Last week was a historic week in Maine and New Hampshire, with a rainfall to that has had no comparison in recent history. Driving around during the last week since the storm, I still see trees toppled over, huge pines cracked right down the middle, edges of the road are washed away, and hoses are still pouring water out of people's basement windows. I attended a funeral of someone who, it is believed, died in his sleep from the fumes of the generator he had hooked up while without power. A young girl and her grandmother were swept away as water washed out a road-way.
All in all, it has been a really lousy April in Southern Maine. How do we protect ourselves and our homes and property when these catastrophic events hit us so hard? I have written many a purchase and sales contract for a home, and never once have advised that someone look into flood insurance if they are nowhere near water. After this week, I might just start recommending it. I have written several purchase and sales contracts for people in homes where the generator will be staying behind for the buyers as a favor. I might be recommending a safety course in the operation of those generators now.
Our job in selling homes is to do everything we can for our buyers and sellers to get them into the home they are dreaming of, or out of one into another. But it takes a month like April 2007 to bring home the reality of our jobs, that there is much more to owning a home and being responsible with that home ownership. That being said, I was lucky. I received no damage whatsoever in or around my home. But had I had damage - I can honestly say I have no safeguards in place. I am not near water, so I must not need flood insurance, right? Well, the people across the street from me were bailing out for 2 days. There by for the grace.....And I am on public water and sewer, which is great, right? Well, for me maybe, but not for the people 6 doors down from me. There is still a BFI trash bin in their yard, as they had to throw away most of their possessions when the sewer in their home backed up.
Many of my neighbors and acquaintances were hit hard. I do count my blessings, but I know I may not be so lucky if this happens again. My thoughts go out to all of those that are dealing still with the results of our Patriot's Day Storm. Watch this video from a town resident, Major Gordon Littlefiled: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiJozOX0v4g to see just how the area fared.