Eight Tips to Ensure and Safe and Spooky Halloween

Halloween night looks to be perfect weather here in the Portland Metro area which means more people may be out and about  celebrating  with costumes, candy, and spooky fun. However, it’s important to prioritize safety, especially when children and families are out and about after dark. Whether you’re going trick-or-treating, attending a Halloween party, or decorating your home, here eight essential safety tips to ensure a happy and safe Halloween for everyone.

  • Costume Safety:
    • Choose costumes that are flame-resistant to minimize fire hazards. 
    • Make sure costumes fit well to prevent trips and falls (including the Barbie shoes). 
    • Use face makeup instead of masks for better visibility, or ensure masks have wide eye openings for all those superheroes out there. 
    • Attach reflective tape to costumes or use glow-in-the-dark accessories to increase visibility at night.
  • Trick-or-Treating Safety:
    • Plan a route in advance and inform someone of your plans.
    • Carry a flashlight or glow sticks to increase visibility.
    • Accompany young children while trick-or-treating.
    • Teach kids to stay together in a group.
    • Only visit well-lit houses, and never enter a stranger’s home.
    • Examine all treats at home before consuming to check for tampering.
  • Home Decorations:
    • Keep decorations away from pathways to prevent tripping hazards.
    • Make sure walkways are well lit for for all the ghosts and witches headed to your door. 
    • Use battery-operated candles or glow sticks in pumpkins to avoid fire risks.
    • Ensure extension cords are properly secured and not a tripping hazard.
  • Pet Safety:
    • Keep pets indoors or in a secure area during Halloween festivities, as the commotion can stress them or lead to accidental escapes.
    • Ensure your pet’s costume, if they are wearing one, doesn’t restrict their movement or breathing.
  • Driver Awareness:
    • Exercise extra caution when driving on Halloween night. Expect increased foot traffic and children running between cars.
    • Drive at lower speeds, especially in residential areas.
  • Candy Inspection:
    • Examine all candy and treats before allowing children to eat them. Look for any unusual packaging or signs of tampering.
  • Respect Property:
    • Be respectful of people’s property when trick-or-treating. Don’t trample lawns, damage decorations, or litter.
    • Follow any community guidelines or curfews in place for Halloween activities.
  • Neighborhood Watch:
    • If your community has a neighborhood watch program, get involved or at least stay informed about any Halloween-related safety measures they may have in place.

By following these safety tips, you can enjoy the Halloween festivities while ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all involved, especially the children in the community. With proper precautions, Halloween can be a memorable and safe holiday for everyone to enjoy.

Haunted or not, make sure your home and business is properly insured this holiday season. Contact Us and our team of professionals can help you find the right insurance to fit your needs.


EPB&B recognized once again as a Top Corporate Philanthropist

Taking care of our team members, customers, and the people in the Portland community is what EPB&B is all about. Because of this, we are happy to announce that EPB&B has once again been recognized by the Portland Business Journal as a Top Corporate Philanthropist award winner, coming in at an impressive #2  on the list of small businesses and showing an twenty six percent increase in financial giving from 2022. 


“It is so rewarding to be able to build relationships within our community and see firsthand the impact we can make with monetary donations and hands on volunteering,” says EPB&B Personal Lines Account Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, Olivia Astrue. “It is encouraging to gather year after year at the Portland Business Journal Corporate Philanthropy Awards and hear about the devotion so many local companies have to helping people in need in Portland, there is so much unseen love given. I am so grateful to have these opportunities and I am proud to work for a company with such strong values.”

EPB&B in conjunction with the Baker Family Foundation  has had the honor this past year to continue to offer financial support some of our favoite local non profits, as well as learning about and supporting many new crucial small grassroots organizations, including; Path Home, Blanchet House, Breast Friends, Oregon Music Hall of Fame, One Tail at a Time PDX, Children’s Healing Art Project: CHAP,  Stone Soup PDX, Birch Community Services, just to name a few.  

