Property Damage & Disaster Restoration Blog: Long Island & New York City
Last year's extreme weather across the U.S. — 2011 was the most expensive year ever for natural disasters — is raising concern among scientists and policymakers about the nation's ability to withstand a shifting climate.
Damage from tornadoes, floods, droughts, hurricanes and wildfires caused more than $200 billion in losses and 1,000 deaths across the nation last year. Florida escaped major damage, but saw record high temperatures over the summer, after a much colder than normal winter.
The conversation about climate change has to move beyond debates about greenhouse gases to discussions about making homes and infrastructure more resilient to weather, said Margaret Davidson, director of the Coastal Services Center for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Communities must reduce their vulnerabilty, she said during a forum on adapting to climate change at the American Meteorological Society meeting here.
Recent trends show the cost of natural disasters escalating while the government's financial ability to deal with those losses shrinks. Climate scientists anticipate an uptick in extreme weather as the global climate warms.
"You can see there's a train wreck coming and it has to do with Mother Nature," Davidson said.
In communities where disasters, such as floods and storm surge, occur frequently, the knee-jerk reaction is to rebuild the same roads and bridges that existed before and bigger, more expensive homes. Those "stupid" decisions cost the nation, Davidson said, adding that 70 percent of repetitive losses covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency are in coastal counties.
Floods this year caused some of the most dramatic and costly damage. Hurricane Irene, which brought devastating and record-breaking floods to Vermont, hit the East Coast three times. The storm killed 45 people and inflicted $7.3 billion in damage. The cost of recovery caused tension in Congress when some leaders balked at sending relief to affected communities.
The Midwest and Northern Plains saw record floods from snowmelt and torrential rainfall that swelled the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri Rivers.
Seven states in the Northeast and the Ohio Valley had their wettest year on record, with some seeing rainfall of up to 8 inches above normal, said Jake Crouch, a physical scientist with the National Climactic Data Center, a federal agency that publishes and annual State of the Climate report.
Meanwhile, the southern tier of the nation baked in drought. Texas experienced its greatest drought on record and saw raging wildfires that destroyed 1,500 homes. Nearly 60 percent of the nation plunged into drought last year, also breaking a record.
In 2011, 58 percent of the nation was either extremely wet or extremely dry, the highest percentage ever, according the report.
It was also a year of devastating tornadoes across the Midwest and the Southeast. The spring storm season sent waves of cold fronts colliding with the warm, moist atmosphere over the Southeast. The severe storms triggered 1,155 tornadoes, killing more than 300 people and causing $20 billion in damage.
The nation saw a total of 14 natural disasters that cost more than $1 billion each, breaking another new record, and underscoring the effect of climate extremes on people, Crouch said.
While scientists cannot blame any single disaster on climate change, they can point to trends and make comparisons between what they see and what changes are predicted in a warmer world. Last year fit with expectations that a warmer Earth would bring much more rain to the Northeast, drought to the Southern Plains, warmer than normal temperatures in the high latitudes, such as those of Norway and Siberia, and shrinking sea ice.
For the U.S., extreme drought and rainfall were likely a combination of climate change and regular climate variation related to sea surface temperatures in the Pacific, Crouch said. Last year was dominated by La Niña, a weather pattern triggered by cooler than normal Pacific seas.
An interesting obversation that Crouch noted, however, was that La Niña years tend to be cooler globally. Last year was the 11th warmest year on record and the warmest La Niña year on record.
By Amy O' Connor |
Natural disasters (including floods, nor'easters, etc.) affect the lives of many people in the United States every year.The hazardous effects can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community; or very large, affecting an entire city or county. People who understand disasters and know what to do before and after a disaster can significantly reduce the time and cost to return to normalcy. The purpose of this information is to provide an understanding of the types of natural disasters and the insurance available to cover the losses resulting from them.
Insurance for Your Residence
Depending on your type of dwelling, you will need to consider your insurance options to determine the most appropriate coverage. It makes good sense to purchase the type and amount of coverage that is adequate to protect your home and your family.
Owning a Home – There are various types of policies available to homeowners. In general, the homeowners policy combines property coverage with liability coverage. Dwelling policies only provide property coverage.
Rental – This policy covers the personal property owned by renters. It can also cover liabilities arising from accidents and injuries for guests..
Owning a Condominium – Condominium policies primarily provide content coverage to condominium owners. In addition, there are special provisions to cover the portions of the dwelling for which you are responsible as defined by the governing rules of the condominium.
