When Preparing for Disaster, Don’t Forget to Include Your Assets

By Meemic Insurance

In anticipation of a disaster, people generally take precautions and prepare their home accordingly.  But what about their financial affairs? These, too, are susceptible to disasters.  However, with careful planning and foresight, you can protect both your home and your valuable financial information from being lost or destroyed.

It is imperative that you have backups for all of your important paperwork, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, death certificates, social security cards, passports, drivers license, medical records, credit card numbers, bank account information, deeds, mortgages, car titles, tax returns, insurance policies and contact numbers, wills, power of attorney and contact information for executors, trustees and guardians. It is also important to maintain a household inventory of valuable items. Photographs of these belongings, recent appraisals and receipts for more expensive items are documents that should all be protected. Compile an itemized list of these items, including a brief description as well as serial numbers, cost, age and manufacturer.

How can you store this information safely, without the copies, too, being destroyed in a disaster? There are several options for backup storage. A fireproof safe in the home is an option for maintaining the originals, but if the home is completely destroyed, recovering the safe may not be possible. Mailing copies to a relative in a different geographic location may be the best alternative. You could also send copies to a financial adviser in another part of the country.

Another option is e-mailing scanned copies of the documents to yourself, so that you will be able to access them from any location with an Internet connection. Unfortunately, if your email is not secure, you will be exposing yourself to a perfect opportunity for identity theft. A few websites are now offering web-based backup services that can, for a small yearly fee, store your documents safely. Such services will also allow you, or anyone you trust with your account information, to access the information from anywhere.

The importance of sending copies so far away is because natural disasters typically affect an entire region.  If all your backups and originals are stored in the same area, all will be lost. In this respect, it is also important to have backup plans for your trusted advisors: any executors, trustees, advisors or guardians. If these individuals are all located in your region, they, too, may be affected by the natural disaster. It is a good idea to have these individuals spread out across the country, or to designate backups to act in place of these individuals, in case of a local disaster.

For more tips, visit Meemic.com/Safety.

$10,000 Classroom Makeover from The Meemic Foundation! + Monthly Grant Opportunity!

The Meemic Foundation has partnered with Lakeshore® to give away the largest grant award ever in the history of the Foundation! We are giving away three Complete Classrooms® from Lakeshore valued at up to $10,000 each to Wisconsin teachers! No application to complete – simply log in to your Foundation Club account and nominate yourself, a local school or educator. Deadline is Dec. 31. Visit MeemicFoundation.org/LargestEver.

Monthly Grant Opportunity from The Meemic Foundation!

We invite you to PopIn2Win! It’s The Meemic Foundation’s monthly opportunity for a valuable resource or tool that will enhance your school or classroom learning for your students! It’s super-fast and easy. No application to complete. Just log in to your Foundation Club account and nominate yourself, a local school or educator to enter the current month’s PopIn2Win opportunity. Visit MeemicFoundation.org/PopIn2Win.

Updated Master’s Program in Educational Leadership at University of Wisconsin – River Falls

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls is pleased to announce the re-launch of an updated educational leadership master’s program called MSE-Professional Development Learning Community.  What makes this program unique?


By building leadership skills, this master of science in education degree readies teachers

and other educational professionals to meet the challenges of today’s schools and society.  The Professional Development Learning Community curriculum challenges participants to

improve their craft and practice while providing the tools and strategies necessary

to reflect upon, evaluate and enhance student learning.  For those dedicated to fostering

learning opportunities for all students and enhancing collaboration with colleagues, this program will

increase their capacity to serve as a leader in their school and community.


This program is designed for:

  • Those developing teaching and leadership skills in an educational setting;
  • Pre-K-16 educators who want to lead enhanced learning experiences; and
  • Individuals pursuing master teacher status.

Key Features

  • Develop an action research project of your choice to improve your practice and

enhance your classroom and school.

  • Courses include opportunities for individually designed, experiential learning.

Possible areas of focus: Leadership, Curriculum, Equity, Technology, Literacy,

Policy, or National Board Certification.

  • Curriculum provides both theoretical and practical experiences based on

reflective practice.


For a limited time, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls is offering a tuition discount to teachers and other educational professionals who apply to the Professional Development Learning Community master’s degree within the College of Education and Professional Studies.


Eligible students who enroll before December 15 will receive $500 off their tuition as they take courses toward a master of science in education degree.


Interested students should contact Pamela Bowen, program manager in UWRF Continuing Education, at 715-425-0633 or pamela.bowen@uwrf.edu for more information about the tuition discount and application instructions. Additional information about the degree program is available at http://choose.uwrf.edu/pdtt/

Looking for a WIN-WIN Fundraiser? Fundraise with Kwik Trip!

