Superstorm Sandy Reminds Us Why We Need Government

| 11/1/2012 11:04:33 AM

sandy flood NYC 

This post first appeared in the October 2012 edition of Commons Magazine, a gateway to the latest thinking and action in the commons movement.  

If this election is a referendum on the benefit of government then superstorm Sandy should be Exhibit A for the affirmative. The government weather service, using data from government weather satellites delivered a remarkably accurate and sobering long range forecast that both catalyzed action and gave communities sufficient time to prepare. Those visually stunning maps you saw on the web or TV were largely based on public data made publicly available from local, state and federal agencies.

As the storm neared, governors and mayors ordered the evacuation of low lying areas. Police and firefighters ensured these orders were carried out and helped those needing assistance. As the storm hit, mayors imposed curfews.

Government 911 and 311 telephone operators quickly and effectively responded to hundreds of thousands of individual calls for assistance and information. Indeed, the volume of those calls may lead us to propose a different answer to the question asked by those famous lines from the movie Ghostbusters. “If there’s something weird and it don’t look good who ya gonna call?” Government.

Public schools and other public buildings were quickly converted into temporary shelters. Transit systems and bridges were closed when public safety might be compromised.

11/5/2012 4:08:23 PM

Thank Goodness for FEMA - they are doing an incredible job. The President's work in NJ after the storm was just spectacular. He is a born leader. We were lucky to have had him in NJ for those 90 minutes. His leadership and transparency on Benghazi, the economy and fast/furious have been the classiest and most presidential I've ever seen. How this election can be close is beyond me...

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