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Flu Shot Myths

Florida-Health-InsuranceFlu season has arrived. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC has already reported sporadic flu outbreaks in Florida. The Florida Department of Health estimates 15 to 40 percent of the population suffers from influenza every year.

More people tested positive for flu last year than the previous year in part, because last year’s flu shot was only 13 percent effective. According to the CDC, the vaccine did not fully protect against a mutated strain that developed after flu season started.

The 2015-2016 flu shot will include two additional strains that were not included last year’s vaccine and it is reported to be 50 to 60 percent effective.  The shot will cover two A viruses and one B virus.

Many people have excuses as to why they do not get vaccinated. Below GreatFlorida Insurance helps to dispel some common myths regarding the flu shot to encourage people to get vaccinated.

The flu shot gives you the flu– The virus in the flu shot is inactive, so you cannot get the flu from the flu shot. Minor side effects include soreness, redness or swelling at the injection point. A low grade fever and aches may occur.

You don’t need the flu shot if you got it last year-You need a new flu shot every flu season because flu viruses are constantly changing and there are different circulating strains from year to year being treated by the vaccine.

Flu vaccines contain dangerous ingredients-Flu vaccine ingredients are safe with the exception of those with allergies to the specific ingredients in the shot, such as Thimerosal and gelatin.  Those with allergies to eggs can receive a vaccination developed with no trace of eggs. The CDC works closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, (FDA) to maintain high quality standards.

Getting the flu will just strengthen my immune system-Some people who get the flu can experience serious complications. Some can be infected with the flu virus without experiencing any symptoms and unknowingly spread it to others putting them at risk.

The flu shot cannot offer 100 percent protection from the flu. The CDC recommends everyone over 6 months of age receive a flu shot unless there is a medical reason not to such as those who have suffered Guillain-Barre Syndrome or GBS, consult with your medical doctor first.

The flu shot is covered at no cost to the patient by most health insurance plans, including Medicare Part B. The flu vaccine is convenient to get and available at many pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens, walk-in clinics, public health facilities and the doctor’s office. It takes two weeks for your immunity to build up after getting a flu shot so the CDC recommends getting vaccinated sooner rather than later.

Alternatives to the traditional flu shot:

  • High dose vaccine for those 65 and older, it contains four times the antigens of the regular flu shot creating a stronger immune response for those at greater risk for developing severe flu related illness.
  • Flublok is a vaccine for those with an allergy to eggs but might need to be requested in advanced.
  • Intradermal is ideal for adults 18- 64, who have a fear of needles. According to WebMD, the needle is smaller and only penetrates the top layer of skin instead going down to the muscle.
  • Nasal flu mist is a live virus sprayed into the nose and is painless. It is approved for use in healthy people 2-49 years of age.

GreatFlorida Insurance is committed to helping Floridians stay healthy. Our experienced agents can offer you and your family quality health insurance policies to fit your needs while staying within your budget. Call us at 888-478-7801 or go online to www.greatflorida.com for a free quote today.

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Are You Prepared?

If you are concerned about last weekend’s potential storm, the occurrence of the rare “Super Blood Moon” or ensuing doomsday predictions, one thing is for sure- our world is unpredictable. In order to deal with life’s uncertainties, the Federal Emergency Management Association, FEMA is declaring October as National Preparedness Month.

“This year’s emphasis is to make sure you have an emergency plan today, do not wait,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. This sounds very basic and almost trivial, but once a situation occurs, organizing and making a plan is too late. Your family could be scared, scattered and not sure what to do.”

Ready.gov has been set-up by FEMA, as a resource to help families prepare. The website provides information on protective measures to take before, during and after an emergency. It also details, how to make a plan, assemble an emergency kit, methods for supporting community preparedness and a plan to protect your business. Activities are available for parents and educators to get kids involved as well.

It has been close to 10 years since the last hurricane occurred in Florida. In a recent poll, Weather.com reports most people under the age of 34 are optimistic that a hurricane would not hit Florida this year. With a lack of storm activity over the years and 1 million new Florida residents in the state since the last storm, naivety could cause some Florida residents to be ill prepared.

Hurricane Wilma hit Florida in 2005 leaving almost 4 million people statewide without electricity for several days. Widespread flooding and property damage, common during a severe storm can prevent access to clean water and shut down businesses.  It is essential to have some supplies on hand in these instances.

