Donating Blood Impacts Your Community

Published by Alyssa Malmquist on January 17, 2024

donating blood photo of heart in hand

The month of January is National Blood Donor Month. It’s an annual celebration that highlights how much this act of service can impact and help others. Historically, January is when blood donation has been needed most. The American Red Cross notes that the winter months can bring critical blood shortages. Typically, the steep drop in donations happens because of the holidays.

Transportation can add another challenge, especially in places with harsh winters and snow. Many individuals get sick around this time of year, too, which also makes it difficult to donate. So if you’re able to, it’s worth the extra effort to donate in January.

But it’s always a good time to donate blood, especially given how much your donation can impact members of your community:

  • In the U.S., approximately 29,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day.
  • Someone needs blood or platelets every two seconds.
  • A car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood.
  • Blood and platelets can only come from volunteer donors.
  • One donation can help save more than one life.
  • Many cancer patients need blood transfusions, sometimes daily, during chemotherapy treatment.
  • Babies born early may need a blood transfusion to increase the number of red blood cells in their bodies.
  • Transfusions of plasma, which is found in blood, help heal bad infections, serious burns, or liver failure.

Giving blood can also boost your health. According to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, blood donation can help reduce iron in your system. This can improve cardiovascular function. In that research, people who donated blood had an 88% lower risk of experiencing a heart attack.

Plus, you’ll feel good knowing you’ve made a difference. A survey of more than 5,000 blood donors found that nearly 75% of donors give blood to help others. As a result, they feel more connected to their communities.

Responding to Rare Blood Type Needs

Most blood types fall into groups A, B, AB, or O. But some people have rare blood types that are difficult to match, so it’s essential to maintain a diverse blood supply. Blood transfusions are used in accidents and ongoing treatments. For example, people with sickle cell disease often need transfusion therapy.

The best blood type match for patients with rare blood types often comes from donors of the

same race or similar ethnicity. The American Red Cross notes that although blood is matched by type, patients are at lower risk of developing complications from transfusions if their donor matches their race and ethnicity.

How to Donate

If you’re ready to make a resolution to give blood during National Blood Donor Month, you can schedule an appointment at the Mass General Blood Donor Center or the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

You can also check out this blood donation site, which will help you find a donation site close by. Once you find a place, it helps to call ahead or visit their website to schedule an appointment. Finally, you can always visit the American Red Cross’s website.

Here’s how donating blood impacts your community (massgeneralbrighamhealthplan.org)

Water Damage Safety Tips

water damage to floor in home

Whether it’s the result of a leaky appliance, burst pipe, or destructive storm system, even a small amount of unwelcome water in your home can lead to thousands of dollars in damages within hours. We hope the information provided here will help you understand where water damage in your home is likely to start and how you can possibly identify minor issues before they become major problems.

6 Common Causes of Water Damage in Homes

  • Plumbing-related losses, e.g., frozen or burst pipes
  • Drain line issues, e.g., blockages or breaks
  • Roof leaks
  • Water heater failures
  • Sump pump overflows and municipal sewer backups
  • Appliance-related breakdowns

Telltale Signs You May Have a Water Leak or Damage in Your Home

  • Trickling, dripping, or running water sounds
  • Musty odors
  • Cracking, peeling, or bubbling paint or wallpaper
  • Water stains on ceilings or walls
  • Mold or mildew growth
  • Warped Floors or ceilings
  • Puddles under or around pipes

10 Steps You can Take to Prevent Water Leaks and Damage

With the following list in hand, take a walk around your home. If you answer no to one or more of the questions below, it may be wise to contact a licensed professional to help you better protect your property from water damage.

