When the world thinks about natural disasters, they are often thinking on a large scale: Hurricane Katrina, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Joplin tornados, wildfires spreading across state lines, and the like. In reality, however, those are a very small fraction of the disasters that happen almost daily around the world. Granted, the death toll and monetary damage may not come even close to that of a major disaster, but it is a disaster nonetheless to the people enduring it.

As my first job out of college, I worked as a newspaper reporter in a tiny town in Northwest Indiana. It was here that I had my first experience with flooding, and was there to witness a 100 year flood. In an already poor area, dozens of people lost their homes as the Tippecanoe River rose and swallowed everything in its path. The river flooded so often, it got to the point that homeowners were required to raise their homes – some as many as eight or more feet off the ground, up onto solid foundations – to avoid being flooded again. Every time the river flooded, it was all anyone talked about. Everyone knew someone who lost their home and everything in it. I had a similar encounter living in Northern Michigan and learning about towns that are frequently impacted by seasonal flooding.

Just because a disaster isn’t large, doesn’t mean there isn’t money to be made or people to help, right? No matter the scale of the disaster, it’s important you understand what it takes to respond to any size loss. So, dive right in to our Prepping for Disaster Special Section starting on page 11. The section includes a unique case study on a localized flooding incident; everything adjusters should know about FEMA claims; handling contents restoration during a CAT loss; and a whole lot more.

Plus, stepping away from disaster restoration, Michael Pinto has another intriguing article on page 32 about the use of hydroxyl generators for fire damage restoration. After you’ve read the article, take a moment to watch a timelapse of the experience on www.randrmagonline.com.


Michelle Blevins