To Rebuild or Not to Rebuild
Homes are where families bond and connect; they are warm and comforting especially in a time of need and vulnerability. What if one day there was no more “home”? Where would people live and sleep? Thousands of people experienced this tragedy when Hurricane Sandy made landfall on October 29, 2012. This hurricane left a devastating mark on each and every state it past through. The super storm hit the entire west coast from Florida all the way to Maine. As a category three hurricane, the destruction it left was heart breaking. Homeowners and business owners all along the east coast had their properties destroyed with no answers on what to do next.
Over a year later, and homeowners are still facing the same questions and problems they were last year. Their properties are still in ruins and new problems have risen. People who lost their properties are now struggling to rebuild their homes and those who can’t afford to rebuild are trying to find ways to get their money from the insurance companies. The main problem is that there are chances of more storms coming our way. In the past decade, three hurricanes have hit the tri-state area. Who is to say next year there won’t be another one? Homeowners, as well as business owners, should be properly educated before they decide to rebuild.
Money is always an issue; everything costs money. Fran O’Connor, a homeowner from Sayreville, New Jersey lost her home to this devastating super storm. Her wish is to have the government buy her out so she can get money to get her life back together. Those who do not wish to be bought out are looking for money from insurance claims to rebuild their homes from the bottom up. Rebuilding also comes with new requirements such as elevating the house anywhere from one to five feet above what they have now. This new requirement can cost thousands of dollars that many people don’t have. According to Craig Verran, a homeowner from Manasquan, “It’s a tough decision. You either elevate or else. It’s an 'or else' situation. You’re going to face premiums that are unbearable.”
Most people are trying to wait it out for a better option. Insurance companies are allowing them four years to make a decision before the increases go into effect (Piniat). The values of each property are going down, the price of renovations and repairs is going up, while the income the homeowners make is staying the same. Many families have lived in these homes for decades, it would be heartbreaking to walk away but there is barely another reasonable option. Most homes have been condemned; if they haven’t there’s thousands of dollars they must pay in order to meet up to the new insurance requirements. On top of that, their house is still located in a flood zone if there is another super storm; their homes are still at risk.
The insurance companies in this situation have all the power; they hold all the cards. They control who gets the insurance money and who does not. Gale...