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Candid Moments with our Veteran Employees about our 30th Anniversary

CRS is profoundly thankful of our talented employees, loyal clients and incredible partners. We are honored to celebrate this milestone anniversary with each and every one them.

Reflecting on the past 30 years in business, our staff shares a few thoughts about their experience with CRS.

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Video – What are your 2019 goals?

How are those 2019 resolutions coming?

Were you able to keep up with your original goals, or are you already on "Take 3" of your #NewYearNewMe lifestyle?

Maybe you've decided to try doing more or less of something this year? Maybe you've decided to start doing Yoga on the weekends and stop staying up so late during the weekday. Maybe you've decided to give yourself a word or phrase to set the tone of your 2019.

Well if any of these apply to you, trust me - you're not alone.

We here in Marketing followed up with our Relationship Managers to see how their first month of the New Year has been going goal wise. These are their honest, hilarious, and unfiltered answers.

Hopefully you'll find more than a few topics (and fumbles) that you can relate to.

CATCH IT HERE!

 
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At CRS, we honor six of our dedicated employees who are Veterans of the United States Military.

“Teamwork is a huge thing in the military and it has always played a role in my jobs, but it is extremely prevalent here at CRS. Being able to work with the different departments to accomplish a goal is a daily event here.” says Kristina Coombs, CRS Customer Care Specialist. In the Army Reserves, Kristina served as an Automated Logistical Specialist for nearly four years. Her family is an “Army Family” so she says “it just seemed right” that she joined.

Vanessa Cazarez, CRS Billing Specialist, was an Aviation Mechanic in the United States Navy for 5 years. Stationed on the USS Abraham Lincoln in Norfolk, VA, she states being a Veteran “Makes me proud to have been part of the select few that volunteer to protect our great country.”

 

Vanessa Cazarez (on the far right) and her United States Navy Aviation Mechanic team.

Two of our employees, Corinne Weinberger and Chris Varela, actually served on the same mission in Desert Storm together. Though they didn’t know each other at the time, and had different duties, both feel that the skills learned while in the military have helped them excel at CRS. Team building and working with people from diverse backgrounds has taught them how to approach various situations, talk to people and think fast on their feet.

Mindy Campbell, CRS Customer Care Specialist with eight years of service at CRS, wants to tell people thinking of joining the military to “Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. It will be the hardest thing you’ll ever do but will be darn proud of yourself when you look back on your time in the service.” Mindy served as an Army Medic for 3 years and a reservist for 2 more.

Using organizational skills learned during his time as a Sergeant in the Army, Vince Salazar is now on the front lines at CRS as Customer Care Specialist. He’s one of the first people that a policyholder might talk with about their housing loss. Not only does Vince provide pertinent information they need, he empathizes with and encourages them to stay strong, knowing that CRS has got their back.

All Veterans remind us of our potential as Americans to give and at times, give it your all. They are our relatives, friends, neighbors, and co-workers, and they committed to a cause larger than their own by accepting the challenge to defend our nation.

Today, and every day, we say THANK YOU.

On this Veterans Day, we salute our Veterans and extend our gratitude for their service.



“Nobody ever drowned in sweat.” - US Marines

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” - George S. Patton

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So many choices at Thanksgiving, what’s your favorite ______________ ?

This November we’re showcasing our dedicated employees in a 3-part video series about Thanksgiving. These video volunteers were asked a few questions on camera, without knowing the questions prior to being filmed. We get to see their honest and candid reactions, and we’re sharing them with you!

Let’s start here...

What is your favorite Thanksgiving ____________ ?

 
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Tricks-4-Safe-Treating

Leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, and pumpkin-flavored everything is popping up everywhere – Ladies and Gentlemen, Fall is finally here. Along with this long-awaited beginning of the coziest season yet comes one of the most popular holidays around – Halloween! Here are some helpful tips and advice to ensure both fun and safety during your trick-or-treating adventures for kids, teens, and adults alike.


