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Can you bear just one more hurricane post? This is not a "helpful tips" diary.I have now lived through at least five hurricanes at points quite close to landfall and I would like to share my accumulated impressions with you. This diary is also NOT snark, although some individual sentences may qualify for that title.

1.    Basically, it’s a crap shoot.  The experts have gotten much better at predicting general tracks the closer the hurricane gets to making landfall. Did you catch the qualifier? As it gets closer to land, they have a better idea where on land it will hit.  If you followed Irene closely, as millions of people did, you know that the predicted track carried her from landfalls at Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The only problem is that as the window of luck (both good and bad) shrinks, so does the opportunity for evacuation and preparation. We are all thrown into survival Schadenfreude, glad and thankful when it misses us - “Whew, glad I’m not them!” Unless, of course, you find out at the last minute that you are them - Shit!

2.    Since we really don’t usually know until late in the game, it is pretty hard for the authorities to make evacuation decisions and they will not be able to win either way. Either they call an evacuation too early (when it will be effective and the most efficient in terms of cars vs roads) and the hurricane passes the area by, whereby they will be called wasteful martinets with God complexes OR they don’t call for the evacuation and they will be the subject of print , tv and documentaries for years to come where their catastrophic waffling or non-decision will have be subject to minute dissection and bear titles like “Bloomberg’s Bodies:  How a Billionaire Mayor Sank the Bronx”.

Most civil authorities will default to the “recommended evacuation for low-lying areas” accompanied by advice to “take shelter in a sturdy building away from windows”.  All TV conferences and statements by those in authority will also contain an admonishment to “take the storm seriously”.  Am I criticizing them for saying this? No. What else can they possibly say? This is a time-honored script. Unfortunately they can’t advise us to avoid buildings with roofs, or to avoid trees, which have selfishly propagated themselves everywhere.

3.    Now I will criticize. Although wind damage can be major and horrific, most really severe damage and fatalities arise from storm surge and flooding and the media and the authorities do a really crappy job of educating the public about this – the WHERE, WHEN and HOW MUCH?  Telling people that there will be a 5-7 foot storm surge is meaningless when the vast majority don’t have any idea of how to extrapolate that information into how it will affect them.  TELL THEM IN PLAIN ENGLISH – “this means water up to your thighs” “this means first floor flooding”, “this means sitting on your roof”, etc.

Also very poorly covered are INLAND impacts. We always just see the little whirling buzz saw  of devastation moving up and down the  coast and almost no discussion of what the storm surges mean to the rivers and the cities and towns on the rivers hundreds of miles from the shore.

While thousands of reporters are regularly deployed at the shore, pointing to waves and dissolving fishing piers, no reporters are ever sent to Small-ignored-upriver-ville and told to go into the attic with an axe and call when things get interesting.

Because I am an analytic, over preparing, pessimistic dystopian, I learned long ago to look at inundation maps of my own house and the houses of my closest relatives to determine if they or we were ever in any immediate danger of flooding from various storm surge levels.  I found one really great map that allowed me to click on 1 meter, 2 meters, etc. all the way up to 12 meters  where I could occupy myself for hours watching the surrounding neighborhood and streets submerge while we remained victoriously high and dry, our little castle surrounded by a veritable moat.  Guess what? We still have flood insurance!  Because the one thing those inundation maps don’t account for is rising water that comes from things like overwhelmed storm drains and the like. My house has personally withstood 12-15” of rainfall over the course of 24 hours, but there are crazy little micro cell/bursts out there that have drenched cities and towns with comparable amounts in a very few hours.  The odds are against this happening, but I did describe myself accurately above as an over-preparer.

4.    Speaking of over-preparing. When Hurricane Gloria (described as The Storm of the Century and earning a cover photo on Time Magazine) was bearing down on my house in RI, I did as the authorities always advise and I “took the threat seriously”.  

We lived on high ground and my husband’s parents and some friends and their 3 cats joined us at our house to await the coming apocalypse.  I actually received phone calls from friends and relatives before landfall that sounded very ominously like “just wanted to say goodbye” calls.  Anyway, I prepared an outpost in our basement which could have launched the seeds of a new civilization – gallons of water, canned foods, nuts, dried fruit, blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, lanterns, flashlights, board games, radios, batteries, candles, etc.  On seeing my set-up, my friend turned to me and said “Where’s the operating room?"

