On October 24th, the news came that Sandy had been officially upgraded to a hurricane. The following day, the Washington Postreported that newly declared Hurricane Sandy had “experienced a stunning increase in size and intensity” overnight that had not been previously forecast. Throughout the week that followed, it became more and more apparent the hurricane could potentially make landfall on America’s densely populated East Coast. Sandy finally slammed ashore on the evening of October 29, the eye hitting just south of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
By October 30th, establishment media outlet The New York Times was already celebrating FEMA‘s ability to save the day. If anyone or anything should be prepared for such a disaster, it should be FEMA, right? Its acronym does, after all, stand for Federal Emergency Management Agency.
So why are stories coming out that FEMA failed to plan ahead on Hurricane Sandy, leaving millions of people without so much as fresh water?
FEMA knew for at least a week, as we all did, that this hurricane could be devastating, that millions could end up without power or basic necessities, and that a large portion of those people left in Sandy’s wake would be woefully unprepared and relying on the agency to come in and save them.
In reality, FEMA knew for over seven years what Sandy could do; if anything, Hurricane Katrina should have taught the agency a thing or two about preparation and providing disaster relief following a major hurricane.
In the 72 hours after Sandy ravaged the coast literally leaving millions in the dark without electricity, stories of unfolding social collapse spread, from martial law being declared in one New Jersey town, to state troopers being called in to monitor violence over the last remaining fuel at gas stations, to New York deploying over a thousand National Guard troops to prevent looting. The death toll has now risen to over 110.