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#177648 - 10/26/07 12:04 AM Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
The fires in California are shocking to watch on television. I can't imagine what it is like to be an agent out there and see so many homes destroyed and lives lost. Some of the families impacted had only hours to gather what they could and get out with their lives...and there has been loss of life, which makes it even worse.

Do we have any agents on the forum whose area is suffering from these fires?

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#177662 - 10/26/07 02:06 AM Re: Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners [Re: Darlene Bitner]
PacificBreeze Offline
Member

Registered: 07/22/07
Posts: 484
Loc: CA
Thank you for your thoughts Darlene. You are right... it is hard to describe or imagine. Many of us only had about 15 minutes to grab things and leave... others had hours or even a day's notice. But I gotta tell ya... having over 500,000 people evacuated in a 48 hr period with minimal problems, was an accomplishment beyond belief! It was people helping people and the organizers really had it together! I was fortunate that my home and neighbors were only on a voluntary evacuation for a day. I chose to stay instead of leaving, because we had several friends that were on a mandatory evacuation, so our home was open to those in need. All of us were ready to go on a moment's notice, if mandated. Hotels were filled and the evacuation centers needed to be reserved for those who had no other alternatives.

We started feeling a sense of normality again today. Qualcom Stadium has less than 1000 people remaining and the other evacuation centers have alot less. More areas continue to get clearance to return home. Most of the highly populated areas are once again safe. Businesses are up and running again. I actually did a couple BPOs today just because it felt good to do something normal.

The fires are still blazing, but in less populated areas. Full containment isn't expected unil 1st week of Nov. We expect there will be somewhere close to 2000 homes lost and the death toll is now 14. That number is huge, but when you consider that the fires were all around us... and often right up to your back yard... considering this, it's amazing that tens of thousands of homes weren't lost and more lives taken. We never, in history, had to evacuate as far west as the beaches! My heart goes out to all those who weren't so lucky as myself, including those victims in other southern CA counties.

We will all pull together here in San Diego to continue to help those in need. And the outpour of thoughts, prayers and contributions from others like yourself and from around the country is like a breath of fresh air! Thank you for your thoughts!

Donna

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#177740 - 10/26/07 03:14 PM Re: Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners [Re: PacificBreeze]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Donna. This disaster touches so many more lives than just those who lost their homes...their families and friends are impacted, businesses are impacted and some probably never reopen...just the whole ripple effect that happens with a disaster.

Glad to hear the evacuation was so orderly and organized. When people are stressed so severely, every little bit of kindness and comfort goes a long way. And it's great you were in a position to take people into your home. They must have been relieved to find shelter with a friend.

I remember after Hurricane Rita (mild for this area, really), when the lights came back on the next day and I finally got my computer up and running, it was just like you described it after you did your BPO's...it was great to do something normal.

Donna, will you keep us posted on how the fires are impacting the real estate situation in your area? A few people will leave the area, I'm sure, but most will not want to leave the place they have called home for so long. Every disaster is different, though. It's always hard to imagine that large an area in rubble. I'm not quite sure just how many acres have burned. I guess the same spirit that was evident in the evacuations will be there to help these families put their lives back together. It's just sad that lives were lost.

Darlene




Edited by Darlene B (10/26/07 03:20 PM)

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#177828 - 10/26/07 10:39 PM Re: Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners [Re: Darlene Bitner]
PacificBreeze Offline
Member

Registered: 07/22/07
Posts: 484
Loc: CA
Well today things were almost back to normal here. The all day media coverage is now minimized and most businesses are all open again. Most people are back to work, except the ones who actually lost their homes. The fires are still blazing, but away from populated areas (at least in most of the county). Of course we can't close any deals yet because the insurance moratorium isn't lifted yet. But good news is... I got 3 PCR orders today, which means the banks and insurance companies are taking the 1st steps to closing deals again. Two photos of the exterior and a 5 min simple report to complete to assure them the house is not damaged. No transactions will be closed here without a reinspect (we're gonna get busy on PCRs). And we're being told that insurance will open slowly zip code, by zip code. They are being cautious (can't blame em).

