Reflection and the Aftermath After Hurricane Sandy

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When Hurricane Sandy was making its way north across the Caribbean, it was creating a predictably large storm. However, due to its route prediction model been produces many different scenarios which made it impossible to reach an accurate consensus on the threat. Therefore, the first mistake was underestimating the impact. The situation then influenced the area where Sandy finally made landfall was the most technologically and economically advanced part of the world, although the city has declared a state of emergency 72 hours in advance. Yet the lack of strong warning has caused the disaster to spread rapidly, doubling the threat and the damage.

A lack of urgency in dealing with disasters was the second problem. Natural disasters were common threats to human beings, especially in coastal cities with rapid urbanization and a dense population. The most obvious factor between climate change and Sandy’s impact was the sea level rise nearly 12 inches in the New York area, its much faster than the global average of 8 inches (Thompson & Kahn, 2014). The case also shows that while New York City “prepared lots” but the ‘lack of urgency’ for potential threat was also obvious. There was no indication, for instance, of the potential threat of flooding, which could paralyze traffic, the flood made for much misery in the low-lying financial district and leave thousands of citizens homeless.

The organizational structure was the last problem. The bureaucracy in New York has brought a strong hierarchical model, a high-level structure that was often directly ordered by high-level personnel. In this case, emergency communications remain problematic in this natural disaster. Although New York implemented a dual-status command structure into the situation, it neglected to set a balance such as steering committee management and its procedures and other disaster relief teams across the organization and the BCM. The direct communication between the federal government and the state government was incomplete, which led to the incompatibility and inadequacy of the emergency system, further amplified the losses.

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