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Thread: Preparing for Disasters; How To

  1. #31
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    Good to hear that things have improved out by you, Heyang. The more of us return to normal, the more resources are available for those still in deep trouble. Because I was out of it for so long, I'm not really sure what percentage of Staten Island is really badly damaged--is it the whole island, or were some parts on high enough ground so the houses are intact? As for the southern part of New Jersey, I know that at least some communities were completely hammered, and people were only allowed to return briefly. And winter is coming!

  2. #32
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    Made a typo, the 'gas' situation is essentially resolved.

    As for the substations, it's a case of 'never happens here'. Heck, New Orleans itself is below sea level and floods with just a heavy rain storm. After Irene, they built walls around them that were higher than the surge from Irene. Sandy had a much higher surge than Irene.....

    I think it's the south side of Staten Island that got wrecked. The central or northern parts were relatively unscathed.

    If you look at a map of NJ where the coast divots west, I believe the shoreline south of that divot were most impacted. Long Beach Island is a barrier island which is probably a few blocks in width. At the narrower parts of LBI, the bay and ocean surged and met in the middle of the island. Not everyone in LBI lost their 'home' (some are not primary residences), but it was definitely devastated, nonetheless.

    Our company just finished our annual United Way campaign (we can designated charities other than UW) - it's the only time of year that the company matches 50%. Because Sandy affected our community, they decided to match 100% for all donations for Sandy relief given between Nov 1st to Nov 21st. It's tough deciding where to give. I ended up with Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. I gave more towards HFH because a lot of people are giving for the immediate issues, but people will need help rebuilding. There's also the NYC mayor's fund and a NJ governor's fund, but I don't trust that they will be administered properly - I could be wrong, of course....

    The news also said that people are having a hard time finding rental properties to live in until they can rebuild. Some rentals have raised their prices 2 or 3 x pre-storm. Ugh!

  3. #33
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    Price gouging is a sin, and I hope it's also a crime.

    I think it's a wise idea to allocate funds toward the longterm needs, and Habitat for Humanity is a great idea. They will definitely be involved. I'm also hoping that someone smart uses the rebuilding to generate jobs for local construction workers and other currently jobless people. It would benefit the community many times over.

  4. #34
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Here in CT we have been invaded by people from Florida claiming to be contractors but not licensed in CT, and its been a problem for local contractors. It's not clear what quality of work people are getting.

  5. #35
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    I was hoping that it would be local workers who would be hired. The licensing process would have to be honored, or it would be chaos.

  6. #36
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    PBS Nova is doing a special on Sandy this Sunday, I think...check local listings. While it is impossible to prepare everyone for everything, (and here again all I know is what I see on the news) the erie sound of all those gas mains having broke and spewing natural gas everywhere to where the TV correspondants could walk the streets of seaside towns and see and hear it coming from everywhere while the gas company said their was no danger was sad. I think the power companies did a great job, all things considered. I personally would have like to see military reserve and national guard units used more extensively, sooner. Time and again, on the news, people were reluctant to evacuate due to fear of wholesale looting during power outages. Some people are gong to stay, right or wrong, and a large military presence with food, water, and blankets would have been a good thing. Our military needs more training as to the matter of disaster response and this would have been a great exersise to learn from, needed or not. As bad as Sandy was, it still could have been a whole lot worse.
    Chris who still hasnt heard how many houses were lost

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Here in CT we have been invaded by people from Florida claiming to be contractors but not licensed in CT, and its been a problem for local contractors. It's not clear what quality of work people are getting.
    Fly by night contractors arent the only danger. Dont buy a used car without a carfax. 250,000 cars were "destroyed." People are paying top dollar for used ones and are being ripped off. But what the insurance companies do with the old cars is they sell them for a song and people "rebuild" them and pass them off as good used cars. You dont want a car that was submerged in salt water, and left to sit....on soooooo many levels......

  8. #38
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Carfax-yes, and they will move those formerly flooded cars all over the country.
    Senator Schumer was on TV yesterday, after his visit to Staten Island with President Obama yesterday. He said in NY alone, 100,000 houses were lost. Apparently, there was a part of Staten Island that is actually below sea level, and once the water got over the road, everything on the other side was doomed. People were not even aware there was a danger; houses had often been in people's families for generations.

