Editor’s Note: Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, and boy, did she leave a wake. Many parts of New York and Long Island are devastated by this unprecedented storm, but the truth of the matter is, it could have been much worse. In my opinion, the first responders, the government officials, and people of these areas did an amazing job getting through this storm, and I applaud them for their resilience.
Our friends at Douglas Elliman reached out this week to provide some helpful tips for getting back to normalcy after the storm. I wanted to help them share these tips with you. I hope they are some help to anyone starting to rebuild.
If anything, this event has only made me love New York more.
Recovering From Sandy
In response to the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, it’s important that apartment and condo owners living in the New York City, New Jersey and coastal areas of the upper northeast approach the many stages of recovery in the correct manner.
Hurricane Sandy was one of the worst storms in the past 100 years, and if you are just now getting back to your home after evacuation, you’ll find that there are definitely some things that you should keep in mind. The dangers of a storm are not all immediate, so take a moment to learn more about what you need to know when it comes to keeping you and your family safe.
How hard was your area hit? Currently, we’re seeing plenty of damage reports coming in, and with the benefit of systems like Facebook and Twitter in place, you’ll find that there is likely a great deal of information about your own town or even your own neighborhood. Even after the all clear has been sounded, you may be surprised to see how damaged an area can be. To make sure that you don’t get any nasty surprises, make sure that you learn as much about the area in question as you can.
Proceed With Caution
Never return home until the government has provided clearance. Even after the danger from the storm has passed, there may be some risks that are entirely man-made. For example, if power lines were knocked down, you may be at risk for fatal shocks. Similarly, this might contribute to a severe fire risk in your area. Go one further. After waiting for clearance from the government, contact your building manager or your landlord for more information. Is the structure doing well, and is it safe to enter? If you own your own house, try calling your neighbors, particularly if you know someone who stayed.
Look For Water Damage
Hurricane Sandy deposited a lot of water into the city streets, and after the flooding, that water had to go somewhere. Water damage is particularly insidious because it will almost immediately start to produce molds and mildews. With this in mind, you’ll find that if something has become dampened, you have to make a hard decision. If it can be placed in the dryer, that is fine, but if it cannot, there is a good chance that you will have to write it off.
Considering Your Insurance
If you have homeowners insurance or renter’s insurance, start by taking pictures immediately. They are going to be facing a ton of claims over the next few weeks, and if you can provide proper documentation, you’ll find that you can go straight to the front of the list. Call the provider immediately and make sure that they are aware of your situation. Make sure that you give them all of the information that they need as soon as you can. The sooner you get your claim processed, the better.
Remember that there is a lot of work that you need to do after a storm. And although the mental effects of Sandy are immense, you shouldn’t let them deter you from moving forward.
Not only should you make sure that you have things under control, also remember to consider restocking for the next one. Check your supplies and make sure that you have replaced anything that you used.