Owning a Home on a Farm – If your home is on a farm, a farm owners policy may be appropriate to protect against loss. In general, a farm owners policy provides coverage for farm business exposures, and both property and liability coverages.
Insurance Available for Your Property
Before buying an insurance policy, you should check for the types of coverages and products available in New York State. You also need to know the types and limits of coverage you want to purchase. Coverage is available for:
Dwelling – This is the structure of the house. (That is considered a covered property.)
Other Structures – These are other structures that are separate from the house. Examples are detached garages or toolsheds.
Personal Property – The contents in your home are considered personal property. This includes furniture, appliances, clothing and computer equipment. Some personal properties are specifically excluded and are either not covered under the policy or have limited coverage. Examples are: money, jewelry and firearms.
Loss of Use – This is the cost of additional living expenses incurred, when the dwelling becomes uninhabitable, and the cause is due to a covered loss. Reimbursement, such as the cost of a hotel room, will be made to the insured to maintain a normal standard of living.
New York State Department of Insurance
25 Beaver Street One Commerce Plaza
New York, NY 10004 Albany, NY 12257
(212) 480-6400 (800) 342-3736
With speculation running rampant that State Farm may be dropping its Premier Service Program, the insurance company reiterated to the Restoration Forum this week that the program isn’t going anywhere.
However, there is a possibility that the program could be seeing some changes as several sources have indicated that State Farm plans to outsource PSP to a third party manager.
“We are constantly looking at our programs for ways to make them better,” spokesperson Dick Luedke said. “That isn’t anything new, but at this time we have not made any decisions on changes for PSP”.
Additional rumors about the program dropping its exclusivity with SERVPRO and ServiceMaster have also surfaced and while those changes, as well as any other changes are always a possibility, nothing has been done at this time.
“We have not nailed any decisions down at this time,” claimed Luedke.
The Restoration Forum will continue to update you on this story as well as any other news that shapes the restoration industry.
Article taken from The Restoration Forum
During a severe storm or a hurricane, homes may be damaged or destroyed by high winds. Debris can break windows and doors, allowing high winds inside the home. In extreme storms, the force of the wind alone can cause weak places in your home to fail.
Some helpful tips regarding wind damage and preparing for storms are listed below:
During a windstorm, the force of the wind pushes against the outside of your home. That force is passed along from your roof to the exterior walls and finally to the foundation. Homes can be damaged or destroyed when the energy from the wind is not properly transferred to the ground. The first thing you should do is determine what type of roof you have. Homes with gabled roofs are more likely to suffer damage during a hurricane. A gabled roof looks like an A on the ends,with the outside wall going to the top of the roof. The end wall of a home with a gabled roof takes a beating during a hurricane or wind storm, and those that are not properly braced can collapse, causing major damage to the roof.
Exterior Doors and Windows
The exterior walls, doors, and windows are the protective shell of your home. If your home's protective shell is broken, high winds can enter and put pressure on your roof and walls, causing damage. You can protect your home by strengthening the doors and windows.
Double Entry Doors
Most double doors have an active and an inactive or fixed door . Check to see how the fixed door is secured at the top and bottom. The bolts or pins that secure most doors are not strong enough. Some door manufacturers provide reinforcing bolt kits made specifically for their doors. Check with your local building supplies retailer to findout what type of bolt system will work for your door.
Double-wide Garage Doors
Double-wide (two-car) garage doors can pose a problem during storms because they are so large that they wobble as the high winds blow and can pull out of their tracks or collapse from wind pressure. If garage doors fail, high winds can enter your home through the garage and blow out doors, windows, walls, and even the roof.
Check the track on your garage door. With both hands, grab a section of each track and see if it is loose or if it can be twisted. If so, a stronger track should be installed.
Installing storm shutters over all exposed windows and other glass surfaces is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your home. You should cover all windows, French doors, sliding glass doors, and skylights. There are many types of manufactured storm shutters available. For more information on manufactured shutters, check with your local building supplies retailer. If you install manufactured shutters, follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.
The recommendations discussed here are not intended to replace local building code requirements or to serve as the only options for protecting your home from hurricane wind damage. For more information on protecting your home from hurricane wind damage, contact your local building official; your local building supply retailer; or a building professional.
Advanced Restoration is a property damage restoration company that is trained and ready to respond to any disaster situation, including wind damage to your home or business. We are a preferred vendor for many insurance carriers and have been serving Long Island and the NY Metro area for 20 years.
Do you have a property damage situation you need help with?
Call us today at (800) 693-6263!