Whether it’s providing housing for families in a tight spot, serving hot meals to people in need, promoting the arts through funding student scholarship programs, or offering support to animals, we welcome the opportunity to pay it forward by supporting organizations in the community that help improve the lives of others.A big thank you to our team members, customers and professional partners;  it is because of your generosity and support of our mission that this recognition is made possible.  

Here is more information about  the Baker Family Foundation and EPB&B’s commitment to community involvement.


Nine Ways Companies Can Prepare for a Fire Emergency

In today’s fast-paced business environment, where disruptions can come from various sources, it is essential for companies to be prepared for all types of emergencies. Among these, in Oregon and Washington, fire emergencies are particularly destructive and can have devastating consequences for both people and property. To safeguard their employees, assets, and operations, companies must establish robust fire emergency preparedness plans. Here are some key steps companies can take to ensure they are well-prepared for a fire emergency.

  • Risk Assessment: The first and most critical step in preparing for a fire emergency is to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment. Companies should identify potential fire hazards within their facilities, including faulty electrical systems, flammable materials, and fire-prone work processes. This assessment should also consider external factors such as proximity to fire-prone areas or other high-risk locations. By understanding the risks, companies can implement targeted measures to mitigate them.
  • Fire Prevention Measures: Preventing fires from occurring in the first place is the most effective strategy. Companies should establish strict fire prevention protocols, including regular maintenance of electrical systems, the proper storage and handling of flammable materials, and the installation of fire prevention equipment like smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Employee training on fire prevention is also crucial, as it enhances awareness and encourages proactive measures.
  • Emergency Response Plan: Developing a comprehensive emergency response plan is essential for any company. This plan should outline the procedures for evacuating employees, customers, and visitors in the event of a fire emergency. It should also designate specific roles and responsibilities for key personnel, including fire wardens, first aid responders, and those responsible for contacting emergency services. Regular drills and training sessions help employees understand and execute their roles effectively.
  • Fire Suppression Systems: Investing in adequate fire suppression systems is a fundamental aspect of fire preparedness. These systems may include sprinklers, fire alarms, and fire suppression agents like foam or gas-based systems. Regular maintenance and testing of these systems are crucial to ensuring they function correctly when needed.
  • Evacuation Plans: Companies should develop clear and well-marked evacuation plans that take into account various scenarios and potential escape routes. These plans should be easily accessible to all employees and visitors, and they should be periodically reviewed and updated to reflect changes in the physical layout of the facility.
  • Communication and Notification: Effective communication is vital during a fire emergency. Companies should establish reliable communication channels to notify employees of the situation and the steps they should take. This might include alarms, public address systems, and designated assembly areas. Additionally, establishing contact with local emergency services is critical for a prompt response.
  • Backup Data and Document Storage: In the event of a fire, important business data and documents can be lost. To mitigate this risk, companies should regularly back up their digital files and maintain offsite or cloud-based storage. Physical documents should be stored in fire-resistant cabinets or offsite facilities.
  • Continuous Improvement: Preparing for a fire emergency is not a one-time task; it’s an ongoing process. Regular evaluations, drills, and updates to emergency response plans are essential. Companies should also learn from past incidents and adjust their procedures and preventive measures accordingly.

Fire emergencies can have catastrophic consequences for businesses, making preparedness a top priority. By conducting risk assessments, implementing preventive measures, developing emergency response plans, and investing in fire suppression systems, companies can significantly enhance their ability to mitigate and manage fire emergencies. Regular training and testing ensure that employees are well-prepared to respond effectively, and continuous improvement efforts help keep businesses resilient in the face of potential fire disasters.

Contact Us. Fire insurance is a crucial part of a company’s preparedness for a fire emergency. It can help mitigate financial losses and aid in the recovery process. Companies should regularly review and update their insurance policies to ensure they adequately cover their assets and liabilities.


