Why’s the Water Up to my Knees? A Flood Guide.

Why’s the Water Up to my Knees? A Flood Guide.

If you live in western Washington, you likely live near a river. Enjoy the view and don’t worry, you’ll be prepared for mother nature.

Thanks to our friends at King County for these important flood tips:

Know if you’re in a flood plane.

If you own a home, this is something that should be disclosed when you purchased. If you’re unsure, here’s King County’s mapping tool.

Assuming your home is in a flood plane, your mortgage likely stipulated you having flood insurance but, it never hurts to call your homeowner insurance agent and confirm it. Especially going into what’s shaping up to be a rather wet winter.

Have a plan.

The time to establish what your family should do in the event of a flood is now, when there’s not actually a flood.

Some tips:

  • Pull all valuables off the floor and stash them in the highest and most well ventilated location you have.
    • Make sure to have images and receipts for these items for insurance purposes.
  • Know how to evacuate any pets/family that cannot move themselves.
    • Animals in particular can be swept away in a current, if possible do not have them in water above their mid-section.
  • Know multiple routes out of your neighborhood in case one is flooded/disabled.
    • Typically the route leading away from the river along the highest road possible is your best bet.
  • Have a dedicated meeting location in case family is not all at home. Cell Phone towers can be damaged during extreme flooding so discuss this in advance.
    • Closer to your home but away from the flood plane the better. In case someone ends up evacuating on foot.
  • Have an emergency kit. All the usual suspects: water, bandages, flashlights, etc. Here’s some more suggestions

The news just said my house will likely flood tonight. Now what?

Well, at least you’ve got some prep time right? Note, these are mostly money saving tips in the event of a severe flood, do not waste time doing them in an actual emergency.

  • Turn off your gas valve.
    • Water+Gas Line = No fun.
  • Turn off circuit breaker and main electrical line.
    • Helps prevent burnouts and makes home safer to re-enter post flood.

Oh, there’s water in my house.

Don’t panic. Like most natural disasters, panicking does not help. Stick to your evacuation plan and keep these tips in mind:

  • Don’t walk, run, wade, meander, bike, or drive through flooded areas. We like King County’s saying for this:
    • Turn around. Don’t drown.
  • If your vehicle stalls in water, abandon it. You can swim. Your car? Not as much.
    • We’ve yet to see a life jacket for an F-250 or Prius.
  • If water is too deep for you to safely evacuate your home/area get to as high a point as possible with an escape route or your roof. Make sure to take as much warm clothing and supplies as you can carry up with you.

We survived a flood!

Perfect! Now here’s how to not end up a post-flood-freak-accident statistic:

  • Examine your home for structural damage before going inside.
    • If your roof is drooping in, we’d suggest not going inside. Same goes for odd crackling electrical noises outside.
  • Hire professionals to examine your home for damage.
    • It’s worth your deductible to have a professional check your gas, electrical, water, etc. Before attempting to use it.
  • Document damaged property and all water lines.
    • You’ll want pictures and documentation of this for insurance claims
  • Drain basement if needed.
    • Only 1/3 of the water per day. Draining the entire thing at once can cause severe structural damage or collapse.

Flooding is a part of life in the PNW. Preparedness = Safety, this is what insurance is for.

Holiday Office Party? Try This Instead.

Holiday Office Party? Try This Instead.

‘Tis the season. What are you doing for your staff?

What they want the most,

Time off.

Randstad US published a study regarding what workers prefer over the holidays in the workplace. The results?

70% of American workers said time off is what they loved most about the season. Seems obvious right?

Well, here’s what might be less obvious:

Your workers are taking time off, what are they doing?

62 percent of workers said they’re going to take vacation during the holiday season even when 52 percent noted their employer doesn’t give extra time off during the holidays.

28 percent use accrued sick time at the end of the year regardless of health to have more time off.

63 percent of employees admit to checking their email when on vacations and 31 percent will even call into the office to come across as more diligent.

