Keeping Teenagers Safe Through Communication

Keeping Teenagers Safe Through Communication

August 23, 2022

Keeping teenagers safe starts with trust and honest communication. Parents should build trust starting at an early age and encourage their kids to be honest about any problems they have. Knowing what's going on with them helps parents keep them safe.

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The Benefits of Travel Insurance

The Benefits of Travel Insurance

August 16, 2022

You should always use reliable airlines when booking airline reservations, especially for work travel. By reliable, I mean airlines that do their best to take care of you if your flight is delayed or canceled. While relying on reputable companies helps protect you when the inevitable happens, I also recommend getting travel insurance.

You may see travel insurance as an unnecessary expense, but with so many flights being canceled today by even the best airlines, spending that money could be well worth it. For example, if the last flight out to your next destination gets canceled, you scramble to either get a hotel room for the night or find alternative transportation like a rental car. Both are unplanned business expenses.

If you become ill or trip and sprain an ankle and must cancel your trip at the last minute, you will probably lose the flight cost. If you are not at home when something like this happens, you have medical, hotel, and meal expenses while you recover and regroup.

What is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance protects you financially against unexpected events like flight cancellations and medical emergencies. There are three types, single trip, annual, and group.

Single Trip Travel Insurance

A single trip travel insurance policy covers you for an individual trip. Coverage generally starts when you leave home and ends when you return. If you travel with family or coworkers, a policy can cover up to ten people through group coverage which is discussed below.

This kind of policy can include or exclude trip cancellation coverage which reimburses the traveler for trip expenses when they cancel a trip for a covered reason like illness or accident. A typical comprehensive cancellation-type policy covers trip expenses, medical emergencies, travel delay costs, and lost or damaged luggage costs.

The cost of a single trip policy with trip cancellation coverage varies with the traveler's age, the trip duration, and the total trip cost. Prices typically run between 4% and 10% of the entire trip cost.

You can also get a single trip policy that doesn’t cover cancellation. It would only cover things like medical expenses, travel delay costs, and luggage loss or damage. These policies cost a little less.

Annual Insurance

Frequent travelers might consider annual travel insurance that covers travelers who take multiple short trips throughout a year. You choose a specific start date, usually the departure date for the first trip. You’re covered for a year from that date. However, there are limits on how long each trip can be and how many trips are covered.

The main thing to understand about annual insurance is it does not cover cancellation costs. Instead, it covers emergency medical expenses and medical evacuation to get you home if something happens.

Group Coverage

Just like with a single trip policy for an individual, people traveling together, whether for business or pleasure, can purchase a group policy for up to ten travelers. Group policies cover cancellations, medical emergencies, travel delays, and luggage.

Group policies might save you money because the cost doesn't consider the ages of the individual travelers. For example, a group policy might be a good option if several company employees travel together for a conference.

Securing my travels is something I have done for years. I highly recommend travel insurance, especially with today's uncertain flight situation. Insuring your flight, hotel reservations, car rental, and luggage can make or break a trip. With travel insurance in play, your vacation or business trip is protected. If something unexpected happens, you can put 100% of the trip money back in your pocket by simply filing a claim.

Give yourself peace of mind by adding insurance to your trips. In today’s crazy, unpredictable state, peace of mind is priceless.

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Great Security Surveillance Systems for Business

Great Security Surveillance Systems for Business

August 09, 2022

Great Surveillance Equipment

How good surveillance equipment protects businesses

Every business needs a good surveillance system, from small retail storefronts to manufacturing plants and office buildings. At the very least, your system should allow you to see your entire operation and all four corners of your property, but today’s best systems do more. A great system protects you, your employees, your inventory, and your property.

Whether you’re a small business owner or a larger facilities manager, consider investing in a video surveillance system that does more than provide visual monitoring and recording. For example, some systems have motion sensors to alert you when an individual drives or walks onto your property. Others connect to alarm systems, outside security companies, or your local police department, who can respond when needed. For a visual system, you monitor yourself, choose one you can access remotely, so it’s working for you 24-7.

According to an article by Business.org, “With a video surveillance system, you can use your camera’s motion detectors to prevent theft before business hours. You can record customer interactions to catch potential shoplifters during the day. And you can check in via your mobile device after closing time to make sure your office is locked up tight.”

For businesses installing a great system could mean the difference between life and death, especially for people working the graveyard shift.

On July 31 at 2:45 AM, an 80-year-old store employee in Southern California defended himself and the store from armed intruders because he saw them on video about to enter the store with rifles. He pulled a shotgun* from behind the counter and shot one of the attackers in the arm. All of them turned and fled, but the surveillance camera caught it all on tape, and the suspects were later apprehended. The police could identify the individuals and confirm that the employee acted in self-defense.

Surveillance systems can also lower business insurance premiums. According to an article on thebalancesmb.com, “Many insurers will provide premium discounts to customers who secure their premises with deadbolt locks, cameras, monitoring alarm systems, and other devices.” Check with your insurance company. You could recoup your security investment over time through a premium reduction.

So, for the sake of your business, employees, and bottom line, invest in the best system you can. Because of computers and smartphones, video surveillance has become more sophisticated and affordable in recent years.

Remember, this decision will protect your employees and business.

*Businesses open to customers all night are often targets for criminals. If you choose to be armed as a business owner or employee, please make sure you properly register and store your weapon according to your state's laws and know how to use the weapon safely. A gun can do more harm than good in the hands of someone inexperienced or unfamiliar with gun safety rules.

