Southern Brooklyn

How Can The Government Better Prepare For Future Disasters? You Tell Us


Two of four panels created by Governor Andrew Cuomo examining different aspects of disaster preparedness have delivered a short list of preliminary recommendations to the state executive’s desk. And we’re turning to you, who saw the disaster response first-hand, how the government can do better in the future.

Of the four panels, the two that provided preliminary recommendations that may be included in Cuomo’s State of the State speech next week is one to ensure infrastructure, systems and services would be prepared for future emergencies, and the other examined the state’s ability to respond to future disasters.

Some of the recommendations are:

  • Create a strategic fuel reserve
  • Require gas stations to install generators
  • Update building codes
  • Develop emergency training for local officials
  • Develop databases tracking vulnerable residents including the elderly and disabled
  • Train National Guard soldiers to assist with power restoration
  • Stockpile emergency equipment and supplies
  • Expand use of text messaging to communicate emergency messages from the government

These recommendations, of course, are just the start, and will be expanded and evaluated more fully down the road. But, on the surface, some appear to be pragmatic solutions – like updating building codes – while others seem outright impractical or unlikely to help in a real-world disaster, such as the database of vulnerable residents.

But you lived through the storm, and saw first-hand what many of these experts and leaders didn’t – a full accounting of what worked, what didn’t work, and what more needs to be done.

So share your insight here: what are your suggestions for better disaster response in the future?

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  1. stockpile generators, that would be a good one… also figure out what neighborhoods make more sense to have underground vs above ground power… Train National Guard soldiers to assist with power restoration… I like that also

  2. organize block by block. get with one’s neighbors and make a plan, then execute it. Sandy taught us that, at least initially, no one is gonna be there to help us except ourselves. Worked on my block. No Neighbor left behind.

  3. Better medium term housing. Hotels are expensive, but a lot of people can’t get back in right away, but won’t be relocating, either. Can’t trailers be an option?

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