6 Best Storm Season Safety Hacks

Oklahomans know that storm season is no joke. Even mild storms can often lead to long power outages and even cause damage to your home. Stocking up on batteries and snacks are must-dos, but here are some next-level storm season safety hacks that will help with maintaining some normalcy and keeping your family safe if you’re affected by Oklahoma’s notorious spring weather. 

  1. Turn a can of cooking oil into a candle in an emergency. First, place a string or piece of cotton into the middle of a can of cooking oil. Then, all you have to do is light it! This trick also works with lard. (Be careful!)
  2. Keep cool without air conditioning. It can be a good idea in the summer to fill up empty two-liters with water and keep them in the freezer. If the power goes out, place one frozen two-liter in front of a battery-operated fan and sit directly in front of it for a DIY air conditioner.
  3. Dogs and thunderstorms are sometimes not a good mix, but it might not be for the reason you think! Static electricity can build up in their fur. Rub a dryer sheet over your dog’s fur to help alleviate the static and calm him or her down.
  4. Run out of AA batteries for flashlights or other electronics? There is a way to convert AAA batteries with a ball of foil. Try inserting a ball of foil between the negative end of the AAA battery and the device to generate power.
  5. In a pinch, the washer and dryer serve as good storage spaces for valuables in case of flooding.
  6. Make a milk jug lantern. First, simply remove the label from a milk jug and fill it with water. Then, strap a headlight onto the jug with the light facing inward. The jug will create a soft light that will illuminate the room.

While storms can sometimes catch us off guard, it’s a good idea to plan ahead when possible. Before a storm rolls in, check out our storm prep checklist:

  • Charge up phones and electronics.
  • Check the sump pump, and make sure it’s working properly in case of flooding.
  • Clear the gutters. See if there is a way to keep water from flowing down the side of your home and causing damage. 
  • Trim your trees. This could help ensure your home and vehicles will not be damaged by falling branches.
  • Secure outdoor furniture. Oklahoma winds are strong enough to blow away or damage unsecured furniture, grills and playground equipment.
  • Fill up the gas tank. This way you and your loved ones can move to a safer location if needed.
  • Check the emergency kit. Then, replenish any missing supplies and important medications.  
  • Purchase a hand crank emergency radio. This could come in handy and keep you informed if the power goes out. 

In addition to these storm season hacks, don’t forget to read up on a few storm season safety tips and additional ways to prepare for a tornado. Along with staying safe, remember to contact your local OKFB agent to talk through your coverage in the case of a tornado or severe weather. We have agents in all 77 counties and ready to help whenever, wherever. See how one of our agents, Billy Gibson, took care of Carl Holmes and his other policyholders when a tornado went through this town three years ago. 

Stay safe, Oklahoma!

3 Ways to Show You Care

Valentine’s Day is the perfect holiday to show your loved ones how much you care. This year, don’t just get flowers and chocolates. One gift that can truly last is insurance. It may not be as romantic as a dozen roses, but it can provide protection for life. 

  1. Protect Your Valuables

Home is where you usually feel safest and where you keep your most prized possessions. Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, both insurance lines offer personal property coverage. Personal property coverage covers personal belongings inside a home in the event of damages or theft that may not be covered under a general Homeowners or Renters Insurance line. 

Personal property coverage can provide a sense of security and help in recuperating valuables. Reach out to your local OKFB Agent and see if the jewelry you have or are planning to give for Valentine’s Day is covered.

  1. Travel With Confidence

Planning a weekend getaway for the weekend of love? Whether you’re fishing at the lake, racing ATVs or cruising Route 66 in an RV, one way to protect your loved ones from the unexpected is with Recreational Insurance. We offer a wide range of coverage options that could help you when making new memories wherever your travels take you. 

  1. Support Your Employees

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that small businesses have to expect the unexpected and adapt quickly. Many Oklahoma businesses have suffered from lost revenue, staffing shortages or have had to close their doors completely. One way to show you care for your employees is to give the gift of insurance. Our fully-customizable Business Owners Insurance includes Loss of Income coverage that could help cover a loss of net income due to suspension of operations and help pay for continuing payroll expenses. 

