“Keeping it Local”


“What does “Keeping it Local” mean to you?” That is a question posed to graduating seniors at Valley Center High School when they applied for a community service scholarship through the Chamber of Commerce. It is an excellent question and received some excellent answers.

Keeping it Local has become a catchphrase in our community, and rightfully so. Who wouldn’t want their community businesses to do well? After all, we’re all neighbors here, and it’s definitely the neighborly thing to do! But encouraging our community to Keep it Local is only one important aspect of the equation.

Keeping it Local is, above all, a relationship, and a relationship, by definition, should be a two-way street. So it’s not enough just to tell everyone in our community, “Keep it local.” If we, as businesses and community-minded people, want and expect our community to indeed keep it local, then we have a responsibility in this relationship as well.

So, as a business, “What does Keeping it Local mean to you?” Well, we can’t speak for everyone else, but we can speak for PVI, and this is what it means to us:

  • It means treating everyone with respect, including our competitors
  • It means valuing the members of the community whether they are customers of ours, or not
  • It means earning and keeping the trust and respect of our community by providing outstanding service
  • It means offering products and/or services that are an exceptional value and then standing behind them
  • It means serving on the Board and being active with our Chamber of Commerce
  • It means supporting, promoting and encouraging other local businesses in their events and activities, and referring customers when possible
  • It means supporting our youth through school events and extracurricular activities
  • It means participating in, and with, service clubs and nonprofit organizations for their charity events
  • It means providing value to the members of our community by keeping them informed about insurance issues, but also other issues of importance that might affect them

We believe that through our actions, as a business and as individuals, by supporting our community and doing everything in our power to encourage and engender a spirit of unity (putting the “unity” in community), that others will respond in kind and do likewise.

That certainly doesn’t mean that we all have to think alike. Sometimes, we’ll just have to agree to disagree on certain issues, and that’s okay! Like any family, we have our differences, but just like when you go to a big family potluck dinner, everyone has something they specialize in that you look forward to enjoying, so it is with our community as well. As long as we continue to respect and value each other for what we bring to the table, we can all sit down and enjoy our feast of fellowship!

At PVI, we believe that it is up to all of us to do our part, whether as businesses and/or consumers, to nurture the spirit of Keeping it Local as we pass it on to the next generation by fostering the ideal of giving back to our community. Based on the essays from the graduating seniors, I’d say we’re doing a pretty good job!

That’s what Keeping it Local means to us at PVI. What does it mean to you?


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Here’s to Life…Insurance!


Peace of mind. Financial security. Asset protection. Death benefit.

Just as there are several different ways to look at life insurance, there are several different companies that can provide it. But only Pauma/Valley Insurance Agency (PVI) can provide the personal service that meets everyone’s needs. Whether you need a large policy to cover your many assets, or a small one to live simply, PVI knows that they are of equal value to you. That’s why PVI is “Valley Center’s Most Trusted Independent Insurance Agency Since 1978” – because we put you first.

And that’s more than just a slogan, that’s a fact. And when you’re dealing with something as important as Life Insurance, you want to deal in facts. Here are a few important ones to consider when choosing your Life Insurance Agency:

  • PVI is comprised of Independent Agents, who work for you, not an Insurance Company
  • PVI Agents are experienced and knowledgeable about all aspects of Life Insurance: Term, Whole Life, Variable, Universal.
  • PVI is affiliated with over fifty (50) insurance companies to better serve you and your specific needs
  • PVI has been in the insurance business longer than the other local independent insurance agencies combined
  • PVI has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
  • PVI has the only Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) Agent in the area

We could go on, but we think you get the picture. So, whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been around awhile, don’t you think it’s time to give us a call to discuss your insurance needs? Although your life doesn’t depend on it, you can depend on us for life!

For more information and/or to receive a free quote, please call 760-749-2383.

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Earthquake Advisory Issued for Southern California

San Diego Residents, please be advised that an Earthquake Advisory has been issued. Help pass the word by sharing this post now!

The warning issued by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services follows a series of small temblors deep under the Salton Sea, which is located on the 800-mile-long San Andres Fault.


LA Times and KTLA has reported a rapid succession of more than 200 earthquakes — three measuring above magnitude 4.0 — In what experts call an Earthquake Swarm, continuing for more than 24 hours.

The Earthquake Advisory will remain in effect until Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. and includes the following counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Kern, Ventura, San Bernardino, San Diego and Imperial.

The California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council with the California Office of Emergency Services believe that areas along the San Andreas fault have a heightened probability of an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.3 or higher.



