Flood insurance is extremely expensive and many people cannot afford it ["Require flood insurance," Letters, Jan. 22].

A few years ago, we were rezoned, and we had to buy flood insurance when applying for a home equity loan. About a year ago, State Farm stopped offering us homeowner's insurance, with the stated reason that we are in a flood zone, although we had flood insurance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Does this make sense?

We were able to get a homeowner's policy through another insurance company. We fortunately did not have any damage from Sandy, although many in our area weren't so lucky. One resident couldn't collect from anyone, and so had to pay for cleaning the silt, mud and other disgusting debris that covered the property and smelled like a cesspool.

Homeowner's insurance wouldn't cover the cleanup, because the damage was caused by a flood, and flood insurance wouldn't cover it, because it was outside. FEMA wouldn't help, because the homeowner had flood insurance.

So don't be too quick to judge others who may have extenuating circumstances that are not widely known.

Doris Schneider, Flanders

While it is certainly prudent to have flood insurance, as a community, a nation and a world, we have always helped out those who've suffered misfortune. Did we scream at the Haitians, "Why don't you have insurance?" No, we pulled together and helped. The same holds true for those in New Orleans, Sri Lanka and many other places.

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Why is it that now when a disaster strikes on Long Island, a place where most people have been working and paying taxes to help others, people are complaining about helping instead of pitching in?

Joyce Koestenblatt, Long Beach