Gloria was a famous dud. Was I disappointed? No, I was not. I kissed the ground and my husband, and sent everyone home with a souvenir flashlight and bag of nuts.

Did I learn from that experience? No I did not.  Not if you mean did I learn that the best course is to not prepare and hope for the best.  I have taken every single hurricane threat seriously and have prepared my ass off and I have been LUCKY.   Gloria, Bob, Floyd, Isabel, Irene and numerous smaller meteorological luminaries have all either passed by farther or weakened unexpectedly, sparing my modest abodes and the lives of my loved ones.

But, I am getting a somewhat ominous feeling that at some point, my luck has to run out and  my energy for preparation is flagging.  I am thinking that for the first time, on the next go-round, we may just pack the cars and take an unanticipated vacation and hope for the best someplace far away from the center of the action.  But of course, I will make my husband pack an axe just in case.

Originally posted to Phoebe Loosinhouse on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 04:51 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You surely did the right thing! (17+ / 0-)

    We live about 200 miles from the coast of NC and have been caught by Floyd, Fran and most spectacularly, Hugo.
    We now prepare.  Have our medications, flashlights, medical history, a First Aid kit, food for a couple of days.  We also have a detailed evacuation plan written out.
    I would urge anyone with medical needs to do this as a minimum!  My husband is disabled and it is an absolute necessity for us,
    This is rather macabre, but include your dentists name and address if it should become necessary to identify you through dental records.

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant

    by historys mysteries on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 05:28:11 AM PDT

  •  I'm with ya! (14+ / 0-)

    I've been through a few hurricanes. I had my carport smashed by Andrew. Lost my greenhouse during Katrina, Rita took my fig tree and a Pine and Gustave took half my roof. I stay prepared all year round, cause I can't stand going to the store with the crazies buying up all the toilet paper.
    Better safe than sorry!
    Glad y'all ok.

    Muslims, Christians we're all Egyptians.

    by mint julep on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 05:31:50 AM PDT

  •  You did the right thing (17+ / 0-)

    My father talked about the 1938 hurricane until the day he died.  We will never know how many lives were saved by the government actions this weekend, but lives WERE saved.  It is so much better, to say nothing of safer, to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  I still have not heard from a friend in Fairfield and am quite concerned.

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins

    by MufsMom on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 06:03:53 AM PDT

    •  I actually knew someone (17+ / 0-)

      an older person who lived in Westerly Rhode Island who had her house wash out to sea with herself and her parents and a nanny. I think she and the nanny were the only survivors as the house broke apart and they clung to the wreckage.  

      My husband's parents also lived through the 1938 hurricane and saw the city of Providence RI submerge, although they themselves lived on higher ground within the city in one of the poorer neighborhoods.

      I'm reading the Vermont diary and it sound like a lot of their road infrastructure is washed out, probably for a major length of time.

      The point being, that one just never knows exactly what the impact will be - long or short term and exactly how it will play out.

      I myself was kind of surprised after all my past experience at how lacking our emergency supplies had become for Irene.

      Everyone, everywhere, as much as they are able to, should try to have some back-up food, water, batteries, flashlights, first aid kit, etc. It may not be a hurricane you are preparing for - it could just be a from out of nowhere rainstorm that flash floods and takes out the power and the roads.

      •  1938 Hurricane story (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        asterkitty, Nespolo, Lujane, jan4insight, mayim

        My Father had no notice of this.  He was 15 and in school.  His parents didn't know it was coming either.  In school they told the kids to "go home immediately" because the hurricane was nearing.  My Dad worried about his Brother, who had Polio and couldn't get home early without a ride.  My Dad, without permission, "borrowed" the neighbor's car (keys always left in) and picked up his brother.  They got home Just in time for all to get battened down for the Storm.  He still  has a book with pictures of this storm.