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Back to School 2022-SROs

Back to School 2022-SROs

August 02, 2022

School will start soon, and parents are concerned about school security.  Should your school have security guards or school resource officers?   Study conclusions haven't shown they stop school shootings, but there are advantages and a few examples of when they've stopped shooters.

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New Hire?  Read the Fine Print

New Hire? Read the Fine Print

July 26, 2022

On the first day of any new job, you spend your first hours filling out employee paperwork. You’re excited and happy about your new job and looking forward to getting some money coming in. You’re anxious to get started so you rush through paperwork. After all, you know what your salary will be, what benefits are available and what hours you’ll work, why bother reading the fine print?

For the sake of your short-term financial security, you should read the fine print. You and maybe your family are depending on your paycheck to pay bills, and you won’t get unemployment anymore. You finish your first week and expect a paycheck. If you’ve signed up for automatic deposit, you look at your bank account online. If you chose getting a check, you expect to pick one up after working a week. You will probably be disappointed.

Somewhere in the fine print you didn’t read on the first day is the payroll schedule. First of all, the payroll schedule tells you how often you get paid and what days are included in each paycheck. The paperwork probably also let you know when the next company pay day will be and how long it will take to receive your first check.

According to an article by Indeed:

When starting a new job, there may be a slight delay in seeing your first paycheck. This can sometimes happen because of a lag between your first workday and the company's next pay period. However, knowing when to expect your first paycheck can help you plan your budget.”

Let’s say, for example, you start your job on Monday, July 25, 2022, and you get paid every two weeks. That doesn’t necessarily mean that on Friday, August 5th, you get paid two weeks salary. It takes some time for the payroll department to get you set up in the system. That may cause a few days delay and you may not get anything on the first official pay day.

Some companies pay every week, some every two weeks, and others twice a month on the 1st and the 15th. If your company pays twice per month, your first paycheck on August 1st might be for a few days work or nothing at all depending on the payroll setup lag.

Your employer’s policy might be to pay you several days to a week after the end of a pay period, too. Each state has laws about how much of a delay is allowed. On rare occasion, you may wait several weeks or even a month for your first check. You will eventually get everything you’ve earned but if you have bills to pay(who doesn’t) and have invested money in a uniform or other work necessities, not getting paid when you expect could cause personal financial insecurity. I’ve even seen people get frustrated enough by the situation to quit a great job.

Read all your paperwork and fill in forms carefully, when starting your new job. There’s more information to know than your salary and work schedule. Understand the pay schedule, and if you aren’t clear, ask your employer about when your first check will come, so you and your family can plan ahead.

Today’s Decisions affect your tomorrows and your paycheck.

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Mentally Ready to Drive Safely

Mentally Ready to Drive Safely

July 25, 2022

Mentally Ready to Drive Safely!

Many Americans are still making summer road trips or driving to vacations spots despite high gas prices. As you pack luggage, map your route, and make other preparations for your car trip, be sure to make some mental preparations, too. Everyone’s feeling stress due to high prices so keep that in mind for yourself as well as for other drivers. According to an article by LYTX.com, anger is one of the five causes for aggressive driving. Don’t drive while feeling angry, frustrated, or anxious and watch out for those who do.

I have found recently that many drivers have become frustrated with gas prices as well as traffic. Let’s face it, the roads haven’t been this crowded in a long time and you may find, as I have, that there are more people on the road who drive aggressively or distractedly. During my own recent travels, I have constantly been cut off by other drivers. I know that happens occasionally, but it seems like it happens much more often lately. Also, sometimes people race just to get to the next stoplight., Why?

Always Drive Defensively

Prepare yourself to drive responsibly and deal with impatient or inattentive drivers. Defensive driving is more important these days. DMV.org has some tips on how to drive defensively.

  • Look ahead and expect the unexpected.
  • Control your own speed.
  • Maintain a safe following distance.
  • Mentally prepare for the reactions of other drivers.
  • Drive safely for current weather and road conditions.
  • Remain alert and avoid distraction.

Before starting your drive, remind yourself to relax and enjoy the drive rather than worrying about keeping a schedule. Drive with a benevolent attitude towards fellow drivers but prepare to react quickly and safely when another driver cuts you off or does something else dangerous and unexpected. I’m always surprised to see that so many drivers seem angry or frustrated while driving. When you see people driving aggressively or distractedly, know how to react responsibly.

Avoid Road Rage

First, take an extra moment to calm yourself and collect y our thoughts when dealing with these aggressive drivers. Don’t take matters into your own hands. Don’t vent your anger and frustration by rolling down your window to exchange words or give that driver the bird!

You never want to find yourself in a physical altercation with any drivers whatsoever! AAA goes so far as advising against locking eyes with the other driver. Keep your distance and keep yourself and your family safe.

When to Report to the Police

If the incident warrants it, like someone is driving recklessly, or you suspect someone might be driving drunk, take down the car’s license plate and report the incident. You can call authorities if the situation is urgent or go on the local police department’s website to report it.

Let the justice system handle the problem. I learned a long time ago that nobody can outrun a radio. You may get some comfort from knowing that, sooner or later, that driver will have justice served. You can read more about this in my book Rent A Cop Reboot.

Today’s decisions will affect your tomorrows!

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Mass Shooting Outside Chicago,  Not Again!

Mass Shooting Outside Chicago, Not Again!

July 12, 2022

If you reacted like I did, you thought “Not again!” Everyone’s tired of hearing about yet another mass shooting. Although the police responded quickly to the shooting in the Chicago suburbs on July 4th, the shooter still got of 70 rounds from a long gun and defenseless people died while participating in what should have been a safe, family-friendly, community event. What can you do to protect your family?

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