As you have no doubt already heard, flood waters are wreaking havoc in Louisiana, displacing many thousands of residents and doing untold damage to their homes. When the waters eventually recede and people return home, there will inevitably be scammers ready to take advantage of their situation; just as there will be bogus charities and other fraudsters waiting to cash in on the good will of other Americans. [More]
So you come home one day to find that the slope at the back of your yard has begun to slough off into the pond behind your property. You call your homeowners association, which is supposed to handle such disasters, but they do nothing because the pond in question still technically belongs to the developers, who also do nothing. Meanwhile, that slope become more and more like a precipice while the two possible responsible parties do everything but take responsibility. [More]
Everyone makes mistakes, some are just more embarrassing than others. Take for example, accidentally sending an email venting about your in-laws to your in-laws, when you meant to send it to your spouse (for the record, I’ve never done this and I love my in-laws). While that scenario may have once led to an awkward family dinner, it might not anymore, thanks to Google’s new magical “undo send” option in Gmail.
More than three years after Carnival’s Costa Concordia cruise ship crashed near the Tuscan island of Giglio, ultimately resulting in the deaths of 32 people, the captain of that ship has been found guilty of manslaughter by an Italian court. [More]
You might know to aim for the brain and that if one bites you, you’re a goner — but how else could you possibly prepare for the inevitable zombie apocalypse? Kansas wants its residents to be ready for that — or really, any kind of large scale disaster — and is declaring October “Zombie Preparedness Month” to spread the word. [More]
A couple near Pittsburgh were just minding their own business and getting ready for dinner when they heard a sound like an earthquake. There was not an earthquake in Pittsburgh: there was a tanker truck full of milk on a collision course with their house. [More]
Too much of anything will kill you, and too much of anything that doesn’t belong in an ecosystem will kill the creatures in it. Last week, a transit company company discovered that it had spilled 1,400 tons (233,000 gallons) of molasses into the Pacific Ocean due to a leaky pipeline. Yesterday, the company that operates the leaking pipe took full responsibility, and told reporters that it will cover all of the cleanup costs. [More]
I don’t watch a lot of action movies, because I’m that Debbie Downer who’s always thinking about how much it must suck to be, say, a claims adjuster in Manhattan after the events of “The Avengers.” So I was glad that our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports raised an important question: does my insurance cover me in the event of a sharknado? [More]
If you had been considering a cruise vacation because nothing has gone terribly wrong on any major ships in at least a couple of weeks, maybe you should reconsider. Passengers on their third day of a Royal Caribbean cruise were dragged out of bed in the wee hours of the morning and told to put their life vests on because of a fire on board. [More]
Earlier this week, we posted about the public adjusters and contractors who show up at the scene of a house fire, often before all of the flames are even out. Reader Josh’s family has been through a fire recently, and he wrote in to warn people about a whole different set of entrepreneurs who might stop by your home after a fire…looters. [More]
Every day, emboldened by endless home-improvement shows, and Ed Harris’ soothing, assuring voice in commercials for Home Depot, millions of Americans attempt to repair and upgrade their homes without the help of a professional. The results vary from great to… well, you’ll see in these photos. [More]
When we hear that fellow humans in faraway places are suffering, we want to help. Some of us write a check, sign in to PayPal, or make a donation using our phones. But there’s nothing quite as satisfying as sending tangible goods to people in need. The problem is that well-meaning people can waste resources and time on the ground in the disaster area by sending inappropriate items that will ultimately end up in the dump.
A disastrous Italian cruise crash Friday night killed at least five passengers and injured at least 20 more. As of Sunday night, two of the 120 Americans onboard had yet to be located after more than 4,000 were evacuated. The Costa Concordia suffered a hull breach and is 50 percent submerged. Rescuers are still searching for missing people.
Which retailers are best at preparing for major disasters? According to some experts, big-box chains like Home Depot and Lowe’s earn high marks for responding rapidly to blizzards, tornadoes and hurricanes. Then there’s Waffle House, which FEMA administrator W. Craig Fugate cites as being one of the indicators he uses to determine whether a community has recovered from a disaster: If the restaurant is open and serving a full menu, things are okay.
Disastrous flooding, such as what the Midwest and Southeast has recently suffered, tends to, well, flood the used car market with damaged vehicles that pass the eyeball test. There are ways to avoid falling victim to unscrupulous resellers try to move water-addled rides, though.
Since the high-tech manufacturing industry deals with a bunch of caustic chemicals, it’s a wonder we don’t hear of more accidents such as an explosion that occurred Tuesday at a Chandler, Ariz. Intel plant, hospitalizing four workers, one who suffered serious but non life-threatening injuries.