Traveling Safe This Holiday Season in Tennessee

Traveling Safe This Holiday Season in Tennessee

The holidays are about spending time with family and friends, which means that many of us will be traveling. However, winter weather can bring a variety of challenges, especially when driving to your next destination. Whether it’s in Knoxville or you’re going out of state, we at Bob Johnson Insurance want to help you stay safe. 

So, with that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of travel tips and tricks that will ensure you spend the holidays with family, not in the hospital. 

Inspect Your Vehicle

While you probably get the oil changed and monitor the engine regularly, now is the perfect time to get a full diagnostic of your car’s internal systems. For example, how are your wiper blades? What about the tread on your tires? It’s better to inspect and repair these items now before you’re stuck in bad weather on the road. 

In addition to getting your car tuned up for the holiday season, you should pack it with some emergency gear just in case. Jumper cables, blankets, snacks, flares, and water are all essentials if you get stuck somewhere, so you want to be prepared. Remember, a flat tire or a dead battery can leave you stranded just as much as flooding or heavy snowfall. 

Prepare for Travel

Even if you’ve made the trip dozens of times before, it doesn’t hurt to have a plan in place beforehand. If you’re going through some rural areas, maybe bring along a map in case your GPS can’t get a signal. Look at the weather conditions along the road, so you know what to expect. Also, make sure that people know which route you’re taking, just in case something happens. 

Be Ready for Anything

While Tennessee doesn’t get much snow and ice compared to some locations, if you’re planning on driving out of state this winter, you want to be prepared for any kind of weather coming your way. Rain and thunderstorms can appear out of nowhere, and driving in snowy conditions can be more than a little nerve-wracking. 

Be careful on the road and drive slow if necessary. Having all-wheel or four-wheel drive helps, but it won’t prevent you from slipping or skidding on ice or wet roads. Remember safe driving tactics, like avoiding braking too sharply and maintaining a firm grip on the steering wheel. 

What if the Worst Happens?

If you do wind up stranded on the side of the road, don’t panic. If you have an emergency kit, you should be good shape until help arrives. Hopefully, you’ll have cell service and can call someone, but if not, it’s best to wait by your car and try to flag someone down. Flares and lights can also make you more visible, especially if the weather is treacherous. 

Staying safe this holiday season is all about preparation. Hope for the best, but the more you can plan just in case the worst happens, the better off you’ll be and the more peace of mind you’ll have. Happy holidays!

5 Questions to Ask to Stay Safe on Halloween

Halloween Safety Tips

For many people, Halloween is the best time of year, all thanks to dressing up as your favorite character and getting free candy (what’s not to like?). However, while trick-or-treating comes with a lot of perks, it can also be a little unsafe, especially if you’re not prepared. 

At Bob Johnson Insurance, we want you to spend more time receiving and eating candy than worrying about your ghouls and goblins, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the top questions to ask yourself before heading out this year. 

#1 Are We Visible? 

Since trick-or-treating usually happens at night, you want to make sure that you’re not going to run into any problems. While most streets will be sufficiently illuminated, some may be darker than others. Bring some flashlights or reflectors, just in case. 

#2 Are Our Costumes Safe?

One of the most prevalent issues with costumes is that they can obstruct your vision. If you have little ones wearing masks, you want to make sure that they won’t trip or fall along the way. Also, keep in mind that your clothes may be flammable, so stay away from candles or jack-o-lanterns as much as possible. Finally, check on your accessories to ensure that they won’t be a hazard. 

#3 Where are We Going? 

Having a route planned ahead of time will be the best way to spend the evening. Not only will this ensure that you don’t get lost, but it will help you make your night more efficient. Wandering around aimlessly usually doesn’t get as much candy, so avoid it as much as possible. 

#4 What are My Kids Eating?

While most reports of unsafe Halloween candy are overblown, you do want to be careful of your little one’s eating habits. Check candy before eating it. Make sure wrappers are still sealed. Too much sugar can be risky, and if your child suffers from food allergies, you have to be more vigilant than usual. 

#5 How are My Pets?

If you have a dog or cat that freaks out whenever someone comes to the door, then Halloween will be more than a little nerve-wracking for both them and you. If possible, you will want to sequester your pets for the night and try and make them as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Check on them from time to time and give them food and water as necessary. Also, allow potty breaks so that they don’t mess up your floors. 

Halloween is one of the most fun nights, so make sure to stay safe this season. With these tips, you can be enjoying candy in no time. 

Stay Fun and Safe This Football Season

Stay Fun and Safe This Football Season

With the fall underway, that means three things – changing leaves, colder temperatures, and football! Football in Knoxville is always a great time, which is why so many people look forward to this time of year. 

At Bob Johnson Insurance, we want to make sure that your time following your favorite team is both enjoyable and safe, which is why we’re offering some tried and true tips for your next outing. 

Consider Cleanliness

While tailgating is fun for the food and the camaraderie, it can also bring massive messes. From a sloppy grill to paper cups and plates everywhere, you could spend just as much time cleaning up afterward as you did cooking and eating. 

Thus, be sure to plan ahead when thinking about tailgating. Bring plenty of garbage bags, and try to minimize the mess as you go so that it doesn’t pile up too much once it’s all over. Also, avoid glass containers, as they can be a safety hazard if they fall and break. 

Be Travel Smart

Seeing a game live is an excellent way to cheer your team, but getting to and from the stadium can be a pain, especially when it comes to traffic and parking. Instead, plan a different way of getting there, such as with a carpool or public transportation. Also, memorize your route so that you don’t get lost. 

Dress Appropriately

Although Knoxville weather isn’t as crazy as other parts of the country, it can get brisk. Of course, you’ll be wearing your team’s colors and jersey, but be sure to bundle up too if you’re going to be outside for a long time. 

