The following is an excerpt from Elliot Abrams blog:
In the wake of a devastating storm like Sandy, the people who live in the affected area have to deal with big disruptions in their lives. Little things we take for granted become major inconveniences and some of them are potentially dangerous. These effects last long after the TV crews have departed and the sound bites are stored away for station promos.
1. The hurricane force gusts and flying debris have cut thousands of power lines. These have to be restrung one and at a time...and in cases where there is structural damage, there's nothing to string them to.
2. Many water systems are affected by contamination from flooding and seawater.
•Pollution from overtaxed storm sewers enters waterways, lakes and beach areas
•In the hardest hit areas, just the simple act of finding a bathroom and maintaining cleanliness becomes a major chore.
3. Without power there is no refrigeration, and tons of food wind up worthless. Restaurants without backup power have the same problem, and health officials have to monitor to make sure tainted food is not served.
• Sump pumps don't work and basements get flooded.
4. Thousands of carpets, drapes and articles of clothing received water damage; mold and mildew become widespread where the items can't be dried fast enough.
5. Where businesses have been destroyed, employment is disrupted as well as schedules for just about all other activities.
6. There's a day care nightmare. Parents have even more to do because of the cleanup and the efforts to secure food and water. At the same time, all the debris adds extra danger for children picking through the rubble and shattered shards of glass. The normal routine of calling friends and relatives or arranging for day care becomes a frustrating experience as phone service is disrupted.
For all these reasons and many more, effective disaster relief is so important. The next few days and weeks will bring trying times to those affected by Sandy.
7. The building trades and home improvement stores enjoy boom times as repairs get underway.