Thursday, January 17, 2013

Our new reality post Sandy


We are thankful to be alive and mostly unharmed (apart from my minor concussion).  Our house can be rebuilt if insurance does its job correctly.  Of course some items are at depreciated value and some are covered minimally.  So it will still cost us somewhat.


We lived in a hotel for 6-7 weeks, it seems relaxing and fun but it is not.  My kids are used to making lots of noise, my kids are loud and business travelers have little sympathy.


We got turned down by a few landlords in town, couldn't be bothered with a short term rental.


One landlord allowed us to rent his duplex, despite his last minute misgivings.  Our lives are MUCH more normal than living in a hotel.  We are trying to settle our kids into this new reality, and once in a while we remind ourselves that these kids haven't had any normalcy since Oct, 2012.


Our builder has been funding the rebuilding partly until insurance and the banks get their act together.  Our house has a long way to go, roof is partly done and the walls are next.  We need time to clean up the rooms and need supplies.

We are down to one car, we were about to buy another car before the storm but got delayed and now we might not buy till we get finish most of the house repairs - just in case there are funding issues.  Can you imagine living with one car?  Thankfully one very considerate and kind friend has loaned us her car - what a weight lifted off our shoulders.




Baby steps keeps us busy and moving. There is a lot to do.


Thanks for reading.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Super Storm Sandy New Jersey

We got hit by Sandy and almost got crushed.

My halloween decorations at my doorway Oct 25
I've been a little overwhelmed lately so haven't had a chance to update this blog.  Also all my electronics are scattered between the house and temp housing so it is difficult to find everything you need. Below are pics of the damage.

I was really getting in to decorations this year.

Apparently 3 things (plus Gods will) saved me that day.  The branches of the huge 60+ year old tree hit the top roof and stopped the tree from crushing me and the living room as I was sitting on my couch having a glass of wine and reading a book via candle light.  A steel beam in the bow window held the huge tree and only got a dent in it (unusable but saved my life) otherwise I would have been crushed by the wind and the tree. The deck may have prevented the roots from completely detaching and blowing in to the house causing further damage.
Another tree that fell towards the road was the one near the ghost

Some folk have told me I should have been in the basement, a few things prevented this from happening, one is that we don't have a finished basement and the one we have is a partial and prone to flooding.  We have a split level and the garage level also has windows, we love trees and large windows which is one reason why we bought the house, but we had no idea this could happen.  We've been in the house for 8 years and have never experienced anything like this before.  We spent 2 days worth of a full tree crew service last sumer to cut pines and prune our trees so we thought we would be ok.

We have lots of windows and trees near the living areas and the lower level.  Basement isn't finished and prone to flooding.

One thing to note about storm, the debris fell at the back of my head first but then the roof fell on the top of my head, it was hard for me to work out which way to get out of this mess as the wind blew for a few seconds all around me.  I called out and Mike came from down the stairs and saw which way way to get me out.

As soon as I called out the kids started screaming then we had to calm them down before tending to my head and checking which way to go for safety.

Police came within seconds, EMT a little longer as trees started falling all over the roads everywhere.
Branches leaning on top roof prevented tree from falling further in to the house.

Steel beam in window prevented the tree from further crashing

Deck held roots slightly to prevent tree being uprooted more and falling more in to house

Follow building codes people, they are there for a reason

Insurance won't cover all yard cleanup.
Doctor in the house?  You might not be able to get to the hospital in such an emergency.
My boys usually go to bed after 9pm.
I had to go to the hospital the next day as the trees and hurricane blocked the EMTs from driving anywhere.  Luckily I wasn't bleeding and was conscious.

My boys were bored and Mike was reading to them in bed at 8pm
I got checked out at the hospital the next day and I got a minor concussion.  But the ER was packed, people were waiting for ages (doctors couldn't get in to the ER).

My boys would have been sitting on this couch usually at that time
I heard kids screaming in the ER - the sound it is almost unbearable. I can't imagine dealing with my kids screaming in an ER.

I got hit by debris flying at me at 60mph +, only a minor concussion so far.
I was sitting on the couch when the tree crashed through the room and landed next to me on the otherside of the couch.  The rest of the family had just gone upstairs 15 minutes earlier.

We weren't meant to find a generator otherwise we would all be in the living room
We were looking for a generator desperately one week prior. We found an outrageously overpriced tiny one that Mike decided to not get, otherwise we would all be sitting on the couch watching tv.


I can't imagine having my kids experience anything like this.
I would do it all again the same way to prevent kids from being in that room.
Especially after I heard kids screaming in the ER.

I get the chills thinking my boys could have experienced this disaster in the living room.
We appear to be on the highest point in our neighborhood and must have experienced full force of 60+mph winds.  Lower properties might have experienced less wind, or broken wind (ok doesn't sound right).

I will post more updates as I get more time. I appreciate all your time reading this and thinking of me and my family.

Thanks for reading.

Vicki

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hurricane Sandy disaster in New Jersey

We got hit, that is why I haven't updated this blog.  But more importantly I was almost killed instantly and the family escaped and I only have minor concussion.  We were so prepared for the Hurricane but never imagined this.  Before and after pics here. More updates soon.

XO

I was sitting on this couch in one corner (near the glass of wine) and the tree landed in the other corner of the couch.  Normally I would sit in the other corner but the candles were closer to the other side.
Before pic, we were so prepared.  Reading by candlelight.
We were desperately trying to find a generator a week before the storm and all stocks were gone, so we prepared as best as we could and weathered it.  We cleaned up all loose items outside, got canned foods ready and so on.
We read to the kids, later they were bored and went upstairs early.
If we had found a generator we would have had entertainment and all would be sitting on the couches.  My kids almost never go to bed before 9.

They read by flashlight and turned in extra early, luckily.
I can't imagine dealing with the situation of kids getting hurt.

8:23 pic, after the disaster, police were here and I took this pic
I got hit in the head by debris flying around the room at hurricane speeds.  I got a minor concussion and my head hurt for weeks. I didn't get hit by the tree, or I wouldn't have survived.

Another pic, must have happened 8:15 ish, I was on the couch.

If the tree hadn't stopped at the upper levels then I would have been crushed by the building and debris.

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