6 Tips for Driving in Severe Weather

Mother Nature has a way of surprising us when we least expect it. Unpredictable weather conditions, from sudden storms to flash floods, can make driving a challenging and potentially dangerous task. To help you navigate these situations safely, we’ve compiled our top tips for driving in severe weather.

Don’t drive through a flooded road

One of the most dangerous situations you can encounter on the road is driving through a flooded area. It may seem like common sense, but many accidents happen when drivers underestimate the power of rushing water. Just 12 inches of swiftly moving water can carry away most cars, and it takes only two feet of water for trucks and SUVs. To avoid the risk, never attempt to cross a flooded road, even if it appears shallow.

Drive slowly

In most challenging weather conditions, slowing down is key. Reducing your speed gives you more time to react to unexpected obstacles and potentially slippery roads. Remember that your vehicle’s stopping distance increases in severe weather, so maintaining a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you is crucial. By driving slowly, you’ll have better control over your vehicle and reduce the risk of accidents.

Resist the urge to “floor it”

If you are stuck on muddy or snowy roads, the temptation to hit the gas pedal hard can be strong. However, doing so can lead to spinning tires and loss of control. If you find yourself stuck, follow these steps:

  • Straighten your wheels.
  • Gently accelerate, applying steady pressure to the gas pedal.
  • Avoid spinning your tires; this only digs you in deeper.
  • If you have sand, kitty litter, or blocks in your emergency kit, place them under your drive wheels to gain traction.

Stock your vehicle

Being prepared for unexpected emergencies is a smart move for any driver. Having certain items on hand can make a significant difference if you find yourself stranded in adverse weather conditions. Create an emergency roadside kit that includes essential items, such as:

  • Jumper cables
  • First-aid supplies
  • Non-perishable snacks and water
  • Ice scraper and snow brush

Read more tips on how to put together a car emergency kit.

Leave your lights on

Visibility is crucial when driving in unpredictable weather. Ensure your headlights are on, even during daylight hours, as it helps others see your vehicle better. Additionally, consider using your hazard lights in extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain or dense fog. This added visibility can help prevent accidents by alerting other drivers to your presence.

Pull off the road if necessary

If the weather conditions become too treacherous to continue safely, don’t hesitate to pull off the road. Find a safe place to park, such as a rest area or parking lot, and wait for the weather to improve. It’s better to delay your journey than risk getting involved in an accident due to poor road conditions.

Driving in unpredictable weather conditions demands caution, preparedness and patience. By following these six safety tips, you can protect yourself and others when driving in severe weather. Remember, your safety should always be your top priority, so exercise good judgment and take extra precautions when facing challenging weather conditions.

3 Tips to Keep Your Animals Safe

Did you know October is National Animal Safety Month? Our furry, feathered, and even scaly companions can bring lots of joy to our lives, and it’s our responsibility to ensure they lead happy, healthy and safe lives. Keep reading for our top animal safety tips to help you keep your pets and other animals out of harm’s way.

Stay up-to-date with vaccines and check-ups

Just like humans, animals require regular healthcare check-ups to ensure they remain in the best possible health. Vaccinations play a crucial role in preventing diseases that can be life-threatening to your pets. Consult with your veterinarian to create a vaccination schedule tailored to your pet’s specific needs. Common vaccinations include those for rabies, distemper and parvovirus, but your veterinarian will guide you based on your pet’s age, species and lifestyle.

Annual check-ups are equally important. These visits allow your veterinarian to detect any underlying health issues early, which can significantly improve the chances of successful treatment. Don’t skip these appointments, as they’re essential for maintaining your pet’s overall well-being.

Know the signs of an allergic reaction in animals

Allergic reactions can be frightening and dangerous for both humans and animals. Being aware of the signs of an allergic reaction in your pet can be a lifesaver. Symptoms may include:

  • Swelling of the face, ears or paws
  • Hives (raised, red, itchy bumps on the skin)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Lethargy or collapse

If you suspect your pet is having an allergic reaction, contact your veterinarian or the nearest animal emergency clinic immediately.

Keep pets away from human foods

While it may be tempting to share snacks with our pets, many human foods can actually be harmful or even deadly to animals. Here are some common foods to keep far out of their reach:

  • Salty foods
  • Onions and garlic
  • Grapes
  • Candy and chocolate
  • Avocados
  • Cherry pits
  • Coffee
  • Raisins
  • Tea (because it contains caffeine)
  • Yeast dough

There are other foods that can be toxic to different animals, so be sure to ask your veterinarian before giving your pet human food.

Animals can be a huge part of our lives and truly can become part of the family. That’s why it’s our responsibility to keep them safe. By following our animal safety tips, you can protect your furry friends not just during National Animal Safety Month, but year-round.

We’re Here to Help

Whether you’re a longtime policyholder or just starting to look for insurance options, we’re here to help. If you have questions or concerns that you want to discuss, connect with your local OKFB agent today. If you have any insurance-specific questions, we would love to help you find the coverage that best meets your homeautocommercial and life insurance needs.

Don’t forget to follow us on social! This kind of information and more is just a click away. You can find us on FacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.

Friday the 13th – 13 Hidden Safety Risks

Many people are afraid of or superstitious of black cats, broken mirrors and walking under ladders around Friday the 13th. However, what’s even more cause for caution is all the hidden safety risks that can be present in daily life. Check out these top 13 risks to be aware of: 

Eating while driving

Next to texting and driving, eating while driving is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. Reaction time drops by nearly 50% while eating. Next time you pick up food, make sure to wait until arrival before eating. 

