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Allstate Foundation Empowers Domestic Violence Survivors in Central Florida through $41,000 Grant to Harbor House

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

ORLANDO, FL. July 20, 2010 – Domestic violence has touched many lives in Central Florida and thanks to a continued partnership between Harbor House and The Allstate Foundation, families can have a second chance at a new start. The Allstate Foundation recently renewed its commitment to assisting survivors of domestic violence in the Central Florida community through a $41,000 grant to Harbor House of Central Florida, the voice for victims and survivors of domestic violence.

4813482652_061e0f97ef_m.jpgLincoln Salmon Presents Grant to Carol Wick, CEO of Harbor House

The grant, funded through Allstate Foundation's Economic Empowerment for Domestic Violence Survivors (Economics Against Abuse) Program, will help survivors build financial independence by providing knowledge, skills and opportunities to survivors. Allstate agents, such as Lincoln Salmon of the Salmon Agency in Oviedo, FL., partner directly with Economics Against Abuse grantees to implement curriculum.

“We recognize that state domestic violence coalitions and local domestic violence programs are uniquely situated to identify and respond to the economic advocacy needs of survivors,” said Allstate Agent Lincoln Salmon of The Salmon Agency. “We are proud to partner with Harbor House in providing our financial empowerment curriculum to enable survivors of domestic abuse to engage in short-term and long-term planning to accomplish their personal and family goals.”

The Allstate Foundation grant will help Harbor House to provide the Economics Against Abuse curriculum to over 875 women in the emergency shelter and through outreach as an Allstate Economic Empowerment site. Harbor House will also offer this program to Transitional Housing and Scattered Site programs and plans to train additional community partners to provide financial stability services for domestic violence survivors.

“Victims of domestic violence often make several attempts to leave an abusive partner and are typically forced to return for economic reasons,” said Carol Wick, CEO of Harbor House. “It is our priority to ensure that all survivors have the tools that they need in order to gain that self sufficiency and the Allstate Foundation’s grant and Economics Against Abuse program will help us to empower survivors to financial independence.”

Find out more about Allstate’s “Click to Empower Domestic Violence Survivors” program at www.clicktoempower.org. For more information about Harbor House of Central Florida’s programs or to donate, please visit www.harborhousefl.org. Please visit the Salmon Agency website at www.salmonagency.com.

About Harbor House

Harbor House is Orange County's only state-certified domestic violence facility and seeks to eliminate domestic violence in Central Florida by providing safety, shelter, empowerment, education and justice. Harbor House provides safe shelter, a 24-hour crisis hotline, counseling, and emotional support, and legal advocacy for tens of thousands of domestic violence survivors and their children each year. Harbor House helps survivors return to the community - connecting them to resources that will enable them to live independently, safely and peacefully.

About The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation. Allstate and The Allstate Foundation sponsor community initiatives to promote "safe and vital communities"; "tolerance, inclusion, and diversity"; and "economic empowerment." The Allstate Foundation believes in the financial potential of every individual and in helping America's families achieve their American dream. For additional information, visit www.clicktoempower.org.

Hurricane Series: Developing Your Pet Plan

Thursday, July 15, 2010

4796618451_6cd8a6d2d9.jpg

Pets are an important part of the household and millions of you consider them a part of the family as well. That’s why developing a hurricane plan is so important; no one should be left behind.

Preparing in advance for a hurricane is a necessary step to take where pet protection is concerned. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Ensure that your pets have been vaccinated recently as shelters may require proof of vaccines.
  • Take a current photograph of your pet.
  • Have an identification collar on your pet and keep a leash accessible.
  • Have a properly-sized animal carrier for your pet (carriers should be large enough for your pet to stand and turn around).
  • Potential refuges for you pet include: specialized shelters, animal control shelters, veterinary clinics and relatives or friends.
  • If you plan to shelter your pet, work it into your evacuation route plan.