One way to prepare for life’s unexpected moments is to make sure you have dependable insurance in place. GreatFlorida Insurance provides auto insurance as well as homeowner’s insurance to protect you and your family. If you are looking for top notch auto insurance or homeowner’s insurance, give us a call today, so we can help you achieve peace of mind for the future.

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Motorist vs. Cyclists

Florida-CyclingRiding a bicycle gives you a chance to enjoy fresh air, save money and get exercise. The U.S. Census Bureau reports from 2000-2012, bikers commuting to work has increased by 60 percent. Unfortunately, Florida has a reputation as not being a safe place to enjoy this recreational activity.

The subject of drivers vs. cyclists can also set off a heated debate. While we are not advocating a firestorm, the truth lies in the startling facts. Florida newspaper, New-Press, reported on the subject reveling 120 people were killed on bikes in Florida last year.  Most of the victims were males over 20 years of age.  985 bike crashes happened in Miami-Dade County.

“It is beneficial for drivers and bicyclist to look at the road as being shared, said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “Mixed transportation can cause everyone on the road to slow down a bit, pay closer attention and create a safer environment.”

The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released a study citing an increase in bicyclist’s deaths across the United States.  Between 2010 and 2012, biking fatalities have increased 16 percent, with Florida being among the top states.

The lax laws could be partly to blame. If a driver accidentally kills a pedestrian or bike rider in Florida, they receive a fine as opposed to a criminal charge. The maximum fine a judge may impose for a moving violation is $1,000. Other penalties, such as court costs could be included.

Jonathan Adkins, GHSA Executive Director believes better education for motorists and cyclist as well as promoting helmet use, stricter motor vehicle laws and implementing infrastructure changes, (such as designated bike lanes) could help prevent a greater number of fatalities.

It does not take an engineer to figure out that a cyclist being struck by a 3,000 pound vehicle is going to be injured. A 2013 study from AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that a person struck by a car traveling 25 mph has a 10 percent risk of dying. At 40 mph, that risk increases to 50 percent.

The News-Press found the most common cause of a bike crash was a motorist failing to yield.  But, motorists are not always to blame. Visibility especially at night can be a real problem for drivers who cannot see cyclists. The law requires rear and front lights on a bike; you cannot just depend on reflectors or reflective clothing.

Other tips that can keep bicyclists safe include, always wearing a helmet, keep your bike properly tuned-up and make sure you ride on the road, not the sidewalk and the correct side of the road.

GreatFlorida Insurance always promotes road safety so motorist, cyclists and pedestrians can share the road. Make sure you are protected in the unfortunate case of an accident. GreatFlorida Insurance offers quality auto insurance and health insurance throughout the state. Contact us today to get a free quote on auto insurance or health insurance.

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Holding Your Data Hostage

Over the years hackers have gotten more sophisticated and nasty with the evolution of ransomware.  Ransomware is malicious software designed to hold computer folders, files, and video files ransom.  It blocks the victim’s access to their data until a sum of money is paid. It ultimately takes your data hostage.

CryptoWall 3.0 is the latest threat to PC users.  PC World describes CryptoWall 3.0, as a “sophisticated ransomware program that encrypts the victim’s files with a strong cryptographic algorithm.”  Users are then asked to pay anywhere between $500 and $1,000 within 24 hours, in order to receive a decryption key that will allow them to recover their files.  If the demanded amount of money is not paid on time, the ransom usually doubles.

“The virus hits close to home and has infected two GreatFlorida Insurance agents, reports Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “It is a serious concern, because it permanently locks people out of their files and once locked, it cannot be undone.”

CryptoWall 3.0 is distributed in a few different ways. It can be accessed through malicious websites or legitimate websites that have been hacked and spam email. Hackers are even using forged headers from shipping companies such as FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service to infect PC’s.

USA Today reported various outcomes for infected victims. Some have run out of time to pay the ransom and lost everything. Some luckier victims have paid the demanded amount and received a decryption key, getting their information back, while some pay and never receive a decryption key loosing access to their data permanently. These hackers are criminals so it is difficult to know if they can be trusted.

What Do You Do?

