hurricane irene

Power Outages After Sandy Weren't Unusually Long After All

As the days without power stretched on for hundreds of thousands after Superstorm Sandy, patience turned to anger. But an AP analysis of outages from other big storms shows that the time it took to utility companies to restore electricity was no worse than average -- and in some places, actually faster.

The 11 Costliest Hurricanes in U.S. History

When Sandy struck New York City and other major East Coast population centers, it immediately vaulted onto the list of the most expensive storms in U.S. history. Repairing the damage will ultimately cost tens of billions of dollars. Here's how Sandy stacks up to other devastating Atlantic storms.

Frankenstorm Is Coming: Do You Have Flood Insurance

With Hurricane Sandy, aka Frankenstorm, poised to hit the U.S. next week, now may be a good time to ask: Do you have flood insurance, and should you? Even if you're not in this storm's path, 90% of natural disasters nationwide involve flooding. Yet less than a fifth of U.S. homeowners have a flood insurance policy.

Wedded Risk: You May Now Insure the Bride

In 2011, the average American wedding cost $26,501. With that kind of money on the line, and considering all the unforeseeable circumstances that could wreck your carefully laid plans, it's no surprise that a growing number of companies are offering wedding insurance.

Is It Time to Revive Plans for Home Improvement?

Whether it's adding granite counters to your kitchen or converting your garage into a home theater, nearly every homeowner has some ideas for a makeover. You know all the reasons to wait -- but there are positive signs on the horizon that might encourage you to break out the tools.

Buyer Beware: Flooded Vehicles Are Coming

Hurricanes Irene and Lee flooded thousands of cars across the Northeast, totaling them. Such heavily damaged vehicles get "salvage" titles to warn potential buyers, but thanks to greedy scammers and lax interstate oversight, many of those total-loss vehicles are about to resurface on America's used car lots -- with clean titles.

How Much Cash You'd Need in Worst-Case Scenario

Imagine that the worst does happen again: A major attack. Chaos and disorder. Banks could be closed, ATMs down. Electricity could be out. Your credit cards? Suddenly useless. So how much money -- good old folding cash -- do you need to be able to put your hands on to get through the aftermath?

As Katia Moves Toward the Gulf, Oil Rigs Shutter

Katia, still a tropical depression, is slowly moving toward the Gulf of Mexico, and several oil firms have begun to pull workers from offshore rigs. Depending on its path, the storm could further disrupt production and refining: Is Katia about to bump the price you pay at the pump?

Irene's Aftermath: Economic Boost or Partisan Battlefield?

Now that Hurricane Irene has passed, it's time to get back to discussing the country's biggest unnatural disaster: the economy. But here, too, Irene is making her impact felt, as economists and pundits across the country debate whether the hurricane will help or hurt America's bottom line.

Mother Nature Picks Wall Street Winners and Losers

The stock market can be as ruthless as nature itself: Some stocks get pummeled when disaster strikes, while others climb higher. And just as homeowners board up their houses and stock up on water, investors can fortify their portfolios when storm clouds loom. As respectfully as possible, we review what Irene hath wrought, in search of lessons.

After the Storm: Buy Home Depot, Sell Lowe's

Storms are always good for hardware-home improvement superstores, as droves of people stock up on supplies beforehand and work to repair any damage afterwards. If you want to try to profit from the wake of Hurricane Irene, the orange-aproned merchant is the one to turn to.

Don't Get Ripped Off on Post-Irene Home Repairs

The estimated tab for Hurricane Irene's fury is already in the billions of dollars. If you're among those who have property damage, proceed with caution -- you don't want to get hit again, this time by home repair companies that jack up their prices, do a poor job, or walk away before the work is finished.

How to Get Your Insurer to Pay Your Hurricane Claim

So, let's assume you did the right thing in getting insurance to protect yourself against those times when Mother Nature comes knocking. Your next challenge may be getting the insurance company to pony up the cash instead of trying to deny your claim.

Irene Leaves Millions Without Power

Millions of homes and businesses were left without power as Irene, which was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, continued to roar up the East Coast.

Back-to-School Shopping: Buyers Get a 'C' for Careful

Even before Hurricane Irene interrupted back-to-school shopping, the nation was cautious about spending for the new semester. A teetering economy is affecting the purchasing choices of 75% of families with school-age children, and 70% say they plan to spend the same or less as last year.

Wall Street's Hurricane Irene Contingency Plan

When it comes to bold weather-related boasts, it's hard to beat the Post Office's unofficial motto: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." Yet even the USPS pales beside the standard set by the New York Stock Exchange: Wall Street hasn't closed for weather since Hurricane Gloria in 1985.

Gas Stations Run Dry as East Coasters Prepare for Irene

Gas stations along the Eastern Seaboard experienced high demand Friday and some sold out of fuel as Hurricane Irene bore down and residents scrambled to evacuate. In Norfolk, Va., one Exxon station was sold out by noon, its windows boarded up as attendants readied themselves for the storm.

What Your Disaster Preparedness Kit Needs

Preparation is the best defense against the demons of disaster. If a fire, flood, hurricane, or earthquake happened right now -- and this week's two out of three ain't bad -- how prepared would you be to deal with the aftermath?

What to Buy to Prepare for Hurricane Irene

It is time to invest in Hurricane Irene. That does not mean to buy stocks, oil, or precious metals. It means spending money to make sure you can ride out the storm. Your total cost will vary, depending on what you already have in stock.

Is Travel Insurance a Smart Bet for Your Vacation?

Hurricane Irene's swath through the Caribbean this week probably left many of the no-longer paradise-bound wondering: Should I have taken out travel insurance? At the peak of hurricane season, even experts who usually shun the coverage say you should consider the policies.

Hurricane Season: Are You Covered for Flood Damage?

Hurricane season comes every year, and 90% of natural disasters nationwide involve flooding. Yet less than a fifth of U.S. homeowners have a flood insurance policy. With Hurricane Irene poised to hit U.S. shores this week, now may be a good time to ask: Are you covered, and should you be?