Friday, January 4, 2013

What is a "Superstorm" anyway?

 Why is Sandy referred to as a Superstorm and not hurricane?

                - Superstorm Sandy had qualities of a tropical storm and of a hurricane.  It had tropical storm force winds while rainfall and flooding classified it as a hurricane.

But to a person standing on the street in the rain, does it really make a difference?

Probably not.

However, to that same man in the street who returned to a home needing major repairs, it does!

                -The mayor of AC had greatly pushed for meteorologists to "re-categorize" the storm. 
Believe it or not, regardless of the damage the storm causes, the terminology greatly effects insurance for homeowners and businesses.
For example,
The business deductible for a "hurricane" is 100,000 dollars.  For a "disaster" is 20,000.

This is an ongoing issue.
Many people are waiting on insurance money, help from FEMA, etc.  Many people are staying with friends and family or hopping from rental to rental.  Besides the emotional and mental toll, this is a great financial burden.  While paying rent, which for most is higher than their mortgage, people are also they’re paying their mortgage!

What does this mean for the future:
New updated flood maps will change, showing some areas in Brigantine (one of the cities of Atlantic County) to have a 12 foot flood risk. This means homes would have to be adapted to meet standards to protect from that risk.
If a home is not adapted, this may become an issue of noncompliance with insurance companies.
However, none of this is set in stone yet and is currently being worked on.

Additionally, some areas had less damage from dunes on engineered beaches made by NJ army corp.  Considering options such as this are certainly being considered for future preparation.

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