Monthly Archives: September 2013

Tips to keep safe on the road

road safety tipsHere are some great tips offered by AAA to keep you safe on the road

Tips to keep you safer on the road:

  • Keep your doors locked, safety belts buckled and children safe and secure in properly installed safety seats.
  • Don’t let your gas tank fall below 1/3 tank.
  • Stay on main roads and highways – and don’t forget your AAA mapping tools.
  • Pack a flashlight, blanket and first-aid kit. In cold climates, pack extra warm clothing.
  • If you are going on a long trip, pack an emergency ration kit of water and nonperishable food items such as fruit or granola bars.
  • When stopping for breaks, never let children go to the restroom alone. Always lock vehicle doors, even if you’ll only be gone for a few minutes.
  • Carry a mobile phone in case of emergencies.
  • Do not stop to help a disabled vehicle. Instead, call for help from your mobile phone or a pay phone.
  • If stopping during nighttime travel, choose a well-lighted, populated facility. Park where your vehicle can be seen.
  • If approached by someone while your vehicle is stopped, keep your doors locked and only roll your window down enough to hear what the person is saying.

Tips to keep you safe if your vehicle breaks down:

  • Move your vehicle off the road safely away from traffic.
  • Stay inside your vehicle and make sure all passengers stay inside, too. Keep doors locked and only roll down the window enough to ask any passersby to call police.
  • If you can’t move your vehicle off the road, ask all passengers to exit the vehicle when it is safe to do so, and stand away from traffic.
  • If you must walk to a phone, keep your group together.
  • Warn other drivers by raising the vehicle’s hood, tying a white cloth to a door handle or using reflective triangles or flares. Warning devices should be placed far enough away from the vehicle to give oncoming traffic time to react. A good rule of thumb: three devices at 100, 50 and 25 yards from the vehicle – or 300, 200 or 100 feet.

For all your Auto Insurance needs Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance has you covered.

The Flu: How to protect yourself

flu shotHere are some basics you should know about the flu.

Everyone age 6 months and older needs to get a flu shot (vaccine) every year. The seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu.

For many people, the seasonal flu is a mild illness. But for some people, the flu can lead to:

  • Serious infections like pneumonia (“noo-MOHN-yah”)
  • Hospitalization
  • Death

The flu spreads easily from person to person. When you get the flu shot, you don’t just protect yourself – you also protect the people around you.

What is the flu?
The flu is caused by a virus that infects your nose, throat, and lungs. It’s easily spread from person to person.

Symptoms of the flu include:

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle aches

Am I at high risk for complications from the flu?
For some people, the flu is more likely to lead to serious illness. If you are at high risk from the flu, get a flu shot as early as you can each year. Groups at high risk from the flu include:

If you spend time with someone at high risk from the flu, you can help protect both of you by getting a flu shot.

When should I get the seasonal flu shot?
Get the flu shot as soon as it’s available in your community each year. After you get the shot, it takes about 2 weeks for your body to develop protection against the flu. That’s why it’s a good idea to get the vaccine before flu season starts.

Flu season can be different from year to year. It can start as early as October and last as late as May.

Can I get the nasal (nose) spray instead of the shot?
The flu vaccine can be given in a nasal spray or a shot. You may get the nasal spray if you:

  • Are between ages 2 and 49
  • Aren’t pregnant
  • Don’t have certain health conditions, like asthma or diabetes

Are there any side effects from the seasonal flu vaccine?
Some people may have mild side effects. These side effects begin soon after the vaccine is given and usually last 1 to 2 days. Most people don’t have any side effects after getting the flu vaccine.

Flu shot
People who get the flu shot sometimes feel sore where they got the shot. You can’t get the flu from the flu shot because it’s made from killed flu viruses.

Flu nasal spray
People who get the nasal spray may have a stuffy nose or headache afterward. The flu viruses in the nasal spray are weakened and can’t cause the flu.


Tips to prepare your home for the cool weather

fall maintenance for your homeFall foliage is beautiful, but not when it builds up in your gutters!  We want to share these great tips from Travelers Insurance to help get your home and property prepared for the cooler autumn months. So many times we forget the little things that could cause issues for our homes later down the road.  Staying ahead of the game can help prevent future issues and can help prevent potential insurance claims.

