When hurricane come winter storm Sandy blasted into the USA it was called a once in a lifetime event. Such was its power that it was a new unknown event. The USA is no stranger to storms, hurricanes and tornadoes but Sandy broke all records. The humanitarian cost in such a huge "wealthy" western country was unusual.. The cost in money was huge.
Happening in late October, as people of the USA, were deciding who should be their next President its timing was both good and bad. For President Obama it was perhaps, "terrible as it sounds" a blessing in disguise. For the people involved it most probably made the elcetion immaterial. Now that the clearing up operation is still underway it boils down to money.
President Obama has reportedly asked Congress for $60,4bn or £37bl to aid the restoration work.The two worst hit States in the US were New York and New Jersey and so this request for financial aid is good news for locals. It is likely that more money will be needed as easly eastimates are that New Jersey, New York and Conneticut will require at least $80bn to sort out the damage.
US Congress has a limited amount of money and many pulls on the cash. The money requested by the President will go towards rebuilding homes, businesses and more. It is vital but that does not necessarily mean that it will be forthcoming. One thing is for sure and that is if the money is given it will be taken from elsewhere. Robbing Peter to Pay Paul is common government practice in the West during these tough fiscal times.
Sandy now looks set to be the most costly storm in US history. Sandy caused a terrific amount of damage and loss of life in the Caribbean as well as the USA. One woman died in Canada also.
We are seeing more and more of these "once in a lifetime" events. You can argue about the causes of climate change but it is a fact of life. 2012 has been a particularly bad year. Torrential rains, wildfires, drought, earthquakes, tropical storms and more have all been widespread and severe. It is fair to say that we are made more aware of natural disasters than perhaps we once were. Rolling 24/7 news ensures that even slight events are reported. There is no getting away from the fact though that at least in 2012 we have been at the mercy of the elements.
Is 2012 a once in a lifetime year, so to speak, or is it a sign of things to come?