During a hurricane, don’t panic. Follow these guidelines to ensure that your pet is safe:

  • Pet shelters will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Call ahead to determine availability.
  • If you take your pet to a shelter, ensure that that have a proper identification collar and rabies tag, proper identification on all belongings, a carrier or cage, leash, ample supply of food, water and food bowls, necessary medications, specific care instructions and newspapers or trash bags for clean up.
  • If an evacuation is not required, bring pets indoors well in advance of the storm.

After a hurricane has passed, pets need time to adjust to their surroundings again. It may be a slow process, as pets can become traumatized. However, with some care, they will be back to normal before you know it. Here are some tips to help speed the process:

  • Walk pets on a leash until they are re-oriented. Often, familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets could get easily confused and lost. Also, downed power lines and reptiles brought in with floods and debris can all pose a threat for pets after a disaster.
  • After a disaster, normally quiet and friendly dogs and cats can become aggressive or defensive. Monitor their behavior and look for changes.
  • If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact the local animal control office.

Don't forget to include your pet when preparing a family hurricane plan. Consider creating a pet disaster supply kit with items such as proper identification, food and water, carrier or cage, collar and leash, and medications. Making an effective plan will ensure that your pets are safe during a hurricane. For more information about developing a pet plan, visit the ASPCA website. For information about insurance policy coverage to protect you and your loved ones in case of a hurricane through the Salmon Agency, please visit our website and our team of trained professionals will assist you with obtaining the coverage you need.

Lincoln Salmon is the owner and founder of Salmon Agency (www.salmonagency.com). He is an active community leader and a trusted resource for insurance and financial planning needs since 1999.

Hurricane Season: Are You Covered?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

4775362080_18d449f4cd_m.jpgAs a homeowner, at the beginning of every hurricane season, you should take the time to review your policy and ensure that your coverage is sufficient. Your insurance coverage will have some impact on how to prepare for the hurricane season and may even include helpful advice and specific rules you will need to follow in order to make claims.

Here are some insurance pointers to keep in mind and tools you can use to help as you review your policy and prepare for severe weather:

  • Windstorm: Ensure that windstorms are covered by your policy. Some homeowners and renters’ insurance may not include this type of damage, so talk to your agent if you aren’t sure.
  • Flood Insurance: Homeowner and renters insurance typically do not cover flood damages. You may find you will need separate flood insurance in addition to your homeowners or renters insurance. Flood insurance coverage can be purchased from a trusted agent like The Salmon Agency. Note: All flood insurance is underwritten by The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • Replacement Coverage: After you purchase physical valuables –computers or appliances – and take them home, they begin to lose, or depreciate, in value. This is important to know because when you make an insurance claim, the insurance adjuster will include the depreciation of the item. Therefore, the amount you receive may not completely cover the damaged item. Take the time to ensure that your personal belongings have sufficient replacement coverage.
  • Deductibles: Review the deductibles and other exclusions of your policy to be aware of how much you may have to pay out of pocket in case of damage. Note: Federal disaster loan programs may also be available to cover deductibles.
  • Temporary Living Expenses: Take out an insurance policy that includes funds for temporary living expenses – or loss of value – in the event that your home becomes inhabitable.
  • Before and After Photos: If you live within a hurricane-prone area, take pictures of the inside and outside of you home now! Make sure photos are clear and include each room of your house with appliances and furniture. Photos of your personal belongings that require special insurance coverage should also be taken. Use our home inventory tool to start the process. If a hurricane passes and causes damage to your home, take the same series of pictures for “after” photos.

For information about insurance policy coverage and claims through the Salmon Agency, please visit our website and our team of trained professionals will assist you with obtaining the coverage you need.

Lincoln Salmon is the owner and founder of The Salmon Agency (www.salmonagency.com). He is an active community leader and a trusted resource for insurance and financial planning needs since 1999.

Be Prepared for Hurricane Season

Thursday, July 1, 2010

4752577154_e1317b5504_m.jpgAs we enter hurricane season this year, you will want to be sure that you are taking the necessary precautions to keep you and your family safe. History has proven to Floridians that severe weather patterns can be unpredictable at times and easily take a turn for the worse. The lesson is to prepare as much as you can!