EPB&B welcomes new Producer and A third generation Baker to the team

It has been a long time coming but the team at EPB&B is thrilled to officially welcome Dylan Baker. Dylan has grown up in the world of EPB&B insurance while both his grandfather, past President Neil Baker and his dad, current President Marc Baker dedicated themselves to making EPB&B one of the top independent insurance agencies in Oregon. After graduating with a business degree from University of Oregon, and completing internships at both EPB&B, and SAIF Corporation, Dylan is ready to continue his insurance career. Here is more about Dylan, his experience, and his thoughts on joining the family business.

  1. What is your back ground in the insurance industry?  I have a few years of collective experience in the industry, although I have never been a licensed agent or CSR. Most of my experience has come from working as a summer intern at EPB&B, as well as, completing a recent internship at SAIF corporation doing Workers Compensation where I learned a great deal about that side of the industry.  
  1. What do you like most about working in the insurance industry?  I thoroughly enjoy working with small and medium-sized businesses around Oregon and the greater Pacific Northwest region. Insurance can be complicated, and it is not at the forefront of most businessowner’s minds. Working in the insurance industry allows me to help these folks who keep our local economy afloat. 
  1. What made you choose EPB&B as the next step in your career path. Choosing EPB&B was easy for me. It means a great deal to me that I can continue our family’s business, while simultaneously being a positive asset to the community. Many businesses nowadays undertake some form of philanthropic initiative, but none to the extent of EPB&B. My dad, Marc Baker truly takes philanthropy to the next level. 
  1. Is there anything you’d like to share to allow people to get to know more about you?  In my free time, I really enjoy cooking for my friends and family. Also, I spent a decent amount of time working out in the gym. In all honesty, I’m looking to pick up some new hobbies. 

Welcome to the Team Dylan.


Data Breach Response – Why Planning is the Key.

BY: Justine Avera, EPB&B Producer/cyber Security Professional

Data Breach and ransomware attacks are on the rise, but many companies are still struggling with having an effective breach response plan.  Planning starts with knowing where your key digital assets are, what is operationally the most critical, and what type of sensitive data is being processed, transmitted or stored.  When a breach happens, the response must be quick, communications must be timely and transparent, and the incident contained to prevent further harm.  See how you score on breach response preparedness:


  • Do you know where your data is stored? 
  • Are you aware of the information pathways and network touchpoints used during normal business operations? Network touchpoints are any computer used that then reaches out to another computer, a server, a cloud application or service where you might have data stored, or do billing and inventory management, or communicate with vendors and buyers such as  Dropbox, or GoogleDocs.  


  • who do you need on your team to respond to a breach or ransomware attack?  
  • Do you have a procedure to investigate, respond and contain an attack.  
  • Don’t forget to call your insurance agent!


  • Do you have a formal process for regularly moving data that is no longer frequently needed to secure, encrypted and air-gapped storage?


  • Do you develop simulations and do sandbox exercises, including cyberattacks that happen might over the weekends and on holidays.


  • Law enforcement officials, CISA, and various regulatory agencies now require timely reporting – do you have a contact list and the information and forms needing to be completed to comply with reporting requirements?

Remember that each organization’s data breach response plan should be tailored to its specific needs, industry regulations, and risk profile. Regular testing and updates are essential to ensure the plan remains effective in the face of evolving cybersecurity threats. Businesses that don’t have a solid data breach response plan are often slower to recover, and experience greater reputational harm and operational disruption.  Cyber Security Insurance and a strong data breach response plan can turn a potential  disaster of epic proportions into a manageable event. 

Contact us to speak to an EPB&B Cyber Security insurance  professional who can help you explore the best insurance options for your business.


President Marc Baker Celebrates Thirty Years at EPB&B Insurance

By: Marc Baker, EPB&B President

As I reflect on the past thirty years, I can honestly say, wow, what a ride. 