Before you get started…
  • Keep costumes both creative and safe.
  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers.
  • Face paint and makeup are better than masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Have children carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • Make sure the costume is the right size to prevent trips and falls. If possible, choose a light-colored costume.
While you’re walking…
  • Only cross the street at corners with traffic signals or crosswalks.
  • Look left, right and left again before crossing and pay attention as you cross the street.
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up.
  • Walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.  (Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.)
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
While going door-to-door…
  • Check candy for choking hazards like gum and hard candies. Throw away any candy that is not sealed with a wrapper and avoid homemade treats received from strangers.
  • If you’re turning your home into a haunted house keep safety in mind. Make sure steps, sidewalks, porches, and paths are well-lit and free of decorations and holiday props.
  • Only approach houses with a partner and stick to porches that are well lit.
  • Be mindful of allergies when selecting which candy you’d like to eat or pass out.
While you’re driving…
  • Drive VERY slow. Be VERY alert. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians, and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Eliminate as many internal distractions as possible to concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
If you have a teenager…
  • Review the importance of obeying the law. Sit down with your child and discuss private property, town curfews, and alcohol regulations.
  • Remind them of your house rules and be upfront that police are patrolling and looking for misbehaving teens.
  • If they are going to a party, speak to the parents of the host to ensure it will be chaperoned.
  • Review driving safety. Remind your teen that both young children and intoxicated drivers will be on the roads that evening.
  • If your kids are going to a party, tell them to keep an eye on their drink. Once they have put it down, they should not drink it again.
  • Clearly discuss with your teen where they can and cannot go.
  • Track their whereabouts with apps like Snapchat or Find my iPhone.
  • Limit the number of friends in a car. Be proactive and remove distractions for your teen driver and limit the number of kids allowed to ride.
Always remember…
Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. so be especially alert for young children during those hours. Also, kids under the age of 12 should NOT be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and/or trick-or-treat in groups.
Most importantly...
HAVE FUN! Enjoy the day in your own safe and responsible way. Connect with family and friends alike and make this Halloween one to pleasantly remember!
Articles used for reference and material:
https://www.safekids.org/tip/halloween-safety-tips
https://www.teensafe.com/blog/13-tips-keeping-teens-safe-halloween/
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/halloween-safety-10-tips_b_12561956
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As hurricane Florence approaches, follow these tips to keep your family safe

Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall on the East Coast by Friday morning. While you prepare to evacuate or shelter in place, here are some helpful safety tips from your temporary housing source. 

      

If you are advised or ordered to evacuate

·         Follow all directions and orders from local officials and leave immediately when instructed to do so.

·         Bring emergency supplies, including: a first aid kit, medicine, food, water, formula and diapers, toiletries, cell phones, radios, and batteries.

·         Take extra cash and copies of important papers such as insurance policies.

·         Pack blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games.

·         Unplug appliances, turn off utilities such as electricity and the main water valve.

·         Lock the windows and doors of your home.

·         Don't forget about your pets! Pack their food, beds, a toy and any meds. 

 

If you are not told to evacuate

·         STAY AT HOME! Leave the roads available for those who must evacuate. If you absolutely must leave your home, NEVER drive through floodwaters. Turn around, don't drown.

·         Clean your bathtub with bleach and fill it with water for washing and flushing (not drinking).

·         Set your refrigerator to maximum cold and keep it closed.

·         Turn off your utilities if told to do so by local officials.

 

During the storm

·         Go to an interior room and stay away from windows and doors, even though they're covered.

·         During very strong winds, lie under something sturdy.

·         Do not go outside, including during passage of the eye of the hurricane.

 

 

CRS is tracking and preparing for Hurricane Florence. Our Catastrophe team is ready to assist both insurance adjusters and policyholders with immediate emergency hotel and housing assistance.

  • We are fully staffed 24/7/365 for immediate assistance.
  • Timely deployment of CRS employees on-site to support adjusters and policyholders.
  • Priority booking with major hotel chains for needs of adjusters and policyholders.
  • Competitive pricing on homes, condos, townhomes, apartments, mobile homes and travel trailers.
  • Capability to provide temporary office trailers for carriers.
  • One point of contact for adjusters and policyholders to minimize confusion.
  • Internal weather tracking so we know where the storm is heading.  
 

800-968-0848    |    request@crsth.com    |   www.crsth.com

 
 

Source(s):

https://weather.com/safety/hurricane/news/hurricanes-safety-during-20120330

https://www.crsth.com/services/catastrophe/

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It’s hurricane and wildfire season, is damage to my home covered?

Running over the entire summer from June 1st to November 30th, hurricane season brings serious damage risks from high winds, rain, and flooding in storm-prone regions. Is your biggest asset well protected? Your home is most likely your family’s most valuable investment. Know that your current homeowner’s insurance policy may cover some damage brought on by a hurricane, but not all.

Running concurrently with hurricane season, wildfire season is a period when wildland fires are likely to occur, spread, and affect resource values sufficient to warrant organized fire management activities. Higher temperatures, reduced snowpack, increased drought risk, and longer warm seasons are increasing wildfire activity in the western United States.

Make sure you have the proper coverage

Review your homeowner’s insurance policy today to make sure your policy is up-to-date and you are properly protected for anything that may happen. Here are a few tips regarding damage brought on by hurricanes and wildfires.

__________

WIND

In most states, standard homeowner’s policies cover damage caused by wind, including hurricanes. But if you live in a high-risk coastal state you might need to buy separate windstorm insurance. Check with your insurance company as it might also be available as a rider on your current policy. Windstorm insurance covers damage from any high wind, not just hurricanes. The cost of a separate windstorm policy depends on the amount of your deductible, where you live, and how much it would cost to rebuild your house.

