While bodies are still being discovered and thousands are homeless, it is not too early to start learning the lessons of Hurricane Sandy. While some solutions are beyond human capacity there is much that can be done in the short term and long term. With global climate change and more monster storms on the horizon, we must come to terms with the work that needs to be done now in order to prepare for the next time.
Trust me there will be a next time.
Today we will deal with short term solutions both in avoiding the catastrophe and in how we plan our recovery.
1. 90% of the deaths were in Staten Island were in Zone A and of people who refused to evacuate. Is there anything more we can do to force people out of danger or is this their individual responsibility?
2. All power grid equipment that was flooded should be raised to higher levels above even the most devastating possible surges
3. Like many buildings that were retrofitted after the last Los Angeles and San Francisco earthquakes, the City should start a program to bring power grids in buildings from the basement to higher levels.
4. Not only shelters need to be provided for people but predetermined 'stations' where people can gather around emergency vehicles within twelve hours for information, communications and recharging phones and other hi-tech devices. Those locations should be well known and plentiful so people don't have to walk too far.
5. A infrastructure project should be started to put power lines underground in the rest of New York City.
6. There should be a place where people can park their cars on higher ground and shuttle service to a shelter which would have save thousands of cars.
7. Research should begin immediately if there is a way to shut the tunnels and subway stations to make them waterproof from a Hurricane. Calling the Dutch!
8. Cell Telephone towers were damaged and we need to work with FEMA to see if it is possible to quickly put up portable temporary towers until the others can be fixed.
9. The City should sell at cost to any interested citizen 'go-packs' that include first aid kits, directions for after the storm, pet information, food for two days, water, etc. A huge program to buy them once a year at cost should be launched with the media.
10. The Humane Society should start a program with vets volunteering to put chips in people's pets in case they become lost.
What are your suggestions?