It began thirty years ago, after a dozen years working in the music/entertainment industry, I had reached a point of complete burnout. While I enjoyed the freedom of independence and had many stories of success, I wasn’t having as much fun and I was burned out.

My Dad (Neil Baker) had had a very successful career in insurance, including being one of only three Oregon agents ever to win the Lifetime Award of Excellence recognition from Safeco Insurance.  Dad was President of  Elliott, Powell, Baden, and Baker and the last of the four original partners remaining.  He was passionate about the business and the agency. 

Although Dad never pushed me to go into the business, I recognized the opportunity in front of me and I decided to go for it, to stray into something I knew nothing about; Insurance. I sheepishly went down to the office, decked out in jeans, Doc Martens  and a Crazy 8’s  t-shirt and uttered the line the will live with me forever, “Dad, I think if I can sell a guy in Portland, Maine on a band he’s never heard of, I can sell insurance, I’ve just got one problem, I don’t know anything about insurance.” He talked to me about seeing kids of agency owners failing 100% of the time when pushed into insurance and  he let me get my love of music out of my system (in a business sense) and asked me, “Are you sure?” 


Before I knew it, an appointment was set up with Jim Perucca, the legendary branch Manager at Safeco’s most successful branch on Kruse Way in Lake Oswego. I headed out with dad to meet Jim at Safeco and we meet in Jim’s Presidential work station. Right away I can’t help but notice that Jim is looking at dad and then looking at me. Looked at dad again and then looked at me. This happened at least a half a dozen times. Was it my long hair? Maybe my jeans? The Doc Martens? Maybe he’s a Crazy 8s fan? I think he was thinking “Geez Neil, what the heck have you brought to me?”

I’m grateful that dad had influence due to his success with Safeco and that Jim was willing to take a chance and develop a new program for sons and daughters of successful agency owners. I was the guinea pig about  to spend the next few months in Personal Lines training as an underwriter knowing I would ultimately end up on the agency side.


What a cultural shock for me. Wearing a sport coat or suit with a white shirt. I thought I was hip wearing Beatles ties that I found at the Burlington Outlet store. Sitting at a work station looking at a computer screen and a blue book for eight hours sucked but I knew I had to stick with it to move on. Waiting for the Muzak to kick on so I could take my 10-minute break was brutal. The Safeco cafeteria was a half step above my elementary school cafeteria. Then there was my first group meeting called by John D, who ran the Personal Lines department. He was rough around the edges and wore his Red Sox cap at an angle. We’re all sitting in the room and John D walks in and up to the podium. All of a sudden he starts pounding his fist on the podium and screams “We are not the United Way!! I began reevaluating my decision of getting into insurance thinking, “What the hell have I done?”

Nonetheless,  I survived six months of Safeco training and joined Elliott, Powell, Baden and Baker as a Personal Lines Producer in the Fall of 1993. I was the thirteenth employee to join the agency.


Life is a trip. I have literally known every employee that worked for Elliott, Powell, Baden and Baker since its founding in 1969 when mom would bring me downtown to see dad, grab lunch and hit the legendary Meier and Frank.

I am grateful for the many professionals at Elliott, Powell, Baden and Baker as well as outside of our agency with the experience, expertise and insight that has been provided to me.

I never thought I would be in the insurance industry, let alone be a partner, and now to be the sole partner at Elliott, Powell, Baden and Baker. I have learned so much and want to play it forward to the next generation of professionals at our agency.

I find that the music industry and the insurance industry have a lot of similarities. They are both distribution systems that must work to be successful and most importantly, in both relationships are key. On the swag front, the music industry easily wins; letter openers and hand sanitizer from the insurance side pales in comparison to concert tickets, albums and rock band tee shirts from the music industry. An easy winner. I’m working on spicing up the insurance side.

The biggest takeaway  I didn’t initially understand yet now I so appreciate in the insurance industry, is that we can pick and choose who we want to and work with when out looking for new prospects. Most industries don’t have that luxury. We call it front end underwriting.