        He moved to Florida after WWII and raised our Family there.  I have lived in South Florida all my life and have experienced many Hurricanes.

        You can't be too prepared for these.

    •  I approve and endorse this: (7+ / 0-)
      We will never know how many lives were saved by the government actions this weekend, but lives WERE saved.  It is so much better, to say nothing of safer, to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

      Very good addition to a great diary. I particularly like #3. In my experience in critical care, when a code starts on a unit, almost the entire staff will be in or outside the room. Leaving the other critical or serious patients unattended to some degree.

      One of the criticisms I found very ignorant was the extent of speculation and coverage for the hurricane. That it overwhelmed all other news. I certainly can fault media coverage of anything.

      What stood out for me was this was threatening a corridor of America that contains our national capitol, the national financial sector, a large component of our defense system that protects both of those, about 65 million Americans -including the government, financial and military workers, and the power, water, sewer and transportation systems that maintain the complex community.

      Katrina threatened about 35 million Americans, the fifth largest port in the world (which Congress had failed to protect and rebuild) and a lot of oil and gas facilities. The preliminary coverage for that, IMO, eerily vacillated between heavy and understated. The overwhelming sense was it needed to be all out, it was too likely to be really bad.

      I think we are all just as psychologically damaged by the Katrina fiasco as by 9/11. To the extent some evade those feelings by downplaying new threats is understandable. It can also have fatal consequences.

      Whatever it takes to overcome that is worth considering. I haven't compared stats yet, the # of deaths so far seems moderate if not better.

      Too much sanity may be madness. The maddest of all is to see the world as it is and not as it should be. Don Quixote "Man of La Mancha"

      by Ginny in CO on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 02:38:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know we were psychologically damaged by Katrina (8+ / 0-)

        because what we witnessed was the abandonment of Americans in need by their government on national TV.

        We saw the lack of will, the petty political bickering, the insane incompetence while people sat on roofs and overpasses and literally died right in front of us.

        How can someone not be affected by that?

        Katrina also verified the mindset of those who think government is a convenient construct to take from citizens while providing little of value. The subliminal message of Katrina was "You're on your own. Deal with it."

        I will always also believe that there was a racial component to the lack of will and urgency on the part of the Federal government and that if the threatened citizens had been predominantly white at the Mall of America,  somehow resources would have been marshaled faster and more effectively. Sorry, that's what I believe.

        •  Those of us who have worked the AA (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lujane

          Civil Rights battles since the 50's had no doubts about the racial component. The multiple messages were just horrifying.

          Although the national trauma created by Katrina was discussed widely, I still don't think it is seen as equivalent to 9/11. That is likely because there was no 'others' to blame. It was all the result of multiple American failures. So we can't admit that it was as awful as 9/11.

          Too much sanity may be madness. The maddest of all is to see the world as it is and not as it should be. Don Quixote "Man of La Mancha"

          by Ginny in CO on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 09:32:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Not much to add, except to say... (15+ / 0-)

    ...being prepared is always better than being caught unprepared.  The cost differential (monetary and human) between the two is incredible.

    One buys insurance (car, homeowners, life) as a cheap gamble against a worst case scenario.  Prudent plans and preparations for a potential natural disaster are the same thing, particularly if you live in a zone that's susceptible to these types of events.

    Tea Party manifesto: We're resigned to our collective fate because we don't want no stinkin' collective future with the likes of you

    by Richard Cranium on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 06:05:48 AM PDT

  •  As a Floridian (11+ / 0-)

    I take them all very seriously.  This is a great diary, well written and also very entertaining.  Tipped and recommended!

    The United States is not just losing its capacity to do great things. It's losing its soul.--Bob Herbert. gulfgal98's corollary- Our soul is gone.

    by gulfgal98 on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 06:48:36 AM PDT

  •  Worst case scenario for the prepared: (17+ / 0-)

    You have to take the yard stuff back out and eat some instameals.

    Worst case scenario for the unprepared:

    too long a list to post.

    Thanks for posting this.

    "I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” --Thos. Jefferson

    by Crashing Vor on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 07:14:34 AM PDT

  •  well (10+ / 0-)

    I spent about 10 hours all together cutting some old branches, fixing windows, checking caulking, given the homestead a real once over, fixing some gutters spouts, extending others,  buying some supplies.

