Monday, May 20, 2013

Hurricane Sandy survey ... some sobering results

Consumer Reports recently released results of a survey that delivers some sobering reality about the impact of hurricanes on peoples' lives.

Through its research center, Consumer Reports conducted in mid-March what it calls "one of the largest-ever reader surveys on a natural disaster." The organization asked its online members in three states -- New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut -- for responses to a number of questions about the effects of Hurricane Sandy last fall.

Sandy caused more than $50 billion damage and 139 deaths. It changed the appearance along parts of the Mid-Atlantic coast forever.

Consumer Reports says it received nearly 8,400 responses, and some of the findings are worth considering if you own property or live in a hurricane- or flood-prone area:

-- Nearly half of all insurance claims for $40,000 or more were still pending in March, according to respondents. That is more than 4 1/2 months after the storm battered the East Coast.

-- More than half the homeowners who responded said their property was damaged, and 10 percent said they experienced major damage.

-- Of those reporting major damage, about 20 percent said their homes were still uninhabitable in March.

-- Nearly 30 percent of homeowners who reported flood damage said they had no flood insurance.

With forecasts for above-average hurricane activity this year in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, a couple things are clear:

-- Buying flood insurance is probably a good idea.  Remember that flooding can take place well inland from the coast. Storm surge flooding is obviously the biggest threat, but there have been countless cases of severe flooding from tropical systems after they moved inland.

-- Consider options, when it comes to telephones.  A large number of those who responded to the Consumer Reports survey said they lost cell phone service for an extended period after the hurricane. Consumer Reports suggests having both cell and land-line phone service -- or going to the trouble of having cell phone service with more than one carrier.


Jay Dee Shaw said...

Steve, you are an alright fellow!