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Posts Tagged ‘natural disasters’

li-hurricaneHuntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone is asking residents to take an online survey to help local and county officials re-examine their plans for dealing with natural disasters. The intent is to work with other nearby communities and Suffolk County to develop strategies to reduce losses caused by natural disasters.

I’ve taken the 21-question survey, and was generally impressed by how well it was constructed. The survey is designed to gauge how well informed county residents are about the natural hazards we face living on Eastern Long Island. It also asks for input on perceived areas of vulnerability. Petrone says survey results will help officials better determine what measures to take.  Even reviewing the questions asked can be eye-opening.

To take the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/V3RLXZ5

 

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I am happy to report I do not have any clients with homes in Japan. Meanwhile, several clients who I’ve spoken with the past few weeks were surprised to learn that all unendorsed homeowners insurance policies issued in the U.S. specifically exclude damage caused by, that’s right, earthquake, tsunami (flood) and damage from a nuclear facility. 

If the threat of any of any of these risks concerns you, there is good news: insurance protection from damages caused by earthquake and flood is readily available, and generally not very expensive (costs are much higher for those with homes located near a seismic fault or prone to flood waters). Please let me know if you’d like to understand the coverage options available to protect your property from earthquake or flood damage.

While I am unaware of any insurance carrier offering to sell coverage to protect against nuclear damage, the Price-Anderson Act, passed in 1957, is in place to compensate the public for property damage and injury caused by a commercial nuclear accident in the United States.  The program, renewed by Congress most recently in 2005, ensures that adequate funds are available to satisfy liability claims for property damage and personal injury sustained by the public. The program limits the liability of companies involved in certain nuclear activities, such as power plant operators, in order to encourage the development of private nuclear power. Currently, there is nearly $13 billion in liability insurance protection available to be used in the event of a commercial nuclear accident.  This program paid about $71 million to local residents and businesses impacted by the Three Mile Island accident in 1979.

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If you were to key word search the term “hurricane forecast”, among the first entries you’d find is a reference to Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University.  To those of us who obsess about risk, Dr. Gray is quite the celebrity.  Each year Dr. Gray and his team of research scientists dares to announce how many hurricanes we can expect during the season.  For the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast, Dr. Gray and his Colorado State University staff are predicting 18 named storms, 10 of which are estimated to develop into hurricanes. They estimate a 76 percent likelihood that a major hurricane, with winds of 111 mph (178 kph) or greater, will strike the U.S. This figures represents a 24% increase over the average for the past century.  For those wondering why, few should be surprised to learn that meteorological conditions around the globe are optimal for hurricane development. Sea surface temperatures in the Lesser Antilles and off the western coast of the African continent are the warmest in recorded history. Combined with an absence of high altitude wind shear in the Atlantic Ocean,  Gray advises the 2010 season will be particularly active.

Unlike Dr. Gray and other climate experts, I can actually provide several GUARANTEES regarding this hurricane season: Whether a major hurricane makes landfall in the U.S. or not, the vast majority of Americans will elect not to prepare for one. Rather than take precautions, most Americans will simply gamble that their homes, possessions and families will remain safe from natural disaster. Many will be correct, but some will be wrong.  Buta select few will make sure they are prepared for a natural disaster and will have a plan in place, just in case. Do you need help on how best to prepare for a hurricane? I can provide clear guidance and a list of available solutions and resources, but I cannot help unless you let me.  Call me or send me an e-mail.

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This year marks the 70th anniversary of the unnamed hurricane that devastated Eastern Long Island and much of New England. While the NY Metropolitan area has been impacted by hurricanes since, it has also been awhile. Given this reprieve, there is a real complacency among homeowners to become better prepared. Ask yourself: if a hurricane was a day away, would you make any changes to prepare for it? A suggestion: if you answered yes, take the time and do so now.  This video from the Insurance Information Institute offers some basic but overlooked tips to prepare homes to better sustain the winds and rain that will arrive — one day.

 

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