I'm not sure how many total acres have burned in our county yet either, but I think it's somewhere around 300,000+ acres from yesterday's report. (yikes)! All walks of life were affected from mobile homes to multi-million dollar homes. I just hope the final count stays under 2000 homes.

By the way, to my surprise, I had a call today, from a buyer in TX that wants a vacation home in one of our coastal communities for $1.25 -1.5 million. And another buyer contacted me about REO properties... so maybe all these fires aren't going to scare out of town buyers away after all... but it's surprising that they are calling while the fires are still raging, huh?

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#177843 - 10/27/07 12:55 AM Re: Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners [Re: PacificBreeze]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I guess this is a good example of how natural disasters impact real estate. One day you have a somewhat predictable routine (if that's possible in this business), then in a very short span of time, you wake up in a new world and have to redo your schedule to make room for all the PCR's, then deal with closings being postponed, moratoriums, and red tape...all that after your almost-evacuation. It will all come together for the houses that aren't damaged, but it's just a shame that all this happened, especially with the holidays just around the corner.

As for the Texans wanting to buy out there, I guess there is not much that can happen in California that will stop people from wanting to move there.


Edited by Darlene B (10/27/07 12:57 AM)

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#182498 - 11/20/07 11:52 AM Re: Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Richie Spain Offline
Member

Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 14
Loc: Alicante, Spain
Good to hear that they had things under control over there, I have been reading lots of posts on other forums and it seems to me that companies outside the region are jumping on the wagon to take a slice of the action, constructors and agents!

As soon as people see an opening no matter what is involved, as soon as there is an opportunity to make money even if it is at the expense of the unfortunate circumstances of others - you will always get them!

I hope you guys recover out there and send my best wishes.

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#182593 - 11/20/07 06:14 PM Re: Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners [Re: Richie Spain]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
 Originally Posted By: Richie Spain


As soon as people see an opening no matter what is involved, as soon as there is an opportunity to make money even if it is at the expense of the unfortunate circumstances of others - you will always get them!


It's important that people selling a quality product or service keep greed out of the equasion. Many contractors rip off people in these situations, but many also donate their time and products. New Orleans is an example of people (from all over the world) helping people. But victims in these disasters need to be aware of who they are dealing with so that they do not compound their misery.

Sadly, there is misery and greed all over this old world. But there are also good people who will give what they have. I only wish we did not have so many areas where help was needed. But natural disasters will just keep happening, as we know from last week's sad events in Bangladesh.

Thanks for posting, Richie.

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#183386 - 11/26/07 07:08 PM Re: Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners [Re: Darlene Bitner]
MikeDammann Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/04
Posts: 377
Loc: Costa Rica
I have been in San Diego 3 years ago when they also had huge fires. Sad to hear it happened again.

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#186568 - 12/11/07 05:40 AM Oklahoma ice storm
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
It's hard for those of us on the Gulf Coast to imagine an ice storm like the one Oklahoma is experiencing when it's still reaching 80 degrees outside down here. I'm remembering some photos posted to the BPO forum last year of a vacant house that wasn't winterized. An ice storm caused considerable damage...probably ended up destroying the house. So I'm wondering how much damage homes will suffer from this Oklahoma storm. Older homes, vacant homes, and homes not properly winterized will probably have the most problems.

Centerpoint Energy here in Houston just sent up a convoy of trucks to help get the electrical service restored. It's probably going to be a big mess with all the broken lines, but these people are trained in how to get everything up and working very quickly. It will be a big relief when residents can look out their window and see these trucks rolling into their neighborhoods. Most of them have done this before. One of the employees on TV tonight said he barely had time to throw some clothes in a bag and kiss his dog goodby. They don't mind leaving their own families right here at Christmas to go for a week or two and help get lights and heat to everyone up there as quickly as possible.

