Today is the first anniversary of the second-costliest storm to hit the US, Hurricane Sandy. This time last year, the Atlantic Ocean washed over the East Coast, killing dozens of people and damaging over $50 billion worth of property, including an estimated 250,000 cars. That last detail prompted national car donation charity Kars4Kids, which received over a thousand Sandy-damaged cars in the weeks after the natural disaster, to launch The Sandy Car Factor, a unique commemorative site telling the "little-told car story of the hurricane" through photos, stories, facts and figures.
A major aim of the site is to educate consumers on the dangers of flood cars, still persistent on the used car market across the country. The nonprofit's page warns of the so-called title-washing scam, in which unscrupulous dealers clean a water-damaged vehicle of its flood title by taking it to a state that does not require one. The car is then given an external clean up and sold to an unwitting buyer who is unaware of the internal damage to the car. Kars4Kids offers a number of tips to avoid the scam, including warning signs to look out for when inspecting a car, such as rusted bolts under the seats and brittle wires beneath the dashboard.
Behind each of the car donations received is a story, as the site reveals so movingly. The story of the Moore children who were killed on Staten Island and the SUV that was subsequently donated to Kars4Kids is without doubt the most tragic of all. A striking photo of a teddy bear left behind in one of the boys' car seats is a heartrending symbol of the loss and devastation the family experienced.
Containing all you could possibly want to know on the subject of cars and Hurricane Sandy, The Sandy Car Factor is fitting memorial to the storm that changed the face of the East Coast and whose repercussions are still felt today. It's well worth a visit: www.kars4kids.org/sandy.