While law enforcement and cyber security experts are aware of the growing problem, there is little they have been able to do because of the lengths the hackers go through to preserve their anonymity. It is believed most of the hackers are located in Eastern Europe and Russia.

Being proactive is your only defense. Once a computer has been infected, there is little you can do.

Backup, backup, backup!

External drives are good if your drive crashes or if you lose your laptop, but this virus can attack connected drives as well. So they won’t save you.

If you work on a Apple computer, you are less likely to be hit, and you also have the advantage of using Apple’s TimeMachine to keep daily backups of everything.

The only way to be 100% sure is to keep a safe copy of your mission-critical files or backups, in a secure, preferably encrypted, cloud storage location. Ideally you should have your local backups synced to a secure cloud such as SpiderOakhttps://spideroak.com/features/private-by-design or SOS Online Backup : http://www.sosonlinebackup.com/

Anti-Virus / Anti-Spam / Anti-Spyware

The most current security software can block suspicious emails, but regular updates are crucial. Make sure all desktops have the latest updated version of a security software. While the Free versions are better than nothing, paying for a license will help you stay ahead of the game with the latest protections and updates.

Bitdefender is a popular choice. http://www.bitdefender.com/business/advanced-security.html

Email Safety

Client-side email programs like Outlook and MacMail old-school and are susceptible to these attacks because they download email attachments to your PC before you open them. By then its too late. It is safer to use a web based email client like GMail or Yahoo. These online email clients have strong and current SPAM lists and anti-virus monitoring.  They also have built-in viewers for certain documents, PDFs, Images, and MS Office files, so you dont have to download them to see them. Its an extra level of protection.

Modern Web Browsers

Use the most modern browsers available such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Edge. Make sure these are running the latest versions with well known vulnerabilities already fixed.

GreatFlorida Insurance takes an interest in our customers and wants to see the best possible outcome in their lives. If you are looking for auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, health insurance or additional insurance, contact us today.

Common Sense

Never open attachments from an unknown or unverified sender. Watch for executable files, those you double click to open. For example: .zip, .exe, .doc, .pdf, etc. NEVER open executable files sent via email from people you don’t know, and even this is not 100 percent.

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About CryptoWall 3.0 

http://blog.trendmicro.com/trendlabs-security-intelligence/cryptowall-3-0-ransomware-partners-with-fareit-spyware/

Fall Fishing

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Labor Day is the unofficial beginning of fall, but the end of summer is no time to hang up your rod and reel. Although the temperatures are still warm, fish are aware that winter is coming.  Cooler water temperatures trigger fish to begin actively feeding for the upcoming season.

Experienced anglers know late September until the end of November in Florida, is a premium time to reel in a great catch. “Florida offers unique opportunities for fishing in the fall,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “Whether you are targeting bass, grouper or tuna, your outing is sure to be successful despite the weather changes.”

So what do fishing enthusiasts look for in the fall? VisitFlorida.com chooses the following fish as their top picks for fall fishing.

Snapper-Red
Snapper-Red

Red Snapper

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recently announced, “The recreational red snapper season for Gulf state waters reopens for harvest Labor Day weekend and remains open Saturdays and Sundays throughout September to October. Anglers targeting red snapper from a private boat need to sign up for the Gulf Reef Fishing Survey prior to fishing. Sign up at a local retail store, tackle shop or tax collector’s office.”


Snook

COMMON-SNOOK
COMMON-SNOOK

September 1, began snook season. Snook are unique to Florida. The FWC encourages fishermen to use moderation when determining whether or not to take snook home, although currently population levels are good. A snook permit as well as a recreational saltwater license is required unless you are exempt. Snagging is prohibited, snook maybe targeted with hook and line gear only. Snook are closed to harvest December 1.


Grouper

Grouper Goliath
Grouper Goliath

Grouper are a top shore species. Sportfishing magazine reports the fish can be found during the fall living in the clear shallows hiding in or around rocks or inside holes. New daily bag limits in state and federal waters were changed this year, more information about the new regulations can be found at the FWC website.


King Mackerel

King Mackerel
King Mackerel

King mackerel or king fish, prefer warm water and will begin their run from northeast and northwest Florida. They can then be followed down to the Florida Keys where a record 90 pound king mackerel was caught.

