New Jerseyans got a taste recently of Mother Nature’s wrath this spring when some of the worst flooding in decades damaged and destroyed homes and memories throughout Northern New Jersey.
While some parts of the northern part of the state expect some flooding each spring, the unusually devastating floods are a potent reminder that the threat of severe weather or a hurricane the size of Katrina still exists and should be addressed. And while scientists don’t entirely agree about the impact of global warming on weather patterns, many concur that climate change affects weather by intensifying storm systems.
The past winter saw extreme snowstorms throughout the Northeast corridor. Many buildings throughout the state—mostly flat-roofed commercial structures—had either partial or complete roof collapses or were evacuated as a precaution because of heavy snow accumulation, the Bergen Recordreported. But it wasn't until after the snow began too melt, accompanied by one of the rainiest Marches on record that the waters began to rise and break free of the banks.
“Catastrophes happen everywhere. We’re seeing an escalation in the damages because of the huge increases in development. The experts say catastrophic losses double every 10 years,” says Loretta Worters, vice president of communications for the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), an insurance industry trade group.
Condominium associations and individual unit owners can protect themselves before severe weather threatens by knowing what their policy covers, making sure their coverage is adequate, and keeping up with maintenance on buildings and grounds to mitigate storm damage.