    We are outside Philly and we were spared any damage thankfully.

    I'm happy about that fact.

    I now know my house had some work done that could of been overlooked, and so my house is in better shape, and every supply I bought as I bought it, I always said to myself before I bought it, if nothing happens, will this thing/product Im about to buy still have use and make sense?  That way I'm not upset by being over prepared.  I probably spent about 200 bucks on stuff and all of it is still useful and will be used at some point.

    Now if I would of spent 1200 bucks for a generator , which I have nevered needed in my life, and hopefully wont need,  I might be a little pissed at myself.

    Bad is never good until worse happens

    by dark daze on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 07:31:30 AM PDT

    •  I keep mulling the generator $$$ (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deejay Lyn, grover, mayim, Lujane

      Haven't needed one yet in the dozen or so years I've lived in this house, where the longest outage (aside from the big one in 2003) was only a few hours...but I'm mindful of the monster ice storm that hit this part of upstate NY in 1991, leaving most of the city without power for nearly two weeks. (I was at college out of town at the time and missed the excitement.)

      The generator would sure have come in handy then.

      Intended to be a factual statement.

      by ipsos on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 01:01:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can't believe we don't have one (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deejay Lyn, grover, mayim, Lujane

        We have been without electricity for over a week twice, both during hurricanes. Just a couple months ago we lost power for 3 days for no real discernible reason, just an average old thunderstorm.

        As far as the bucks go, if you calculate the food dollars lost when a well stocked freezer and refrigerator go south, that's probably at least half the cost.

        •  We had a storm last year that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mayim, Lujane

          knocked out power for several days (although communities not so for from me were without power for over a week).  Several years ago, we were without power for a week due to an ice storm.

          We don't live in the sticks. And the area where I live (the PNW) is known for a mild climate overall.  But we get freaky severe weather now and then too.

          Lots of food goes wasted. AND when it's cold in the winter, people head over to cities that do have electricity (because our natural gas furnaces need electricity to circulate the heat) and check themselves into hotels.

          That adds up quickly. So a generator could easily pay for itself.

          But being prepared might simply be enough.

          Fortunately, we have several 5-day coolers, and since it was well below freezing both times, we filled them up with frozen food, stuck them on our deck and didn't lose much food. We always have two extra full propane tanks that I can cook on the BBQ with.  I pitched our winter tent in our living room, and we slept in our warm sleeping bags. 20 degrees outside. 39 degrees in the house.  With two humans and two dogs inside, it was a balmy 58 degrees in the tent. And all this stuff is in a specific place so we can find it even in the darkest nights with just a flashlight.

          Having a bit of gear and being prepared. It's a hassle to think about it and then DO it on a sunny warm August afternoon. But as you said, Phoebe, when you need it, it's a little too late if you haven't done so already.

          :)

          © grover


          "Overflow zone. So much thinking going on." -- Meteor Blades, August 2, 2004.

          by grover on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 02:51:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  There are maintenance costs, too (0+ / 0-)

          Can't just leave a generator outside (especially with the winters we have here in upstate NY) and expect it to fire up after a dozen years sitting idle. I should mention also that I have family nearby on a different electrical circuit, so the odds are pretty good that one of us will have power if the other doesn't.

          And the likeliest scenario for a long-term power outage here involves a winter storm...at which point anything from the freezer can go in a chest outside and stay frozen indefinitely without power.

          Intended to be a factual statement.

          by ipsos on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 01:38:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! (But did you really mean "off course" (5+ / 0-)

    or "of course" in the last line?) I mean since it was about hurricanes, I tried to make sense of it and decided it was a typo ;)

  •  Tomorrow is gauranteed to no one, (6+ / 0-)

    and no expert, government official, TV personality, or even you yourself can protect you from all the different things, natural and man-made, that could at any time end your life, cripple you, destroy your home, or permanently change your life for the worst.