Does my current Home Insurance policy include coverage for Earthquake damage? 

As you probably know, earthquake damage is not covered by a standard homeowners’’ policy. For the most part, the risk of experiencing significant damage due to an earthquake is not that high in many areas. California, however, is one of the places where the risk is high –– and history has demonstrated just how costly such damage can be.

Earthquake insurance provides protection from the shaking and cracking that can destroy buildings and personal possessions. Coverage for other kinds of damage that may result from earthquakes, such as fire and water damage due to burst gas and water pipes, is provided by standard home and business insurance policies.


Click Here: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07eda86s3zitt059sg/start



Can dogs predict earthquakes? Can humans? Is there such a thing as ““earthquake weather?”” No, no and no. There are all kinds of myths surrounding earthquakes but the truth is that we have no way of predicting them. Earthquakes are also unaffected by the time of day and can occur in the morning, afternoon or evening. These are the things that make earthquakes so dangerous. We never know when one might occur, which is why people who live in areas prone to earthquakes must be prepared.

  1. Identify potential hazards in the home and fix them.

Is your water heater safely strapped? Is your flat screen television securely mounted on the wall? Are there tall, heavy pieces of furniture that need to be secured to the wall? Each of these poses a significant hazard both in terms of a family’s safety and costs should damage occur to these fixtures or because of them.

  1. Create a disaster preparedness plan.

Does your family know what to do when an earthquake occurs? It is very important to make sure everyone in the house knows the right thing to do before, during and following an earthquake. All family members should be able to identify safe spots in the home and know how to ““drop, cover and hold on.”” Keep shoes and flashlights under beds, devise a signal (such as three knocks) if someone becomes trapped, identify a safe spot to meet after the shaking stops, and have practice ““drills”” every now and then to make sure everyone knows what the plan is. These are just a few ideas for how a family should be prepared for an earthquake.

  1. Prepare disaster supplies kits.

Everyone should have a disaster supply kit –– personally and for the household. Personalearthquake_damage kits might include prescription medications, dust masks, flashlights and batteries and copies of personal identification items. Kits should be placed in the home, in the car and at work. You never know where you’ll be when an earthquake occurs. A household kit should include things like essential documents (insurance policies, deeds, etc.), battery-operated radio and batteries, drinking water, non-perishable food items, a first aid kit, tools, garbage bags, supplies and restraints for pets if necessary, blankets, etc. This kit should be stored in a water- resistant and easily-accessible place in the home.

  1. Identify your building’s potential weak spots and fix them.

If there is any way to strengthen your home from sustaining significant damage from an earthquake, do it! If you need assistance in identifying weak spots, there are professionals out there who specialize in this sort of thing. Examples of weak spots include inadequate foundations, unbraced cripple walls, soft first stories, and unreinforced masonry. If you find any of these kinds of weaknesses in your home, fix them as soon as you can.

  1. Protect yourself during an earthquake: Drop, Cover and Hold On.

During an earthquake, you should drop to the floor, cover yourself (get under a sturdy table, for example) and hold on until the shaking stops. Avoid things like exterior walls, windows, hanging objects, mirrors and do not go outside! If you’re in bed, cover your head with a pillow and stay there. If you are in your car, pull over and set the parking brake (don’t part under overpasses). If you’re outside, move clear of power lines, trees, buildings, etc. If you’re in a public place such as a stadium or theatre, stay put and cover yourself.

  1. After the earthquake, check for injuries and damages.

Check everyone for injuries and administer care or first aid immediately. If you are trapped, cover your mouth, nose and eyes from dust. Seek emergency medical care as soon as possible, if necessary. These are all common sense actions. As for damage, your home (or the building you are in at the time of an earthquake) is at risk for fire, gas leaks, power outage and broken lights or appliances. Put out small fires if you can and turn of the main gas valve ONLY if you suspect there is a leak.

  1. When safe, continue to follow your disaster preparedness plan.

Once your family is safe and you’ve attended to any immediate needs, follow through with your disaster preparedness plan. Remember, aftershocks and tremors may occur for days or weeks following an earthquake. Just because the shaking as stopped doesn’t mean it’s done for good. You must always be prepared.



Click Here: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07eda86s3zitt059sg/start

Call us now: 760-749-2383

For ideas from the Red Cross about emergency preparedness, go to http://www.redcross.org/domore


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Meet the Fire Chief!


