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  • raybans2 raybans2 Oct 31, 2012 3:48 PM Flag

    OT: Storm devastation:

    Some of the pictures of areas near the coast reminded me of the Tsunami in Japan. You could see foundations but there was nothing sitting on them. I can only imagine that if you lived in those areas and did not evacuate but somehow managed to live through it, that you will be the first to evacuate in the future when told to. I hope that when people started to see that roofs were flying off of buildings and waves were caving in the sides of buildings that they figured out a way to get to someplace safer.

    If you are alive and well but your home is gone but you have insurance that will cover the damage, then what you will get when all is done is a brand new home better than the one you had before. I would not consider that to be a bad thing if I were in this situation. In fact, I would consider it a good thing. However, if you did not have adequate insurance then you are screwed. But who is to blame for that? Not the rest of the country.

    If the federal government provides any aid for home owners it should only be to cover their deductible as their insurance should take care of the rest. If they canceled their insurance after they paid off their loan then that is a decision that they should have to live with, not us. You can't expect to go around acting irresponsible and then expect others to bail you out when you fall in the hole you dug for yourself. That would be like letting drunk drivers get off with a slap on the hand. It just leads to intolerable behavior if you don't make people pay for their own bad behavior.

    I have earth quake insurance which is optional but many don't and the reason they give is because if an earth quake is bad enough to start causing considerable damage to homes then the area will be declared a disaster area. I just say to them that I will get my check for repairs in a week or two while you will be waiting for the government to respond. Good luck with that.

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    • yourbestfriendintheworld yourbestfriendintheworld Oct 31, 2012 4:13 PM Flag

      there are pictures of a pile of debris that used to be someone's house, now resting on a bridge to a barrier island in NJ (Montowonk? Matawonk? something like that). one of the pictures shows a lone house in the background standing on the island. the caption mentions it used to be surrounded by other houses. i google-mapped the spot (not hard to find from the clues in the captions and photos) and found that house. and yes, it looks to have been 1/6th to 1/4th-acre density, four or five rows deep, and now it's just that one house and a lot of sand. my question is how that one house, which looks completely intact but must have been up to its eaves in water, managed not to float away with the rest.

      as for government assistance, anyone who thinks it will ever be equal to what insurance will pay, they're fooling themselves. you're not rebuilding a fleet of $1.5-million beach houses with $5-10k debit cards.

      • 2 Replies to yourbestfriendintheworld
      • In many places in the US, older homes were not required to have the wooden frame bolted to the concrete slab. Here in California it is now required to bolt the frame to the slab so that an earth quake won't cause the frame to move off of the slab as there are often very severe side to side movements that can be strong enough to move the frame if not bolted to the slab.

        I suspect that the home that survived had its frame bolted to the foundation somehow. Also it was probably better built having more structural members that were designed to strengthen the frame against higher stresses and it could be that the owner had this done beyond existing code because he was hear the ocean and was simply being cautious. Also older homes are often not as well built to handle natural disasters as newer homes as the code has been upgraded to reflect these natural events. At least that is the case in California. You won't find newer brick buildings in CA because they cannot survive an earth quake so they are not allowed. You can have decorative brick but behind it has to be a wall that is capable of handling the stress that an earth quake places on a home. Homes in California are designed to flex and remain undamaged. Brick cannot flex. I can imagine that homes on the East Coast close to the ocean where they can see high winds and waves when there is a storm have more stringent codes today that make them more durable than older homes when codes were more lax. I cannot imagine that California is the only state taking care of business. The only problem is you can get Joe know it all who thinks he can do his own remodel and doesn’t know jack and the home can get sold to someone else without the inspector noticing that there are many things not done to code. It happens all the time.

        I once bought a home where the guy added a room and did not tie the rafters to the joist thus making it possible for the roof to push sideways until the wall collapsed. When I discovered this flaw a few years later I had to have someone come in and bolt them together to make the home safe. Had we had an earth quake before I repaired the faulty construction the room may have collapsed on us. I was lucky I found the flaw as we did have an earthquake a few years later. The guy doing the repair work could not believe that someone would be so dumb. I told him that he probably didn’t hire a carpenter, did it himself, and didn’t know it was necessary.

        Some people think that building a home is as easy as building a tree house. After that experience I personally inspect a home when I buy it. And I make sure I choose the inspector myself and not the real estate agent so he does not feel obligate to be easy on the inspection to facilitate the deal going through less the agent never call on him again.

        In older homes in California you can find the tar paper and chicken wire to which they attach the stucco nailed right to the wall studs. Now days they require plywood sheeting first and the sheeting acts as a structural support between studs making it so the house is stronger. It also adds a little more insulation but they do it for the added strength. Newer homes built this way will have a much better chance of surviving an earthquake intact.

      • Just saw something amazing. Someone got a reverse shot of the same spot from an airplane. It's not just that the houses are gone, that part of the island is gone. The storm surge cut a new inlet through the barrier island. About a hundred yards of water on either side, with the one house sitting on a tiny island the size of its own lot, right in the middle. The earlier pictures must have been low tide, because it was all sand. This one was between tides, and it's flowing water, which is just going to keep slicing that channel deeper over time.

    • What part of CA are you in, Mr. Bans2?

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