Reflections on Hurricane Sandy
The anniversary of the second-costliest hurricane in US history is only a few weeks away. During the last week of October, 2012, Hurricane Sandy ripped up the Altantic coast, causing over $68 billion in damages. Fine Homebuilding magazine recently met up with Long Island contractor and building educator Mike Sloggatt to ask him about the recovery efforts that are still going on in many coastal regions.
Here’s Mike’s extended answer to the final question of the interview:
Are homeowners getting the help they need?
Not all of them. Some have had a long, hard road. Those with good insurance companies or cash fared much better. For the people who weren’t wealthy and couldn’t afford flood insurance, FEMA was a big help with their grants. New York City was also a big help. They came up with a program to replace boilers, water heaters, and electrical. They did a phenomenal job of getting people back on their feet.
It did get to a point where we had to winterize some homes because the insurance process was moving so slowly. I went into a house in January, and people were trying to live in their house. They had no heat, but they had electricity. The amount of destruction just was beyond the scope of something anybody expected.
I’ve done a lot of research on the hurricane of ’38. It’s always been in the back of my mind: What if we ever get another storm like that? Long Island is in big trouble. This wasn’t the hurricane of ’38, but because there’s so much more infrastructure on Long Island, there was much more damage. If we left the barrier beach alone … it’s a barrier beach. Why are we building houses on it? It moves.
Resources to help homeowners weather the storm or clean up afterwards
Shortly after Hurricane Sandy, our editors searched through the Fine Homebuilding archives and collected all of the articles they could find relating to building stronger houses and repairing ones that had been damaged. Below is a sample of the list we came up with. You can find the entire collection HERE.
Fine Homebuilding Editor Charles Miller traveled to Florida after Hurriance Andrew. His observations are still helpful for building in hurricane-prone areas
Designed for the Coast
Take a lesson from an architect from the Low Country of South Carolina
How to Get Ready For the Next Big Storm
Great basic advice with links to helpful disaster-preparedness apps
Nailing Roof Shingles in High-Wind Zones
Some advice and steps to make standard shingles perform better in high-wind areas
10 Roof Goofs and How to Fix Them
Ten tips for fixing your own roof or to watch for if you plan to hire a contractor
Installing a Portable Standby Power Generator
Nuts-and-bolts instructions from an electrician
Standby for Power
The options, prices and trade-offs for a range of standby power generator solutions