    American, blessed as we are with a our prosperity and political stability, have come to expect that misfortune only happens to others.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 01:09:46 PM PDT

    •  Excellent comments and I don't disagree with you. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deejay Lyn, saluda, grover, mayim, Lujane

      Modern Americans are very removed from that reality. It seems like we may be losing even some basic survival skills due to that.

      I have a friend who is an incurable optimist, to the point I think she will someday put her life at risk. If you don't HAVE to drive in 50 mile an hour winds with torrential downpours, why would you choose to, based simply on a blithe assumption that "everything will be ok."

  •  Gloria was a famous dud? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mayim, Lujane

    For you maybe. For me, I lost power for 4 days! Just goes to show, you can't predict these things, even after the fact!

    •  Originally, Gloria was supposed to wipe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mayim, Lujane

      New England off the face of the map.

      Hurricane Gloria

      As Gloria approached the East Coast of the United States, National Hurricane Center director Neil Frank called it the "Storm of the Century", due to its intensity and potential track over the densely populated region of New England

      You want to talk about hype? She had been a Category 4 with the lowest pressure ever recorded and was supposed to become a Category 5.  She was also bouncing around the East Coast like a billiard ball.

      But, it really does just go to show, one's memory of any particular hurricane will be confined to whatever local experience you had.  Many East Coasters don't have particularly strong memories of Floyd or Agnes because they turned into inland rain events which never ever get the press of the Hugos or the Andrews where the TVs show the wind leveled sub-divisions.

  •  Risk management. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoebe Loosinhouse, mayim, Nespolo, Lujane

    Some of us do it for a living. We try to keep the world as safe as possible for the rest of you. Walk through any commercial building and you won't see many signs of what we do because it's not obvious. But you also don't see people getting hurt very often. When someone does, then people ask questions and ask why more wasn't done to prevent that.

    In our own personal lives, we need to do the same thing. This is a good place to start:

    I am an analytic, over preparing, pessimistic dystopian

    Assume the worst possible thing can happen in any situation: fire, water, ice, animal, another human...come up with as many situations as you can, situations in which you, your family, your property and others who may visit your premises might get harmed.

    Now, how can you prevent these incidents or ameliorate the harm done?

    It seems, Phoebe, that you're on the right track.  The nice thing is that once you've done everything you can possibly do, it's easy to turn it off. My husband and I sleep well at night because we know that there pretty much isn't anything else that we can possibly do to protect ourselves and others.

    The undying optimists? I'm pretty certain that they know that they're living in a state of denial. I know quite a few, and when I press them a bit, they end up admitting, sheepishly, that they should do more. "But...."
    And then there are the excuses that don't even convince themselves.

    Am I overprepared? On many occasions, yes. But the one or two times we've needed those preparations, it made it all worth it.

    Great diary. I hope it makes people think. Houses, cars, even photos and momentos -- that's all stuff, and stuff can be replaced, and even if they can't, they're not that important in the big scheme. But our loved ones, our friends and neighbors, our pets and our own lives, well, those are more fragile than many people think.  

    We have to protect those.

    © grover


    "Overflow zone. So much thinking going on." -- Meteor Blades, August 2, 2004.

    by grover on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 02:35:32 PM PDT

  •  I want to smack my sister (6+ / 0-)

    As Irene was making her approach up the coast I posted several models on my FB wall.  I also urged my kids living in the Boston area to make preparations.

    First she made fun of the computer models.

    Then she mad fun of my recommendations for preparations.

    When the storm passed by NYC without enough damage, she lambasted the forecasters for hyping and for being wrong.

    When I put up several videos of Vermont she said something like "isn't that a shame, who would have thought that dinky storm could do any damage."

    She is in the Tea Party, loves Cain.

    I want to smack her.

    I fall down, I get up, I keep dancing.

    by DamselleFly on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 04:26:53 PM PDT

  •  first responder (4+ / 0-)

    As a first responder pre-planing ang preparing are our bread and butter. I cannot say this enough prior planning can help migate damage to property and loss of life.

  •  I am completely with you on this. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nespolo, Lujane, jan4insight, mayim
    I have taken every single hurricane threat seriously and have prepared my ass off and I have been LUCKY.