 

Red Drum
Red Drum

Red Drum

Red drum or redfish is a sportfish that can put up a powerful fight. Overfishing sent the redfish population in decline back in the 80’s but the species is now back and thriving.

alaska rainbow trout
Alaska Rainbow Trout


Trout

Spotted sea trout are the most popular gamefish in Florida. This inshore fish can be caught by beginners and experienced anglers.

GreatFlorida Insurance can make sure you are fully prepared before you head out to trawl with premium boat insurance at affordable prices. Contact a GreatFlorida Insurance agent to make sure you have proper boat insurance and adequate coverage for your equipment.

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Tailgating Tips

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FL: Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay BuccaneersFlorida has a passion for football. As college and pro-football seasons get underway, thoughts turn toward tailgating. “Tailgating is an integral part of football culture, said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “A good tailgating party can often eclipse the game.”

To make the most of your celebration, some planning is required.

Different stadiums have particular rules when it comes to tailgating so make sure you do your research. For example, at the University of Florida, you can drink alcohol at your party spot but you cannot take your drink down the street with you. At Florida State, alcohol consumption is permitted on gameday but they prefer you keep drinks in a cup. Miami’s Sun Life Stadium does not allow beer kegs or open fires.

Below is a basic checklist from Tailgating.com and bleacherreport.com

  • Folding chairs and table
  • A canopy/ tent– consult the stadium guidelines for height restrictions
  • Spirit wear, team colors, accessories and decorations
  • Flag on a tall flagpole– so your friends can locate you
  • Grill– preferably gas such as a camping grill.  Some stadiums discourage charcoal but if this is your only option bring a metal bucket to dispose of the hot coals.
  • Meat, vegetables and don’t forget the condiments, bring easy to eat food
  • Big cooler & ice
  • Beverages and water
  • Paper products- plates, napkins, utensils, aluminum serving trays
  • Football– for additional entertainment
  • Television or computer– for the hardcore fan who want to check scores or pre-game
  • Trash bags
  • First-Aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Designated driver25521588

Additional tips include, plan to arrive 3-4 hours prior to the game and stay 1-2 hours after the game.  Also, make a point to meet your tailgating neighbors and leave the area clean when you leave. If you listen to music, be mindful of the volume and explicit lyrics.

GreatFlorida Insurance has agents located throughout the state to provide Floridians with the most competitive and comprehensive car insurance to fit their budget. If you are looking for car insurance call us today.

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Common Towing Errors

Summer may be coming to an end, but September to November is often the best time to go camping in Florida. Towing an RV, boat or cargo trailer may seem simple but it is more than getting a trailer and hitch. Improper towing can lead to tipping or unattached cargo and cause serious damage to suspension and braking systems as well as strain to your engine and transmission. Make sure to avoid common towing mistakes before hitting the road. FLorida-boat-insurance

Ratings/Weight

You will find yourself dealing with a host of problems that can turn dangerous if you overload your trailer or vehicle. Towing specifications can be found in your vehicle’s owner manual and the inside of the driver’s side door. Your trailer’s unloaded weight and weight ratings can be found on its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate.

Some numbers to look up are your vehicle’s gross combined weight rating (GCWR) this is the total amount of weight allowed including the vehicle, loaded trailer, passengers, fuel and everything being carried.  The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the max weight limit for your vehicle.

According to Popular Mechanics, another number to keep in mind is the tongue weight. This figure will tell you how much of the trailer’s weight can rest on the hitch. They recommend the number be about 10 percent of the trailer’s weight to prevent swaying and difficulty in steering.

Unbalanced Cargo

An off-balance trailer can be difficult to control.  Try to place heavier objects toward the front for greater support.  Load cargo evenly from front to back as well as from side to side for equal weight distribution. Secure all items to prevent them from shifting during the trip.

Braking

Towing adds more weight causing your rig greater momentum which means it will take longer for your vehicle to reduce speed. Give yourself plenty of time and space to slow down. It is best to apply light, gradual pressure. Florida requires all trailers to have their own brake system if the load and trailer exceeds 3,000 pounds.

Get Connected

In Florida, any vehicle towing a trailer with a trailer hitch attached to the rear of the vehicle must have the proper connections.  Safety chains or cables connecting from the trailer to the vehicle must be strong enough to maintain connection in the event that a trailer is separated from the hitch.  Crossing the chains in the shape of an X will offer the greatest support.

