters are created equal. There are many cheap alternatives out there. Make sure you are getting a Miami Dade hurricane rating and then compare priceContact us today for you free estimate. Call us toll free at 1-877-CAT-FIVE or visit us on the web at http://www.cat5hurricaneshutterswpb.com

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Donating to Philippines typhoon victims? Watch out for these scams

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on November 14, 2013

Donating to Philippines typhoon victims? Watch out for these scamsDonating to Philippines typhoon victims? Watch out for these scams Children hold signs asking for help and food along the highway, after Typhoon Haiyan hit Tabogon town in Cebu Province, central Philippines. Credit: ReutersChildren hold signs asking for help and food along the highway, after Typhoon Haiyan hit Tabogon town in Cebu Province, central Philippines.The devastating typhoon in the Philippines has left survivors scavenging and looting for food and water five days after one of the strongest storms in history slammed the center of the country. Estimates for the death toll of Typhoon Haiyan range between 2,000 to 10,000 and the Red Cross says 22,000 people are missing.Philippines suspends hunt for ferry disaster survivors; 32 dead, 170 missingIt’s clear the people hit by the tragedy need aid, but unfortunately, many people take advantage of such tragedies and use them to scam unwitting people who want to help. Metro spoke with Miranda Perry, a staff writer at Scambook, on how to avoid common pitfalls when donating money to relief efforts.Don’t click links: Don’t click on a link your friend sends you or one you might see on Facebook. Even a well-meaning friend may accidentally send you to a “spoof” website, said Perry. Spoof websites are sites that mimic those of big organizations and copy logos and layouts from a group like the American Red Cross, for example. Perry suggests opening a new window and going directly to the organization’s website instead.Keep an eye on the URL: When you’re entering credit card or personal information, check your browser URL for “https” at the top instead of “http.” Perry said, “Scam sites tend to not have secure connections.” Also, check and see if the website is hosted in the appropriate country. Perry said, “If it’s an American Red Cross website with a .ru URL, that’s a sign you’re not on a legitimate site.” Do your research: Make sure you know what organization you’re donating to. Scambook recommends contacting the State Attorney General or the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) to find out if the organization is officially registered. Perry also said watchdog websites like guide and charitynavigator.org are great at monitoring donation websites. You can also visit http://www.whois.com/whois/ and search for the website domain – brand new sites are more likely to be a scam. Perry said, “The easiest way is to take a step back and think about if it’s an organization you’ve heard of before. These tend to be the best charities to donate to – that’s why we suggest charity organizations like the Red Cross.Don’t donate person-to-person: Scambook writes that one common scam is to post a heart-breaking story through social media and e-mail along with a link to donate money. Don’t donate directly to someone who claims to be a victim online unless you know them personally – Perry added that you’re not necessarily safe donating through PayPal, though you do have a window of time during which you can dispute a transaction. Also, if someone texts or calls pressuring you to donate and gets hostile, it’s unlikely they’re from a real charity.Wait it out: Perry pointed out that there’s no need to donate right this second. “People hit by the typhoon need more money and other donations after the first immediate days, so if consumers have doubts about an organization they can wait and donate a little later because this will be ongoing for months if not years.” She added that one of the easiest ways to avoid a scam is simply by exercising patience and doing extra research.

