Hurricane Sandy hit the northeastern United States late yesterday, causing considerable disruptions to all the states that are on its path.
New York And Washington Shut Down
According to chicagotribune.com, New York Governor Mario Cuomo ordered the two tunnels that connect Manhattan to New Jersey and Brooklyn closed later today in preparation for the storm. Holland Tunnel, which opened in 1927 and remains one of the main connections between New York and New Jersey closed at 2 p.m. local time. On the other hand, the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, locally known as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, also closed at the same time.
Similarly, the New York Stock Exchange was closed for the first time since September 11, 2001. Government offices in Washington were also closed, as well as schools along the East Coast. Governors from Virginia to Massachusetts warned of great danger for the 60 million people on the storm’s path and, consequently, nine states have declared a state of emergency.
About 150,000 customers were already without electricity and experts estimate that the damage could reach $20 billion.
President Obama Declares Emergency Areas
President Obama declared emergencies in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania a measure that authorizes the use of federal relief well ahead of time. The President promised that the government would “respond big and respond fast” after the storm hits and that “we will cut through the red tape” to expedite assistance and not “get bogged down with a lot of rules”.
Also, the storm has caused thousands of flights in the Northeast and, as a consequence, created travel problems around the globe. This is the busiest airspace in the nation and according to the flight-tracking service FlightAware, nearly 10,000 flights were cancelled due to the storm between Monday and Tuesday.
Replica of HMS Bounty Lost At Sea
In the meantime, the United States Coast Guard rescued 14 of the 16 crew members of the replica ship HMS Bounty. Search and rescue operations for the two missing crew members continue.
The ship had been featured in films like “Pirates of the Caribbean” and, of course, “The Bounty”, a 1984 film starring Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins about the infamous mutiny on board an 18th Century British warship by that name.
Tips For Homeowners With Damages From the Storm
Although Hurricane Sandy did not cause appreciable damage in South Florida, we would like to offer to our readers the following tips on the steps they should follow should their homes or other property suffer damage in any storm:
- Take pictures of the damaged property before you make repairs.
- Begin to make temporary repairs to prevent further damage to your home or property. Keep a record of time spent and all receipts for work done on your property. You have a duty to mitigate damages under the terms of your insurance policy.
- Take pictures of any mitigation steps you have taken such as placing tarps on your roofs or covering broken windows or doors.
- Remove tree debris from the structure and place it on the ground.
- If your power is out, unplug any small electrical items and electronics to prevent electrical spike damage.
- Secure replacement costs/estimates from local retailers of like kind, quality and features. Obtain statements from vendors on items that cannot be repaired.
- Do not dispose of any damaged contents until authorized by your agent or claim representative.
- Contact only reputable, licensed vendors for repair estimates. Have estimates signed by the vendor and approved by your adjuster or agent before having major damage repaired.
- Inventory your damaged personal possessions such as furniture, clothing, art, collectables, etc. If a damaged item is a collectable or artwork, try to establish its current value.
- Contact the Law Offices of Greenberg Stone and Urbano immediately after the storm so that we can send our loss consultant to inspect your property and help you prepare the documents in support of your claim.
The Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano Can Help
You should always have an attorney help you review your policy and advise you on what coverage you should have and for how much. If you are about to renew your policy (with the same insurer or a new one), we can help you review it and make sure you are adequately covered and in a position to avoid costly expenses should disaster strike.
With more than 70 years of combined experience, the Miami Dade County Homeowners Insurance Claims Law Offices of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have helped thousands of Homeowners all over Florida review their policies, present their claims and get the compensation owed them by their insurance carrier.
Additionally, please note that if your home has already sustained damages, our team of loss consultants, paralegals, and attorneys will assist you in every aspect of your claim. Our loss consultant will even go to your home to evaluate the damage you sustained at no cost or obligation to you. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation or to schedule a free inspection by our loss consultant.