Tire Pressure

Truck Trend Magazine advises to check your vehicle and trailer’s tire pressure before your trip. Tires that sit unused for a season are vulnerable to degrading faster than if they were on the road.

“Before you head out, make sure your auto insurance has you covered,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “Not all car insurance policies offer the same protection, so it is best to read through your policy or get clarification from your insurance agent on exactly what is covered.”

The liability portion of your car insurance should cover the trailer if it causes damage to someone’s car or property in a car crash. You might discover you have no coverage for the trailer or cargo if it is damaged during your trip. Homeowner’s insurance does offer some coverage for trailers and boats but specific insurance such as RV insurance or boat insurance is recommended for full protection and compensation.

Contact GreatFlorida Insurance today to get a quote for homeowner’s insurance, boat insurance, RV insurance or auto insurance. Our offices are located throughout Florida for your convenience.

Tips for Reducing Energy Bills

By August most Floridians are longing for cooler temperatures -we know that will be months away. The late summer temperatures can bring along a higher utility bill, but is it possible to reduce your summer utility bill while staying comfortable?

The US Department of Energy (DOE) estimates a typical US family spends at least $2,200 a year on home utility bills. They believe in taking a whole house approach to maximize yearly savings.

Investing

“Making an investment will pay off in the long run,” say Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “Energy saving home improvements can qualify you for tax breaks and possible incentives from some homeowner’s insurance policies.”

Installing rooftop solar panels, a programmable thermostat, replacing windows purchasing energy efficient appliances, adding insulation or planting trees and bushes on your property are all effective methods for lowering your energy usage.

Simple Tips

There are a variety of methods for lowering your utility bills whether you are looking to make a long term investment or want to make more efficient use of how you utilize energy in your home.

Lighting

Change out light bulbs. The DOE reports if you change out your five most frequently used light bulbs with ENERGY STAR bulbs you can save $75 a year. Do not let sticker shock deter you, they use much less energy and last far longer.

Windows

Install white backed shades and curtains to reflect the sun. Awnings over the outside of south and west facing windows provide shade, greatly reducing the heat from the sun.

Electronics/Home Office

Unplug electronics such as computers, video game consoles and television sets when not in use. If that sounds inconvenient, think about using a power strip and turning off the power strip or placing items on a light timer.

There is an old myth is that computers last longer if they do not get turned off. This is simply outdated information that relates to mainframe computers. At least put your computer on automatic sleep mode if you do not want to turn it off.

Air

Check to make sure all your vents are opened-closing vents does not reduce energy consumption.

Replace air filters monthly, you can buy them in bulk at a hardware store.

Use fans, while they do not cool the air, they do circulate it helping you to maintain a consistent temperature in your home.

Water

Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees F.

Install a low flow shower head.

Wash clothes in cold water. Heating the water for your washing machine accounts for 90 percent of the energy the washing machine uses, according to energystar.gov.

While thoroughly rinsing your dishes before they go into the dishwasher is good, that uses water. How you load them is more important. Utensils should be loaded in their designated carriage, handles facing down because they need less water than to other end. Plates on the bottom facing the center, cups and bowls on the top row with bowls slanted to reduce trapping water inside of them. Avoid placing large items such as serving platters facing the door of the dishwasher; they can prevent the detergent door from fully opening.

Turn off the heated dryer on your dishwasher and let dishes dry on their own.

Some Florida utility companies offer off-peak discounts between the hours of 7am and 7 pm. Try running the dishwasher and doing laundry in the evening.

GreatFlorida Insurance has offices located throughout Florida to provide dependable and affordable homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance. Our experienced agents will work to present you with options to choose from so you know you are getting the ideal insurance policy for you and your family.

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 Is Your Student Protected from Displacement?

florida-renter-insuranceIn July, the Orlando Sentinel reported on a massive fire that took place at Tivoli Apartments. An entire building in the apartment complex was destroyed. Approximately 60 firefighters were called to the blaze. The State Fire Marshal deemed the cause of the fire accidental.

Thankfully, there were no reported injuries but 75 residents were displaced.  The nearby University of Central Florida (UCF), confirms 25 of those displaced are students at the university. UCF has been working with local businesses to supply food and toiletries as well as replace textbooks for affected students.

