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Voice of the Consumer: The importance of preparation

By: BETTY SEXTON KKTV11 News
February 22, 2015 Updated: February 23, 2015 at 1:18 pm
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photo - Betty Sexton
Betty Sexton 

On the road of life you never know what lies ahead. That's why preparation is so important.

Take a car accident on I-25 in rush hour traffic. Two weeks ago my son, Taylor was headed with a friend to Denver to see the Oklahoma City Thunder play the Nuggets.

They never got there because of a crash in Monument that nearly took their lives.

According to those involved, a Land Rover on a lift kit hurtled into an Audi, and then plowed into Taylor's car. Because he was in the middle lane, Taylor couldn't move to the right or left. He simply braked and braced for impact.

He and his friend were bruised and battered, but they and everyone else survived. What does this have to do with a consumer column? You can't predict the future, but you can plan for tomorrow.

Make sure your house is in order. Don't put off maintenance that could spell trouble later. Have your roof, chimney, gutters, and downspouts checked. Change or clean your furnace filters. Vacuum your refrigerator coils, especially if you have pets.

"It will make your refrigerator last longer and use less electricity," Ernie Anderson, owner of Appliance Repair Specialists said.

He charges about $88 to perform the work.

Anderson also said if your washing machine is connected with a rubber hose, have it replaced with one made of stainless steel. He said your dryer needs to be serviced every four to five years to prevent a dryer fire, and it's important to have a professional open it up and clean out the lint and vent line.

While you're in the kitchen, clean the range hood filter.

"Put the filter in the dishwasher, add dishwasher soap, and run it through a few times to break up the grease," Anderson said.

To knock off debris that builds up on your garbage disposal blades, he recommends running cold water, turning on the disposal, and putting ice cubes down the drain. You also can fill ice trays with vinegar or lemon juice, freeze them, and run them down the drain.

After you're done in the house, move on to your vehicles. Check the antifreeze, brakes, battery, engine oil, oil filter, exhaust, tires, and windshield wipers. Also call your insurance agent and make sure you have the right amount of coverage for your cars and home. If you rent, buy renter's insurance.

I'm always warning you to be on the lookout for crooks, but you also have to be prepared for emergencies. If you're involved in a car accident, talk to eyewitnesses and get their contact information. Carry a cellphone or store a disposable camera in the car's glove box to document what happened. Keep a list of contacts handy, including a reputable towing company and your insurance agent. Taylor didn't get to see his favorite player, the Thunder's Kevin Durant score 40 points that night, but he survived the crash.

In the game of life that's what counts.

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Contact Betty Sexton: bsexton@kktv11news.com or 457-8214

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