I am proud that I believed in myself and was willing to take a chance to go for it in the insurance industry and I am grateful that dad and Jim Perucca were willing to give me a chance and invest in me. I believe that what we have built at Elliott, Powell, Baden and Baker is the gold standard of independent insurance agencies and that some of that is courtesy of my experiences in the music industry as a Manager, Promoter, Disc Jockey and Record Label promoter and owner. While most in our industry just want to make a sale, we actually care about our clients and prospects and our retention reflects that.

Thirty years later, it is now my turn to play it forward to the next generation of insurance professionals and I’m looking forward to it.

I don’t want EPB&B to be the biggest, I want to be the best!


Cyber Security: The Crucial Importance of Two-Factor Authentication

In today’s digital age, where the majority of our lives are intertwined with technology, safeguarding our online accounts and sensitive information has become paramount. One of the most effective methods for enhancing online security is two-factor authentication (2FA). This additional layer of protection, also known as multi-factor authentication (MFA), plays a pivotal role in fortifying  online identities and ensuring that your digital assets remain secure.

Two-factor authentication operates on the principle that a single layer of security, such as a password, is often insufficient to protect against cyber threats. By requiring two or more distinct forms of verification, 2FA adds an extra hurdle for potential attackers, making it considerably more challenging for them to gain unauthorized access.


First and foremost, 2FA enhances password security. Passwords, while ever-present in the digital world, are inherently vulnerable. Users often rely on weak passwords or reuse them across multiple accounts, making them susceptible to brute force attacks and credential stuffing. These tactics involve automated tools that repeatedly guess passwords or use stolen credentials from one website to access others. 2FA acts as a robust deterrent against such attacks since even if an attacker manages to acquire your password, they would still need the second authentication factor, which is typically something you possess, like a smartphone or a hardware token.


Another compelling reason for the importance of 2FA is its effectiveness in combating phishing attacks. Phishing is a deceptive practice wherein attackers trick individuals into revealing their login credentials or personal information through fake emails, websites, or messages. With 2FA enabled, even if a user falls victim to a phishing scam and provides their password, the attackers would still be thwarted because they lack the second factor of authentication. This extra layer of defense minimizes the success rate of phishing attacks, safeguarding sensitive data and accounts.


Moreover, 2FA plays a crucial role in protecting sensitive and valuable data. In both personal and professional contexts, there is a wealth of sensitive information stored in online accounts, from financial data to personal communications. Without adequate protection, these accounts become targets for cybercriminals. Implementing 2FA makes it significantly more challenging for unauthorized parties to gain access, providing peace of mind for users and organizations alike.


The importance of 2FA extends to businesses and organizations as well. In the corporate world, data breaches can be catastrophic, leading to financial losses, damage to reputation, and legal liabilities. By implementing 2FA, companies can bolster their security posture, reduce the risk of data breaches, and protect sensitive customer and employee information. It also aids in regulatory compliance, as many industry standards and regulations mandate the use of multi-factor authentication to safeguard data.


Furthermore, 2FA can be a cost-effective security measure. The financial and reputational consequences of a data breach or security incident can far exceed the relatively modest investments required to implement 2FA. Therefore, it represents a smart and proactive approach to cybersecurity.

The importance of two-factor authentication cannot be overstated in our increasingly interconnected digital world. It acts as a formidable barrier against various cyber threats, such as password attacks, phishing attempts, and unauthorized access. By requiring multiple forms of verification, 2FA significantly enhances online security, protecting our personal information, financial assets, and digital identities. Its relevance extends to individuals, businesses, and organizations, making it a fundamental component of a robust cybersecurity strategy. Embracing 2FA is not only wise but essential in safeguarding our digital lives and assets.