__________

FLOOD

Flood damage brought on by, or as the result of, a hurricane is not typically covered in a private homeowners insurance policy. U.S. law requires people to purchase basic flood insurance if their home is in a designated high-risk flood area with a federally backed mortgage. (See floodsmart.gov for more information.) But in 2017, Hurricane Harvey showed that flooding can also damage properties outside the highest-risk zones and affect homeowners who weren’t required to buy the additional coverage.

Check with the National Flood Insurance Program as you may be able to purchase a separate flood insurance to help cover such damage in your area.

Don’t procrastinate

Flood insurance policies impose a 30-day waiting period between the time you buy and the time coverage takes effect, so review your policy today. If a major storm has been forecast, there’s a chance that your current coverage will be locked in until that major weather event has passed.

__________

WILDFIRE

Damage from wildfires and forest fires is most likely covered by your homeowner’s insurance, but coverage may vary by geographic location and by policy. You may also find that some insurers do not sell homeowner’s policies in areas where wildfires are common, or it may be offered by paying a higher premium. Check your policy or contact your agent to learn about terms and coverage limits.

__________

The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends reviewing the amount of coverage you have in place and make any necessary adjustments to help ensure your limits are in line with the potential cost of repairing or rebuilding your home.

Whether you’re buying homeowners insurance, flood insurance, windstorm insurance or wildfire insurance — or all four — make sure you have enough coverage to pay for the full cost of rebuilding your house. Your insurance agent can help you pinpoint the right amount.

 

Sources:

https://www.floodsmart.gov

https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-homeowners-insurance-wont-cover-if-a-hurricane-hits-1504897428

https://www.iii.org/article/hurricanes-harvey-and-irma-insurance-faqs

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Save money shopping online, earn rewards.

Let's face it, we all shop online at some time or another. Imagine shopping online while saving money and earning rewards, and doing all of this without having to scour the internet for coupon codes or having multiple internet tabs open. I recently read an article where the author saved a lot of money on housewares and earned rewards by shopping for these items online. How did they do it? By adding a browser extension or browser add-on. By simply adding an add-on or extension to your favorite browser, you can get rewarded for the shopping that you already do.

What's a browser extension?

Browser extensions extend your web browser with additional features, modify web pages, and integrate your browser with the other services you use (Dropbox, Evernote, Pinterest, Password Keepers & many more). You might want a browser extension for a few different reasons. Like any other software, you should take precaution and be sure to utilize a trustworthy extension. Risks are present, although fairly minimal. Different browsers have different extension systems. Firefox has the most powerful. Chrome also has a decent extension system with one for almost anything that you would want to do. Safari has a smaller amount.  Internet Explorer and Opera may also have minimal options for extensions or add-ons.

Where to get em':

Chrome Browser : Chrome Web Store  |  FireFox Browser : Firefox Add-ons  | Safari Browser : Safari Extensions Now that we know how and where to find extensions, here are two great money saving & rewarding extensions that I've found and used personally. Honey and Wikibuy.

Here's a quick breakdown of how Honey and Wikibuy work their magic!

Honey

Honey refers to its rewards as 'Honey Gold'. Rewards can be redeemed at thousands of online stores ranging from Groupon to Macy's and much, much more. The website claims to partner with over 3,700 stores. I've earned cash from travel partners such as Expedia, on gifts from Harry & David and also in shipping at FedEx online! It took no time to build rewards and earn a gift card. The gift cards are just as great, I recently cashed in my rewards for a Target gift card. Other options include Walmart and Amazon, there's also the option to donate rewards to Charity Choice. To start saving, visit joinhoney.com. And add the extension to your browser to make saving even easier!  If you invite your friends and family you can also earn $5 in referral credits.

Wikibuy

Wikibuy (wikibuy.com) is a browser extension that will look for lower prices at sellers while you are shopping on Amazon. It will locate the product and provide accurate pricing including tax and shipping along with any coupons available. Wikibuy will also alert you if cashback is available at participating retailers. In addition to the browser extension, Wikibuy has an iOS app. Sorry Android, no app yet. This is a great feature if you are currently in temporary housing or moving and need to replace housewares and other home items. Ask your CRS representative how we can help you with your household items, furnishings and more. We're here to help through every step of the relocation process until you can get back home! Happy saving!!
Links: Joinhoney.com Wikibuy.com Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author(s) of this post do not necessarily reflect those of CRS Temporary Housing and is for informational purposes only. CRS Temporary Housing is not affiliated with Honey or WikiBuy. 
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Start your summer right with Memorial Day safety

As we happily head into this Memorial Day weekend, let’s take a moment to be thankful for our troops, and honor the passing of the members of the military who died in active duty.    Memorial Day weekend is here, and with it comes outdoor fun in the sun. Whether you’re road-tripping or celebrating at home, be aware and take a few safety precautions to ensure a happy and safe holiday weekend. No matter which way you slice the numbers, according to AAA this long holiday weekend is poised to be one of the busiest on record.  

