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Benefits of the Great Outdoors on Health and Wellness

- Monday, July 31, 2023
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Great Outdoors

Studies have shown that nature has helped people cope with isolation over the past year. There are a number of health benefits that scientists continue to explore linking the great outdoors to our wellness.

1. Physical Wellness

Being outside in green spaces supports an active and healthy lifestyle, which has shown to increase life expectancy, improve sleep quality and reduce cancer risk.

Many of the benefits afforded to us by green spaces partially results from more opportunities to be active. Being in outdoor green spaces can increase a person’s motivation, too.

For example, some studies have shown that natural outdoor environments in urban spaces are more enticing for physical activity and are more likely to motivate people to exercise, leading to higher levels of fitness.

Studies also show that being outside in nature is relaxing, reducing our stress, cortisol levels, muscle tension and heart rates – all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Along with supporting physical wellness, nature also bolsters mental wellness in the individual.

2. Mental Wellness

There are many mental wellness benefits associated with being outside in green spaces, such as lower risk of depression and faster psychological stress recovery. Studies have shown that being in nature can restore and strengthen our mental capacities, increasing focus and attention.

Another major component of mental health is social connection. The outdoors serves as a venue to come together with friends and family and connect with the larger community.

This togetherness is especially important for us now. We are finding that isolation is a killer, and that the outdoors really provides that space for us to come together under trees or to walk together along trails.

3. Wellness in the Community

Access to nature can benefit entire communities such as reducing environmental stressors commonly found in cities: air pollution, noise and heat.

Cleaning and greening has also been shown to reduce overall neighborhood crime by 13% and reduce nearby residents' feelings of depression by 41%.

Nature in densely populated areas also has been shown to affect how people interact with one another. Neighborhoods that receive tree plantings or other greening initiatives, that people tend to have better attitudes towards their neighbors, which in turn often results in better relationships.


Whether it is a park in your neighborhood or exploring the vast landscapes of national forests and grasslands, there are benefits to be had when we step outside.


Hurricane Safety Checklists

- Tuesday, July 25, 2023
Lallis and Higgins Insurance - Hurricane Season

The most important thing you can do as hurricane season approaches is to get yourself, your family and your home prepared.

By starting early, you’ll avoid the rush at home supply stores, grocery stores and other venues typically crowded and often chaotic when hurricane watches and warnings are issued.

You should stock six basics for your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items. Keep the items you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container. Possible containers include a large, covered trash container, a camping backpack, or a duffle bag.

Make your preparations easier by downloading the checklists included with each category and use them as you shop and store your supplies.

Food and Water


  • Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
  • Store one gallon of water per person per day.
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).


Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of Sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
  • Canned juices
  • Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants
  • Comfort/stress foods

First Aid and Non-Prescription Drugs

First Aid Kit

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car.

  • (20) adhesive bandages, various sizes.
  • (1) 5″ x 9″ sterile dressing.
  • (1) conforming roller gauze bandage.
  • (2) triangular bandages.
  • (2) 3 x 3 sterile gauze pads.
  • (2) 4 x 4 sterile gauze pads.
  • (1) roll 3″ cohesive bandage.
  • (2) germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • (6) antiseptic wipes.
  • (2) pair large medical grade non-latex gloves.
  • Adhesive tape, 2″ width.
  • Anti-bacterial ointment.
  • Cold pack.
  • Scissors (small, personal).
  • Tweezers.
  • CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield.

Non-Prescription Drugs

  • Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid (for stomach upset)
  • Laxative
  • Activated charcoal (use if advised by the American Association of Poison Control Centers)

Tools and Supplies

  • Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
  • Emergency preparedness manual
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Cash and/or change
  • Non-electric can opener, utility knife
  • Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type
  • Tube tent
  • Pliers
  • Tape
  • Compass
  • Lighter or matches in a waterproof container
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Signal flare
  • Paper, pencil
  • Needles, thread
  • Medicine dropper
  • Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
  • Whistle
  • Plastic sheeting
  • List of local shelters

Sanitation, Clothing and Bedding


  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Cloth face masks (two per person)
  • Toilet paper, towelettes
  • Soap, liquid detergent
  • Feminine supplies
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Disinfectant
  • Household chlorine bleach

Clothing and Bedding

Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.

  • Sturdy shoes or work boots
  • Rain gear
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Hat and gloves
  • Thermal underwear*
  • Sunglasses

*REMINDER: The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs through November 30, and our hurricane-vulnerable residents that live in Northern areas need to be prepared in the event of a late-season storm.

Special Items

Remember family members with special requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.