If any of our Oklahoma agents have time and don't have much damage to their own home or their listings, hopefully they can let us know how this storm is impacting property values. Guess they can't do that without any electricity, so let's just hope and pray things start getting better quickly. From what I've seen on television, this is going to impact a lot of holiday plans with only two weeks till Christmas.

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#187042 - 12/12/07 11:55 PM Re: Oklahoma ice storm [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Latest I heard today was the new threat to folks hit by the storm was fires caused by attempts to stay warm. And another storm is coming, but this one is a snow storm...now quite as bad to the electrical lines, but I'm sure people are beginning to show the strain of being cold and being without basic services. The lights are slowly coming back on as the repair crews continue to work on them. Haven't heard anything yet about damage to homes...but it will be a mess in those areas not set up to handle this type of storm. It's more important at this point in time to make sure the people are going to be able to survive, then worry about the homes. But a lot of real estate is not going to look anywhere close to the way it did a couple of weeks ago. After the damage to landscaping, trees, and whatever else was damaged, curb appeal will be a thing of the past for a long time. And from a kid's point of view, it's sad all the outdoor decorations were ruined...lawn decorations and whatever else was outside. I hope all this clears up before UPS and FedEx start doing their deliveries so these people can have some sense of a normal holiday before the real damage sinks in.

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#212438 - 03/17/08 05:31 PM Recent LOCALIZED natural disasters
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Downtown Atlanta tornado - Atlanta took a hit yesterday from a bad tornado. Visit http://www.wunderground.com (Dr. Jeff Masters' weather site...where I stay camped when a hurricane is coming) to read the blog on this storm...lots of building damage. Dr. Masters' site has everything you need to know about hurricanes and more. Sad about the damage to beautiful Atlanta. No lives lost, so that is a blessing.

Manhattan crane accident - Not weather related, but lots of building damage in the crane accident in Manhattan. Sadly, some lives have been lost. Go to http://www.nytimes.com to see some disturbing photos of the damage and read about how high these crane are when used in the construction of these tall buildings.


Edited by Darlene B (03/17/08 05:47 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling

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#217412 - 04/05/08 03:08 AM FLOODING IN THE MIDWEST
Kuntryhart
Unregistered


I live in Missouri, and we've had some flooding. Some places a lot worse than others. My area hasn't been so bad. A few roads closed here and there, water over the road & across bridges. But, over the weekend I went out in the 18 wheeler with my husband. We were traveling in Illinois, Indiana....I was shocked at all the water in Indiana. My Goodness! I was amazed at how much water was actually there, it wasn't just covering the ground.Fields that would and should be planted in crops were like huge lakes!There's no telling how long it will take for that water to recede!! I doubt there will be any planting in those fields till maybe time for the 2nd planting. The price of fuel, is driving the prices of consumer goods through the ceiling already, this flooding situation will surely have an effect on things as well.(Diesel is approaching $4 a gal here. Takes around $800 to fill the tank on a semi.) And locally we are expecting more heavy rains starting Monday night! I'm building an ark!!

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#217585 - 04/06/08 12:12 AM Re: FLOODING IN THE MIDWEST [Re: ]
Kuntryhart
Unregistered


Here's some pics that I didn't have uploaded yet yesterday.These are open foelds that would normally planted in crops.






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#217995 - 04/07/08 11:40 PM Re: FLOODING IN THE MIDWEST [Re: ]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Donna, thanks for this post. Very informative. Good to get a first hand report. It looks like a water wasteland in the photos. It's Monday night right now, so I just checked the national weather map and you did get some rain, that's for sure.