EPB&B sponsors of Oregon Music Hall of Fame for the sixteenth consecutive year

For the sixteenth consecutive year, Elliott, Powell, Baden, and Baker is proud to be the title sponsor of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which was held October 7, 2023 at the Alladin Theatre in Southeast Portland.  The Oregon Music Hall of Fame honors Oregonians who have made outstanding contributions to, or significant impact on the evolution, development, and perpetuation of the music industry.

One of the most significant outcomes of generous OMHOF sponsorship is the ability to offer yearly scholarships to four selected graduating Oregon high school seniors who have exhibited serious pursuit and accomplishment in their personal musicianship – and who are college-bound music majors.

“Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker Insurance has been a supporter of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame from the ground floor of its beginnings,” explains Terry Currier, Board President of OMHOF and owner of Music Millenium.  “They helped to make our Annual Induction Ceremony a reality by becoming a title sponsor of our first ever event sixteen years ago, and they have been our title sponsor ever since.  We can’t thank Elliott, Powell, Baden, and Baker enough for their generous support in helping make our goals of preserving the musical arts in the state of Oregon possible.”

The Delines, TEAM DRESCH, and Andy Stokes were the performers at Saturday’s OMHOF ceremony. The ever popular autographed guitar auction was held again this year with guitars autographed with such musicians as Keith Richards, Patti Smith, and Brandi Carlisle.


Breast Cancer Awareness: Empowering women to take control of their health

Breast cancer is a global health concern that affects millions of women and their families every year. Despite significant progress in diagnosis and treatment, breast cancer remains one of the most prevalent and life-threatening diseases among women worldwide. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention  reports it is the second most prevent cancer amongst women in the United states  (the first being skin cancer).  Breast Cancer Awareness Month, observed every October, plays a pivotal role in educating women, promoting early detection, and fostering a sense of solidarity among those affected by this disease. 

Early Detection Saves Lives

Early detection significantly increases the chances of successful treatment. When breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the survival rate is much higher. Awareness month strives to educate women about the importance of regular self-examinations and mammograms, empowering them to spot potential symptoms and seek medical attention promptly.

Knowledge is Power

Awareness is crucial in providing women with valuable knowledge about their risk factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Armed with this information, individuals can make informed decisions about their health, such as adopting a healthier lifestyle, attending regular screenings, and discussing their family history with healthcare professionals.

Reducing Stigma and Fear

Sharing stories of survivors and providing information about the emotional and physical aspects of breast cancer helps reduce fear and anxiety among women. When individuals see that breast cancer can be successfully managed and treated, they are more likely to seek medical attention and support.

Supporting Research and Progress

Keeping breast cancer breast cancer awareness in the forefront plays a pivotal role in raising funds for research and treatment. These contributions lead to advancements in early detection methods, more effective treatments, and ultimately, a better quality of life for those living with breast cancer. This month consider participatiing in community events, fundraising walks, and social media campaigns to help generate awareness and financial support for research. 

Empowering Women

Awareness empowers women to take control of their health and become advocates for their own well-being. Through education and access to resources, women are better equipped to make decisions about their breast health and advocate for their own healthcare needs. This empowerment extends to encouraging women to engage in open conversations with their healthcare providers and seek second opinions when needed.

Breast cancer awareness is not merely an annual observance but a continuous effort to educate, empower, and support women in their journey to maintain breast health and detect breast cancer early. By providing knowledge, reducing stigma, and supporting research, breast cancer awareness saves lives and improves the quality of life for those affected by this disease. As we continue to observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let us remember that our collective efforts make a difference, offering hope, support, and empowerment to women facing breast cancer. Together, we can work towards a future where breast cancer is no longer a life-threatening diagnosis, but a manageable condition, and ultimately, a preventable one.

Elliott, Powell Baden and Baker is dedicated to supporting local Portland area non profits, and we are proud that Breast Friends is one of those essential organizations with whom we are in partnership. This month please consider supporting Breast Friends. Their annual luncheon on October 28, 2023 will be held in support of their mission, ensuring  that no woman goes through a diagnosis of cancer alone.