The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in the USA and Caribbean continues to cause huge problems.
Now that the USA has been struck so hard many have forgotten the Caribbean Islands where Sandy first struck land. Haiti was one of the worst hit islands. Already having a mountain of problems, some resulting from the devastating earthquake in 2010, Haiti and its people will need all the help it can get to recover. At least 65 people have died in the Caribbean.
Today, October 31, 2012, parts of the USA that were struck by Sandy are beginning the huge task of restoration. Many buildings will be beyond repair. Demolition may be the only sensible solution. Insurance premiums will rocket following this disaster as insurers try to recoup the billions they will have to pay out. The government faces huge bills also. The damage is so widespread and varied that the clean up operation will take some time. The economy will be hit by a lack of tourism and more. The NYSE is trying to get back in business. The death toll in the USA is currently 55 but could rise further. Affected low lying areas are still under water.
The US Election is scheduled for November 6, 2012. Hurricane Sandy will affect the election in many ways. It could give a political advantage to either President Obama or Mitt Romney. This will depend on what they do in the coming days and how this disaster pans out.
Yesterday Romney was helping give out food parcels to hurricane victims. For President Obama he was doing the job he is paid to do, at least till November 6, that is being the Commander in Chief. Today Romney will be back on the campaign trail. He is already in sunny warm Florida following his political ambitions. There will be no such respite for the President. Of course his presidential role could turn out to be the best political ad any candidate could ever hope for. Neither though will want to appear to be gaining from this tragedy.
President Obama is visiting New Jersey today, one of the severely damaged areas of the USA. He is also due to visit FEMA the federal emergency association which Mitt Romney would like to dismantle. Right now though many people in the USA will be glad that FEMA still exists. In the last few minutes Romney has been making a speech in Florida detailing taxes relating to small businesses. Americans have much more important issues to worry about right now though
You have to wonder how voters will handle the election. For those who have personally been hit hard this week it could be the last thing on their minds. Those who need to travel to vote may find the logistics tricky. A postponement could be a sensible option but one is not likely. The date is set in constitutional stone but in theory it could be halted for now.
You can talk up the environment how you like. There are always reasons which appear to show that global warming is a myth and vice versa. This one in a thousand year storm should tell us all that we need to consider our environment more carefully. We do not want to leave the next generation with a huge amount of debt to contend with but neither should we want to leave them a destroyed environment. In the UK we have had one in a thousand years flooding in 2007 and around the globe extreme weather has wreaked havoc time and time again. Is extreme weather beyond our control or due to our irresponsible behaviour?
It is time that countries get their priorities right. Wasting money on huge arsenals of weapons to destroy the earth that bit more is madness. The huge cost of Hurricane Sandy in money, the economy, to the environment and life needs our full attention. That disaster needs money, time and effort. Priorities when all is said and done. Money needs to be invested in modern flood defenses for low lying regions. Better still we need to try and prevent such disasters if we can. The forward planning available in the 21st Century at least minimised the loss of life in this terrible disaster.
One of the charities that will be helping the victims of Sandy is the Red Cross. RadioShack Corp. announced yesterday that it was making a $50,000 donation to the American Red Cross to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Please give what you can, but watch out for scammers. Even during such a disaster criminals will operate. Hurricane victims will also need to be cautious about who they employ to rebuild and repair. Rogue traders have no conscience.