Disaster can strike at any time—natural disasters like hurricanes, wild fires, earthquakes, tornadoes; and human-caused catastrophes like pipeline leaks, criminal acts, bridge or building collapses, or industrial, air, or rail accidents. After the initial emergency response, property owners and public officials turn their attention to restoring properties and restarting commerce. Business and property owners and their insurance companies want to know:
Insurance companies play a critical role in recovery and rebuilding—they provide payouts for many affected by the disaster, to enable them to clean up and restore operations. Both insurers and owners need to understand the cause, origin, and cost of any site, structural, or interior damages. To determine the final payout, insurance carriers, building owners, and attorneys hire expert architects, engineers, and construction consultants to assess the damage from disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes, then determine the cause.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina significantly damaged the property of Stewart Enterprises in New Orleans, the second largest provider of funeral and cemetery products and services in the U.S. The insurance carrier allocated most of the damage to flooding. Since insurance would not cover flood damage, it was critical for both the owner and the insurance carrier to hire an expert to assess whether the damage was from wind or flooding. CCA performed a wind versus flood analysis using weather history, testing, and a catalog of the damage. This analysis determined which building elements had been damaged by wind and wind-borne debris and not floodwaters.
Expert response after catastrophe
Catastrophes present special challenges, risks, and urgency that require a clear, planned, and disciplined approach to successfully meet the needs of the parties involved. Recovering from disasters requires specialized engineers and contractors to evaluate the damage, provide technical assistance, and help return lives and commerce to normalcy as soon as possible.
At CCA we often work on projects like this, getting boots on the ground to assess damages and perform on-site inspections-sometimes before the roads have been cleared and utilities restored. For these analyses, we can represent any of the interested parties—owners, contractors, attorneys, or insurance companies. Our team has extensive experience in analyzing damage, determining cause and origin, and enabling clients to successfully recover after disaster strikes, whether the damage is to a single property or the result of a widespread catastrophe.