Almost 1/3 of employees job search or explore during the holidays since business slows down in most non-retail industries.

Office party? Not interested.

90% of those surveyed said they’d rather have an extra day off or a bonus than an office party.

62% say they feel obligated to attend an office party with an even higher percentage the younger the age group.

47%  of those 18-34-year-olds believe their company should participate in some sort of charity.

What can you do?

The way our small business does it is to give more holidays. We want our employees to enjoy their families, travel, relax, and recharge. With this in mind, our team knows the new year is the time for our best effort! Everyone is rested.

Perhaps in a little more debt but ready to pay that off. ‘Tis the season to reboot and charge into 2018 with a new commitment to the team.

 

Email Marketing: Effective, Efficient, and Engaging

Email Marketing: Effective, Efficient, and Engaging

Email Marketing: Efficient, Effective, and Engaging

Email marketing is a modern tool that business owners must use to keep their business and brand front and center. Everything is a powerful opportunity to build a connection with your audience when done properly. Email marketing done poorly will tarnish your brand.

Here are some tips for success:

Make it Personal.

Have you ever opened up a business email it feels like the content and products are speaking to you?

Spoilers: This email was not created ONLY for you. The fact that you thought it meant the marketers are doing it right. There’s a reason that people occasionally jokingly call Emails, “electronic letters”, and that’s because a personal touch goes a long way.

Pick a certain client to write the mass email to. Make sure to keep the tone neutral enough to have it easily relevant to anyone reading. Get familiar writing this type of email as well as utilizing the tools of your respective platform. Nearly all email campaign services will have built-in tools for inserting client information into the email to make each one personal to the targeted recipient.

Don’t overkill it. 

Nobody likes spam. You do not want to be a business known as an inbox spammer. You will likely have a large number of recipients who mark you as spam and you can find yourself getting the boot from your email campaign provider. Seriously, some providers give the boot for anything over a 1% spam complaint rate.

Your content hungry subscribers will be much harder to scare away with content as long as you keep it relevant to their interests.

Avoid clickbait.

“One weird trick to lose 4 inches off your waist in 4 days!”

You’re marking that as spam. Everyone is marking that as spam.

Those email tags I mentioned earlier for client information can usually be inserted into your subject lines. Don’t be afraid of the OCCASIONAL name drop in the subject line. Don’t abuse this. It becomes less personal if you do it too often and this is an ace up the sleeve that you do not want to lose.

Simple subject lines. 

Your subject line should be exactly that, a subject line. Give them a reason to click on your email. They can see the first sentence of the email before clicking on it so don’t oversell the subject. It displays poorly on mobile devices and you are more likely to get slammed by automated spam programs.

It’s not free, even if it’s free.

We all know the saying that you “get what you pay for,” email campaign and automation software isn’t an exception to this rule. As someone who has used well over a dozen different email campaign and automation systems in their time, want to know which ones are the best?

I’ll give you an objective top 3:

MailChimp

Campaign Monitor (Cheaper version of MailChimp Essentially)

Constant Contact

The most cost efficient one of those with a moderately sized database is going to run $100 plus a month.

And, it’s worth every penny. Every. Single. One.

A year-long email drip campaign in one of those programs once you’re an expert can build complete with A/B testing, link backs, and social media plugins in an afternoon.

This is a tool, not the shed. 

Email marketing is just ONE piece of your marketing. Traditional word of mouth, social media, etc. Also, play key roles when it comes to the advertising of your small business. Growing your presence without years of operation requires you to play smarter AND harder to legitimize your brand.

Done strategically, email marketing can be a massive boost to your business and once it’s going well, one that doesn’t require much micromanagement.

You’ve got other things to do, like figuring out where your next office space will be 😉

Want to have us discuss anything in particular on our next blog? Curious as to what Plemmons Industries can do to help you grow your business?

Get in touch with us: ContactUs@PlemmonsIndustries.com