A Little-known Winter Hazard

December 22, 2016

A post from Katrina Luetkebuenger, a West Bend Loss Prevention Representative: There are many risks to consider with winter driving. I didn’t think about this hazard until it almost flew right through my windshield. Last week while driving down the highway, a wintery explosion of snow and ice suddenly interrupted my thoughts. Several pieces of ice broke off the roof of the semi-truck traveling in front of me, causing cinder-block and brick-sized ice missiles to fly through the air at 70 miles per hour toward my minivan! With traffic on either side of me, there was no way to avoid them. Several huge ice chunks slammed into the roof of my car, each with a very loud bang. It sounded like somebody was hitting my car with a bat and instinct caused me to crouch in my seat with each thud. I thought the roof was caving in!

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Severe Storm Knocks Out Power for Days

July 26, 2016

We spend all winter looking forward to long, sunny days. Then finally summer arrives, bringing some beautiful weather. But summer also can bring dangerous storms with flooding, tornadoes, and lightning. Last Thursday in Duluth, Minnesota, a severe thunderstorm rolled through in the early morning hours. Winds were clocked at over 80 mph in some parts of the region. Local TV and radio stations were knocked off the air. Residents awoke to trees and power lines all over the ground. Yesterday it was reported there were still 7000 homes and businesses without power, five long days after the storm. Imagine if this had happened to your organization in the middle of the day. Are you prepared?

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Summer Heartbreak: Hot Cars and Kids

June 28, 2016

Every year, as the weather gets warmer, tragedies involving children and hot vehicles appear in the news. These stories are always so devastating. The fear felt by the child and the extreme guilt by the parent or caregiver is heartbreaking. Just in the last few weeks, there have been several examples from all over the country:

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VIDEO: Mother Leaves Child in Hot Van

August 05, 2015

We've addressed vehicular hyperthermia many times on this site, but, sadly, people continue to leave their young children and their pets in hot vehicles while they shop. This is totally unacceptable!

Eyewitness footage was recently released of a young child that was left in a minivan while the mother shopped at Costco. Inexplicably, it appears the mother took one of her children into the store but decided to leave

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Defending the Daycare with the Sunburned Kids

August 03, 2015

A childcare center in Oklahoma is in hot water after extremely graphic photos of two children that were severely sunburned began circulating around the internet. According to the daycare, the children were told to keep their shirts while on a field trip to a pool but they did not listen to their teacher. The kids are currently hospitalized with second- and third-degree burns and will likely have permanent

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Safety at the Y in 2014

April 10, 2015

West Bend Mutual Insurance Company works with more than 200 Y associations throughout the Midwest. Each year, these Ys submit hundreds of insurance claims to West Bend. This year, we conducted a thorough analysis of each of these claims and held a live online seminar for our customers to discuss the results. To help make other Ys (and similar organizations) safe for

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Look Before You Lock!

July 24, 2014

Every summer there are stories from all over the country of young children dying from vehicular hyperthermia after being unintentionally left in cars on warm days. Two tragic stories – one from Texas and the other from Georgia – have been making national news. Both instances highlight how dangerous vehicular hyperthermia can be and why it’s so important to

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Say "Yes" to a Snow Removal Contractor this Winter

December 06, 2013

Winter is definitely here. Much of Minnesota is still digging out from over two feet of snow and half the country is bracing for crippling ice storms. Every year, at just about this time, the claims department at West Bend sees a drastic increase in the number of reported claims during the winter months. These claims are usually the result of

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Two Kids Dead Because of Extreme Heat and Neglect

July 17, 2013

The National Weather Service has recently issued severe weather warnings for much of the United States due to excessive heat and humidity. High temperatures and extreme humidity will push the heat index to well over 100 degrees throughout most of the country.

Unfortunately, these extremely hot conditions have already caused fatalities. A mother in Maryland has been arraigned after leaving her two kids - aged 20 months and 3 months - in a sweltering car for seven

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Fighting Dehydration with a Water Monster

May 15, 2013

Each summer, West Bend sends a team of safety experts across the Midwest to present to thousands of camp counselors at YMCAs and summer camps. When visiting with camp counselors we talk about many of the popular topics that probably come to mind: drowning prevention, abuse recognition, and field trip safety to name a few. And because we know campers will be spending a huge portion of their time outdoors in the

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