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#232181 - 06/13/08 01:50 AM Re: Recent LOCALIZED natural disasters [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Well, I have no idea what is going on with the weather. I can't keep up. My friend called me to discuss "how bad those poor people had it with all that bad weather" and I just had to ask which state. I flipped on the TV and there on the screen was a nice house going over the hill...then, a little later, I saw another house floating down the river (or maybe it was a freeway)...so I am trying to think of this latest mess as a cruel way nature is helping stimulate the economy at the horrible expense of lives and shattered families. I saw an interview with two different evacuated ladies, both talking about not knowing what their situation was at their houses. No matter how much insurance a person has, losing a home is very hard to come back from financially and emotionally.

China is putting up some temporary houses very rapidly because of their disaster, and I'm trying to get some info on that for another thread.

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#233568 - 06/19/08 12:59 PM Buying a flooded home..... appraisal?
JasonO131 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/19/08
Posts: 1
Loc: Iowa
About 2 weeks ago we made an offer on a house, less than the appraisal, and it was accepted. Last week the whole town the house was in flooded. This house is not on a flood plain, in Iowa everywhere got flooded, but ended up with about 4 feet of water in the half finished basement. The current owners are in the process of gutting the whole basement, ceiling included even though it wasn't touched by water. Replacing furnace and water heater as well. I've done research on clean up and we will be involved in supervising that so I'm not as concerned about that. I am concerned with property value however. We are having another appraisal done when the repairs are made, how big of a difference will we see?

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#233588 - 06/19/08 02:14 PM Re: Buying a flooded home..... appraisal? [Re: JasonO131]
Bigtoe Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 2238
Loc: Outer Banks
If the house is not in a flood plain now (doubtful) it will be shortly and you will get a notice from your lender requiring you to get flood insurance. Been there. From what I have seen and what you wrote here that flood insurance policy will most likely be very expensive. Been there.

Obviously, their insurance company now knows about the flooding problem and this house will not be covered for future mold issues even if you change insurance companies. Insurance companies share problem info. Don't forget to get a certified mold test done.

There are so many reason not to buy a flooded house and if I were you I would use this time to look for a house with some elevation.
_________________________
Your Outer Banks real estate agent. Helping people buy and sell OBX real estate since 1989.

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#233643 - 06/19/08 06:52 PM Re: Buying a flooded home..... appraisal? [Re: Bigtoe]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
This is just sickening for everyone in that part of the country. If the current owners are doing the repairs, you will have time to consider Bigtoe's advice and make some important decisions. As he pointed out, so many factors are involved here. If your backup home choices also flooded, you do have a lot of decisions to make. To go from having your offer accepted on a home you love to actually supervising the cleanup after a flood--that's very stressful indeed, both for you and the seller. I hope you come out okay on this. Keep us posted.

To answer your question about the appraisal...it may be too soon to tell how the flooding will impact the home's value. If other homes have similar damage throughout the surrounding subdivisions...that may soften the blow a little only because there are not many other options for the buyer, but the appraiser will have to make that call as best he or she can based on whatever info is available. So I guess I would have to say that I am glad I am not an appraiser up there right now...their job is hard enough without a flood. When it comes to appraisals, I like to steal a line from Jerry Seinfeld...

"Have you seen the size of that document?"...

I would be interested in knowing how much of a hit (in percentage of value reduction) the home took due to the flooding, even after being repaired. Mother Nature sure has been kicking the US around the last few years. Sorry I had no good advice for you.

Darlene


Edited by Darlene B (06/19/08 07:08 PM)

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#233739 - 06/20/08 07:22 AM Re: Buying a flooded home..... appraisal? [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Bigtoe Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 2238
Loc: Outer Banks
One more thing. There will be a lot of homes for sale after this is done and in a market driven economy more supply with less demand results in lower prices. Expect the prices in the whole area to drop because of this. A lot of folks are not going to stay if they don't have to.
_________________________
Your Outer Banks real estate agent. Helping people buy and sell OBX real estate since 1989.

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#233743 - 06/20/08 07:54 AM Re: Buying a flooded home..... appraisal? [Re: Bigtoe]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Glad I caught this before I turned in. I have been up all night trying to fix some computer problems.

