Daily Archives: November 4, 2012
October 29, 2012.
I watched and listened in horror as CNN and The Weather Channel broadcast the anticipated arrival of “Super Storm” Sandy onto the densely populated northeastern shores of the United States.
I may have been half the globe away but it felt like my world was shaking. I hoped that the forecasters were wrong, as so many have been so many times. I hoped that the media was simply hyping a bad situation as they are apt to do. But I was wrong on both counts.
It is hard to imagine how the storm could have been any worse or affected any more people. The economic damage estimate so far exceeds $50 billion!
More than 80 lives lost, millions without power, untold property damage, massive infrastructure destruction, huge business losses…the selected photos below capture some of the rampage.
[Click on a picture below to view as a slideshow. If you are reading an email post, click here for the gallery below to be more accessible and to view photographs showing off Sandy’s terrible wrath and aftermath].
What stands out for me out of all of this though is how the country responded. How, especially its governments (at all levels) and its people rallied, came together and dealt with the disaster when Super Storm Sandy came bearing down on the most populous regions of the United States. Before. During. Soon After. The best example of this was seeing how the first responders worked day and night to help the people affected.
As bad as the crisis was, the immediate situation was brilliantly managed and executed.
I watched in awe.
And I will always remember.
[And if this is the so-called “big government” that the GOP has demonized and been railing about…bring it on! In fact, bring it on, on Nov 6th.]
It’s not over yet. Not by a long shot. Recovery, restoration, rebuilding – the country has pressing needs for these critical efforts to continue, now more than ever. But what we have seen demonstrated so far shows promise – that the administrators will deliver a lot of what is required at this time.
Two days (just two days) after the storm, state and city officials started taking steps toward considering major infrastructure changes that could protect the city’s fragile shores from repeated disastrous damage.
And private industry stepped in too, such as in the form of the media. Communication was paramount throughout. And it was nonstop and uninterrupted, as it should be.
Another example was Google with its Google Crisis Response team (part of it’s non-profit arm) who assembled a Hurricane Sandy map to help anyone track the storm’s progress and provide updated emergency information. Wonderful!
Live updates like this one had to have been essential and incredibly informative for those who were directly or indirectly impacted.
All of this got me thinking…
I have previously compared Mumbai to New York City, including it’s physical geography on the coast of a country. This is my temporary home now.
What if we had a Super Storm that barreled down on Mumbai? How would we face it here – the anticipation, preparation and communication, living through its disastrous wake, and the aftermath?
And, most importantly, how would the government have helped? Just how would we have handled it here?
Frankly, it does not bear thinking! So, let’s just change the subject, please.