The Naval Postgraduate School & The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy

Hurricane Sandy AftermathThe Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force has released today its "Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy," a guide meant to help local communities continue to recover from the devastation of the October 2012 hurricane. The Strategy is also expected to serve as a disaster recovery strategy for communities nationwide, especially those faced with increased severe weather due to climate change. Outlined in the Strategy are 69 major policy recommendations that will "help homeowners stay in and repair their homes, strengthen small businesses and revitalize local economies and ensure entire communities are better able to withstand and recover from future storms."

"Among the recommendations that will have the greatest impact on Federal funding is a process to prioritize all large-scale infrastructure projects and map the connections and interdependencies between them, as well as guidelines to ensure all of those projects are built to withstand the impacts of climate change. The Strategy also explores how to harden energy infrastructure to minimize power outages and fuel shortages – and ensure continuation of cellular service – in the event of future storms.

The goal of these and other recommendations in the Strategy is to:
•Align federal funding with local rebuilding visions.
•Cut red tape and get assistance to families, businesses, and communities efficiently and effectively, with maximum accountability.
•Coordinate the efforts of the Federal, State, and local governments, with a region-wide approach to rebuilding.
•Ensure the region is rebuilt in a way that makes it more resilient – that is, better able to withstand future storms and other risks posed by a changing climate."

The Rebuilding Strategy also includes a plan to "ensure the implementation of these recommendations, each of which will be carried out by a Federal Department or Agency or an existing interagency work group." The Task Force maintains that adoption of the recommendations outlined in the Strategy is key to withstanding and recovering from future natural disasters, especially flood related, across the country.