On my favorite weather site, www.wunderground.com, Jeff Masters has an article about the last 25 years of weather disasters and how much they cost in damages...complete with graphs...it's up to date, so go look if you get a chance.

I wonder if anyone knows a place in the US that is safe from these disasters. I know how to get away from hurricanes, but I'll be moving into tornado or earthquake territory. Not a good trade. And the flooding...sometimes it seems like there is just no moving away from that.

We had a bad storm move thru Houston today and broke a lot of limbs...some with a diameter about the size of a saucer. After seeing the flooding on TV, I'm not saying a word about this little storm.

Good night.

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#233748 - 06/20/08 08:52 AM Re: Buying a flooded home..... appraisal? [Re: Darlene Bitner]
jbt4re Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 03/04/07
Posts: 2079
Loc: SWI
To answer Darlene B's question - Idaho, we have no tornados, flooding or earthquakes (at least not any to talk about and I know an earthquake, been there done that!)

I actually realized this several years ago while watching the news report on disasters throughout the country and how few, if any we have here. We had a mild earthquake a couple of months ago, didn't feel it, I was driving and that was the first one in the 11 years I've lived here.

Idaho, Montana, Wyoming are probably all good low/no disaster states.

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#233980 - 06/21/08 07:58 PM Re: Recent LOCALIZED natural disasters [Re: Darlene Bitner]
JoeyBagadonuts Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 06/24/06
Posts: 1074
Loc: Bucks County PA
It's Mother Nature taking back what is rightfully hers.
_________________________
Joseph Grabowski, REALTOR�
Keller Williams Preferred Real Estate � Yardley, PA
Buying or selling a home, land, or real estate in Bucks County Pennsylvania?
Visit my Bucks County Homes & Real Estate Website

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#238433 - 07/17/08 02:31 AM Re: Recent LOCALIZED natural disasters [Re: JoeyBagadonuts]
creditcardlogos Offline
Member

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 11
Loc: Mobile Alabama
Always be ready for anything. Especially the obvious.

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#238443 - 07/17/08 04:26 AM Re: Recent LOCALIZED natural disasters [Re: creditcardlogos]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Good point. When I think of all the new builder homes going up near the coast since Katrina and Rita, it makes me wonder if people aren't getting hurricanes confused with lightning, not expecting another one to hit them again.


Edited by Darlene B (07/17/08 04:27 AM)

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#307515 - 09/25/09 07:17 AM Safest and least safe places to live - rated by bad weather possibilities
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I found this site very interested. I think a reloction agent would like this site, also.

http://www.forbes.com/2005/08/29/cx_sc_0830homeslide.html?thisSpeed=35000

I would love to relocate north of Houston, out of the worst of the hurricane winds...but few of us have a choice where we live. If and when I do move, I might give this web site and similar ones more of my attention. After one year, my life is still upside down. Any weather condition that drives you from your home may be worth moving away from. I lived in Buras, Louisiana when I was a teenager. It's probably not even on the map after Katrina. I guess you don't need a web site to judge some of these locations.

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#314255 - 11/17/09 11:04 PM Re: Recent LOCALIZED natural disasters [Re: Darlene Bitner]
PeteJohnson Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 2
Loc: CA, USA
Have you and your home totally recovered from the calamity? How effective was the [url=http://www.affiliatedrestoration.com ]cleaning restoration services[/url] you acquired?

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#314268 - 11/18/09 02:06 AM Re: Recent LOCALIZED natural disasters [Re: PeteJohnson]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
My cleaning restoration service was very effective. Of course, it still hurts a little when I pick up something heavy.

Actually, if you are asking because you offer those services, there is another forum you should be posting in. Go to the Forum List and look for Real Estate Related Products and Services. Vendors are allowed to post there but read the rules first. Thanks.