As the saying goes, “You can’t keep a good man down.” Neither can retirement. So after a successful 29-year career with the Vista Fire Department, where he rose through the ranks achieving Battalion Chief before retiring, Joe Napier was ready for another challenge. His timing was impeccable. Coinciding with his retirement was Valley Center Fire Protection District’s nationwide search for a new Fire Chief to oversee and implement its planned expansion. Luckily for Valley Center, they only had to look as far as, well, Valley Center, to find the perfect candidate.

You see, not only was Joe Napier extremely qualified from a professional standpoint, but also from a personal one, since he has been a Valley Center resident for almost twenty years and truly has a vested interest in our community. He has lived through the mandatory evacuations of 2003 and 2007, so has a level of experience and personal knowledge that he brings to the table. Chief Napier, or Joe as most people around here call him, has held the position of Fire Chief for “twenty-one months” and has done an outstanding job of fulfilling the vision and goals set for him, and by him.

But he doesn’t take all the credit. He says he was blessed to start with a “fine” Fire Department and through a lot of hard work from all involved, they have become a “great” Fire Department! He is thrilled that they now participate at all levels as a recognized member of the fire community. He enjoys working closely with Cal Fire, Tribal and other emergency responders. He said there is a healthy competition between VC Fire and Cal Fire (iron strengthens iron) and they complement each other in achieving the mission.

Promoting life safety through Public Education, prevention, and all-risk fire response are among the main things Joe focuses on, but his highest priority and his greatest accomplishment has been adding Advanced Life Support Services (ALS) for medical emergencies. Establishing ALS/paramedic services, whereby paramedics are deployed on-scene much more rapidly than before (where seconds and minutes count) will have been in service one year on October 1st, and is responsible for saving lives and reducing trauma from injuries and long-lasting effects of other medical emergencies. What a blessing and peace of mind to know that when you call 911, within minutes, a paramedic team will be onsite to help stabilize the patient(s) in need!

You don’t have to spend much time with Joe before it becomes obvious that he loves his job! In fact, he practically glows with excitement when he starts talking about his passion for protecting and educating his neighbors about fire safety and prevention. The same is true when he addresses the forty dedicated personnel he oversees. It truly is refreshing and encouraging to meet someone who, after so many years in the business, is still passionate about what they do!

If you haven’t had a chance to meet our Fire Chief, he would love the opportunity to meet you. He is available to speak at civic clubs, organizations, community meetings, schools, etc. You also are welcome to meet him on his own turf at the Fire Department, or what he likes to call the “Department of Quality of Life.”

Joe Napier

VCFPD Fire Chief


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Are You Prepared? VCFPD Can Help!


If you live in Valley Center or the surrounding area, you know we tend to think of fire season as in the fall, after a long hot summer with little or no rain. However, when asked about his predictions for the “coming” fire season, Chief Joe Napier smiled and responded, “In our area, if it’s not raining, it’s ‘always’ fire season.” With that in mind, it’s important to always be prepared and ready to act if the need arises. Good advice!

But since our “traditional” fire season is right around the corner, it’s also important to note what we can expect weather-wise. Chief Napier said, according to the weather predictions from the experts, we can expect a hotter, drier and windier fall than average, which does not bode well for fire safety. However, since the Chief takes their advice to heart, he makes sure all his personnel is well educated and trained to best handle whatever comes up.

Of course, his job also is to make sure the public is prepared through community education and by providing real-life tools to insure safety in the event of a wildfire. So, the best thing we can do is follow the advice from someone who knows what he’s talking about. Here are a few of the recommendations Chief Napier shared:

  1. Register your cell phone with http://readysandiego.org/ to receive reverse 911 calls.
  2. Make a plan. Since your family may not be together when a disaster happens, it is important to have a plan already in place so you will know how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. A template is available at http://readysandiego.org/make-a-plan/.
  3. Build a kit. Use a clear large, tub that is easily transportable to store necessary emergency items for your family (including pets) in the event you have to evacuate. Items include medications, personal care items, comfort items, non-perishable food, water, flashlight/batteries, blanket, small tools, etc. For a checklist of items and their purpose, please click here.
  4. Protect your home. Maintain a 100-foot clear radius of combustible vegetation around your structure(s). Make sure smoke alarms are present and test regularly. For information on defensible space, click here.
  5. Protect important papers. Scan important papers and save on a thumb drive or in a “cloud.” Give a thumb drive to a non-resident family member/friend to safeguard or use a safety deposit box. (Fireproof safes are not always adequate.)
  6. Pets/animals. If you have pets and/or other animals at home, and you’re not, when a fire strikes, notify the Fire Department and/or Sheriff’s Department. They work closely with the Department of Animal Services to help protect our “other family members.”
  7. Be safety conscious. Be aware of your surroundings and use caution when doing anything that might generate sparks or cause a fire.
  8. Get involved. Join/support CERT, DAS VC DART and other local Emergency Response Teams to help serve your community.
  9. Obey fire evacuations. Evacuate immediately if instructed to do so. Your life, or the life of someone else, may depend on it. Most things are replaceable, YOU are not!

