Hurricane Sandy Case Study

Topics: Tropical cyclone, New York City, Storm Pages: 12 (4627 words) Published: November 10, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Case Study

Problem Statement
Hurricane Sandy was a rare hybrid storm that spread over 1,000 miles in circumference and affected 24 states along the East Coast of the United States and inland across the Appalachian Mountains into Wisconsin and Michigan. Hurricane Sandy brought high winds and record storm surges that led to major flooding, property damage and deaths in states along the East Coast. Advanced technology allowed for the early detection of this storm far in advance of it making landfall on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States giving plenty of time for emergency preparation plans to take place. However, poor land use management and the lack of former mitigation practices, that cannot soon be undone, have placed many people and significant amounts of property and other structures in harm's way increasing not only human vulnerability, but that of the environment as well. Another caveat to this unique storm was the fact that, given its immense size, it would affect multiple regions at once creating an important need for inter-agency coordination and communication. The vast majority of failures in the management and response to emergency events, such as super storms like Hurricane Sandy, has been attributed to a lack of communication and coordination among personnel charged with emergency management across all levels of government – federal, state, local and tribal. The failure of these emergency management entities to establish mutual aid agreements and positive working partnerships in advance of emergency incidents only adds to the chaos and slows response and recovery efforts during and in the aftermath of crises events. The research conducted regarding emergency management preparation and response to Hurricane Sandy indicates that inter-agency coordination and communication was a strong point in this case. However, the vulnerabilities were already present in these coastal regions due to poor land use practices and building code policies. Although these vulnerabilities had previously been identified little had been done to address these issues. It is important to the field of inter-agency disaster management to study the successes affiliated with Hurricane Sandy so that emergency managers can model this response for future emergency or disaster events. Studying what can be done to improve preparation and mitigation measures, the causes and uniqueness of the storm itself, and the response and recovery protocols of Hurricane Sandy can be extremely valuable in establishing more effective practices for future events and can lead to better mitigation practices overall. The Event

Hurricane Sandy will long be remembered as one of the Atlantic Ocean's largest and most devastating storms to make land fall in the United States. Although this hybrid super-storm is believed to be responsible for killing 70 people in the Caribbean, 109 people in the United States and causing an estimated $50 billion in damages in the United States alone, its affects could have been far worse if not for the exceptional lead time and accurate forecasting of this hurricane. The storm was first detected in the Caribbean on October 21, 2012 and was predicted to affect the Eastern Seaboard of the United States within a week. On October 22nd the tropical depression off the coast of Nicaragua gained strength and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Sandy. By October 24th the storm had begun to move north across the Caribbean and crossed Jamaica as a category one hurricane with sustained winds of 80 mph. Hurricane Sandy unloaded more than 20 inches of rain over the Dominican Republic and Haiti where it is estimated to have killed 50 Haitians due to flooding and mudslides. (Drye, 2012) By October 26th, Hurricane Sandy had sustained winds of 110 mph and is nearly a category three storm as it made landfall in the historic city of Santiago de Cuba and destroyed nearly everything in its path. By October 27th,...

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