Hurricaneville’s Letter To The Candidates

Good afternoon everyone. Earlier today, I sent an e-mail to all five significant presidential candidates including: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Ralph Nader, and Bob Barr (Libertarian Candidate and former Georgia Congressman). The letter outlined the issues that Hurricaneville is concerned about, especially the increased building, changes in insurance policies, and the level of concern about the possibility of a major hurricane making landfall in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. Below is the exact letter that I sent to all the candidates:

Good afternoon, I’m Greg Machos, and I run a web site that deals with hurricanes called Hurricaneville at I’m e-mailing you today to get your views on how we can better deal with these storms. I did read your initiatives on climate change, which can in turn influence the development of these storms.

Currently, we are in an active cycle for tropical storms and hurricanes. However, building along the coastline has continued to grow, especially in vulnerable areas such as Florida and the Southeast.

Couple that with the fact that the latest credit crunch has not only affected our own personal uses of credit in its various forms, but also it has created a significant problem for such Catastrophe Funds as the one that has been run in Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. I had read an article the other day on the Internet that indicated the Florida State Government was considering reducing the amount of the CAT fund, which would mean higher insurance premiums for Florida residents, especially those, who chose to live along the shoreline.

Even if you do not live in the common places for hurricane impacts, but still live in coastal areas that occasionally do get a visit from these storms, your insurance policies are changing to have either higher premiums or no such coverage at all. Particular examples are people living near the water in Maine and Massachusetts.

Speaking of Maine and Massachusetts, the Northeast is long overdue for a major hurricane…yes a Category Three Hurricane or better on the existing Saffir-Simpson Scale. Ironically, this September, will be the 70th anniversary of the Long Island Express of 1938, a storm that killed some 600 to 700 people, and caused several billion dollars in damage in terms of today’s dollars. If a storm of that magnitude were to hit the same area today, it would likely make Katrina look like a walk in the park. The reason is that the New York Metropolitan area including a highly urbanized Long Island, and a densely populated New Jersey would be impacted to some extent.

The Mid-Atlantic is also overdue for a big storm. States such as Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C., have not seen a major hurricane strike since 1933. Building codes in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are far less stringent than they are in Florida and the Gulf Coast, and as past history indicates (Andrew), there have been problems in those areas as well. The housing from Virginia up into the Northeast would be devastated from a huge storm such as an Andrew, Katrina, Rita, or Wilma. While these storms are rare in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, they can and will happen again.

My question is what is your plan for tackling these growing problems concerning hurricanes. What ideas do you propose to handle the issues with insurance and increased building, and more importantly, reducing apathy in less impacted areas such as the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic?

Look forward to hearing your answer, and thank you for your time.


If and when I get responses from the candidates, I will post them here for all of you to review.