Only Bring Essentials

If you like to get a little wild at the game or your favorite sports restaurant, then do yourself a favor by leaving valuables at home. There’s nothing worse than having to retrace your steps because you lost something (i.e., a credit card). Also, keep an eye on your smartphone, as those can be easy to miss if you’re not paying attention. 

Check Your Insurance 

Most people don’t think about their insurance policies too much unless something terrible happens. However, now is the perfect time to check in and make sure that you have the right coverage. Some helpful hints:

Roadside Assistance – If you break down on the way to the game, will you be able to get towed? 

Umbrella Coverage – Having friends over to watch the game is great, but what happens if things get a little rowdy and someone gets hurt? 

Auto Coverage – Leaving your car unattended can always be a risk. Make sure you’re protected from accidental vandalism or theft. 

This football season, it helps to be practical. Give BJI a quick call or click here to contact us just to make sure your coverage is adequate. Planning ahead and having the right mindset will ensure that you can relax and enjoy the game more easily. From all of us at Bob Johnson Insurance, go Vols!

Seasonal Household Safety Tips

Seasonal Household Safety Tips

When the weather changes, so do our habits. Now, instead of spending time lounging in the sun and trying to stay cool from the Tennessee heat, we have to start bundling up and preparing for colder nights and brisk fall days. 

While the season brings plenty of fun activities (like football games), it can also bring some unexpected hazards. At Bob Johnson Insurance, we want to make sure that you’re prepared for anything this fall, which is why we’re offering some household safety tips this year. 

Check and Inspect Your Heating Sources

Since Knoxville isn’t known for being chilly during the spring and summer, your heater and fireplace are not going to get much use during the warmer months. However, being inactive for so long can cause problems if you’re not careful. 

So, with that in mind, you want to make sure that you inspect all of your heating sources before you use them. Fireplaces can collect flammable debris, and the chimney could become a massive fire hazard. 

Space heaters can pose a threat if they’re old and don’t have modern safety precautions. Your furnace can also be a hazard if it hasn’t been inspected in months. 

Keep Your Home Fire Resistant

Throwing some logs in the fireplace or lighting candles can make the chilly autumn nights more accommodating, but you want to be sure that you’re not putting yourself or your family at risk. 

When lighting any fires in your home, make sure to check the surrounding area for anything flammable. Keep candles away from the walls, and don’t let them burn all night while you sleep. Even a smoldering fire in the fireplace can emit sparks, so extinguish all flames before heading to bed. 

Pay Attention Outside

The fall season is time to bring out the holiday decorations, as well as prepare your plants for winter. Exercise caution when climbing up on the roof, cleaning your gutters, or pruning leaves. Falls and other accidents can happen fast, so you have to stay vigilant at all times. 

Also, keep in mind that the ground can get slippery as the weather changes. Rains and cold temperatures can create hazards, which is why you want to wear quality shoes with sufficient grip whenever you’re outdoors. 

Be Prepared in Case You Need to Use Your Insurance

Following these safety tips will ensure that your holiday season only creates fond memories for you and your family.   Our hope is that your holiday season is filled with family fun and making new memories. It’s good to be prepared just in case something happens that involves your insurance.  Give us a call at 800-624-3339 or click here to contact us. It only takes a few minutes to check your policies to ensure your coverage is adequate.

10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Fall

10 Ways to Prepare your Home for Fall

Summer has turned to Autumn in Knoxville, and it is time to get ready for the colder winter months (if you haven’t already). While preparing for holiday parties and celebrations should undoubtedly be on the list, we also want to make sure that your home is ready as well. 

So, with that in mind, here are 10 tips to prep your home for the season. 

Check Your Roof

As leaves and other debris start to collect on your roof and in your gutters, you want to make sure that they won’t pose any threat. Also, as the temperatures drop, critters will use any holes in the roof to get into your home. 

Inspect Your Basement

Just like your attic, bugs and vermin love to hang out in basements and crawlspaces. If you’re worried about an infestation, now is the time to call pest control and ensure that no critters will set up shop during the winter. 

Look for Leaks

Whether it’s through window cracks, door jambs, or other seals around your home, heat will invariably escape. Unfortunately, that means that your utility bills will be higher during the colder months. Now is when you want to locate and fill any of these leaks. 

Check for Water

Metal pipes can degrade over time, especially when the temperature drops. Hoses, faucets, and any other water systems outdoors are particularly susceptible to leaks, so check them first. 

Clean Your Filters

Since you’ll be spending more time indoors during the fall and winter, you want to make sure you’re breathing clean air. If you haven’t checked your filters in a few months, now’s the time. 

Inspect Your Walkways

Driveways, sidewalks, and stone pathways can develop cracks, which will only worsen as the weather gets colder. Take care of them now before they become a problem. 

Call in the Pros

Your home’s heating system, furnace or otherwise, has been out of action for most of the year. Getting it inspected by a professional will ensure that you don’t experience problems when it’s time to get warm and toasty. 

Check Your Chimney

It’s probably been a while since you’ve had a fire in your fireplace. If your chimney is dirty or clogged, it can be a significant hazard. 

Inspect Your Extinguishers

If there is a fire in the home, you want to be sure you can put it out. Extinguishers go bad over time, so check them out before you need them. 

Test Your Alarms

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can also wear down over time. While they will alert you if you need to change the battery, it helps to inspect them further, just to be safe. 

Although these 10 tips are useful, don’t forget to go over your homeowner’s insurance policy as well. It only takes a few minutes on the phone to make sure that you have the coverage you need to be safe this season.  Give us a call at 800-624-3339 or click here to use our contact form.