Car maintenance

Without proper vehicle maintenance, driving a car can pose some risks. Change the oil in the vehicle as recommended, get tires checked regularly and make sure to have roadside assistance as part of your insurance policy. 


While not extremely common, lightning can strike your car or home and cause damage that may require repairs. Make sure your insurance plan covers damage caused by lightning and help prevent damage by installing a lightning rod or other protection.

Cyber security

As the internet increasingly becomes part of the daily routine, cyber security is a necessity. Take steps to protect your information online from hackers or data breaches, including using complex passwords and being aware of email phishing scams. 


Texting while doing other things is a huge distraction. Whether walking across the street or driving down the road, avoid texting and pay better attention to surroundings. 

Home security

Make sure to lock all doors and windows when leaving and consider installing an alarm system. If you’re an OKFB member, you may be eligible for a discount for installing a home security system. 


It’s nice to have the fireplace crackling or a candle burning to provide warmth and comfort, but make sure to take the proper safety precautions. Always extinguish candles and fires before leaving a room, and make sure to keep them out of reach of children.  

Food storage

Improper food storage can result in spoiled foods, and if these foods are consumed they can result in illness. Hold cold foods at 40°F or below, and keep hot foods at 140°F or above. Regularly monitor your refrigerator and freezer to ensure they are at the right temperature. 

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless flammable gas that can be deadly. CO can accumulate wherever fuel is burned, whether by a kitchen stove or a car in the garage. Help avoid CO poisoning by installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home. 


Appliances, especially those in the kitchen can pose some safety risks. Stay nearby appliances when cooking and always check that appliances are off before leaving the kitchen.  


Staring at a screen all day, whether via a phone or a computer, can pose some health risks. Excessive use can result in a decrease in vision abilities, and it can also lead to back pain, joint pain and headaches. If possible, try reducing daily screen time.

Going to work 

From farming to construction, some jobs require working with dangerous equipment or substances. Make sure to be aware of and follow workplace safety guidelines to help prevent accident and injury.


Slippery floors in the shower can lead to injury or even death. Showers can especially be safety risks for the elderly and children, who often require help to enter and exit the shower safely. Install a support bar, clean up wet floors and be extra vigilant in the bathroom.

8 Home Tips You Need to Know this Fall

As the temperatures drop, it’s time to start thinking about preparing your home for the cooler weather seasons. With a little bit of preparation, you can ensure your living space remains warm, comfortable and energy-efficient during the colder months. From sealing windows and doors to inspecting your roof, here are some essential home tips to get ready for fall:

1. Seal Windows and Doors

One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep the cold air out and the warm air in is by ensuring that your windows and doors are properly sealed. Check for any gaps or cracks around the frames and apply weatherstripping or caulk as needed. This simple step can significantly reduce drafts and prevent heat loss, saving you money on your energy bills!

2. Inspect Fireplace and Chimney

If you’re planning to use your fireplace later this year, it’s crucial to inspect both the fireplace and chimney before lighting that first fire. Look for any signs of damage or blockages that could pose a safety hazard. Hiring a professional to clean and inspect your chimney may also be a wise investment to ensure you’re heating up safely.

3. Ensure Proper Insulation

Proper insulation is key to maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature and reducing energy consumption. Check your attic, walls, and floors for sufficient insulation. Adding insulation in areas that are lacking can make a significant difference in keeping your home warm and cozy ahead of cooler weather.

4. Reverse Ceiling Fans

Did you know that your ceiling fans aren’t just for cooling? When the weather gets cooler, flip the switch on your ceiling fans to reverse their spin and run them at the lowest speed. This will help push warm air down from the ceiling and circulate it throughout the room, improving overall comfort.

5. Clear the Gutters

Clogged gutters can lead to water accumulation and ice dams, potentially causing damage to your home. Take the time to clear out leaves, debris, and any blockages from your gutters to ensure proper drainage during the rainy months.

6. Inspect Your Roof

A well-maintained roof is essential for keeping the cooler elements out of your home. Inspect your roof for any missing or damaged shingles, leaks, or signs of wear and tear. Addressing any issues before the snow starts falling can prevent more significant problems down the line.

7. Replace Air Filters

Clean air filters not only improve indoor air quality but also help your heating system operate efficiently. Dirty filters can restrict airflow and force your system to work harder, consuming more energy. Remember to replace or clean your air filters regularly to ensure optimal performance!

8. Adjust Your Water Heater Temperature

Lowering the temperature of your water heater can help you save on energy costs without sacrificing comfort. Aim for a temperature of around 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent excessive heat loss and reduce the risk of scalding.

As you gear up for fall, these home tips can make a world of difference in creating a warm, comfortable home. By preparing with these home tips, you’ll be ready to embrace the cold weather before it arrives.

We’re Here to Help

Whether you’re a longtime policyholder or just starting to look for insurance options, we’re here to help. If you have questions or concerns that you want to discuss, connect with your local OKFB agent today. If you have any insurance-specific questions, we would love to help you find the coverage that best meets your homeautocommercial and life insurance needs.

Don’t forget to follow us on social! This kind of information and more is just a click away. You can find us on FacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.