Federal Alliance for Safe Homes® Releases Hurricane Sandy 'Tale of Two Homes' Story of Survival

Sochacki family and pets escape to concrete home next door

Oct 24, 2013, 10:39 ET from Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) today launched a new video in its Tale of Two Homes series entitled, "Hurricane Sandy:  A Story of Survival."  Released for the one-year storm anniversary, the story features the Sochacki family of Union Beach, NJ, who survived but lost their home and most of their neighborhood.  Seth and Karyn Sochacki, and their sons and pets survived by sheltering next door in a concrete home.  The Sochacki family is sharing their story to help others understand the link between strong building and disaster survival.

Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc along the East Coast and barreled into New York and New Jersey as a rare superstorm, causing $68 billion in damage and killing 286 people in seven countries.  The Sochacki's 800-square foot, 1940s home broke apart and the debris spread over a five block area.  They are alive today because of the elevated concrete home next door, owned by Karyn's mom and built in 2006 to current building codes and standards.  After the storm, the concrete home was the only home remaining on the Sochacki's side of the street.

The Sochacki's loss of their home and belongings, and the destruction to their community is still fresh in their minds.   Seth recalls his memory of that day, "The gazebo's gone. The shed's gone. The house is gone. [Those are] material things.  My concern [was] for my family and their safety, praying that if we come out of this safe, alive, that's all that matters."   Seth's son John added, "It was as if the world had suddenly decided to pick everything up and to put it somewhere else."

"For fifteen years, we have been sharing the 'Tale of Two Homes' that unfolds in every disaster where one home survives and one does not.  Seth and Karen's powerful story tells the tale and its life saving lesson yet again," said Leslie Chapman Henderson, President and CEO of FLASH.  "We have choices when building or choosing our homes, and we can have it all --- affordability and strength but most importantly safety and survival."

FLASH partners from Portland Cement Association brought FLASH and the Sochacki family together. According to PCA's Donn Thompson, "We appreciate the Sochacki's willingness to share their story and encourage families to build safe and strong, and we are proud to partner with FLASH to bring this story to others."   In addition to the new video story, FLASH worked with PCA experts and developed information about building with concrete.

FLASH offers on-demand educational resources about how to prepare for and survive severe weather, including consumer checklists, flood animations, Do-It-Yourself inspections, how-to videos on YouTube and flood mitigation tips

This year, FLASH introduced a FLASH Weather Alerts smartphone app which was mentioned in the October 2013 edition of Consumer Reports

Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 100 innovative and diverse partners that share its vision of making America a more disaster‐resistant nation including: BASF, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Division of Emergency Management, The Home Depot®, International Code Council, Kohler® Generators, National Weather Service, Portland Cement Association, RenaissanceRe, Simpson Strong-Tie®, State Farm™, USAA® and WeatherPredict Consulting Inc. In 2008, FLASH opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Learn more about FLASH and gain access to its free consumer resources by visiting www.flash.org or calling (877) 221- SAFE (7233). Also, get timely safety tips to ensure that you and your family are protected from natural and manmade disasters by subscribing to the FLASH blog – Protect Your Home in a FLASH.

Video with caption: "The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) launched a new video in its Tale of Two Homes series entitled, "Hurricane Sandy: A Story of Survival" for the one-year anniversary. The video tells the story of the Sochacki family of Union Beach, NJ, their beloved pets and the home that saved their lives. The Sochacki family is sharing their story to help others understand the link between strong building and disaster survival." Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbCCwTlJdgU&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLR7GhNEQT6T_5wL9Ob3EkFEMlsV8miIPa

SOURCE Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)