By Doug Hanna, Principal, S+H Construction, Inc.
I just recently returned from a week long, fun-in-the sun vacation and while I was there, I couldn't help but reflect on the impressive deposit of snow we received prior to my departure. And now, we have yet anothersnow storm to hit New England this week. While I'm getting ready to put on the snowshoes and have some fun (in what hopefully is our last round of snow), I'm sure it's no fun for the people along the North and South shores who are dealing with yet another storm surge. There's just no question that the climate is changing and getting more severe. "You don't need a weather man..." etc.
I was also able to listen to a piece on the radio about the ways that risks are being reassessed by the insurance industry and the government. People who own property, especially second homes in flood prone areas, can expect that their insurance bills will be jumping up significantly. It turns out that only 30% of the homes and businesses destroyed or damaged in Hurricane Sandy were insured for that type of event. This means that much of the reconstruction costs will be born by taxpayers. I'm sure that people in Amarillo aren't too happy about subsidizing rebuilding efforts in the Rockaways. On the other hand, the next time a tornado touches down in the Texas panhandle, Easterners will be helping to pay that tab, so what goes around comes around. Still, the possibility that low lying areas of the coasts could be underwater within the next 50 years boggles the mind. The potential costs for protecting areas that the sea seems determined to reclaim are staggering. How to possibly prepare for these effects must be keeping many engineers, city planners, and administration officials up at night.
What can individual homeowners do to protect their property? Proper storm drainage systems, drywells, sump pumps, waterproofing and building envelope improvements are a few examples. Of course this won't help if the sea decides to invade a neighborhood. The solution for that problem, if there is one, will have to be figured out and implemented by civil engineers and funded by...guess who?
In the interim, if anyone is interested in any of those smaller scale improvements, we are ready to help. We've seen surreal photos of the damage these storms have done to homes around the Boston area and we want to remind everyone to take advantage of our many services. Whether it be to fix foundation or structural repairs or remove water from your basement for good with our revolutionary process, we are here to help in any way we can! Everyone please stay safe and feel free to call us at 617-876-8286 for a FREE consultation and estimate.