Tags: wind damage, hurricane tips, property damage, restoration companies, water damage restoration, nassau county restoration, winter storm, cold winter, insurance, restoration, suffolk county restoration, homeowner tips, restoration company, rebuild, home repair, buying a home, weather, nor'easter
DISASTER MITIGATION... BUYING INSURANCE
By Chris Floyd Disaster Services Director Capital Area Chapter American Red Cross
Even with adequate time to prepare for a disaster, you still may suffer significant, unavoidable damage to your property. That's when insurance for renters or homeowners can be a big help. Yet, many people affected by recent disasters have been underinsured- or worse- not insured at all. Make sure the insurance you buy protects against the perils you face.
If You Own a Home...
- Buy, at minimum, full replacement or replacement cost coverage. This means the structure can be replaced up to the limits specified in the policy.
- Investigate buying a guaranteed replacement cost policy. When and where available, these policies can pay to rebuild your house, including improvements, at today's prices, regardless of the limits of the policy.
- Have your home periodically reappraised to be sure the policy reflects the real replacement cost.
- Update the policy to include any home improvements, such as basement refinishing. Annual automatic increases may not be enough to cover these.
- Buy a policy that covers the replacement cost of your possessions. Standard coverage only pays for the actual cash value (replacement cost discounted for age or use).
- Be very clear about what the policy will and will not cover, and how the deductibles work (the part you pay before the policy pays).
- Check state-operated or federally operated insurance pools if you find it difficult to obtain private coverage because of a recent disaster. Premiums often run higher than market rates, but this is better than no coverage.
- Conduct a home inventory, make a list, and use it to check that your policy's coverage matches the value of your possessions.
If You Rent...
- Buy renter's insurance, which pays for damaged, destroyed, or stolen personal property. Your landlords insurance wont cover damage to or loss of your possessions. Also, consider special coverage like flood insurance for your belongings.
- Be clear about what a policy will cover. Some policies cover more than others. For example, will the policy pay for living expenses if you have to live somewhere else temporarily, or for damage from sewer backup?
- Comparison shop for the best coverage at the best price. Policies vary from company to company. Policies in most areas are very affordable. Start with the company that insures your car. Discounts are often available if you carry more than one policy with a company.
You may also want to consider special coverage as insurance for renters and homeowners won't cover certain types of losses. Ask your insurance agent or financial planner about special or additional coverage for floods, earthquakes, home offices, and other potential problems.
Advanced Restoration Corporation is a full-service property damage/disaster restoration company that has been serving Long Island and the New York metropolitan area for over 20 years.
The company offers the highest quality residential, commercial and industrial property restoration and remediation services available. Our qualified and professional staff is capable of handling all aspects of fire & smoke damage, mold remediation and water damage. Emergency response teams are available 24/7 to promptly execute the required services for a customer.
Advanced Restoration is a member of multiple industry associations, including NYARM, BOMA, PIA, YIP, IICRC, NARI, NIDR and RIA. We are licensed in Nassau and Suffolk County, as well as the five boroughs of New York City.
Please contact Gary Matzelle at (516) 903-4107 with any questions, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our corporate website can be viewed at www.advancedrestoration.com.
Congratulations to Gino Orrino from Advanced Restoration...
CONTACT: Melissa N. Cibelli, public relations specialistor Mary E. Christiano, director of communication (800) 424-4244Fax: (888) 225-6935E-mail: email@example.comWeb site: www.pia.org/NY/FOR RELEASE: Jun. 8, 2009
Orrino named NY-YIP Volunteer of the Year
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.–Gino Orrino, principal of Orrino Capital Services LLC in Corona, N.Y. received the New York Young Insurance Professionals Volunteer of the Year at the Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey and New York Inc.’s Joint Annual Business Conference. The event was held at the Trump Taj Mahal Resort Casino in Atlantic City, June 7-9.
The award is bestowed by NY-YIP to an individual who is committed to improving the quality of events and programs of the organization by giving of their personal time so that others will benefit.
“Gino’s tireless commitment to NY-YIP is second to none,” said Amy Bryan, president of NY-YIP. “It is with great appreciation that we recognize him for what he’s done for our organization and industry.”
A NY-YIP member since 2005, Orrino is chairperson of the organization’s Events Committee. A major supporter of PIANY, Orrino is a member of the association’s Long Island Regional Awareness Program.
NY-YIP is an organization dedicated to the professional and personal growth of newcomers to the insurance industry. It is affiliated with PIANY, a trade association representing professional, independent insurance agencies and their employees throughout the state.