Rebuilding Your Home and Finances After Disaster Strikes

Mopping up—and drying out—after the hurricanes was only the first challenge. Now the victims have to struggle through recovery.

Hurricane Harvey, which pummeled Texas in late august, and Hurricane Irma, which blew through the Caribbean and Florida two weeks later, both took a heavy toll. Harvey caused more than 80 deaths and nearly $100 billion in losses. Irma claimed more than 60 victims and caused more than $50 billion in losses. But in some ways Florida residents got off easier because most of the property damage there was caused by wind and was covered by insurance. In Houston and nearby areas hit by Harvey, most of the damage was caused by flooding from up to 50 inches of rain that poured down on the region for five days—and only about 20% of the flooded homes were covered by flood insurance. (In Puerto Rico, huge numbers of Hurricane Maria victims had neither homeowners nor flood insurance.)

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Miriam Cross
Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Miriam lived in Toronto, Canada, before joining Kiplinger's Personal Finance in November 2012. Prior to that, she freelanced as a fact-checker for several Canadian publications, including Reader's Digest Canada, Style at Home and Air Canada's enRoute. She received a BA from the University of Toronto with a major in English literature and completed a certificate in Magazine and Web Publishing at Ryerson University.