This article will cover recovery aspects which communities and local governments should look to in order to restore residential homes and commercial businesses in the post Hurricane Sandy period and for future exigencies.
In the storm surge of Hurricane Sandy, the winds impacted areas such as New York Harbor, Staten Island, Queens, and Brooklyn. The hurricane lifted the sea and piled water onto the nearby land areas. The great tides created shear forces that ripped through neighborhoods and reduced the local housing and infrastructure to rubble.
Local, state, and federal agencies are working to find temporary housing, food, medical care and other necessities until the people impacted are able to settle into permanent housing. Entities like the Red Cross are providing for food and temporary shelter together with local charities and federal agencies like FEMA. Property insurers are involved for people who have residential home and major flood insurance.
There are ways to reduce the impact of a storm surge on people. For instance, parks, playgrounds, tracks, tennis courts, and ball fields could be put into place within ocean proximity instead of residential and commercial buildings which create difficult and expensive evacuation and disaster recovery planning issues.
In addition, zoning laws and building codes may changed for beach areas which abut major waterways. These codes could provide for the use of mobile homes and manufactured housing which is easier to install and less costly to maintain and insure.
Clearly, multi-million dollar structures should be placed farther away from major waterways. People could utilize public storage facilities located inland for more valuable personal possessions in the event of major hurricanes, storm surges or other catastrophic events.
In addition, marsh lands could be employed as boundaries around communities and valuable commercial real estate which abut a major waterway or ocean. Sand dunes may be upgraded with geotextile tubes covered with sand to protect beach areas impacted by hurricane force winds and storm surges.In rural and recreational areas which abut oceans, hurricane storm shutters may be employed to protect windows from great winds. Storm rated shutters are made from high quality woods like mahogany.
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