Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Driving Under the Influence

Pills Stock Photo

  • Wine Glasses Stock Photo
  • New study shows prescription drugs are involved in fatal car crashes at three times the rate of marijuana, and alcohol is a factor in half of fatal crashes
  • Drivers in fatal car crashes are much more likely to be taking multiple drugs than 20 years ago, and also more likely to be above age 50
  • Psychoactive drugs impair faculties needed for driving, such as motor skills, balance, coordination, spacial orientation, and reaction time
  • New study says alcohol kills one in 10 working-age adults; combining alcohol with marijuana or other drugs magnifies driving impairment

Pictures courtesy of

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014


With the holiday season in full swing it is important to protect yourself from these common holiday scams.
While many of these scams are used throughout the year, they are often given a new twist for the holidays.

Bait-and-Switch – Scammers frequently use cheap tablets, smart phones, MP3 players, jewelry and gift
cards as part of bait-and-switch scams. They may approach you in a mall, on the street or online offering a
deal that is too good to be true. They may even allow you to check out the item, but rest assured, after the
money is exchanged you will not get the item you were expecting. Only purchase big-ticket items from
respected retailers and avoid paying for items with cash, money orders or wire transfers.

Hard Luck Stories – Scammers often take advantage of the holiday spirit of giving. They may send an email
requesting assistance or approach you in public. Scammers will often have an elaborate hard luck story and
sometimes even use children to elicit sympathy. Some scammers may pose as stranded holiday travelers in
need of assistance to get home for the holidays. Be wary of these scams and never give your address, bank
information or large amounts of cash to strangers.

Charity Scams – Fake charity scams also take advantage of the spirit of giving. Beware of scam charity
emails. Research a charity before making a donation to make sure they are legitimate. If making an online
payment, check the website address in the browser to make sure you are on the correct site and not a
duplicate scam site. You should never make large donations in cash and always ask for a receipt.

Gift Card Swap – The rise in popularity of gift cards has led to a new type of scam. Scammers will use high
tech scanners to read the numbers off of the gift cards sold in the aisles of major retailers. They will then
return the cards to the store shelf and monitor them to see when they are activated. Once activated, they will
use the card numbers to spend the funds before the intended recipient has a chance to use the card.
Whenever possible purchase your card from behind the counter of a retailer.

Email Greetings – Holiday emails can sometimes be a Trojan horse for hackers. Do not open attachments
from senders you do not know and be wary of strangely worded emails and subject lines. Make sure your
computer’s antivirus software is up to date and use it to scan anything suspicious.
Article courtesy of Legal Sheild
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Friday, December 12, 2014


It’s the time of year for icy winter weather. And as your insurance agent, I have to share
a few things to get you prepared before the winter storms hit!
First things first, you want to have the right supplies on hand. Create a basic
emergency kit that includes a battery powered radio and at least one week’s worth of
food and safety supplies. Also include:
Drinking Water
Canned/No-Cook Food
Non-Electric Can Opener
Prescription Medicine As Needed
First Aid Kit
Bag of Cat Litter or Sand to add traction on walkways
Battery Powered Lamps
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm in working order
And what about when bad weather hits? Here are a few things to put on your winter
storm checklist:
• Leave water taps slightly open so they drip to prevent frozen pipes.
• Open kitchen cabinet doors under the sink to keep the pipes warm.
• Have an alternate heat source in case the power goes out. If the fireplace, make sure
you have plenty of dry firewood.
The most important thing you can do? Be prepared! A benefit to winter storms is that
you generally have plenty of warning that one is on the way. Don’t wait until the roads
are icy and dangerous. Get your supplies packed, your pipes protected, and a backup
plan in case of a power outage. And make sure that you have great Homeowners
Insurance! We can help with that. Call us for a free quote today at 703-556-7857.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014


Every month, we share easy tasks you can do to keep you home in tip-top shape all
year long. So as we wind down 2014, here are a few simple tasks you can take on in
• Replace all of your home’s air filters to keep them working efficiently.
• Check all faucets and pipes for leaks.
• Remove drain covers and clear the drain of any gunk. Consider running baking soda
and vinegar down the drain to clean it too. This small task could prevent a slow
backed up drain later.
• Replace water filters in your refrigerator or faucet to keep water tasting fresh.
• Check drainage around the house and gutters, especially during winter weather.
• Check car tires for tread wear and have tires rotated. Are your tires ready for ice or
snow? • Save on Home Insurance - Homeowners Insurance is an important part of protecting
your home and belongings.
To make sure you have the very best coverage (and the most affordable rate), call us
today for a free, no obligation quote from Fowlkes Insurance Services at 703-556-7857.

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