Because hurricane hazards can include storm surges, high winds, tornadoes and flooding, having a plan of action in the event that one threatens your home is key. The National Hurricane Center suggests these disaster prevention tips:

  • Develop a family plan and ensure that every member of your family knows it thoroughly. The plan should be written out and a test-run should be done to ensure it works.
  • Create a disaster supply kit that includes all the items you would need in the event of an evacuation.
  • Have a place to go in the event of a mandatory evacuation in your area. (Sometimes there are designated evacuation places available, but you should be aware of them before a hurricane strikes).
  • Protect your home by taking all the necessary safeguards.
  • Have a pet plan. Contact your veterinarian or local humane society for information on preparing your pet for an emergency.

You also want to protect your valuables and that requires planning. Here are some quick, easy measures you should take before a hurricane strikes: 

  • Secure your property. Permanent storm shutters are the best protection for windows, but an alternative is 5/8” marine plywood that is cut to secure the window.
  • Straps connecting your roof to the frame structure can reduce roof damage.
  • Cut/trim all trees around your house.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Determine a safe room in you home where no windows are present.

By utilizing these safety measures, you can rest assured that you will be ready in the event of a threatening hurricane. In our next post, we will discuss asset protection for hurricane season and how The Salmon Agency can make sure you and your loved ones have the best coverage. Stay tuned!

Texting While Driving - Take the Pledge with Jordin Sparks

Thursday, June 24, 2010

4730065367_ab98c8c5d5_m.jpgI know, you have probably already heard about the dangers of texting while driving. I hope you listen to this plea because it saves lives! A recent survey found that 77 percent of respondents admit to texting or sending mobile e-mail while driving - but did you know that texting while driving can increase the risk of a car accident by 23 times?!

The American College of Emergency Physicians has also reported a rise in texting-related emergency room visits. According to a recent press release by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention (mostly distracting activities such as cell phone use, and drowsiness) within three seconds before the event.

Allstate has decided to start their own campaign to get the word out about the dangers of texting while driving, especially since car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens and any parent of a teen knows how attached teens can be to their cell phones. They are calling this the Thumbs Up Pledge or "X the TXT." Allstate will donate $1 to the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) for every Facebook "Thumbs Up" pledge supporter

Singer Jordin Sparks is currently on a 30-city tour along with her mom, Jodi Sparks, to promote the Thumbs Up Pledge. "Everyone is susceptible to distractions behind the wheel. Our kids learn about what is acceptable driving behavior from us and as parents, it is important that we lead by example and make this a family issue," said Jodi Sparks.

I was able to meet Jordin Sparks recently and took the pledge. Join me along with Jordin Sparks and sign the pledge to stop texting while driving - commit to being smarter behind the wheel and keep your friends and family safe!

Oil Spill Insurance Claims?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

4709287989_7416c72149_m.jpgThe ongoing Gulf oil spill caused by BP is threatening long-term damage to one of Florida’s most valuable assets – the environment. This has boat owners particularly worried about potential damage to their boats and what is and isn’t covered. In Florida, insurance on any property is generally encouraged, especially since we live in a disaster-prone area. Luckily, most Floridians have insurance policies that cover floods, hurricanes, windstorms and sinkholes. But, an oil spill is not an everyday occurrence. Here’s what you need to know.

With a boat owner’s policy, if you incurred a loss as a result of pollution from the oil spill in the Gulf, it is possible that you may be covered under the pollution clause. You will have to check your boat owner’s policy with your insurance company to see if you have this clause. You may be able to file a claim with your insurance company, or even directly with BP, depending on the nature of the damage and loss. Keep in mind that it is in your best interest to have a true boat owner’s policy rather than boat coverage packaged with your homeowner’s policy for more extensive coverage.

If this is your introduction to these nuances of boat owner policies, remember that in the end, it’s always best to have an agent that you can talk with face-to-face who can familiarize you with the best insurance policy to cover you. Having a trusted agent for when the unthinkable happens, can make all the difference in the world.


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