7/18/2014 - The Biggest Lesson Learned from Hurricane Sandy
Nearly two years ago, Hurricane Sandy tore a path of destruction across the better half of the eastern seaboard. In a 14-day period - with sustained wind gusts in excess of 80 mph at various points while the superstorm was occurring - more than 115 people died in the U.S. alone and dozens of properties were destroyed from Connecticut all the way down to Maryland and points beyond.
Since then, a lot of lessons have been learned regarding the importance of preparation, but as Consumer Reports found six months after the event, one of the biggest takeaways related to residents' loss of electricity and the feeling of helplessness that can result when the power goes out. And, for many, it didn't come back on again for quite some time.
For instance, in a poll performed by Consumer Reports that questioned homeowners in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York - three states that witnessed the lion's share of Sandy's destruction - 75% of respondents said that they lost power for at least 24 hours, with the median being seven days.
Additionally, more than 40% of participants in the survey said that they lost hot water, 30% lost access to hot food and nearly 1 in 5 didn't have any running water at all.
Buy yourself a generator
If you haven't done it already, you may want to consider investing in a portable generator. These forms of energy are great to have because they help eliminate a lot of the inconvenience that results from long-term power outages. You may not be able to use all the outlets in your home with a generator, but you'll be able to use a lot of them, which should also allow you to flush the toilets, clean dishes, take a shower, or watch TV to see what the latest is on a blackout.
Your homeowner's insurance policy provides you with compensation in the event a lengthy power outage caused food spoilage. Most plans provide a certain level of coverage so that you can cover the cost of groceries to replace meat, dairy or vegetables that spoiled when the electricity went out.
Make insurance part of your preparation. To learn what insurance coverages may help you, speak to a local Selective agent.