May 26, 2019 | 69° F

Lack of funding delays hurricane recovery

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Hurricane Sandy, which struck New Jersey Oct. 29, 2012, caused damage throughout the state.

Hurricane Sandy’s one-year anniversary brought more scrutiny upon federal agencies and Gov. Chris Christie’s administration for the lack of funds distributed to New Jersey residents to rebuild after the destruction caused by the hurricane.

Christie blamed the slowness of federal agencies for delays in pushing out grants, according to The New York Times.

State Climatologist David Robinson said without climate change, Sandy may have been a different storm.

“There is no question that Sandy would have been a somewhat different storm without climate change for the very reason that sea level wasn’t higher a century ago,” he said. “The reason for that is glaciers are melting and water is getting warmer, which made coastal flooding conditions a little worse.”

The storm, which displaced 6,000 students from the College Avenue and Cook/Douglass campuses, also impacted backup power at the University.

The Daily Targum obtained a 170-page document detailing the recommendations of the Emergency Preparedness Task Force to prepare for another disaster.

The report highlighted weak communications, lack of backup power and a lack of business continuity and contingency plans as main issues for the University to focus on.

“Preserving and protecting the animals and ensuring that they are safe at appropriate temperatures is absolutely essential,” the report said. “Back-up power is also needed to preserve critical biological samples, hazardous chemicals, and for the continuation of longitudinal research projects. Without back-up power, years of research work can be lost.”

As 52 percent of evacuated students rated the evacuation as poor or very poor, the report stated clearly that procedures for communications concerning the evacuation of residence halls needed to be developed and implemented for future emergencies as well.

“The efforts of this Task Force will help to develop a unified approach to dealing with future events by identifying flaws in systems, policies and information sharing procedures,” the report said.

By Julian Chokkattu

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