    Every candle, box of matches, flashlight, lantern, etc. we bought will be saved for this winter's blizzard. And there will be a blizzard. All food can be eaten. All water will be used. Nothing goes to waste. (we're in Philly, in a lucky unscathed neighborhood)

    After going through the Loma Prieta earthquake unprepared (and without gas or electricity for days) I have learned my lesson. We always have a full pantry, and of course, a manual can opener.

    curious portal - to a world of paintings, lyric-poems, art writing, and graphic and web design

    by asterkitty on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 07:01:52 PM PDT

    •  Been fortunate in Florida (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      asterkitty, Lujane, mayim

      but got flooded to the point FEMA had to step in
      two years ago in Ga.  Believing that ?  We got flooded on highground...Toxic mold never did leave......Bleach was our best friend.  Cutaway the  sheetrock...but it got all in the fiberglass.  Lived in Florida 10 years and never had a problem ...then Ga flooded us......Back in Florida and have always felt like we would not be flooded..Wrong.. I see what that rushing water will do.
      Keep eyes peeled now.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 07:06:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Key sentence (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        asterkitty, Nespolo, Lujane, mayim, Vetwife

        "We got flooded on high ground."

        Thank you for writing that! There are so many many people who think being on high ground or not being in a flood plain means that there is no danger from floods, or people also erroneously believe that you have to be in a flood plain in order to buy Federal flood insurance - not so!

        You can be in a "zero risk" area and still be able to buy flood insurance. The key factor is whether your city or town has opted into the Federal Flood Insurance program.

        My policy covers 250K in property and 50K in contents (or close - have to actually check policy) and it costs around $350.00 a year.

        •  Could you please clarify something (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lujane, mayim

          about flood insurance?  I know they say that people assume their regular insurance covers more than it actually does, but if your home is damaged by rainfall -- that's rain falling down from the sky, not rushing water or a damp basement -- that's NOT considered a "flood," right?  Plain vanilla homeowners' insurance does cover rain, doesn't it?

          "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

          by Nespolo on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:02:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not an insurance agent (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lujane, mayim, Nespolo

            but my understanding is that a flood is considered to be rising water or intrusion from rising water. So, if a hurricane blew your roof off and rainfall came in, your homeowner's would cover it, but if rainfall collected in your yard  and rose and came up over your steps and seeped under the door, that would be considered rising water and a "flood".

            This is my understanding, but please be aware I could be completely and totally wrong.

            •  FEMA explained it pretty much like you did (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nespolo

              that an exception amount of rainfall and then the septic backs up causing drainage into the lower levels even pumped won't help because the ground has reached full saturation and it is even coming through the lower windows.  Exceptionl amounts of rain at one time or over a period of time causing a house to not just get damp but soaked..The water rising on the ground has no place to go but through the pipes..  I misunderstood flood as well.  Till we had one and Fema declared it so and trust me they check....Every little thing and dates and measure drainage and water levels and saturation and then pay youvery little for all tht damage.  No insurance will not pay for it,  Not Home owners.  U are stuck without flood out out of pocket,

              We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

              by Vetwife on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 05:11:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks to both of you (0+ / 0-)

                The only problem that we had this past weekend was some water (rain) leaking through our roof.  So that doesn't sound like anybody's definition of "flood."  We spoke with our agent last week (before Irene hit) and declined his offer to sell us flood insurance because I don't think we need it.  We've been through three hurricanes in the past 9 years, and I still don't think we need it.

                "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

                by Nespolo on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 09:39:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  There is also a wait period for flood insurance (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Nespolo

                  I think it is 30 days before it kicks in which pretty much prevents someone from getting it right before a hurricane hits.

                  I sleep better at night knowing we have it. You cannot get more that around 325K max coverage for both house and contents and the rate varies depending on what level of flood plain you are in.

                  Which is why I really really don't understand ginormous houses built right next to the coast. A homeowners policy won't cover them for flooding and even flood insurance only covers a fraction of their worth.

                  •  Well, we did sign up (0+ / 0-)

                    for earthquake insurance ;-)

                    "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

                    by Nespolo on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 08:13:15 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

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