Many whose homes suffered massive devastation from Superstorm Sandy are rebuilding.
My advice is: Rebuild right. Otherwise, when flood insurance premiums kick in, they could be “stronger than the storm.” We only have the federal government to thank for this.
Say your house has sustained structural destruction of more than 50 per cent of its pre-damaged value. Then, by law, you must raise your home to the required base-flood elevation, plus 2 feet of freeboard. If you do, your flood insurance premium could be as low as $427 a year.
If you don’t (depending on your level of non-compliance), you may be shocked to see a $10,000-year bill.
This and other reconstruction issues are addressed in the Town of Hempstead program, “Rebuild Right.” Working with local partners, Supervisor Kate Murray and I are helping people rebuild smart so they not only do it right, but help save them money and possible massive hikes in insurance premiums.
Last month, the town hosted a “Rebuild Right” seminar at Hofstra University. Town officials and experts explained compliance with codes, energy efficiency, changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) since Sandy, and much more, including the new N.Y. State Energy Codes.
Sandy damaged 17,000 homes in the Town of Hempstead. Of those, devastation on 2,000 appears to be substantial. In the nine months since, the town Building Department has only issued 500 permits for substantial damage. With the state’s New York Raising Program, more rebuilding money will be coming to affected homeowners. Some 1,500 reconstruction applications are expected…the brunt of them in October.
Again, my advice is: Rebuild right. More seminars are being scheduled. In the meantime, contact the Town of Hempstead Building Department through my office at 516-812-3200 so that you and your family do it right.
Let us help you remake your home the best that it can be…and, without any flood insurance surprises.
Anthony J. Santino is the Hempstead Town Senior Councilman representing District 4. Town of Hempstead Councilmatic District 4 will include the communities of Barnum Island, Bay Park, East Rockaway, Harbor Isle, Hewlett, Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Harbor, Hewlett Neck, Island Park, Lynbrook, Oceanside, Rockville Centre, South Hempstead, Woodsburgh and portions of Cedarhurst, Malverne, North Lynbrook, Woodmere and Valley Stream in January 2013.