Gov’t urged to learn from New York City in preparing for hurricane ‘Sandy’By Maila Ager
MANILA, Philippines – The government should draw lessons from the effective disaster preparedness measures undertaken by the New York City government and emulate its mayor’s “sense of urgency and swiftness of action” when hurricane “Sandy” devastated the city, Senator Loren Legarda said on Wednesday.
“As early as October 26 in New York, Mayor Mike Bloomberg already announced that the city was taking necessary precautions. Modes of public transportation like the subway were closed shortly after, and residents were told to stay inside their homes,” Legarda said in a statement.
“By October 28, tunnels and bridges were already closed and all flights going in and out of the area were cancelled,” she pointed out.
This level of alertness, Legarda said, should also inspire other US government officials to prepare for the subsequent weather disturbances that she said would certainly occur as she expects “the worsening effects” of climate change.
The senator also cited the level of disaster preparedness of the Federal Government and State Government of New York.
“We have again witnessed nature’s wrath through Superstorm Sandy. Affected communities are coping with the devastation, which could have been worse with the lack of preparedness,” she said.
Bloomberg’s “sense of urgency and swiftness of action,” Legarda said, “should be emulated by all our public servants.”
“Working together, our meteorologists, weather scientists, national and local officials, and other leaders, can all prevent massive losses of lives and property by simply being prepared,” she added.
Legarda said the US’s experience with “Sandy” showed that while such a massive force of nature was frightening and unstoppable, the losses could be drastically reduced by combining the latest technology, the most up-to-date information, and effective and efficient public warning systems.
“Ultimately, we must take responsibility for each other, and we must use all our resources to do so,” she further said.