  • Have your furnace cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified technician.
  • Keep flammable materials, including all lawn and power equipment, away from water heaters and wiring in the basement.
  • Insulate water pipes in areas exposed to cold temperatures, and turn up the thermostat during extra cold periods.
  • Check for damage to your roof, and clean gutters and downspouts to keep debris from accumulating. This is especially important during the fall season to keep leaves from building up in gutters.
  • Check and repair caulking around doors and windows that show signs of deterioration.
  • Check caulking around showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilet bases; and make repairs as needed.
  • Have your chimney cleaned and maintained annually by a professional.
  • Clean and/or replace your furnace filter.
  • Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct and space under the dryer. Remove all lint, dust, and pieces of material.
  • Check your electrical outlets for potential fire hazards such as frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs. Be sure not to overload electrical outlets, fuse boxes, extension cords or any other power service.
  • Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher accessible, filled and ready for operation.
  • Inspect your smoke detectors. Make sure there is one on each floor of your home. Test them monthly, and change the battery annually or as needed.

Remember for all your home insurance needs Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance is here to help.

Protecting YOU is our Job

Business Partner Program

We wanted to share our newest video from one of our Business Partners.  Stafford Academy of Dance has been a local dance studio in Stafford for over 50 years.  The business switched hands to current owner Heidi in 2000.  Heidi was a student of the dance academy for years as well as working with the previous owner.  Heidi is a passionate teacher and really gives personal attention to all her students.  We hope you will enjoy watching the video.

Remember if you are a local business looking to be part of our Business Partner Program you can contact Renee at to find out more.

18th Annual Walk-A-Thon: Hole in the Wall

jillThis is a very important event to us at Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance that we take part in every year.  We wanted to share this with everyone.  See the information below to donate or participate in the event.



Kristin Guglielmo of Penny-Hanley & Howley Insurance will participate again this year in the Walk-a-Thon to help to raise funds for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, CT.  Kristin has dedicated her walk this year to her best friend, Jill Elizabeth Boggini who died this year of cancer.  She was way too young to leave us.

 This a great organization founded by Paul Newman in 1988.  Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is a community dedicated to providing “a different kind of healing” to children and their families coping with cancer, sickle cell anemia and other serious illnesses.  Through summer sessions and family weekend programs at the Camp in Ashford, Connecticut, and year –round outreach to hospitals and clinics throughout the Northeast, the Camp serves more than 20,000 children and family members annually.  All services are free of charge.

All donations should be made out to the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and can be mailed to Penny-Hanley & Howley at P.O. Box 127, Stafford Springs, CT 06076.  You can also click here to donate online or email Kristin at for more information on how to make a donation online.

We greatly appreciate your support.

Kristin Guglielmo

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Home Fires-Are you prepared

Each year more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires in the United States, with direct property loss due to home fires estimated at $7.3 billion annually.  Home fires can be prevented!

To protect yourself, it is important to understand the basic characteristics of fire. Fire spreads quickly; there is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames. Inhaling the super-hot air can sear your lungs. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.

Fire is FAST!

There is little time! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames. Most deadly fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you won’t have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape.

Fire is HOT!

Heat is more threatening than flames. A fire’s heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs. This heat can melt clothes to your skin. In five minutes, a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once: this is called flashover.

Fire is DARK!

Fire isn’t bright, it’s pitch black. Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you’ve lived in for years.

Fire is DEADLY!

Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.

Only when we know the true nature of fire can we prepare our families and ourselves.

Make sure your home is protected in case of a fire with the proper Home Insurance from Penny Hanley & Howley insurance.

Protecting YOU is our Job

source: FEMA

September is Self-improvement month

september self-improvement monthWere you aware that September is self-Improvement month? We may not have stuck to our New Year’s resolutions, but this doesn’t mean we can’t take the time this month to think of some ways to improve ourselves. Here are some great suggestions that you might think about trying.

  1. Set goals:  give yourself some goals to look forward to whether in the immediate future or distant future.
  2. Think positive:  thinking positive will bring out the best in you.  Steer away from negativity.  Try to look at the brighter side of things.
  3. Be grateful: express gratitude whenever you can.  Gratitude really does wonders.
  4. Exercise: even a 20 minute light work-out can lower stress make you feel better mentally and physically
  5. Increase your knowledge:  study a subject that you’ve always wanted to learn more about.  This will boost your confidence and increase your intelligence.
  6. Get organized: try planning your day in advance to help you keep you more organized.  Spend the day going through important documents and getting them organized (such as your home and auto insurance records)
  7. Surround yourself with good people: Associate with people with positive people.  Spend time with friends and family that make you feel loved and respected.
  8. Treat yourself: take care of yourself first.  Look after your health and happiness.
  9. Travel: seek new adventures, try new things, go to places you always wanted to visit
  10. Finish what you started: don’t leave things undone.  Finish what you start and only take on projects that you know you can finish in a timely manner.
  11. Find a hobby: is there something you’ve always wanted to learn.  Take on a hobby, not only do you learn something new you can relax and enjoy it.
  12. Change one habit: find one habit that you would like to change and work on it.  This will make you a better person.

These are just a few examples of things you can do to improve yourself.  We hope you will take the time to try a few.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job