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#345275 - 07/25/10 03:40 AM NATURAL DISASTERS - OTHER THAN HURRICANES
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Hurricanes are huge and threaten for days and leave behind a big mess, but other disasters such as flooding, massive fires, tornados, volcano eruptions, earthquakes, and even sinkholes can destroy homes and present huge problems for the housing industry. Let's not ignore these posts. We could have a very long thread just on how the housing industry has responded to California's buidling codes over the years. I think people who do not live in earthquake regions would be amazed at what is involved in building, rehabbing, and even seller disclosure in this areas. Let's put these type posts in this thread.

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#369915 - 03/16/11 02:38 AM Re: NATURAL DISASTERS - OTHER THAN HURRICANES [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Japan's Tsunami

We have all seen video of just about every weather disaster imaginable. Still, most of us were shocked to see this river of rushing water filled with cars, buses, tanker trucks, ships, trains and whatever else was in it's path. The power plant issues are just more misery on top of an impossible situation. Japanese people are strong, determined and have the self control not to add to their already horrible situation by losing control. All our prayers go out to them.

Japan is a good friend to the United States. I hope you will take a few minutes to read this article about the tremendous amount of donations and support America received from Japan after Katrina. Other sites you know of may also shed light on this topic. http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-english/2005/September/20050915165123ajesrom9.768313e-02.html

That said, this post is about temporary housing for the victims. After the Katrina and Haiti disasters, a lot of these shelters had an opportunity to be tested. Japan and other countries impacted by the tsunami will need this housing very quickly. Everyday someone invents something a little better. Hopefully, these victims will not have to live in tents that can blow away and make the victims homeless again, as happened in Haiti in one area.

Maybe it is too soon to post about the great benefits of some new type of plastic pop-up temporary house with vinyl windows...with people still trying to find their family and friends. Right now, one priority is water, food and warm clothing for victims not reachable by any other means but helicopter. They would be happy with a blanket right now. Still, I will search for information on the shelters that might be used in the months to come.

The entire world watched Katrina play out on TV and saw how long it took to get help to the victims. Japan has a much difference situation. It will be hard finding and getting help to those people in areas where vehicles can't travel because the roads are gone.

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#384522 - 07/26/11 11:03 PM WHY WE WILL ALWAYS NEED REALTORS [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
From this article I found on the Wunderground, look how much damage we have had so far in 2011. Not all these billions are homes but you can bet enough of it is to cause a lot of rebuilding in all these areas.


http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1856

This is just mindboggling not only in the amount of dollars but also in the amount of misery it caused the residents of these hard hit areas.

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#388102 - 08/30/11 05:08 AM Re: WHY WE WILL ALWAYS NEED REALTORS [Re: Darlene Bitner]
cosmica76 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/31/11
Posts: 3
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
This is a result of bad behaviour of many people. I think our planet says last words before next big disaster. Look at te Global Warming. We should all know by now that water is a precious resource. Its not only the source and support of all life, but it gives us pleasure and helps us the produce goods and services that we depend on and enjoy.
http://juliekinnear.com/blogs/local-warming-goes-global.html
More drained water causes the rapid rise of the oceans water levels. You can see the relative volume of all water (and air) compared to the volume of the Earth. If this sounds to you like global warming, then youve hit the nail on the head. Scientists now estimate that the effect of urbanization itself makes for a large proportion of global warming, adding significantly to the effect that greenhouse gasses have on the climate. People please, protect your homes and surroundings.


Edited by cosmica76 (08/30/11 05:13 AM)

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#388105 - 08/30/11 06:09 AM Re: WHY WE WILL ALWAYS NEED REALTORS [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Very interesting blog. Thanks for posting it. I will re-read it tomorrow and learn some things. Just keep speaking out because people need to know these things. You have inspired me to go outside at the end of the week and wash my car in the rain, assuming we have no lightning. We have three days with 50% chance of rain or greater. Slabs are cracked all over the area, I haven't seen a yard of green grass in months, and people are stepping in big cracks in their yards. Animal water bowls are full of ants. We are being asked to only water lawns at certain times on certain days AND to conserve electricity to avoid brownouts. Last year people listened and it helped. It is a mess but at least our homes are not flooded and our bridges are not washed out.