BONUS – How We Care: Drive with Peace of Mind

One auto-related gift to offer a loved one, and no, we’re not talking about buying a car, is Roadside Rescue. As an OKFB member or policyholder, we give you the gift of Roadside Rescue. This is a free service that provides 24/7 assistance wherever you or your loved one is nationwide. Enjoy the gift of traveling with confidence and peace of mind wherever and whenever this Valentine’s Day.

Insurance coverage is a great way to show you care and to provide loved ones with protection and safety. Reach out to your local OKFB Insurance agent if you have questions about your existing plan or purchasing a new one. We’re here to help!

Keeping Your Home Protected, Inside and Out

Whether you’re a new homeowner or are looking to protect additional items, you need a policy that covers your needs. Understanding what a basic homeowners policy does and does not include is important. That way, you know what additional coverage you should consider. Keep reading for tips and tricks on how to find the right fit for protecting your home, inside and out. 

What’s the difference between Homeowners Insurance and Personal Property Insurance? 

In areas where your homeowners policy may be lacking, additional personal property coverage can help ensure your high-dollar valuables are protected. 

Homeowners Insurance will cover various items inside and outside of your home. However, there are limitations to what items and under what circumstances they will be covered. This is where personal property coverage comes in handy. It protects personal belongings inside your home in the event of damages or theft. This includes specific, high-value items, like jewelry, firearms, furs, collectibles, silverware, gold, musical instruments and more. 

For what situations should I consider additional insurance beyond my homeowners policy?

  • Home-based businesses. If your business inventory got ruined or a customer fell in your home, your standard homeowners policy might not cover it. Be sure to talk to your agent about commercial coverage to keep your work and clients safe.
  • Outbuildings. The tree house you built for your kids or the shed you have for more storage are typically limited in standard home coverage. Check with your agent to see if you should get additional structure coverage to have your hard work and personal items protected. 

How do I ensure my home is protected in case of Earthquake and/or Flood?

You may assume you’re covered under your standard homeowners policy from these natural events, but that might not be the case. In reality, these natural disasters require their own policy additions. If you live in a flood or earthquake prone area, talk to your agent about these other insurance options. 

A good Home Insurance Policy coupled with the right amount of additional coverage can help ensure your home and valuable assets stay protected through the ups and downs. Contact an agent today to see how much coverage you may need.

Benefits of a Storm Shelter

When a tornado or storm strikes, do you and your family have a safe place to take shelter? Are you able to get there in seconds? A safe room or storm shelter can provide an extra layer of protection during a destructive storm, but this isn’t the only benefit. If you don’t currently have one, or don’t know the value it can provide, check out the following benefits of a storm shelter

Easily Accessible

One of the main benefits of a storm shelter is that it is within or very close to you, so everyone in the household can get to it easily. Having one on your property means you eliminate the risk of trying to travel to a storm shelter down the street or in the area. A designated storm shelter also reassures you and your family know where to go before a storm or tornado strikes.

Storm Shelter Built to Fit Your Family

Storm shelters come in a variety of designs and sizes, plus there is even the option of a custom design to fit your unique needs. If your family has to travel to a community storm shelter, there is the possibility that it will be full and you may have to split up. Additionally, if a family member has unique needs, such as a wheelchair accessible storm shelter, an above-ground storm shelter can meet that need.

Protection for Valuables

Severe storms, especially those that spin up tornadoes, can damage or even totally destroy a home and its contents. A storm shelter in your home can serve as a safe place not only for members of your family, but also for valuable items. From jewelry to pictures, storm shelters can help protect your most precious valuables.

Stocked for Emergencies

Your storm shelter is a great place to store any emergency supplies you may need in case of a tornado or other severe storm. Consider including first aid items, extra clothing, water, food, medication and any important documents. Taking the steps to prepare an emergency kit for your shelter can help make this an area of refuge.

We hope you will consider investing in a storm shelter if you don’t already have one. Even if you never have to use it, a storm shelter in your home can provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

As an added bonus, OKFB members are eligible to receive several discounts on storm shelters. Learn more about this storm shelter discount, and contact your OKFB Insurance agent to talk about the right level of homeowners or flood insurance before storm season is in full swing.