5 Back-to-School Driving Tips

Are You Ready?
The New School Year is Here!

Are you Ready for the new school year?

The end of summer vacation came too quickly for most children and not soon enough for some.  With summer vacations being over and the first school day for CCISD here, the increased traffic means different driving patterns and being extra careful when driving near schools!

According to a report by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, back-to-school time is the most dangerous time of year for pedestrians with 29 percent of pedestrian-related fatalities.  We’ve included 5 tips below to help keep you and kids safer as they head back to school.

Use these tips to set the example for others on the road.

1.  Respect the big yellow bus- Imagine being in a large car with 40 noisy 6th-graders.  Could be pretty stressful.  Do your part and make the bus drivers’ lives easier.  Yield when they are attempting to merge and maintain a significant distance behind them as they often make unexpected stops.  Make sure children know to walk in front of – never in back of – buses.

2.  Get in the zone- Speed limits in school zones are typically 15 mph. Abide by the limits and look out for pedestrians by keeping your foot ready to brake. (It goes without saying that school zones are home to newly licensed teenagers who are largely inexperienced).  Speed limits aren’t just for during school hours either – consider after-school marching band practice, late night football games and other events.  When dropping kids off, remember that curbs are reserved for buses and emergency vehicles so you shouldn’t loiter.

3.  Walk better- Drivers aren’t the only ones who need to obey the rules of the road.  A major driving pet peeve is pedestrians who jaywalk, cross at a red light, or text while walking.  More than an annoyance, this is a danger, especially in school zones.  According to the Safe Routes to Schools organization, 33 percent of youth pedestrian crashes are attributed to kids darting out into the road.  Remember to be a good pedestrian — cross at corners/marked crosswalks and in clear view, never between parked cars.  Remind your kids to do the same.

4.  A different kind of pool safety-  If you’re part of a carpool it’s up to you to remind your children/passengers that seat-belts are a must – no matter who they are driving with.  Not only are seat-belts the law, they save thousands of lives a year.

5.  Go back to school yourself- Even if you’ve been driving for 30 years, make time for a refresher course in safe driving…  Make it a family fun night with a quiz or lessons on things like making full stops at stop signs and red lights and other good habits.  Remember that distracted driving unfortunately didn’t end with the summer either so turn off/put down your cell phone while in the car.  While it’s an exciting time, getting back to school can be stressful, too.  Tolerance and defensive driving will get you everywhere you need to go safely.

6. Bonus Tip- Leave for work or school early and don’t be in a rush!

All of us here at Ed Cantu Insurance Agency wish you and your family a safe and fun back-to-school day. Post your best back-to-school photos on Facebook this week and tag Ed Cantu Insurance for your chance to win a $50 gift card for your back-to-school supplies.

Because we Care!

Ed Cantu

Her Name Was Celia and Her 175 mph Winds pounded the Corpus Christi Area

Hurricane Celia.  Corpus Christi, TX  8-3-70
Hurricane Celia. Corpus Christi, TX 8-3-70

Where were you 46 years ago today?

I know that plenty of you will say… “I wasn’t even born yet”.
It is especially for you, and for everyone else who was not in Corpus Christi, TX on that day that I share my story. You see, there are events in our lives that effect us forever so that even decades later, we can recall in detail what happened on that day and can tell our friends exactly where we were and what we saw!

Events like the Kennedy Assassination, Neil Armstrong first walking on the Moon and the all too recent collapse of the Twin Towers. I’m a 5th generation Corpus Christian so if you lived in Corpus Christi on August 3rd in 1970, you know that today is the 46th Anniversary of such an event.
Her name was Celia and she was the only hurricane to strike US. soil in 1970! Hurricane Celia pounded our Coastal Bend with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph and gusts of wind up to 175 mph. The National Weather Service reported gusts reaching 160 mph and she caused more than $450 million in damage (more than $7 Billion in today’s money) to thousands of homes and businesses in Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, Aransas Pass, Portland, Ingleside and Rockport..

I was still in elementary school but what I saw that day and more importantly, what I saw and felt the next several weeks following that day, made me aware of how important it is to be prepared during Hurricane Season. Thank God for me, my family knew what to do and how to prepare. After all, my Grandparents and Great Grandparents survived Corpus Christi’s infamous storm of 1919 and my Mom and Dad had seen their share of storms prior to Celia.