I believe people are in for some big changes in their lives and I feel for those who are not going to be able to adjust. Some would like to be more conservative but just have their hands full with a large family, a busy job and various hardships. These people will be okay if they have to cut back but many people are going to be shocked and angered at some of the sacrifices we are going to have to start making soon.

Keep on posting and talking and blogging.

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#401915 - 02/23/12 12:27 AM How deeper is the impact of natural disaster on a country's land ?
Iftikhar Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/12
Posts: 40
Loc: Pakistan
Although Pakistan has recovered a lot but still more have to be recovered after the biggest earth quake in Pakistan's history 2005. Share some experiences how a natural disaster hit the thoughts of a single person and overall a country's strength.

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#401931 - 02/23/12 06:25 AM Re: How deeper is the impact of natural disaster on a country's land ? [Re: Iftikhar]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
http://www.pakquake.com/

This site tells a lot about the aftermath of the natural disaster in 2005. Over 3 million were left homeless. How can anyone comprehend what that would be like? Certainly I can't. It was simply a nightmare for the country and I think people all over the world mourned with Pakistan.

And sadly, this article states that half the 73,000 killed were children. Families will rarely recover from losing a child.

I did read on their web site that Australian Aid International was one of the first NGO groups on the scene and that they stayed long after the initial emergency to help with long term recover. Check out this good organization.

http://www.aai.org.au/operations/pakistan/pakistan-earthquake.html

This type mega disaster is exactly why people all over the world are working together to improve temporary housing for victims. Tents come in first because they are easy to bring in and set up. Still, we need something just as quick and easy but with staying power, not tents that will blow away or fall down in a bad storm.

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#421516 - 03/12/13 06:04 AM Re: WHY WE WILL ALWAYS NEED REALTORS [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
This was a real eye opener for me. I was shocked at how much damage a tree can do to property. Apparently selecting the right trees to plant should be something every homeowner needs to investigate. I moved my travel trailer to the prettiest spot in our park last year. The tree was just wonderful, shading me during the summer, until I had the shock of what a fast growing tree it is. Now limbs hang over my trailer and even brush the sides and roof when we have high winds. It's a tree that sheds nuts onto my roof, making a lot of noise. The squirrels came calling, making more noise as they harvested the nuts. Who wants to look through their skylights and see squirrels playing leapfrog over the covers. My wrecker driver who moved my trailer told me he had the same tree on his property. He laughed and said, "When those nuts fall, they sound like a Gatling gun." This tree has made me realize that people do not research enough when they plant trees in their new yards...or replace the ones damaged by hurricanes and other natural disasters. So...if you are finding a home for someone already under stress from losing their home to a natural disaster, it might help if you cautioned them to get expert advice to avoid hiring a landscaper who was not knowledgeable about trees. The scariest tree on the list IMHO was the one that died out inside but stayed green outside, making it a hidden fire hazard if planted too close to a home.

I always knew that some trees were not good choices to plant near a home...but read this list and see if you find it disturbing. It pays to use professional help when rebuilding AND replanting after a disaster.

Some of you may have tree horror stories of your own. If so, please post them.


http://www.houselogic.com/photos/plants-...cer-saccharinum

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#421666 - 03/15/13 02:34 AM Sinkhole information for your concerned buyers [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Here is a link to a video on sinkholes that went out to a lot of agents. You may have received it already. The information is excellent, but I did opt out from further videos via email after I viewed it simply because I found the inclusion of Mr. Bush's tragic situation to be extremely insensitive...his body had not yet been recovered from the sinkhole when I received an email containing this video. Still, the video is worth watching for the sinkhole info.

http://thenationalrealestatepost.com/2013/03/04/protecting-your-clients-from-sinkholes/


Edited by Darlene Bitner (03/15/13 02:45 AM)

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#421815 - 03/18/13 06:50 PM Re: Sinkhole information for your concerned buyers [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Scintillion Offline
Member

Registered: 01/26/12
Posts: 437
Loc: Colorado, USA
Great video - these guys are so entertaining and informative as well.

