Many people believe that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2002 had replaced the focus of natural hazard management in the US. The homeland security on natural hazards management was a big question when it came to the establishment of priorities. However there is no doubt that the homeland security department was more focused on the consequences of disasters, both manmade and natural. In a nation’s effort to establish national disaster priorities, it is these calamities that call for a renewed focus and reconsideration.
One of the recent events that raised the topic of homeland security’s natural calamity priorities is Hurricane Sandy. The historic Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast with 80 mph winds and record storm on October 29, 2012, leaving over 90 dead and millions without power. With a damage estimated at $50 billion, the New Jersey coastline was entirely redefined. Critical infrastructure was entirely damaged, particularly in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Public attention was now again on resilience and infrastructure protection, together with the new lessons learned from Sandy.
Primarily people in the northeast area haven’t seen such extreme weather though they have experienced extreme heat and chillness. New York hasn’t experienced anything like hurricanes in Florida, flooding in New Orleans and sand storms in Oklahoma. It was as if these things occur only to other people. Now, with this firsthand experience, many north easterners understand this experience, and there is a higher sympathetic attitude and awareness (Camerron, 2012). With the realization that they are not an exception to natural disasters, northeasterners have learnt to be better prepared.
Perhaps the most important lesson learnt from Hurricane Sandy was infrastructure susceptibility, which exposed New York’s and New Jersey’s weak infrastructure. People were startled with the fact that a storm could cripple some of the largest cities on the western hemisphere. Given the fact that bridges,
buildings, roads and subways were subjected to extensive damages, people realized that they do to change the way, they develop their infrastructure. And as we recover from the damages of Hurricane Sandy, we should never forget the many lessons it had brought to us.
Camerron R. (2012) Lessons Learned From Hurricane Sandy and How We Need to Apply Them Everyday. Retrieved from http://www. huffingtonpost. com/ronnie-cameron/hurrican-sandy-lessons_b_2080000. html