Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Five Simple Ways to Improve Gas Mileage

1. Run several errands in one trip. Pick up the dry cleaning, dog food and groceries in one trip. Even better, do it on your way to or from work.

2. Reduce Weight. Less weight in your car means that the engine won’t have to work as hard. Eliminate unnecessary cargo, especially during your daily commute because those miles add up quick.

3. Keep your tires inflated to manufacturer standards. This one is easy and makes a huge difference. Low inflated tires will have a drastic effect on the fuel mileage your car gets.

4. Don’t speed! While each car has a different optimal speed to fuel mileage ratio, a good rule to keep in mind is that, on average, every 5 mph over 50 mph that you travel costs an extra 25 cents/gallon.

5. Use cruise control and overdrive. Most modern car’s cruise control uses a computer to achieve the best possible fuel economy. Using overdrive, especially on the freeway, engages a higher gear ratio, effectively reducing the amount of work your car’s engine is exerting.

We hope these five tips can help save you some money. If you have any other tricks that you like to implement, be sure to let us know!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hurrican Season Preparedness Tips: Be Ready

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1st. While most of us in this part of the country have experience dealing with tropical weather, it never hurts to brush up on hurricane safety.

2013 Hurricane Season Quick Facts:

Total Depressions: 15
Total Storms: 14 
Hurricanes: 2
Major Hurricanes (Cat. 3+): 0
Total Damage: At least $1.51 Billion (USD)
Fatalities: 47

Last year was the first season since 1994 that the Atlantic region encountered zero major hurricanes. A major hurricane is characterized by a category three or higher. While that's great news, history has proven that such an occurrence is rare and that you should be well prepared this season for whatever Mother Nature has in store. 

Even though there were no major hurricanes last year, by the NOAA's standards, 47 fatalities were still suffered. This shows that, even in the weakest of hurricane seasons, it is still important to be prepared. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides a four-point general preparedness plan.

1. Gather Information: This step includes keeping a list of emergency contacts, and preemptively analyzing your local risk in the occurrence of a storm. 

2. Plan and Take Action: Develop a family emergency plan, taking into account unlikely situations and contingencies. Have evacuations locations ready. Review your school, work, city and local harbor procedures for hurricane occurrences. 

3. Recover: Wait until the area has been declared safe before returning.

4. Resources: Visit the NOAA website for available resources. 

Another important practice is to prepare an emergency supply kit. Some important items include, but are not limited to: Water, 3-day supply of non-perishable food, hand-crank radio, flashlight and extra batteries. More info on how to prepare an emergency supply kit can be found here.

The NOAA's motto is "Be Ready." It would be very wise to heed the professional's advice.