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#424093 - 05/22/13 12:03 AM 2013 TORNADO OUTBREAKS [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05...xpert-says?lite

This article points out that the same methods used on the Gulf Coast to make our homes stronger and more resistant to hurricane winds could be used to keep homes from coming apart even in some strong tornadoes. This is a sad time for the families of anyone caught in the path of all these storms. It seems like people living in an area where these type storms happen frequently would want to build schools that offer at least some resistance to a tornado of this size. I understand folks not having the finances to retrofit their older homes, but a school holds our most precious resources and should be the best shelter it can for any disaster. Of course, I don't know the details and don't even live in that state. I question in my area why our public buildings can't be used as shelters during severe hurricanes, when so many families have substandard housing that offers no protection. I'd run to one in a heartbeat before I would ride out another hurricane where I live.

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#427797 - 08/30/13 06:38 PM A QUIET 2013 HURRICANE SEASON SO FAR [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
So far, so good in the Gulf Coast...but lots of rain being generated around Florida lately. I stay glued to the hurricane blogs every time I think something is up...usually I get my first hint from the NHC map with the yellow and orange circles. For anything serious looking, I hop on the Wunderground blog and see what the weather folks on there think.

Of course I am concerned for my area but also for the other coastal states, the islands and Mexico. I do remember driving around after Ike and seeing all the damage around the area. The new builder subdivisions (I drove through a few) may have had a few shingles missing here and there, but most of the homes, probably five years old or newer, had none. It was hard to tell they had even been through a hurricane. I guess every time an older home is taken out by a major hurricane, a newer, stronger one goes in.

I just did a Google map search of Buras, Louisiana, which is the southern most city in Louisiana, southeast of New Orleans. My mother, brother and I lived there years ago for a while when my father worked offshore for Brown & Root. All I saw were travel trailers, some mobiles and a few new homes on pilings. That town suffered severe damage and it will be hard to rebuild it to where it was before Katrina.

I do believe that in the future homes can be built to withstand the strongest hurricane winds...maybe even some tornados if the owner can afford to pay the price. I do not think we can build a home that can withstand a strong earthquake and come out with minimal damage...and definitely not a sinkhole. I recently researched the sinkholes and found that we are not making too much progress in being able to predict when they will strike.

Soon hurricane season will be over for 2013 and then the blizzards start for some parts of the country. Down here we may go a few years without a hurricane but up north, winter storms seem to me like they come every year. Given the choice, I would put my money into weather resistant materials over granite and good looks any day...but let's see what happens if I ever get back into the "real house" mode. Right now, I'm still in my little travel trailer I bought after Ike. My stuff is in storage...that is an expression I have said over and over when I run into people I haven't seen in a while and they find out I live in a travel trailer. As long as it is quiet and safe, I'm staying until the US economy is back in full swing. (Okay...I just love tiny living. It is just so easy, and I can evacuate all my contents in just a few hours. It helps that I have a wonderful park that actually looks like a park. I am in one of the quietest places in my town...and there are not that many left anymore, sadly.)

Just so we remember what hurricanes and flooding can do to the normal home, take a look at this site when you get a few minutes and see the many photos taken after Katrina. How sad that a family has to leave a spray-painted message for other family members and friends, telling them they are all safe. Phones are gone, cells are missing, cars are destroyed, forget about email because nobody has a computer...families were just happy to find a can of spray paint that survived so they could leave messages to loved ones who may finally make it to the family home. Have a hankie ready when you look at these photos.

http://www.pbase.com/pdtaylor/hurricane_katrina


Edited by Darlene Bitner (08/30/13 06:40 PM)

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