Natural disasters leave communities devastated, often in desperate need of assistance to rebuild shattered homes and lives. As city leaders lay plans to repair broken bridges, roads, and hospitals in the aftermath of a storm, they have a rare moment to rethink the design of their communities and infrastructure and to rebuild with resilience to future storms in mind. Without such foresight, city leaders risk inadvertently reconstructing electric grids, public transportation, and other critical infrastructure in ways that leave communities vulnerable to future storm damages.
Superstorm Sandy lashed the East Coast on October 29, 2012, devastating communities across the densely populated states of New York and New Jersey. The storm killed 147 people and damaged more than 650,000 homes. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre reported that Superstorm Sandy drove the third-largest number of people from their homes of all worldwide extreme weather events last year. In New Jersey alone 39,000 families are still displaced.
While much of the debris from Sandy has been cleared away, the hard task of repairing and rebuilding the homes, schools, roads, bridges, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure still lies ahead.
For more on this topic, please see:
- Shelter from the Superstorm by Cathleen Kelly and Jackie Weidman