By Anessa V. Cohen

We are now nine months after Hurricane Sandy. Some of you will say, “So what!” and some of you–those who have been unable to begin repairing the damage to your homes from the flooding–will say, “I feel as if I am still in the midst of the storm and its aftermath!”

That we wish hatzlachah to everyone who is still not finished goes without saying. Today I would like to address those who are still in the planning, intermediate, or completion stages of repairs.

After visiting and assisting many of those with homes that were damaged during the flood, I realized something: Although the basic repairs needed to bring those homes back to their previous condition was being attempted by all the homeowners, most of them were not putting in any extra time to work out solutions to protect their homes in case of a future storm or flood, to mitigate damage of the type they sustained from this past storm.

For many of those homes hit with flooding, certain added projects might have either prevented water from entering the house, or at least reduced the damage from whatever floodwaters managed to enter.

A variety of projects can be done which will make the portions of your house that are still vulnerable to water entry during a flood less porous. For example, building up some of the exterior walls and entry points of your home with water-resistant materials can help.

Depending on the type of home that you own, it might very well save you some aggravation to research or have a contractor look over your home and give you any of the options available to make it more watertight against any future event.

The same can be said for making sure you have a gas generator sitting in your house, ready to be used and revved up at any moment–or better yet one of those automatic natural-gas generators that attach to your house’s natural-gas system. In the event of a blackout, they would automatically turn on the items attached to it, possibly the heat or air conditioning, the refrigerator, or just the lights.

Having some forms of mitigation construction can make you feel more secure and less vulnerable to extreme weather situations that might catch you unawares. Take a little time and look into what types of mitigation might suit your particular home and which ones are affordable for you. v

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage broker with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential and commercial real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to


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