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Here is a goods question to ponder—-at what point will it be possible to have our thoughts and a column or two each week focus on something other than the aftermath of Hurricane or Super Storm Sandy or whichever you prefer to refer to it as.  I think it is going to be a while.

By the way, it seems that what it was categorized as or what it is now called is no small matter—especially around here.  It seems that a fair amount of people had Hurricane insurance but not flood insurance.   So while Sandy came up the east coast with a heretofore unprecedented ferocity; somehow the meteorologists or was it the insurance companies— downgraded the wind and rain and all the damage that it did to that done by a tropical storm. Goodbye Hurricane Sandy.  Hello big problems and spending lots of money to crawl back to the way life once was before the big storm.

And the problems caused by this hurricane/storm were legion.  Tractor trailer trucks full of shaimos were carted away from a multiplicity of shuls last week to be buried in upstate New York. Torah Scrolls—Sifrei Torah were accorded their own funeral like ceremonies as dictated by Jewish law when they are beyond repair. Others have scribes and sofrim working relentlessly to try to salvage damage scrolls.

According to the latest press releases issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) over $600 million has been allocated for storm or Hurricane recovery in the New York area.  Over $200 million has been expended in Nassau County, more than $140 million has been allocated for Brooklyn residents and over $170 million in Queens—which of course includes heavily hit areas like Far Rockaway and Bayswater amongst other parts of that borough.

Here in the 5 Towns over $2 million has been quickly and quietly put together by private donors looking to reach out and help friends and neighbors thereby sparing many the frustration and difficulty of wading their way through the voluminous paper work that customarily accompanies applying for almost any kind of government assistance.

On Sunday, December 2 at 11 am Congregation Bais Pinchos—The Harbor View Shul President and Village of Lawrence Trustee, Irving Langer will host a meeting and question and answer session with FEMA representatives at MBR Seminary in Lawrence.  “There are many issues that need clarification,”said Mr. Langer earlier this week.  “We hope and believe that an open and transparent exchange of ideas and FEMA procedures will help clarify many storm related issues for our community.”

An insurance agent who practices his craft here in the 5 Towns tried explaining to the 5TJT the intricacies and nuances of what insurance coverage’s are out there and how they are being used in the aftermath of the Sandy debacle. This is pretty much what it comes down to—if it is about flooding regardless of who your insurance carrier, any money you are awarded from flooding or hurricane related damages will come from the deferral government.

“There are claims with my company,”he said, “that total in the billions of dollars across the region.”  He could not speak on the record at press time because his company had not yet authorized home to do so.  These insurance reimbursement matters have become extremely sensitive issues.   More in this weeks 5TJT.

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