  • Protect the Pipes-Are all pipes on external walls or in unheated places insulated? Can you relocate vulnerable pipes to heated spaces? Do you shut off your water supply to exterior water spigots and drain them prior to winter months? Have you upgraded to frost-free exterior spigot lines?
  • Seal Any Gaps-Are all cracks and holes sealed, especially those where water pipes and electrical cords come in and out? Are all rubber seals and hoses connected to appliances secure with no signs of wear and tear?
  • Maintain Appliances-Is grime or buildup removed from the refrigerator coil, dishwasher filter, and washing machine drain regularly? Did a licensed professional install appliance water and gas lines? Do you know when your hot water heater warranty expires? Have you considered changing the anode rod?
  • Clear Gutters and Downspouts-Are leaves and debris scooped out and is water flow good? If you spotted a leak, has it been fixed with waterproof sealant? Are all gutter hangers firmly attached?
  • Inspect the Roof-Do you frequently check your roof for loose or missing shingles and damaged soffits? Are tree limbs cut back from the roof’s surface? Have you checked for signs of wear at the roof connection point for chimneys and vent pipes?
  • Safeguard Septic and Sump Pumps-Does your system have a backflow prevention valve to protect against overflow or clogs? Do you have a backup sump system or alternate power source if electricity gets knocked out?
  • Install Sensors and Alarms-Are leak detectors near all water-use appliances, under sinks, and in bathrooms, crawl spaces, and the basement? Do you have temperature change alarms to detect sudden drops? Have you checked with your home security system provider to see if you can add these helpful sensors?
  • Landscape Smartly-Have you made “rain gardens” so water runs off the lawn and away from the foundation? Has your lawn been graded properly to ensure water runs away from the building? Are there trenches between your home and nearby plant beds?
  • Know How to Stop Water Flow-Does everyone in your home know the location of the main water shutoff valve, and is it easily accessible? If your gate valve looks corroded, have you considered having a licensed plumber change it to a ball valve style? Is your shutoff valve connected to leak and temperature sensors?
  • Have an Away-From-Home Plan-Do you shut off water supply to appliances while traveling? If there is a water emergency while you are on a trip, does a family member, friend, or local licensed professional have access to your home? If you’re traveling for an extended period or relocat- ing temporarily for the winter season, do you consider shutting off your heating system and draining your pipes?

Click below to view a copy of the article

https://www.clearyinsurance.com/wp-content/uploads/Water-Damage-Information-Sheet-Andover-Companies-Updated-2.pdf

Is My Business Covered for That?

8 Common Business Insurance Gaps

business insurance

Most small and mid-sized businesses are aware of the importance of having business insurance but often simply opt for general property and liability insurance and call it a day. While these policies cover most of the basics, there may be gaps in your insurance that can leave your business exposed to risk and financial loss.

Here are some of the most common potential gaps we see in business coverage and an overview of more specialized policies and endorsements that may help you protect your business and help your business recover after a covered loss. Keep in mind that individual policies can vary widely, so it’s always important to review your coverage options with your agent or broker.

  1. Am I covered if an employee sues my business? Consult your insurance agent or broker about adding these coverages to help close the potential gaps:
    • Employment Practices Liability Insurance – to protect against lawsuits filed by employees who claim their legal rights as employees have been violated.
    • Directors & Officers – to protect your company’s officers and directors if they are personally sued for acts or omissions committed in their capacity as corporate officers or directors.
  2. Is my business covered if it’s sued by a customer for professional negligence?
    • Consider adding Professional Liability or Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance to help protect against claims directly related to your professional services.
  3. If my business is damaged by a fire or break-in and must close temporarily, are my operating expenses insured?
    • To help cover that potential gap following a covered property loss, ask your insurance representative about adding business interruption insurance to your property policy.
  4. Am I covered if one of my employees accidently infects my company’s computer system with malware?
    • Consider procuring a commercial cyber policy to help provide solutions and services for privacy breaches, network security, incident response, and media liability.
  5. Is my business insured if our mechanical system breaks down?
    • To help close this potential gap, consider equipment breakdown insurance to provide the funds and resources to get you back up and running quickly after a covered loss.
  6. Is my business covered if an employee gets in an accident while delivering products to a customer?
    • A commercial auto policy can help protect vehicles owned by a business; and some may include coverage for individually owned vehicles used regularly for that business (other than commuting to work).
  7. Is my business covered if it is damaged by a flood?
    • Since the typical commercial property insurance policy does not include flood coverage, ask your agent or broker about commercial flood insurance options available from private insurers or the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  8. Is my business covered if my employees are injured while they are overseas?
    • To help cover this potential gap, consider multinational travel accident insurance – to provide resources for international travel, including emergency medical, cash and document replacement, local country reports and travel alerts, and more.

Regardless of the type of business you run, it may be smart to talk to your independent insurance agent or broker to make sure your business is appropriately insured so that you can focus on keeping your business running smoothly, even if you experience a loss.

Please click here to read the entire document.

This document is advisory in nature and is offered as a resource to be used together with your professional insurance advisors in maintaining a loss prevention program. It is an overview only, and is not intended as a substitute for consultation with your insurance broker, or for legal, engineering or other professional advice.

Chubb is the marketing name used to refer to subsidiaries of Chubb Limited providing insurance and related services. For a list of these subsidiaries, please visit our website at www.chubb.com. Insurance provided by ACE American Insurance Company and its U.S. based Chubb underwriting company affiliates. All products may not be available in all states. This communication contains product summaries only. Coverage is subject to the language of the policies as actually issued. Surplus lines insurance sold only through licensed surplus lines producers. Chubb, 202 Hall’s Mill Road, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889-1600.

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