Hurricane Sandy, NASA

Commentary: We should prepare now for next hurricane

Seven years ago this month, Hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast of the United States, killing more than 150 people and causing about $70 billion in damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure.

Governments and individuals responded with an outpouring of support for the devastated communities and funds for relief and rebuilding. The federal government alone provided a remarkable $50 billion in aid.

However, the country missed a golden opportunity presented by Hurricane Sandy to rethink and restructure policies and programs to better prepare for deadly and costly impacts of storms along the nation’s coasts.

In 2015, the Army Corps of Engineers released a comprehensive report on Hurricane Sandy. It considered coastal flooding from storms and gradually rising sea levels, calling for a “paradigm shift in how we work, live, travel and play in a sustainable manner as the extent of the area at very high risk of coastal storm damage expands.”

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