As Haiti and Jamaica prepare for massive destruction from hurricane Mathew, they are praying (I am sure) to survive this act of god. My facebook page is full of "prayers sent" as us Floridians are always tracking these storms. So god will be picking which of the generally very superstitious Haitians will die in terrible mudslides over the next few days. He has his reasons.

Insurance companies continue the use of the term act of god. It's in my contract and invokes certain exclusions. I should make them prove that god was the actor next time they try to deny payment.

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The storm took a couple of dozen victims from the US and about a thousand Haitians. When it is time to evacuate you figure your home will be obliterated so you have a few hours to decide what to take. I looked around and decided on my laptop computer and some clothes.

When you return it's hard to recognize your street. Two feet of standing water, but no tap water or power, and a fully shuttered dark, hot house. 90 degrees and 90% humidity, sleeping in a puddle of sweat. The endless drone of generators off in the distance. The crews cleared the trees on my power line today and of course the freezer and fridge are toxic biological experiments. Pink fiberglass insulation decorates the de-leaved trees.

But I am alive.

Alive is good.

Thank god you didn't waste time praying to be saved, and got yourself to safety.

Things will most likely get moldy in the next few days, and, its a bad idea to breathe the spores.

The water will be above the water line on the walls, as it typically wicks up into the wall cavity several feet higher than the visible stain lines.  Condensation forms on upper surfaces, so, the water initially soaks the walls, but, later, the ceiling gets fuzzy too, etc.

Sea water can initially inhibit some of the molds, but, inside walls, under floors, etc, the water that soaked THROUGH materials is less salty as a result...hence a lot of HIDDEN mold growth.  The condensation based water is also not salty, and so forth.

The water also soaks the exterior sheathing, and, the vapor barrier under you stucco or siding is now holding the water against the plywood, etc, rotting it.

The insurance companies and less experienced remedial firms always miss that, and take the interior drywall, but leave the sheathing.

The electrical and HVAC stuff they typically know is toast.

Plan accordingly.


I had my house built on 4 foot tall concrete stilts, my porch is like a dock and the house is dry, Yey !!!

"...I had my house built on 4 foot tall concrete stilts..."

Smart move.

My lot down there doesn't have anything built on it...I hope the dirt isn't muddy.


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