For Baby

  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Powdered milk
  • Medications

For Adults

  • Heart and high blood pressure medication
  • Insulin
  • Prescription drugs
  • Denture needs
  • Contact lenses and supplies
  • Extra eye glasses


Board games and other games that don’t require batteries or electricity, books for adult readers and for children.

For Pets

In the interest of protecting pets, the Humane Society of the United States offers these tips for inclusion in your family disaster plan:

  • Do not leave your pets behind.
  • Securely fasten a current identification tag to your pet’s collar and carry a photograph of your pet. It’s important to include the phone number of a friend or family member on the tag so anyone who may find your pet is able to reach someone who knows you.
  • Transport pets in secure pet carriers and keep pets on leashes or harnesses.
  • Call hotels in a safe/host location and ask if you can bring your pets. Ask the manager if a no-pet policy can be lifted during the disaster. Most emergency shelters do not admit pets.
  • Call friends, family members, veterinarians or boarding kennels in a safe/host location to arrange foster care if you and your pets cannot stay together.
  • Pack a week’s supply of food, water and other provisions, such as medication or cat litter.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to evacuate. Rescue officials may not allow you to take your pets if you need to be rescued.
  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers (veterinarian, local animal control, animal shelters, Red Cross, etc.).

Possessions and Documents

  • Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:
    • Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
    • Passports, social security cards, immunization records
    • Bank account numbers
    • Credit card account numbers and companies
  • Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
  • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
  • Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the supplies kit in the trunk of your car.
  • Keep items in airtight plastic bags.
  • Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh.
  • Replace your stored food every six months.
  • Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
  • Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.

Source: American Red Cross

Steps for Safely Towing a Car Behind Your RV

- Monday, July 24, 2023
Towing a Car Behind Your RV

If you’re interested in potentially towing a vehicle on your next trip, learn what it takes to tow a vehicle with your RV.


Before you hitch your car to the back of the RV, take the time to find your motorhome’s tow rating. Your maximum towing capacity can be found in your owner’s manual and will indicate the total amount of weight your RV is capable of hauling. Never exceed this amount when you hook up a vehicle to your motorhome.

You also need to pay attention to the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of your RV. This number indicates the maximum weight your RV can safely transport. You don’t need to count the weight of the vehicle you are towing towards this number, but you do need to include the weight of the trailer tongue, as well as anything else that your RV will be holding.

The next step is to check how much your RV is capable of hauling by looking for a plate on your RV’s hitch that lists this number.


Did you know that the vehicle you tow behind your RV is often referred to as a “toad?”

Just as you need to be careful to ensure that you do not exceed your RV’s towing capacity, you also need to make sure that you understand the best way to tow your secondary vehicle.

Please note that not all vehicles can be pulled behind an RV using the same method. For example, many all-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive vehicles cannot be flat-towed — towed with all four wheels on the ground — behind an RV. This is because it will cause damage to the transmission.

In other cases, there may be critical cooling systems or protections that only kick on when your vehicle is running. Towing these vehicles with all four wheels on the ground can permanently damage major components.

Be sure to consult your owner’s manual to find the manufacturer's recommendation for towing. This should indicate whether you can tow your vehicle on all four wheels, with two wheels down, or if it must be towed on a flatbed trailer. If you cannot find this information readily, speak to your mechanic about the best option based on your vehicle's make, year, and model.


Once you understand how much weight your RV can tow and how your particular vehicle should be towed, it is time to inspect the hitch on your motorhome. Most RVs come equipped with a hitch featuring a ball and a receiver.

If your RV does not have a hitch, there are options for adding a custom hitch to the motorhome. However, be sure to read over any warranty information before adding a hitch to your RV. In some cases, adding a hitch can invalidate your warranty.


There are three main methods for towing a vehicle behind your RV. Depending on your toad, you might be limited in which options you can use. Before you try any of these methods, be sure to speak with your mechanic.


One of the easiest ways to tow a vehicle behind your RV is using the four-down method, also called dinghy towing or flat towing. This method uses a small tow bar to connect your vehicle to the RV. All four tires rest on the ground, and the vehicle simply trails behind your RV.

This method is a popular choice due to the ease of connecting and disconnecting the vehicle and the limited amount of equipment needed. However, it is not a valid option for all vehicles and causes the most wear and tear on your toad.


Another option for towing your vehicle is to connect a tow dolly to your RV. With this method, the front two wheels of your toad are loaded onto the dolly. The rear wheels roll on the ground. This is a good choice for vehicles with front-wheel drive transmissions. It is a little more complicated to load your vehicle on a tow dolly than to simply use a tow bar, but tow dollies are still a relatively affordable option.


For all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive vehicles, you’ll most likely need to tow your vehicle with a trailer or car hauler. In this case, you will drive your vehicle onto the trailer and tow the vehicle with no wheels touching the ground.