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Typoon Update-

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on November 12, 2013

Typoon Update-The desperate survivors scrounging for food amid the mountains of debris use cloth to shield their noses from the overpowering stench of rotting corpses. Some relatives have been trying to bury their dead, but in too many cases, there is no one to cart away the corpses littering the city of Tacloban, which was all but decimated by one of the most powerful storms to ever make landfall.”Those are dead people in front of our house and the smell is awful,” a woman told a reporter from The Guardian newspaper. “The sister of the dead man came to see her brother, but she couldn’t take him away, she just cried. What else can she do?” the woman asked. “There is nowhere to take him, nothing to do.”The typhoon struck Friday with 147-mph winds and a 20-foot fall of seawater. Authorities estimate the storm killed 10,000 or more people, but so far no one has been able to count all the bodies.Typhoon Haiyan recovery: How you can helpAnd with shattered communications and transportation links, the final count was likely days away. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said “we pray” it does not surpass 10,000.The government raised the official death toll Tuesday to 1,744, with the final number expected to be much higher.The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council also said 2,487 people were hurt.Authorities estimated that the storm displaced about 660,000 others.”I don’t believe there is a single structure that is not destroyed or severely damaged in some way – every single building, every single house,” U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy said after taking a helicopter flight over Tacloban, the largest city in Leyte province. He spoke on the tarmac at the airport, where two Marine C-130 cargo planes were parked, engines running, unloading supplies. Red Cross official describes “complete devastation” in Tacloban. Authorities said at least 9.7 million people in 41 provinces were affected by the typhoon, known as Haiyan elsewhere in Asia but called Yolanda in the Philippines. It was likely the deadliest natural disaster to beset this poor Southeast Asian nation.”Help. SOS. We need food,” read a message painted by a survivor in large letters on Tacloban’s port.In the ravaged city, residents stripped malls, shops and homes of food, water and consumer goods. Officials said some of the looting smacked of desperation but in other cases people hauled away TVs, refrigerators, Christmas trees and even a treadmill. An Associated Press reporter said he saw about 400 special forces and soldiers patrolling downtown to guard against further chaos.Kennedy said Philippine forces were handling security well and U.S. troops were “looking at how to open up roads and land planes and helicopters” in order to bring in shelter, water and other supplies. Still, collapsed roads and bridges, and streets clogged with debris, have made it hard for relief workers to reach the survivors lining up for food, water and medicine, “We are so very hungry and thirsty,” a woman with tears rolling down her face told a BBC News reporter. She said she had been sleeping by a roadside because her house was flattened by the storm Other survivors were anxious to get word to relatives.”Please tell my family I’m alive,” said Erika Mae Karakot as she stood among a throng of people waiting for aid. “We need water and medicine because a lot of the people we are with are wounded. Some are suffering from diarrhea and dehydration due to shortage of food and water.”Philippine soldiers were distributing food and water, and assessment teams from the United Nations and other international agencies were seen Monday for the first time. The U.S. military dispatched food, water, generators and a contingent of Marines to the city, the first outside help in what will swell into a major international relief mission.The United States has pledged $20 million in immediate aid and has ordered the aircraft carrier USS George Washington to the sail to the Philippines to provide assistance in the wake of the typhoon. It was expected to arrive in about two days. A similar sized U.S. ship, and its fleet of helicopters capable of dropping tons of water daily and evacuating wounded, was credited with saving scores of lives after the 2004 Asian tsunami.Emily Ortega, 21 and about to give birth, said she clung to a post to survive after the evacuation center she fled to was devastated by the 20-foot storm surge. She reached safety at the airport, where she gave birth to a baby girl, Bea Joy Sagales, whose arrival drew applause from the military medics who assisted in the delivery.

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Typhoon Pounds the Philippines, Millions at Risk

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on November 8, 2013

Typhoon Pounds the Philippines, Millions at RiskOne of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded began its assault on the Philippines this morning, bringing powerful winds that have knocked out power, downed trees and killed at least three people.
Typhoon Haiyan made landfall at 4:40 a.m. local time near Guiuan, on the Philippine island of Samar about 405 miles southeast of the country’s capital, Manila. Coastal areas devastated by the storm have been cut off from communication because of lost power and the government cannot ascertain the number of casualties or much damage has been sustained, The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said at a morning news briefing.
Two people were electrocuted to death in storm-related accidents, according to the government, and the other was struck by lightning in Zamboanga City on the island of Mindanao.
PHOTOS: Typhoon Haiyan Makes Landfall in the Philippines
More than 748,000 people have already been evacuated to the 644 evacuation centers across the country. Government officials said more than 3,000 are stranded in ports.
The U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center said shortly before the typhoon made landfall that its maximum sustained winds were 195 mph, with gusts up to 235 mph.
The world’s strongest recorded hurricane, typhoon or cyclone to previously make landfall was Hurricane Camille of 1969, which roared ashore with 190 mph winds in Mississippi. Haiyan’s sustained winds easily make it a category 5 hurricane.
The Philippines government weather bureau said Haiyan had sustained winds of 147 miles per hour, with gusts of 170 mph when it made landfall.
Super Typhoon: One of the Biggest Storms Ever
The U.S. Navy’s numbers are different from local weather data because the Navy measures the average wind speed for one minute while local forecasters measure average for 10 minutes.
Television images from Tacloban city on Leyte Island showed a street under knee-deep floodwater carrying debris that had been blown down by the fierce winds. Tin roofing sheets ripped from buildings were flying above the street.
“Absolutely catastrophic damage must have occurred where this storm made landfall,” Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the private firm Weather Underground, told ABC News Radio.
Southern Leyte Gov. Roger Mercado said 31,000 people were evacuated in his landslide-prone mountainous province before the super typhoon struck, knocking out power, setting off small landslides that blocked roads in rural areas, uprooting trees and ripping roofs off houses around his residence.
“When you’re faced with such a scenario, you can only pray, and pray and pray,” Mercado told the AP by telephone, adding that his town mayors have not called in to report any major damage.
Haiyan is expected to move over South China Sea and into Vietnam by Sunday into Monday with strong winds up to 110 mph. The storm is forecast to significantly weaken as it reaches Laos and inland China, but tropical rain could produce deadly flash floods.
Haiyan is about 300 miles wide, roughly the distance from Boston to Philadelphia. The storm surge could likely exceed 23 feet, compared with the 14 feet Superstorm Sandy brought with it last year when it hit the East Coast.
“It’s stronger in an absolute sense than Sandy but the strongest winds are concentrated very close to the center as compared to a storm like Sandy where the strong winds extended very far away from the center,” the National Hurricane Center’s Richard Pass told ABC News Radio.
The typhoon has halted air travel as 13 of the country’s airports have been shut down.
The Philippines government has three cargo planes, 32 military helicopters and planes and navy ships on standby. It’s the 24th named storm this year to hit the vulnerable islands.

