More on the Big Issues Pending re Recovery After Sandy- update on 11/27

Six articles in the past week raise some of the the larger issues, at least from the media pundits and some academics.  I am curious as to why we have not seen any recommendations from professional associations like APA, ICMA, ASCE and the like. [Feel free to write in if you have seen some.]

I view it as quite positive that so many observers are thinking ahead and are considering what changes are needed.  Usually, the pressure to restore things to pre-event status (“snap back”) is very strong. It remains to be seem what the public officials will do over time.

The High Cost of Doing Nothing * * * ; Nov. 24
Rebuilding After Sandy Is Too Big A Risk; Nov. 24. CNN.
Disaster Economics, New Yorker, dated Dec. 3,2012.
NY Can Protect Itself Without Federal Aid, Nov. 27.

New Info:  The National Hazards Mitigation Association has spoken out re rebuilding.

NEW CONCERN: Here is what I am worried about – repairs, restoration, and other near-term actions taken before longer-term decisions are made. See: Hurricane Sandy: New Jersey Rebuilding Ahead Of Thoughtful Decisions?

Some advocates fear that rebuilding efforts could take shape on New Jersey’s storm-devastated shore before thoughtful decisions can be made about just how the area should be rebuilt.

The federal government brought thousands of tons of stone, sand and riprap to repair an inlet that the storm ripped open, reconnecting the bay and ocean in a narrow section of barrier island in Mantoloking. The state is repairing Route 35 where it was washed away by that breach and two others nearby.

Also, state action has also made it easier to rebuild damaged infrastructure such as roads and water pipes.

4 thoughts on “More on the Big Issues Pending re Recovery After Sandy- update on 11/27

  1. Claire: With reference to your statement that professional associations have not been heard from, please take a look at National Hazard Mitigation Association’s “Steps to Build Back Better at the NHMA website or Respectfully, Don Watson.

  2. Claire:

    I posted the following comment on the story.

    “One of the saddest aspects of Sandy is the media’s – and the politicians’ – lack of historical knowledge. Sandy wasn’t really unprecedented, as some claim. Look at the Long Island Express of 1938. More people died than in Sandy, and the only reason that property damage costs weren’t higher was that not as much building had occurred. The path wasn’t exactly the same, but close. The intensity of the 1938 storm was higher. On average, the area gets a storm like this about every 79 years – in this specific case, it was 74 years – virtually the same as the average.

    The DAMAGE was unprecedented, but that was because politicians (and the voters who elected them) allowed building in dangerous locations – and may have encouraged it with unrealistic flood insurance premiums and federal assistance for doing the same again.

    Let’s give this talk of global warming somehow being the “cause” of Sandy a rest and fix the real problems:
    • Help form natural barriers to storms.
    • Don’t encourage building in dangerous places.
    • Base flood insurance premiums on risk and not political clout.
    • Overthrow the Tyranny of the Old Normal, and make those who want to rebuild in dangerous areas build back better.”

    I would add that I’m not saying to discourage rebuilding in dangerous places – to me, that should be an individual’s choice (see my blog at

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