Sandy Task Force Reveals Rebuilding Strategy for NJ; Factors in Climate Change

By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
August 20, 2013; 8:38 PM ET
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Sandy devastated the East Coast, resulting in 159 fatalities, according to the report. Photo courtesy of David Defillipis.

The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, formed in February, released a rebuilding strategy on Aug. 19 which is intended to serve as a model for the Sandy-affected region and communities across the nation facing greater risks for severe weather.

The task force, chaired by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, generated 69 policy recommendations, many of which, the report says, are already being implemented in New Jersey.

The 196-page report stresses the need to prioritize large-scale infrastructure projects and to rebuild with climate change and its impacts in mind.

The strategy seeks to harden energy infrastructure to minimize power outages and fuel shortages, and to ensure the continuation of cellular service in the event of future storms.

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"President Obama was clear that his Administration is committed to staying in the Sandy-impacted region until the work was done, and today marks a crucial step in that journey," Donovan said in a press release.

"This Rebuilding Strategy will protect families, small businesses and communities across the region, and the taxpayers' investment in them, from the risks posed by sea level rise and more extreme weather events - risks that are made worse by the reality of a changing climate."

According to the report, each dollar saved invested in hazard mitigation saves 4 dollars in avoided costs if a disaster strikes again.

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