Trailers are the most expensive option. However, they offer the best protection for the vehicle you are towing. Because the wheels are not touching the ground when in transit, you will not wear down the tires, and there is no risk to the components of your vehicle.


Purchasing RV Insurance: Things to Consider

- Monday, July 10, 2023
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - RV

So, you’ve finally taken that big step and purchased that recreational vehicle you’ve been dreaming about. Now, how do you plan to insure your new home on wheels?

Even if you’ve had your RV for years, it’s a good idea to review your insurance coverage and make sure that you have all of the coverage you require, at the best price possible.

After all, an RV is a huge investment for any family, whether it’s a small pop-up trailer or a mega motor home.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Travel Trailer Insurance: Your car insurance likely covers your RV travel trailer, right? So why buy specific RV insurance? Well, regular insurance only covers a trailer when it’s hooked up to the car or truck that’s pulling it, and won’t cover a motor home at all. Get that special RV insurance to be sure your RV is covered, even when it’s not hooked up.
  • Medium Trucks: If you’ve got a truck bed camper on a truck over 10,000 pounds, you are likely not covered under your normal auto policy. Get that RV insurance.
  • RV Replacement in Case of Accident or Theft: When shopping for insurance, ask if your quote includes Actual Cash Value (ACV), Agreed Value or Total Loss Replacement. ACV is the market value of the RV as decided by third party sources. Agreed Value means that the company agrees to an amount up front with the policy holder; and TLR means the company will provide the insured with a replacement RV if yours is lost or stolen when it is under 5 years old.
  • Emergency Expenses: If you are living in your RV full time, you’ll want to be sure you have a policy that reimburses you for living expenses should damage occur.
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance: In case of an accident or mechanical failure, an RV can cost up to 3 times more to tow than a normal vehicle. Having an RV road assistance plan is a good feature. Kampgrounds of America has a special agreement with Allstate to provide the Allstate RV Roadhelp Program to our KOA kampers at a special reduced rate.
  • Collision coverage while in storage: If you store your RV for extended periods, you may need to be sure your policy includes coverage during that storage.
  • Liability Insurance: RV owners can be held liable for injuries that occur as a result of an accident in or around their RV. Most RV insurance gives an owner higher coverage limits on incidents of this sort.
  • Replacement of Stolen Property: Your RV holds a lot of specialized equipment, including stereos and televisions. Be sure your policy has a replacement option for your property.

So, how do you get started on your quest to find the very best option when it comes to your RV insurance coverage? Kampgrounds of America has also partnered with Progressive Insurance to provide our KOA kampers with quality coverage at very competitive prices.

Contact Lallis & Higgins for more information.

Summer Bucket List Ideas for Kids

- Monday, July 03, 2023
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Kid Selling Lemonade

Every year it seems like everyone is much happier in the summertime. When we picture a summer scene, it includes kids running around laughing with joy. Here are ten ideas bound to provide kids that summertime joy.

1. Make your own popsicles

There’s nothing like enjoying an ice-cold popsicle on a sweltering hot day. Elevate your popsicles by making them homemade. Not only will this be a healthy and fun activity for the kids, but you also can’t beat the fresh taste.

2. Run a lemonade stand

If you have a little one with an entrepreneurial spirit, help them start their first business venture with a lemonade stand. All you need is a table, a sign, a box for that hard-earned cash, lemons, sugar, a pitcher, and ice. Serve refreshing lemonade in disposable cups, or for an eco-friendly option, put out some chairs and serve glass cups instead.

3. Collect seashells

Take the kiddos for a beach day and walk along the water collecting seashells. This makes for great conversation, creativity, and some home decor the kids can cherish forever.

4. Do a cannonball

Make sure an adult is watching at all times, tuck in your knees, jump into the pool, and make the biggest splash possible.

5. Play on a slip and slide

You can rent a slip and slide or buy one for under $20 and you’re in for hours of happy screeches and belly laughter.

6. Tie-dye shirts

Have any old t-shirts lying around? Upcycle! Grab a non-toxic tie-dye kit and get creative. Tie-dye never goes out of style.

7. Fly a kite

You’ll need some good wind for this one. The beach or anywhere near the water is usually a good bet. Kites come in every shape imaginable and create the best memories.

8. Plant flowers

A green thumb is a great skill to have, so start them young! There’s something really special about planting flowers in the summertime and watching them grow.

9. Run to an ice cream truck

Who doesn’t love ice cream in the summer? When you hear the music playing, don’t walk, RUN!

10. Make homemade PlayDough

Making PlayDough is not only fun, but you also know exactly what ingredients are going into it, and likely into your little one’s mouth. Pro tip: skip the food coloring and use juice from your favorite berries instead.

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