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Thread: Preparing for Disasters; How To

  1. #46
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    That's interesting about the insurance, Heyang.

    One thing that people need to remember when discussing any "danger zone" in the U.S. is that there are 300 million people in the U.S., and they have to live somewhere. They can't all fit into the Badlands of South Dakota or the inland valleys of Vermont. (Which were hammered last year when Hurricane Irene unpredictably veered inland.) Some will live on earthquake faults, some in fire zones, some near rivers or oceans, many at sea level. There are two questions: Can we build more defensively to protect ourselves against the most likely dangers for our area? And can we change our ways to stop damaging the climate? I understand that the latter will be expensive, but as we've proven this past month, doing nothing is plenty expensive too.

  2. #47
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    In Alaska's case - yeah we're in the earthquake zone, however we are not so populated that Earthquake park is a need. The land is super expensive so only people with money to blow would be building there - all because of the VIEW...

    It's like the people building high up on the mountainsides, where firetrucks cannot go due to the narrow and twisty roads... if your house goes up in flames, it's toast. But they don't NEED to live up there, they just want to for the view/because that's what people with money do... it's pure stupidity!

  3. #48
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    Yes, to build in an inaccessible place is kind of silly, isn't it.

    I agree that our problems are compounded by population density around here. You should see some of the roads around here during rush hour. But most of our streets and homes are accessible to rescue vehicles, so I guess we've compensated. Our problem is high-rise apartments. When the power goes, if someone is in distress on a high floor, rescue workers have to climb many flights and often carry the person down. With flashlights.

  4. #49
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Fact is, nowhere is safe.

    And it isn't only rich people that like a nice view. My first house was the second cheapest house for sale in Chittenden County, VT, when I bought it. It had a gorgeous view of Mt. Mansfield. It also had no heat, other than wood heat. And a very long dirt driveway (although still acessible to firetrucks). My current house cost a lot less than half the houses in town in Groton, but it has a gorgeous view. When we bought it, it had no heat, and needed tons of repair. As far as I'm concerned, I buy a view with a hovel attached. Then I make the hovel livable. You can't fix a view; it is what it is when you buy it. You can sort of punt by putting in a nice yard/garden, but really, you're done. What you see out your windows is controlled by your neighbors, and what nature put there.

    I have never bought a house that did not have a view, because a good view is something that enriches your life every day. I feel about a view the way some people feel about music-it is a necessity.

    However, in view chasing, as in anything else, it's important to consider safety. My house was built in 1895 and has been through a lot of hurricanes including the 1938 and Hurricane Sandy without much damage.

    I agree that the people building in the earthquake zone should rethink. It's not like there aren't a lot of gorgeous views in Alaska.

    As to fire though, unless you live next to the firestation, fire will take down your house. In fact, it's better if it burns to the ground, as long as it is contained and doesn't spread to the neighbors' houses. If it's partly standing, the insurance company will deduct from what they pay you what they think the wreckage is worth. It is usually better if the fire company knocks down the foundation, if possible, IMO.


    Fortunately, insurance companies will pay you to rebuild it, something that is none too sure after hurricanes and floods. Really, FEMA is the only real flood insurer and they only pay about 32K at most. You have to argue with the insurance company that the rest of destruction was due to wind, not water.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 11-18-2012 at 08:44 AM.

  5. #50
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I.know views arent only for the rich, but the homes built in earthquake park and upper hillside are multimillion dollar homes. If they arent the "rich" building them then they are even more fool hardy.

    From whbat i understand of hillside homes they are unable to get fire insurance beacuse of where they live.

  6. #51
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Are there no roads at all to these homes, Toni? (I'm asking, because I totally have no clue)

    In VT, there are a lot of house up mountain dirt roads; I owned one. However, the firetruck could make it up, and the house had what we called then a "firepond" behind it, full of water, so the fact that there were no hydrants didn't matter; they could use a pumpertruck. We had no trouble getting fire insurance. (I know the firetrucks could make it up the driveway because the next door neighbor set his porch afire by dumping hot coals from his fireplace off the porch and not noticing how high the snow had gotten, so the coals set off the porch. The firetrucks arrived just fine; after calling the firestation, the neighbors wife starting making coffee and setting out cookies on a tray for the firemen. They were fun neighbors, and still good friends, but they were way crazy sometimes

  7. #52
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    they're paved roads, but they are at weird angles (lots of "turns") and are narrow and people park on the street so it's nearly impossible to navigate a fire truck to it... they also don't have access to water for their trucks iirc. I don't know that a firepond would work, either... they'd be covered in feet of snow most of the winter... and I don't think we have pumper trucks (then again I don't really know)

  8. #53
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Ours was covered in snow & ice, but it was fed by a brook, so it was easy enough to chop through (ice was always thinner at the inlet), and our fire dept. knew how to do it (saw it, as described).

    If you don't have pumper trucks, you need hydrants everywhere. In small towns in northern VT, there are no hydrants. But there are rivers, lakes, streams, fireponds, and the water stored in the tanks in the truck (truck & tank store in a heated firehouse). We didn't get colder than about -35F though, and one whole January every night was 20 below with the days all below zero; not as cold as parts of Alaska, but pretty cold.

  9. #54
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    The state has a couple of snow melters... don't know about pumper trucks lol

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