Superstorm Sandy: Survivors Share Footage of Storm's Destructive Power

Oct 29, 2013, 07:00 ET from Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)

A family moves next door to safety and captures storm washing away their home

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, the nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) released the latest video in its Tale of Two Homes series entitled, "Superstorm Sandy:  A Story of Survival." The story features footage recorded by the Sochacki family of Union Beach, NJ, as their home and neighborhood were destroyed. John Seth and Karyn Sochacki, and their sons and pets survived by sheltering next door in a concrete home. They are sharing their story to help others understand the connection between strong building and disaster survival.  

As Sandy barreled into New York and New Jersey as a rare superstorm, 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. It was the only home remaining on the Sochacki's side of the street after the storm.

The Sochacki's loss of their home and belongings, and the destruction to their community is still fresh in their minds. John 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." John Seth's son John, Jr. added, "It was as if the world had suddenly decided to pick everything up and put it somewhere else."

"The Sochacki family is turning their devastating loss into triumph by sharing their story and inspiring others to build with resilience in mind," said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. "We have choices when building or choosing our homes, and we can have it all—strength and affordability, but most importantly safety and survival."

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 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.

SOURCE Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)