By Daniel Beckerman
Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the east coast last week. We got to see some of the damage first hand as we are located in the New Jersey Shore area. There were massive power outages, downed trees, and gas shortages.
Beckerman Institutional is fully operational and luckily we have functioning power and Internet service. However, many of our neighbors in low lying areas such as Seaside Heights, Atlantic City, Point Pleasant, and Long Beach Island were not so lucky. In some spots there was devastating wind and water damage. In the aftermath there were millions of people that were without power, although the utilities workers are doing a wonderful and relentless job at restoring power. Our hearts go out to all of those who have been impacted.
As a courtesy FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) is offering different kinds of disaster assistance for those who have suffered losses during the storm. Please refer to their website for information on their programs including disaster recovery aid, small business loans, and response and recovery services.
Many homeowners may feel that they are unable to recoup damage from their property insurance policy because of their hurricane deductibles. However, because the storm was not technically classified as a hurricane, the insurers may not be able to enforce these deductibles.
When making charitable contributions for Hurricane Sandy, please be sure to research and contact organizations on your own accord. Legitimate charities generally will not actively solicit for donations immediately after a tragedy. There have been numerous instances of fraud during past crisis periods such as 911 and Hurricane Irene.
Do not provide any of your personal information such as credit card numbers to unsolicited third parties. If you are dealing with a new contractor do not pay in full for services up front. Ask for proof from the contractor that subcontractors have been paid.
There will be a rebuilding effort going forward and some companies will benefit from that. Investors may want to consider investing in companies such as Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) and The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD). As Americans, we have often supported our friends and neighbors during their time of need. Please think about simple things that you can do such as lending a gas can or a generator to those without power. For those of you who were affected by the storm, we wish you a quick return to normalcy.
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