Back then, very few folks evacuated before a Hurricane but those who stayed knew what to do and were well equipped to handle the hard life without electricity, air conditioning and some times water for two weeks or more after the storm. I will never forget how hot and humid it was so if you thought the recent water boil was an inconvenience, you’ve got a lot to do to prepare yourself before our next big storm strikes!

That being said, there is a storm soon to enter the Gulf of Mexico and the heart of Hurricane Season is almost here so if you have not done so already, now is the time to prepare and to know what precautions are necessary:
Have a Weather Radio.
Fill your Hurricane Kit.
Plan your evacuation route and decide now what will trigger your plan into motion.
Discuss your Plan with your family, friends and loved ones.

Don’t think it can happen to you, Check out this home movie on youtube of “Her Name was Celia”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCZUCJMiZvA&feature=youtu.be

This video can’t duplicate the fear, heat and humidity that we felt nor the smells that we experienced from the thousands of tons of debris that Hurricane Celia left behind but you can see second hand the destruction that she left and you can get a feel for how important preparedness is and how important it is that you have the right windstorm and flood insurance protection. He heart of Hurricane Season sill soon be here so call Ed Cantu Insurance Agency today at 361 991-3575 for help before it’s too late!

Because we care,

Ed Cantu

p.s. check out www.edcantuinsurance.com for additional Hurricane Preparedness information including a special report from Hurricane Expert Dr. Steve Lyons

Happy 4th of July

4th of July Safety

Ready for your Fourth of July celebrations? The backyard barbecue, time at the beach and even some fireworks? Whatever you choose, All of us at Ed Cantu Insurance Agency want you and your family to enjoy your holiday so please remember these steps to help keep you safe. Whether your 4th of July weekend involves fireworks, grilling or going to the beach, there are safety tips you should follow.

FIREWORKS SAFETY- The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show.

Remember that Corpus Christi and most local cities outlaw the use of personal fireworks. If you choose to use them anyway, be prepared to pay a fine and please follow these safety steps:

* Never give fireworks to small children and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
* Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution to put out a fire.
* Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
* Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
* Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
* Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
* Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.

GRILLING and outdoor cooking SAFETY- Many folks are injured while using backyard charcoal or gas grills so please follow these steps to safely cook your backyard grilling or barbecue:

* Always supervise a grill or barbeque pit when in use.
* Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
* Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill or pit.
* Keep the grill or pit out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
* Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill or pit to keep the chef safe.
* Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
* Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills or pits.

BEACH SAFETY- If your visit to the beach includes swimming in the Gulf or Bay, you should learn how to swim in the surf and swim at a life-guarded beach when possible, within the designated swimming area. Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. Other safety tips include:

* Keep alert for local weather conditions. Check to see if any warning signs or flags are posted.
* Swim sober and always swim with a buddy.
* Have young children and inexperienced swimmers wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
* Protect your neck – don’t dive headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters.
* Keep a close eye and constant attention on children and adults while at the beach. Wave action can cause you or someone to lose their footing, even in shallow water.
* Watch out for aquatic life. Water plants and animals may be dangerous. Avoid patches of plants and leave fish and animals alone.
* RIP CURRENTS Rip currents are responsible for deaths on our beaches every year, and for most of the rescues performed by lifeguards. Any beach with breaking waves may have rip currents. Be aware of the danger of rip currents and remember the following this:
If you or someone is caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until out of the current. Once free, you should turn and swim toward shore. If you can’t swim to the shore, you should float or tread water until free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
* Additional water safety tips are available at redcross.org/watersafetytips

SUN PROTECTION- Don’t let a steady breeze or a cloudy sky fool you. It’s going to be HOT so be sure to:

* Limit your exposure to direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15 and reapply your sunscreen often.
* Remember to drink plenty of water regularly, even if not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.
* Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that will absorb 100 percent of UV sunlight.
* Protect your feet – the sand can burn them, and glass and other sharp objects can cut them.
* Watch for signs of heat stroke—hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing. If it’s suspected someone is suffering from heat stroke: Call 9-1-1 and move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body by applying cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin (or misting it with water) and fanning the person. Watch for signs of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear. Keep the person lying down.

DOWNLOAD a FIRST AID APP… You can download the free Red Cross first aid app which puts expert advice for everyday emergencies at someone’s fingertips. The app is available for direct download from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores.

My team and I hope you and your family have a fun, safe 4th of July weekend and a fantastic summer so please follow these tips to ensure your well being.

Because We Care!

Ed Cantu