  9. #39
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    Heartbreaking. A hundred thousand houses. There are cities smaller than that.

    If you read about the 1900 Galveston hurricane, similar stories emerge. After that hurricane, they built a sea wall, and that might now seem financially feasible in some parts of the NY-NJ area. There's a saying about the Netherlands, a good part of which is below sea level: God made the world, but the Dutch made Holland. If we can't convince people as a whole that we need to take steps to slow down climate change, because it really exists, then maybe people locally have to take fate into their own hands.

    To say that people shouldn't be living this close to the sea is unrealistic. People have lived there uneventfully for centuries. In the old days, cities were built on water routes and where there was a good natural harbor, for transport. Moreover, there's no place for that many people to move. What--relocate to the central part of the country, where the tornadoes are? (Maybe we'll be able to hitch a ride to Oz.) Or maybe move to the Southwest, where water is already scarce? Or possibly overbuild in the Rocky Mountains, where wildfires take many homes every year? (The imp in me suggests that we all relocate to red states and make them Democratic....sorry, couldn't resist.)

  10. #40
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    What you're saying is true about people living near sea routes. However, that was before land fills extended islands. If you look at old maps and such, part of lower Manhatten didn't exist - it was created by Land fill. Same is true for parts of the Staten Island and the NJ beaches. Water corrodes - you can't beat Mother Nature forever. Those barrier island will get beaten and erode over time and eventually disappear.

    Those homes have been there for years, but they were built pre-climate /cycle change. If they do rebuild there, they have to build smarter - not just build the same thing and think 'it won't happen again'.

  11. #41
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    That's true, Heyang. We do have to figure out ways to raise houses (or the land) and construct artificial barrier "islands." Certainly in Manhattan, Battery Park City was made of landfill. (Other parts of lower Manhattan were actually the earliest settled areas of the city—some of those buildings date from the 1700s as I understand it. Wall Street was the outer wall of the first part of the city. )

    It's just distressing to contemplate all around, isn't it. At least now everyone knows what it looks like, and they can't pretend it doesn't happen.

  12. #42
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    One of the networks covered a bit of the destruction on the Jersey beaches today...still no word on the total house destruction. It is interesting that considering the extent of this disaster, it is odd to me that certain stories about bimbos, etc, get far more coverage. I guess I will see what PBS Nova has to say this sunday. I also want to know what insurance companies are goiing to do about rates......

  13. #43
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    We have the same thing happening in Alaska. When the "big one" (earthquake) happened in the 60s, a huge part of Anchorage broke off and houses and land fell into the ocean - because they were built on clay and sand that liquified during the quake... now people are demanding that it be opened to rebuild (the area has been named "Earthquake Park" DUH!) and they are... never mind the SAME THING will happen with the next big quake (which we are bound to have sooner rather than later!)

    Makes me shake my head at the *stupidity* of it.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    We have the same thing happening in Alaska. When the "big one" (earthquake) happened in the 60s, a huge part of Anchorage broke off and houses and land fell into the ocean - because they were built on clay and sand that liquified during the quake... now people are demanding that it be opened to rebuild (the area has been named "Earthquake Park" DUH!) and they are... never mind the SAME THING will happen with the next big quake (which we are bound to have sooner rather than later!)

    Makes me shake my head at the *stupidity* of it.
    Would the mortgage holders require anyone building in Earthquake Park to buy quake insurance? My property has a stream on it that flood towards the road - as long as I have a mortage or lien on my house, I have to pay for flood insurance - even though the house has never flooded. I have other friends with mortagages that have their basements flood whenever the power fails on their sump pumps and they aren't required to pay for flood insurance because their homes aren't in flood zones.

    BTW, flood insurance does not pay for contents of the lowest level of your home. So for those of you with flood insurance and 'TV' rooms in your home, plan on moving the tv upstairs if your lowest level starts to flood. Of course, you could purchase a special rider, too.

    People have homes on the San Andreas fault too. I don't know if they are required to pay higher premiums and/or for special types of policies.

  15. #45
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I don't believe anyone in AK can get Earthquake insurance... or if they do they are stupidly expensive and don't cover anything.

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