“We applaud the efforts of UCF and the surrounding community to provide supplies for the victims of the fire. It expresses a real sense of compassion and concern,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. Unfortunately, without renter’s insurance, it can be expensive for students to replace all their items lost in the fire.”

Quite often, there are misconceptions regarding renter’s insurance. Common myths renters often believe include the following, renter’s insurance is too expensive, I don’t have enough valuables to get renter’s insurance or the landlord’s insurance will cover damages.

Renter’s insurance is actually quite affordable, typically costing less than $150 a year. So maybe you do not have brand new belongings. Many renters underestimate the cost of their property. Renter’s insurance covers the cost of electronics, clothes, dishes and more. Once you add up the cost to replace everything you own, you realize it is a lot more than you think.

A landlord has insurance on your property, but it is required to only cover the cost of the structure, not your personal belongings. Renter’s insurance will protect you from personal liability as well as cover damage you might accidentally cause to another tenants property. In the case of a fire or natural disaster, where you could become displaced, renter’s insurance can cover the cost of temporary housing.

At GreatFlorida Insurance, our agents will shop around to find the right amount of renter’s insurance for you. Every policy is personalized for each individual customer.  There is no need to pay for excessive coverage, but you want enough to meet your needs.  While your actual policy will be determined by variables such as location, your age and the amount of coverage you need, renter’s insurance typically falls into two different categories, a cash policy or a total replacement policy.

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An actual cash value policy covers the current costs of your stuff, taking into account its depreciated value. Let’s say you bought a laptop for $1200, two years ago. Its current depreciated value would be $500. The renter’s policy takes into account the deprecated value and pays out that amount.

A total replacement policy or reimbursement provision comes with a higher premium because it covers the cost of replacing your belongings currently, despite the price you paid.  This type of renter’s insurance is recommended for those who have invested in newer stuff.

A GreatFlorida Insurance agent can advise you on how to inventory your personal belongings and determine their worth, making sure your renter’s insurance offers adequate protection. Contact us online today.

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Could Your Boating Skills Save You?

FLorida-Boat-InsuranceSeveral days into the search for two 14-year-old boys who have gone missing off the coast of Palm Beach, a national debate has sparked regarding marine safety.  The heartbreaking situation has raised questions concerning the boys age, size of the boat and lack of supervision in the Atlantic Ocean.

“Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the two missing boys, said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance.  An unexpected crisis can happen to even the most experienced boaters. Marine safety should always be taken seriously when boating offshore.”

Making matters worse, hours after the boys left shore to go fishing, a series of powerful thunderstorms producing heavy winds and rainfall occurred moving up and down the coast.  Florida law states there is no minimum age to operate a boat, although you must be 14 years of age operate personal watercraft.  While there is no age restriction, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation recommends all boaters complete a boating safety course.

Marine experts agree, young people may not be prepared to emotionally and mentally handle life threatening situations.  Florida marine expert, Rick Spilman told The Washington Post, “The water is a very dangerous place that can seem very safe.” Teens often experience the feeling of invincibility on the water and lack the maturity to discern a life-threatening situation.

Problems are not just limited to youth, but can happen to adults as well. Marine experts can testify tides, currents and weather conditions can change quickly and unexpectedly. David Pascoe, marine writer for Dockside Reports, advises checking a reliable weather source such as, The National Weather Service, (NWS) or the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA) websites before heading out for the day.

Consider installing a radio in your vessel if you boat offshore. If a situation arises you will be able to contact The Coast Guard. Do not depend on you mobile phone, cell phone service is unreliable once you get out in the water.

Novice and young boaters would be best to boat in waterways and inlets. These areas are typically more populated so if a problem arises, such as a dead engine, you can flag someone down for help.

Always carry an adequate number of life vests for passengers on board. Even the strongest swimmers need a life jacket in the case of an emergency. Water conditions can be rough, you can lose your balance, or begin sinking from heavy, wet clothes. A life jacket is designed to keep your head above water so you can breathe.

Experience is your greatest advantage when a life-threatening crisis occurs while out on the water. Having a dependable boat insurance policy can put your mind at ease. GreatFlorida Insurance provides top notch boat insurance that can protect your vessel, your passengers and you, contact us today.

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