Businesses Still Recovering From Superstorm

Fish Plate, by wikipedia user Jastrow, licensed by Creative Commons

Seems a little fishy

Years ago, Hurricane Sandy struck everywhere on the East Coast of the US, from Florida all the way to Maine. Many homes, companies, and families were uprooted, including vacation spots along the cost and even in New York City. A Greek restaurant in the TriBeCa district called Thalassa is recently filed a lawsuit against their insurance provider, who denied their claim that the storm disrupted their business. A main substation in downtown Manhattan, powered by a company called Con Edison, experienced problems due to the surging waters. The Phoenix Insurance Co. states that although the business was closed for 11 days, Thalassa’s insurance does not cover this kind of disruption. Read more

Stormpocalypse

sandy_cheeks_main by flickr user bobo615

Also affecting sea creatures

Just more than a year after Hurricane Irene mangled the eastern seaboard, Hurricane Sandy has reared her ugly head threatening to repeat the devastation.  The entire east coast of the United States is scrambling for shelter as the monster hybrid storm moves it’s way north faster than expected.  This “Frankenstorm” is over 1,000 miles wide with maximum sustained winds of 90mph.  Millions of people have evacuated their homes to move farther inland. Even NYC is experiencing mandatory evacuations, leaving the city looking like a scene from I Am Legend.

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Formaldehyde-laced FEMA Trailer Companies Pay $14.8 Million to Katrina Victims

FEMA trailer, by Flickr user "KrisFricke", licensed via Creative CommonsIn the weeks and months following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, thousands of displaced families were given trailers to live in by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  These trailers, while welcome shelter for whole communities wracked by natural disaster, turned out to leak formaldehyde in the air at levels up to eleven times the EPA recommended exposure limit.  Formaldehyde is a fundamental and inexpensive chemical used in all sorts of building materials.  My guess is that the trailers’ small, compact design, combined with poor ventilation and cheap formaldehyde-based components (plywood, carpeting, insulation — even paint) caused the uptick in formaldehyde levels.  Also, they aren’t meant to be inhabited for such long periods — some refugees still live in their FEMA trailers today.  Nevertheless, despite assurances from FEMA that the risk of formaldehyde was overstated, many refugees began to exhibit persistent flu-like symptoms, breathing difficulties, and eye irritation.  The CDC conducted a study and found that 42% of the trailer homes had higher levels than what they recommend for a mere 15-minute exposure.  Now imagine sleeping all night in that kind of environment.

Today, following lawsuits alleging fault in providing such poison-inflated housing, more than twenty manufacturers agreed to pay out $14.8 million in settlement to thousands of derelict mobile home denizens.  Hopefully this will be some good news for those unfortunate people who are definitely in want of some.