The fall is always a busy travel season for me. I returned from my trip to Greece and Turkey exhilarated. I was looking forward to attending the DMA Annual Conference in Las Vegas the next week. At the conference, the firm unveiled a new booth and announced new products and services. In addition, I spoke on what makes the Adrea Rubin brand unique.
In between my trips to Greece/Turkey and Las Vegas, I was abruptly displaced from my home without any access to my possessions. There was a water leak in my condominium, and eleven families were affected. My apartment was impacted by the leak, and it will be close to a year before the damage will be completely fixed.
I was surprised at how much damage water can cause, and then came Hurricane Sandy. It was such a powerful storm that it blasted the ocean over dunes, sea walls, and into NYC’s subways and tunnels. It has claimed the lives of over 90 people, destroyed landmarks and amusement parks, and ripped homes off their foundations. This storm shut down the nation’s largest city and surrounding areas. In its aftermath, 8 million people were left without power.
The multi-billion dollar insurance losses from Hurricane Sandy could be larger than anyone expected. It will take weeks to determine the damage in the 10 states that were affected. Eqecat, a risk management modeling firm that studies natural disasters for the insurance industry, stated that approximately $5 to $10 billion worth of destruction caused by the storm is insured. An additional $10 to $20 billion uninsured loss will be in economic losses caused by lost business. In contrast, Hurricane Katrina wreaked $45 billion worth of damage. Sandy could be one of the costliest US disasters on record. Eqecat is predicting that Hurricane Sandy will rank as the 5th worst hurricane in history (based on inflation adjusted losses).
As I watched the devastating effects of this storm in my temporary apartment, I reflected on how life can change in an instant. While I suffered my own disaster a few days earlier, it made me realize that any sudden event such as a freak storm or water leak can cause great loss, damage and destruction. All that prevails is our resilience to recover.