Freezers can only hold so much cookie dough and there are only so many magazines you can subscribe to. However, you will always need to buy items like gas, eggs, milk and other Kwik Trip commodities! That’s why Kwik Trip’s Scrip Gift Card Program is the easiest fundraiser out there!

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Your organization fills out an enrollment form at www.kwiktrip.com/scrip

Step 2: Once approved, you’re able to purchase the Scrip Gift Cards at a 5% discount – then sell the cards for full face value, keeping the difference!

Step 3: In Addition, your organization will earn a 10% rebate on most in-store purchases made by cardholders, some exclusions apply.

Simple right??

See what these Scrip Members had to say:

· “This is such a great opportunity for our kids to raise funds for trips. In 2 years we have made a profit of $59,696.87. This is money people would already spend at Kwik Trip regardless. Because they choose to funnel it through our scrip program, our students reap the benefits. Thank you, Kwik Trip!!” – Dave K. – Band Director at West Salem High School – West Salem, WI

· “Our Kwik Trip Scrip Gift Cards are in high demand from our families. The rebates from their purchases offset their tuition and lunch accounts and they are always so pleased to see those rebates on their invoices. Between their purchases and those made by their friends and families, they see their dollars stretch even further!” – Laurie B. – Winona Area Catholic Schools, Winona, MN

· “The Kwik Trip Scrip Program has by far been the best seller in our Scrip Program. It’s a win-win program for our parents.” – Donna D. – St. Athanasius School, Jesup, IA

Do you have questions about fundraising with Kwik Trip? Let’s chat! Email us at fundraising@kwiktrip.com

The High Costs of a Drunk Driving Arrest

By Meemic Insurance

More than 10,000 people die every year in car accidents that involve at least one driver who is under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.

And while the number of accidents involving alcohol is in the tens of thousands, about 1.5 million people are arrested annually for driving under the influence, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If you are arrested, you can expect to pay out substantial sums that could be close to $20,000. You’d not only be looking at fines, but also legal fees, impound fees and many years of higher insurance premiums, among other costs.

In every state, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. That may not sound like much, but if you have a BAC of even just 0.1 percent, you would likely be quite impaired.

To be over the limit may involve having just one drink for a small adult or two drinks for someone who weighs 200 pounds or more.

How the Costs Mount Up

Besides the fact that you can change someone else’s life forever if you drive under the influence, here’s what you can expect in terms of extra costs:

  • Bail from jail can range from $100 to $2,500.
  • If you are arrested for a DUI offense, you should expect to be jailed for a period of time. You will have to pay to be behind bars, which can sometimes cost hundreds of dollars.
  • There are also sentencing fees of up to $250.
  • Probation fees can run $200 to $1,200.
  • After you are arrested, law enforcement will have your vehicle towed to an impound yard. Car towing and impound fees can often cost you upwards of $1,200.
  • Fines and fees can range dramatically, but the average is about $1,000. These fees will be higher for repeat offenders.
  • On top of that, many states require some jail time after a conviction.
  • Attorney fees for a first DUI can run from as low as $1,500, but on average the figure is closer to about $3,500, depending on where you live. These fees will be higher for repeat offenders.
  • There will also be other fines assessed on you. These can vary substantially, as well. For a first-time DUI, you can expect to cough up $150 to $1,800.
  • Many states require that even first-time offenders have their vehicles fitted with an ignition interlock device that they must blow into to ensure they are below the legal limit. These devices can cost between $500 and $1,500 to install.
  • Alternative transportation costs can also add up during the period that you are under probation and may not be allowed to drive. You may have to pay up for public transportation, Uber/Lyft or a taxi.
  • You auto insurance will also jump considerably.

As you can see, the numbers add up quickly and you could be looking at extra outlays of at least $10,000 – and close to $20,000 if your case is more serious. Also, the above costs do not take into consideration if you injure or kill a third party.

In addition, Meemic and other insurance carriers may drop you when it’s time to renew, forcing you to shop around for new coverage, which is not easy with a fresh DUI arrest on your record. You may have to use an insurer that specializes in high-risk drivers, and that will cost you, too.

A DUI will stay on your Department of Motor Vehicles driving record at least five years in most states, and as long as 10 years in others.

The Takeaway

The best way to avoid all of these costs is not to drink and drive, period. But, if you are ever arrested for a DUI offense, you should contact your agent to discuss your insurance options.

For more safe driving tips, visit Meemic.com/Safety.