Oklahoma’s Burn Ban Grows

Over the past few weeks, there have been an increasing amount of grass fires sweeping across parts of Oklahoma. With only minimal chances of precipitation later in the week, counties all over the State are being placed under a burn ban. Yesterday morning KOTV, News Channel Six, posted a list of 20 counties including Creek, Payne, and Rogers that have all been placed under a burn ban. At around 2:30 Monday afternoon, the article was updated to also include Okmulgee County. If you are caught violating the burn ban that has been put into place you will receive a minimum of a $500 fine.

The growing list comes after another large grass fire caused a power outage in Inola on Sunday evening. Firefighters believe the fire started after the wind knocked down a power line causing it to spark and ignite. The wind only served to spread the fire at a rapid pace. According to Fox 23, who spoke with Inola Firefighters, the fire began around 10 p.m. At one point, the fire stretched over 2 ½ miles wide, burning acres and acres of land. Although no homes were damaged by the grass fire, most of Inola Citizens were left without power from Sunday into Monday. The Inola School Superintendent was forced to call off school on Monday simply due to the power outage.

I am sure that everyone is well aware of the lack of rain and high winds lately, but I am not sure that people understand exactly how quickly these fires take off. A few weeks ago (prior to any burn bans) I wanted to clean up the limbs in my yard from the snow and ice storms. It was going to be nice out, and since the ground was still wet from snow and ice earlier in the week I figured I would not have to worry about catching the entire yard on fire. Well, I was right about one thing, it was wet. It was so wet I may have used an excessive amount of lighter fluid to get my fire started. Eventually I had a small fire. After a while I noticed small areas of my grass catching on fire. I could not believe it! Even with all the moisture we had recently received, the grass dried out and burned quicker than all the twigs and limbs I stacked.

We encourage everyone to be diligent when working outside with anything that could create a spark. I understand that individuals who are welders or electricians encounter these problems daily, but just be aware of your surroundings. For a complete list of counties under the burn ban check out: http://www.newson6.com/story/24555522/another-oklahoma-county-adopts-burn-ban

Channing Spence

RCI helps “Spread the Warmth”

RCI would like to invite all of you to join us in participating in this year’s “Spread the Warmth” blanket drive.

Spread the Warmth
Spread the warmth is an annual event sponsored by Tulsa’s KTUL News Channel 8 and La Mode Cleaners to collect blankets to donate to the homeless. Last year, Spread the Warmth collected over 4,700 blankets to distribute to Tulsans in need. This year’s goal is to collect a minimum of 5,000 blankets.

Such a simple task that so many of us can easily partake in. If you are like me, you probably have a closet full of blankets that rarely get used. This is all it takes. Grab a gently used blanket or a new one and bring it to our office here in Claremore or one of the following locations:

• Any LaMode Cleaner
• KTUL Tulsa’s Channel 8
• Mattress firm, all Tulsa locations including Broken Arrow, Owasso, and Sand Springs
• UniFirst in Broken Arrow
• Lake Country Chevrolet in Muskogee
• Volunteers of America Oklahoma (at either location in Tulsa or Muskogee)

Blankets collected will be distributed by Volunteers of America Oklahoman to places such as Family and Children’s Services, John 3:16, Emergency Infant Services, and many other great organizations that help those in need. The blanket drive ends January 31st. We ask that if you plan on bringing a blanket to our office, bring it no later than the 30th to ensure it gets dropped off in time.  For more information please visit: http://www.voaok.org/Featured-Highlights/Spread-the-Warmth-2.html

Claremore Mourns the Loss of Mayor

Mickey with family putting up signs for the upcoming election.

Mickey with family putting up signs for the upcoming election.

This morning I received sad news that the Mayor of Claremore, and dear friend, Mickey Perry has passed away.  At the age of 66, Mickey passed away from a heartattack last night.  Honestly I am shocked, as most people who knew him would be. It was only a week ago my husband had to pull him out of our driveway, because it was too slick for him to get back up the slope (getting stuck was a result of him not listening to his daughter who told him not to go down there).  Nevertheless, I feel the need to reminisce about this great man.

Mickey and family after recieving his Citizen of the Year award.

Mickey and family after recieving his Citizen of the Year award.

Mickey has been serving the Rogers County area for decades now. He began as a patrol officer, then he worked for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, and eventually was promoted as the Chief of Police. Mickey retired as Chief of police at the beginning of 2011, but that would not be the last we seen of him. By April, Mickey had been elected as Mayor to the City of Claremore. Throughout his career he was also involved in other community events like the Special Olympics and “Share the Spirit”  which delivers food and gifts to those in need around the holidays. In 2012 Mickey was named as “The Citizen of the Year” by the Claremore Progress, and just this past Saturday he was inducted into the Law Enforcement Hall of Fame.

Mickey with daughter Jennifer after being inducted into the Law Enforcement Hall of Fame

Mickey with daughter Jennifer after being inducted into the Law Enforcement Hall of Fame

Anyone who knew Mickey knows that no job or title he has held was as important to him as the role of husband, father, and grandfather. Mickey’s daughter became my aunt about a decade ago, and with that he became a part of my family. Mickey was so wonderful to me! Such a sweetheart. It was Mickey who pulled a few strings (or a lot of strings) to help me cross my number one item off my bucket list. Because of Mickey I got to meet Garth Brooks while on a trip to Vegas! I cannot explain to you how happy I was! Turns out Mickey was just as excited for me he could hardly stand it. He called my Aunt first thing the following morning to see if I had called to tell her all about it. Mickey, his wife, and I met for lunch when I got home so I could fill him in on all the details.