For more safety information and hands-on experience, be sure and come to the Valley Center Fire Protection District’s Fire Safety Exposition on October 8th from 10 am – 4 pm at Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center.

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Clyde Askren…California Dreamin’


If you think insurance is boring, you haven’t met Clyde Askren. In fact, humor is one of his endearing qualities. But don’t let the smile fool you. Clyde can be a very determined man, which has contributed greatly to his personal and professional success. You see, when he sets his mind to do something, he does it; such as living in California. It was a life-long dream of Clyde’s to live (and then retire) in California, and here he is. A native of Covington, Indiana, Clyde has been making his way west for many years, and is now a happy four-year resident of Valley Center.

Although Clyde is new to PVI, he certainly is not new to the insurance business, having been an agent for almost 35 years. He specializes in life insurance, health insurance and Medicare products, but with his vast experience and hands-on knowledge, he can offer any type of insurance needed.

You might be wondering how someone who has been in the business for so long can keep it fresh and exciting, and Clyde would tell you it’s the people. His favorite part of the job is getting out and meeting people who can benefit from the work that he does. He says it’s about more than selling insurance, it’s about solving problems and filling a need with the right fit. The “sell” is only part of the equation, the other part is the “service” which, for Clyde, includes referring each of his business clients to other clients who can be of service to them. He also loves the freedom of setting his own hours to blend with his customers’ needs.

As part of his ongoing training, Clyde earned a professional designation with the Life Underwriters Training Council, LUTCF, and has moderated those same courses over the years. Along the way, he has incorporated 18 years in management into training new and existing agents, with stellar results.

Although Clyde has been very successful through the years, including working in three states and selling three agencies, he knows that “Nobody ever got better by winning all the time” so he has continued to stretch his horizons, thus proving that “Challenges present opportunities for growth.” Ergo, he greets each day motivated to overcome challenges while making life a little better for those around him.

While Clyde’s fellow PVI Team Members and his customers appreciate his positive attitude (and his humor), of course his “home team” does, too, which includes his wife, Debbie, of 39 years, his three children and five grandchildren. Other family members are a Beagle and a Jack Russell that “refuse to grow up.” (That’s probably just “Clyde Speak” for fun-loving, which means the dogs fit right in!)

As you can see, Clyde is not all work. He makes time to spend walking, fishing and hanging out on the water; as long as he’s outdoors, he’s a happy camper! He also supports Debbie’s passion as a NASCAR fan, and they love attending races whenever they can.

Clyde also believes in giving back to the community. He is a Mason, a Shriner and supports Valley Center Chamber of Commerce events.

Clyde likes to sum up his perspective on living with the following saying, “Life is like a stick of gum; you can put it in your pocket and save it, or you can chew it until the flavor is all gone, and then spit it out.” Although Clyde has done a lot of chewing in his time, as you can readily tell, he’s still enjoying the flavor!

If you’re in the market to add a little flavor to your insurance experience, give Clyde a call today!

Clyde Askren, LUTCF

Office Phone: 760-749-2383

Cell Phone: 760-504-2667



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Congratulations, Brandon!


It’s official! PVI Manager, Brandon Strausbaugh, just received his CPCU certificate at the annual meeting of the CPCU Society in Hawaii.

For those who are not familiar with CPCU, it stands for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, and is a professional designation in property-casualty insurance and risk management. The CPCU designation is held by just over 2% of all those employed in the insurance industry in the United States, and is widely considered the premier designation in the property and casualty insurance industry.

The program to earn the CPCU designation is built on a foundation of broad technical knowledge, high ethical standards, and demonstrated industry experience, and prepares those who complete the program to meet the changes and challenges of a demanding risk management and insurance marketplace with confidence and professionalism. Passing the required CPCU exams and meeting the ethics, experience, and matriculation requirements is what earns the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation.

So, obviously, we at PVI are very proud of Brandon and his accomplishment! We hope you join us in congratulating him on a job well done. For all of those who have encouraged and supported him along the way, Brandon says, “Mahalo!”

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