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Think carefully before filing a homeowners claim

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on November 7, 2013

Think carefully before filing a homeowners claimYou buy homeowners insurance hoping you’ll never need to use it. Then something happens. It’s not a big loss—maybe the neighbor’s kid throws a ball through a window or a falling branch damages the rain gutter.
You think of filing a claim. After all, that’s why you’ve paid the premiums all these years. But filing has consequences you should consider.

“Don’t make claims on small losses,” said Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at Insurance Quotes.com. “If it will only cost you several hundred dollars out of pocket, it’s probably better to pay for the repair yourself instead of filing a formal claim with your insurance company.”
The average rate hike for a family filing a homeowner’s claim is about 9 percent, or $150 a year, according to a new study by Insurance Quotes. But In some states, that single claim could result in a price hike significantly higher than the national average.

“Where you live plays a really big role in whether you should file a claim and the financial consequences you might see as a result of making the claim,” Adams said.
The five states where the premium increases would be the highest for a single claim are:

Minnesota: 21 percent
Connecticut: 21 percent
Maryland: 19 percent
California: 18 percent
Oregon: 17 percent

The five states where the premium increase would be the smallest are:
Texas: 0 percent
New York: 1 percent
Florida: 2 percent
Vermont: 2 percent
Massachusetts: 2 percent

For this study, Insurance Quotes calculated rates for six large insurers based on a single-family residence insured for $144,000 with the initial claim of up to $30,000.

Why such a disparity?

Insurance is regulated at the state level, and the report said that differences were due to variations in state law and the occurrence of natural disasters. In Texas, for example, companies are not allowed to boost homeowner premiums based on a single claim.

Also, insurers know their risk is higher in natural disaster zones, so policies are priced higher in states that have from hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. The Insurance Information Institute said the price spike in Minnesota is largely related to the “frequency and severity” of unexpected disasters there in recent years (the number of tornadoes has been well above historical norms).
“To get dinged on one claim is inappropriate,” said Robert Hunter, director of insurance at the Consumer Federation of America and former Texas Insurance Commissioner. “If something is clearly your fault, and it happens more than once, they should be allowed to boost your rates. But it should never happen with a weather-related claim.”

Is this really the way it’s supposed to work?

We need to look at insurance differently than we did in the past, because the marketplace has changed.
“It’s always a good idea to weigh how bad the damage is to your property before filing a claim,” said Michael Barry at the Insurance Information Institute. “Is this loss of such a magnitude that filing a claim is the prudent financial decision? If the loss is only $1,000 or $2,000 above your deductible, you may be better off paying for the repairs out of pocket.”
“It’s completely ridiculous and totally unfair,” said Amy Bach, executive director of United Policyholders, a San Francisco-based nonprofit group. “I think it’s outrageous that you can use your insurance and have your premium jacked up.”
But that’s the reality. And that’s why consumer advocates recommend considering homeowners insurance protection against a loss that you couldn’t afford to handle by yourself, based on your savings and inme.
“Take the largest deductible you can stomach,” said Kevin Brasler, executive editor at Checkbook.org. “With a high deductible, your rates will be lower and you’re less likely to make a small claim that can be more costly than what you get out of it.”

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Home Insurance

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on November 6, 2013

Home InsuranceHazard InsuranceHazard insurance protects you against unintentional damage or destruction to your house or its contents, including fire, storm, theft, vandalism and similar threats, the Nolo legal website states. It can cover the cash value of the damages or the replacement value; replacement value pays enough to replace what you lost, but cash value only pays what a property is worth. The cash value for a five-year-old $1,000 television won’t be $1,000, for instance, because it depreciates with age, making it worth less in the insurer’s eyes.
LiabilityLiability insurance covers personal liability for accidents on your property. If your neighbor trips on a hose in your yard and breaks his ankle, for example, liability insurance will pay for his medical expenses, up to the policy limit.

Mortgage RequirementOne reason homeowners need insurance is that mortgage companies require it. If you take out a mortgage, your house is the lender’s collateral, so your lender will require you to buy a minimum level of hazard insurance. That doesn’t prevent you from buying a greater amount than the minimum, Nolo states, if you think it necessary.

Special PropertyHomeowners insurance covers most of the property in your home, but there are limits to what the insurer will pay for certain items, such as cash or jewelry, the “This Old House” website states. If you have a home office, hazard insurance doesn’t cover business equipment either. If you have personal or business property that isn’t covered, consider paying more money for a supplemental policy that will protect you if they’re damaged.

ExclusionsHomeowners insurance doesn’t protect you against everything: Insurers routinely exclude things such as flood damage and earthquake damage from coverage, though separate flood and earthquake policies may be available where you live. “This Old House” states that a “law exclusion” in your policy can be very expensive. If an older building is damaged more than 50 percent, it will have to be rebuilt to the current building-code standards; the law exclusion means the insurer won’t pay the cost of upgrading wiring or roofs to meet the code.

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