Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Hurricane Sandy, when rated on a scale of 1(least severe) to 10(most severe) rates about a 2 or 3.

There were very few deaths or injuries due to this hurricane. True, property damage will be high, but that's expected when people build fancy homes on barrier islands and beaches.

New York City, where the Mayor spends his time obsessing about 16oz. soda cups, was exposed as dangerously unprepared for a major disaster, which Sandy was not. During this relatively low level emergency backup generators failed, subway tunnels flooded, highway tunnels flooded, underpasses flooded, utility tunnels flooded.

That last one - utility tunnels - when they flooded, the water knocked out the power to everybody and every business. Hospitals switched to backup generators, only to discover they did not work.

Even with all the heavily promoted planning and preparation, alerting all the emergency services, calling out the National Guard, positioning critical equipment in key locations... none of it prevented the evacuation of hospitals, the loss of  electrical power, the overflowing of sewer systems, the contamination of drinking water, the flooding of transportation routes, or the burning of hundreds of homes to the ground.

This over-hyped storm has done one good thing, and that is to show us all how truly unprepared our cities really are. The government as our protector is myth.  All the politicians can do  - and will do - is talk. That is our true state of affairs.

When politicians are in charge of our cities maintenance requirements and emergency services instead of qualified engineers, this kind of mess is the result.

So,  if you want to be prepared during a crisis make sure you have your own stockpile of food, clothing, weapons and an electric generator. Be prepared to be on your own in emergencies, because the government will be on the scene much too late, if at all.

If a storm like Andrew ever hits the northeast, it will make Sandy look like a gentle breeze on a quiet day in the park. And those New York politicians will find out what a true disaster really is.

New York is fortunate that most of its workers live outside the city. It may not start looking like New Orleans did after Katrina.


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