I’ve been an observer of worldwide and nationwide natural disasters my entire life, yet never have been directly affected until recently. Last week Hurricane Sandy wrecked havoc across the northeast part of the United States. Meteorologists and government officials warned citizens that the storm would be a bad one, and in New York a state of emergency was declared. Monday evening, Sandy hit and Tuesday morning, the world saw the initial damage.
Out here on Long Island, I live close to the south shore, but not close enough to withstand water damage. My area had wind damage, a lot of trees fell on cars and homes, but thankfully my neighbors were all safe. I cannot say the for the rest of the island and the region. My area did not have power until Thursday afternoon, but I know of people who still are without power and their homes burned down! I cannot imagine what they are going through. The few days I spent without power, I was cold. Imagine eight winter nights without power or not even having a home. This might even get worse for individuals; as a nor’easter is predicted to hit the northeast region tomorrow afternoon.
Environmentally, emotionally, economically, and socially; you learn a lot about yourself, nature, and society during natural disasters. For one, nature is running the show. It is obvious with climate change, that cities need to prepare for the future. Areas like Long Island and Manhattan, normally do not get weather like Hurricane Sandy. If this is the future for this area, new plans need to be made for infrastructure design, transportation, housing, and emergency management. It is back to the drawing board.
Emotionally and spiritually, you notice how people band together, though there are looters. But, I noticed neighbors checking in on others, I stopped by a few elderly people’s homes to see if they were okay. I noticed productivity wise, how much time in general I wasted. When there isn’t power, you get things done and then go to bed. I wasn’t playing on my Kindle or on social networks. During this down time, I made significant advances in my book. I spent quality time with my family. Went on walks with my family. I spent quiet time with myself, just thinking. I even feel like without all the frequencies, waves, and technology, my head was clear.
Many businesses and homes have been hit because of the storm, but many other business sectors are thriving because the storm. I foresee jobs creation in insurance, construction, clean up, and more.
It is important to remember that after a storm, there is light and a rainbow. Things do get better.
If you live on Long Island and have been affected by Hurricane Sandy here are few resources:
Did Hurricane Sandy pass by you? How are you holding up?
An urban planning PhD student finding peace in creating a balance between the mind, body, soul, & environment.