December 11, 2012 |
When a natural disaster strikes, our character can be tested. Such is the case facing members of a family who became homeless after Hurricane Sandy ravaged parts of the East Coast in the fall. During a recent online discussion, I received a question from a reader asking what to do to help relatives who lost their house in New York. But, the reader noted, the family had also "squandered" a $300,000 inheritance received a few years ago, buying luxury items such as "two expensive cars, a high-end computer and tech...
November 2, 2012 |
TO THE DEATH and destruction left in Hurricane Sandy's wake, add this concern: One of the federal government's key programs for coping with such disaster is itself underwater. We refer to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which protects 5.6 million customers in 21,000 communities across the country — both coastal and inland — against losses from inundation. The NFIP has $1.25 trillion of coverage in force, of which just under half is in seaside areas such as the Jersey Shore.
November 1, 2012 |
As the Northeast struggles with the aftermath of the massive storm Sandy, many experts say the government for years has underestimated how much of the nation is prone to flooding, given the increasing likelihood of extreme weather because of climate change and the prospect of future sea level rise. These experts, who include not only environmentalists but also community planners, insurers and fiscal conservatives, have pressed agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency to rethink...
October 29, 2012 |
With rain flooding the Washington area, many homeowners may end up looking to their insurance to cover water damage to their homes or belongings. But standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding, warns the federal government Web site FloodSmart.gov , and that can be a costly omission. "Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage," the government site says. "From 2007 to 2011, the average residential flood claim amounted to almost $30,000.
February 22, 2012
Surround yourself with wildlife on Chincoteague Island, the inhabited neighbor to the federally protected Assateague Island, a wildlife sanctuary that boasts more than 320 species of birds in addition to the famous wild horses. With more than 37 miles of sandy beach and miles of hiking and biking trails, Assateague Island offers ample vacation entertainment. You can go crabbing or fishing in designated areas, look for herons and egrets or, naturally, commune with the wild ponies. The property we identified...
February 22, 2012
When you drive onto Hatteras Island, crossing the Oregon Inlet Bridge just south of Nags Head, your first impression is endless ocean and sandy beach. The barrier island is surrounded by water with spits of land jutting out, and the first 10 miles or so is protected national park land. As you drive down the highway, all you'll see are sand dunes, sea grass and the birds on the sound to your right. Hatteras Island is famous for its surfing, wind boarding and sport fishing, as well as for the recent damage from Hurricane Irene.