Hopefully we learned a lesson from Hurricane Katrina in that we should all be more self-reliant and we can not expect someone else to take care of us. As seen, the consequences can be extremely painful and grim. It seemed as though no thought was made by FEMA for mitigation and protecting their citizens homes and businesses, and we all are going to pay the price for their complete and utter failure.
I don’t think their job should be in supplying ice and water, but to avoid catastrophes from occurring in the first place. Especially, since the levees didn’t collapse during the hurricane, but after. I have yet to see any government publications that show a homeowner about significantly increasing the strength of their homes, and the reason why these actions should be taken.
It does no good to show how old-style hurricane clips go on new buildings when nobody is going to remove roofs or walls to install them. I have gone to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the General Aviation Show, and have seen what ordinary people are capable of. Their level of workmanship and ingenuity surpassed some professional aircraft mechanics.
So if you are truly serious about protecting your home I would suggest you at least make an effort to try and strengthen the weakest part. If a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, then the rafter-to-wall connection should be the first thing to be strengthened on a home. And I think a valuable lesson after Hurricane Katrina is you had better look out for yourself and be prepared for any disaster that might occur. If you feel uncomfortable or reluctant to do-it-yourself, you should call a contractor and not wait until the last minute.
Leslie Chapman-Henderson, head of the Tallahassee-based Federal Alliance of Safe Homes, said the IBHS study points the way for state policymakers and the insurance industry to place more emphasis on promoting better construction rather than just paying and repaying for the same hurricane losses. "Just increasing policyholder deductibles and worrying about reinsurance is not enough," she said. "Everyone should now realize that the key to solving the insurance challenge is to build sturdier structures."
Chapman-Henderson, who serves on a legislative task force on hurricanes and is a member of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund advisor committee, said citizens need to know that just having a evacuation plan in place, and storing bottled water and flashlights is not enough. “Instead”, she said, “the public needs to become educated about the importance and benefits of taking steps to protect their homes from extensive wind damage. We do not need any more evidence to know what we need to do in order to change the cycle. It all starts at home. It's just insanity to build houses without this information.”
The great equalizer is not knowledge but ACTION.