Travel

- Make sure your car is ready for the trip. Pack a first-aid kit, bottled water and some energy bars in case you get stranded. Bring a car adapter for charging your cellphone. - Schedule your road trip at times to help avoid the holiday travel congestion. Leaving before rush hour Friday or early Saturday and driving back Monday before 3 p.m. or after 10 p.m. should make for less traffic hassles. - Never leave people or pets inside a parked car. Temperatures inside a vehicle can climb to dangerous levels quickly, even on a cloudy day. - If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a driver who won’t drink.  

Being outside

With the temperatures rising, it’s important to know how to stay safe during times of excessive heat. - Eat small meals and eat more often. - Stay hydrated, avoid caffeine and alcohol. - Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. - Take frequent breaks if you are working outdoors, avoid strenuous outdoor activity.  

Grilling

Seven out of every 10 adults in the United States have a grill or smoker, and this weekend marks the symbolic start to summer and grilling season. - Never leave your grill unattended, and have a fire extinguisher available. - Propane and charcoal BBQ grills are for outdoor use only. - The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. - Keep children and pets away from the grill area. - Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. Heavy food build-ups can cause nasty flare-ups.  

Water safety

BOATING - Have one life jacket that is US Coastal Guard approved for everyone on board. - If a child is under the age of 13, they must have a life jacket on whenever the boat is in motion. - The rules for driving a boat are similar to those of a vehicle - people cannot drink and drive a boat. SWIMMING - Everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy in areas protected by lifeguards. Always remember the penguin credo, never swim alone!  #skipper    - Adults, actively supervise children and stay within arm’s reach of young children and newer swimmers. - Understand what to do to help someone in trouble, without endangering yourself; know how and when to call 9-1-1; and know CPR.  

Always remember

Have a first aid kit nearby and emergency contacts programmed into your phone. You never know when an accident can happen, and better to be prepared just in case.  

SOURCES https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/how-to-avoid-grilling-mishaps-this-memorial-day-weekend/70005010 http://www.redcross.org/news/press-release/Red-Cross-Offers-Summer-Safety-Tips-for-All-Season-Long
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Keep you and your family safe by preparing for the 2018 tornado season

As the northeast gets hit by yet another winter storm in March, we’re starting to see increased tornado activity in the southeast this spring. A tornado can strike without warning in any season but are prone to happen most often in the spring and summer months. Occurring at all hours of the day and night, data shows that they tend to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Time to prepare!

In the United States, about 1,200 tornadoes strike each year and every state is at risk. These devastating storms can bring severe hail, heavy rain, flash flooding and lightning. The majority of tornadoes in the U.S. occur east of the Rocky Mountains with concentrations in the central and southern plains, the Gulf Coast and Florida.

If you live in an area prone to these deadly storms, three of the most important things you can do to prepare you and your family are:    1 - Build an Emergency Kit

   2 - Make a Family Communications Plan

   3 - Review your Homeowners Insurance

Build an Emergency Kit

Most of the items that will go in your kit are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Also make sure to consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies and medications for pets and seniors. For just a few dollars and minutes of your time, you’ll have a kit comprised of food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours.

Visit www.ready.gov/build-a-kit for more information and to download a printable grocery list.

Make a Family Communications Plan

Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tornado? If not, make one today! Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so having a family communications plan will allow you to know how to best contact one another and reconnect if separated. Make sure to establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Visit www.ready.gov/make-a-plan for more details on how to best draw up your family communications plan.

Review your Homeowners Insurance

Don’t wait until the next tornado watch to decide to review your homeowners insurance for storm coverage. Whether your insurance helps cover tornado damage to your home depends on where you live, the type and amount of coverage you have and what caused the damage.

One of the biggest risks you may face if your home suffers major damage during a severe storm or tornado is being underinsured. Contact your agent to discuss your policy and if necessary have them verify that the current insured value is up to par. While you’re at it, make sure to have your insurance agent’s number and email saved to your mobile phone.

Additionally, find out what your limit is for Additional Living Expenses (ALE) and how you can expect the coverage to work. ALE covers the increased cost of living due to a displacement, including any extra rent you will have to pay for your temporary home. CRS Temporary Housing works closely with your agent to quickly find the best temporary accommodations for you and your family. With 24-7-365 service, we are committed to help you and provide the absolute best customer service.

 

SOURCES:

https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes https://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/home-insurance/insurance-for-tornado-damage.aspx https://www.thebalance.com/home-and-car-insurance-for-tornado-damage-4026154

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