Once again our nightly news rolls footage of Florida homeowners buying plywood. My Miami brother-in-law wonders what happened to their plywood from the last storm! Judging from the piles on every sidewalk, some homeowners pitch theirs in the backyard like disposable tissues. By the next scare, the panels are too warped for use. Not only is this a wasteful, it presents an environmental hazard, too. Plywood is impregnated with glues and formaldehyde to prevent rot. Who wants that polluting our groundwater?
Post-Katrina prices on building materials should make us all more careful about reuse. Homestores, run by local Habitat for Humanity organizations, provide one source for salvaged goods. Lumber may be harder to find. Friends have ripped old, dry floorboards from a home slated for the wrecking ball--wood that is thicker and stronger than what you can buy today. For more ideas, here's an article with tips for beating the post-hurricane price hike.