Yesterday, I was up very early in the dark and flew from Tampa into a cool New Jersey morning in Newark – then drove down the Garden State Parkway along trees burning with red, yellow, and gorgeous shades of purple mixed with green. It is two years from the anniversary of Sandy’s fury, and we are in the muck of New York and New Jersey claims and lawsuits which inevitably follow these major disasters. My mind reflected on about past storms, people, and judges that played a role resolving similar disasters over the past decade.

Six years ago in It’s A Marathon, I noted:

"The Austin American-Statesmen quoted Galveston Judge Jim Yarbrough as stating that Hurricane Ike recovery efforts are going to be more of a marathon than a sprint. He is right, especially for those in areas that had a combination of storm surge and wind related damage. The Judge noted that it was going to take at least two years before a substantial recovery is made. Sadly, he is entirely accurate.

There is a certain amount of trauma and simple disbelief for those hardest struck by a hurricane. Many insurance adjusters are finally being taught to adjust claims with policyholders who, now or in the future, demonstrate emotional shock due to the effects of a hurricane. Many of my most stoic and "tough" clients immediately following natural disasters break down a year or two later when they think about exactly what happened to them.

Most of us try to put on the best face we can. However, having your home and all the memories in it vanish before your eyes is a very personal and somber experience for most–even my very high spirited and "can do" Texan brothers and sisters. Many are going through the cleaning process. Others are lucky enough to have started into repair.

One thing is for certain, it will not be fast enough for anybody. The second certainty is that the visual reminders of the devastation will remain for months. The blue tarp roofs will not be going away in the near future because there are simply not enough qualified roofers to properly fix the damage. For those in Galveston, months will turn into years, just as they did in New Orleans and Mississippi following Katrina."

Amazing how some things remain the same from major catastrophe to another. While most of the disaster has been cleaned up and rebuilt, there are still areas that still look like ground zero. Sandy has a number of significant players that are making a difference in this recovery and litigation. I will note several of them tomorrow.

Positive Thought of the Day:

"Build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space."
         – Johnny Cash