Mickey Perry was one of the most giving, thoughtful, and respected people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Not only will your family and friends miss you Mickey, but you will be missed by an entire community.

Elf on the Shelf hits RCI Insurance

I hope everyone was safe in the winter weather that has covered most of the U.S. this past week! Everyone here weathered the storm just fine, until they came back to work on Monday.

I’m not sure Santa just thought that there was not production coming out of the office, or maybe not enough holiday cheer going on, but he sent in the “Elf on the Shelf.”  This was the scene we walked into Monday morning.

Elf Day 1

According to the note we found his name is Auto (how fitting) and he will be keeping an eye on things through the Holiday season.  On Tuesday the Elf was no longer dangling from the garland, but from the tape dispenser on Julie’s desk.  The jury is still out on what exactly he was trying to tape.

Elf Day 2

Not everyone in the office had heard about the Elf until Wednesday when Chet came into work to this.

photo 3                             elf day 3

And Chet was clearly confused over our Elfs behavior. Chet Elf

I guess Auto was worried he may have taken it a little to far with Chet, so the next few days he took it easy on us. I am pretty sure Karen helped him clean up this mess. This morning I do believe he was just trying to help us get some work done!

skittles                          elf day 5

It is debatable if he actually sold any insurance, but we will give him an A for effort!

 

 

It’s the Apocalypse, wait its just Snow.

Sitting here today as Oklahoma weather shows it’s ugly face, and everyone preps as if the zombie apocalypse is about to occur, you know rushing to the grocery store fighting over bread and milk.  Nevertheless I thought since everyone else was stocking their cabinets with food and supplies I would prep you all with some winter driving tips!

RCI Snowy Vehicle

Winter Weather Driving Tips from The Weather Channel:

1. Make sure both you and your vehicle are properly equipped to handle the roads and the weather. My husband laughs at me because when the weather rolls around I put snacks & blankets in my car. I don’t want to starve or freeze to death! I think the amusing part here is that we do not live in Montana where you go MILES without seeing anything or anyone. Bottom line here, dress accordingly and be prepared for anything.

2. Slow down & drive smoothly. Speeding to get out of the weather is not going to help anyone. Patience is a virtue (I am not saying I have much of one myself), but driving slower and being more cautious is going to be your saving grace.  Keep your lane changes to a minimum, and do not lay on your brakes.

3. Do Not Tailgate. Obvious as it may be tailgating provides a ton of accidents and claims.  I also know that driving on a busy road makes tailgating hard to avoid.  If you leave too much space between you and the car in front of you other drivers jump right in. Stop and go traffic is the worst. A fender bender in the freezing rain and snow is not the way you want to spend your time. These fender benders are so frequent when roads wet or icy some cities run programs like Tulsa’s “Operation Slick Streets” which means that officers will not respond to non-injury accidents. They suggest you exchange insurance information and if you are close to a Quick Trip you can pick up a collision report to fill out.

4. Do Not use Cruise Control. Hopefully this will keep your speed down as well as keep you more aware of your surroundings.

5. Pull over or stay home. Of course if you are able to stay home and out of the weather that would be your best bet. If you do have to get out then remember that there is no shame in pulling over or waiting till the weather lightens up before heading on your way.

http://www.weather.com/life/safety/autosafety/article/five-winter-driving-tips_2011-10-30

While working on this I have read on cityoftulsa.org that Tulsa has in fact enacted the “Operation Slick Streets” this means it is getting rough out there. Hopefully everyone has their milk and eggs because as of this morning there was not a lot left. Everyone remember these driving tips and be safe as you head home!

The New Girl

If you were thinking Zoey Dechanel then I’m sorry to say you are wrong…but take one glance at this beauty and you know it will be entertaining to say the least!

photo 1

My name is Channing. I am new to the RCI Team, and I am taking over this blog. Lucky for all of you blogging is something I have been interested in for a while now. Although my inspiration for wanting to blog does not stem from a business perspective, but mostly for entertainment purposes. Obviously I do not take myself too serious.

My goal for this blog is to keep readers informed and up to speed on insurance! What else would my goal be? After a daunting marketing meeting yesterday afternoon I think that we have some great ideas that will not only keep you informed, but hopefully entertained as well. I plan on getting a little “personal” with my RCI Coworkers as well. Don’t tell them, but yes I am planning on tossing them under the microscope from time to time. What is more interesting than the people you work with…

Since I am the “New Girl” let me tell you a bit about me. I was born and raised around “these parts,” and I could not be more excited to be working in Claremore again. In 2012 I married my high school sweetheart and we have two dogs. I promise to divulge more personal information as we move along, but one thing you should know is I will do almost anything to get a laugh. Even if that means wearing a sweater from the 90’s and a pair of pants from the bargain rack to a restaurant with the entire family.

photo 2

I am a Rogers State Alum with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science with an emphasis in Psychology. With this degree I can read your mind (insert eye roll). After graduating college I have been in the insurance business. I have worked for two other companies before finding my way back home to RCI.

I am excited to start this new journey, and I hope that you all will be patient with me as I learn the ins and outs of blogging. Of course I want to hear from you, so please leave your thoughts and comments.

John 3:16 Mission Donation

RCI Insurance recently donated 232 Thanksgiving dinners to the John 3:16 Mission of Tulsa.

The John 3:16 Mission works to improve the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of Tulsa’s hungry and homeless. Located in downtown Tulsa, Okla., the Mission provides food, shelter, clothing and restorative programs to those in need. Since its founding in 1952, the Mission has served in excess of 4 million meals and provided over 1 million individual shelters to the homeless.

 

John 316 Mission
http://john316mission.org/whoWeAre.php