NY1 ItCH: How to Survive a Hurricane

From Katrina to Sandy to Harvey, we’ve had three “Storms of the Century” rip through three different major metropolitan areas in the United States over the last twelve years. Is it crazy to think that perhaps someone should be quickly drawing up a hurricane blueprint for the whole country?

It’s easy just to put the blame on Mother Nature for the devastation but poor planning in New Orleans, New York and Houston all greatly contributed to the misery and the billions of dollars still being spent in the aftermath of three devastating storms.

If the levees held, Katrina would have been a footnote in New Orleans’ history rather than one of its defining moments. Had the beaches not been left to erode away in Rockaway, homeowners likely would have had two feet of water in basements instead of six feet or more. Reading it nine months after it was published, it’s depressing to learn how Pro Publica’s massive report on Houston’s vulnerabilities to flooding was a warning bell that was never answered.

So we can talk about Melania Trump’s high heels or we can address the real scandal: there’s no national plan to deal with global warming and storm preparedness.

We can approach these issues on a piecemeal basis or we can come up with a real plan for action. Do we really have to wait for Miami Beach to wash away in the next storm before doing something?

You can text $10 to the American Red Cross – and please don’t – or you start calling your elected officials and make a real plea for something to get done. Cry all you want when you see something sad on your television this week but save some more tears for our friends in Washington D.C.

 

Bob Hardt

• Follow Bob Hardt on Twitter @bobhardt.
• Send your comments to insidecityhall@ny1.com.

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