Dear Editor:
“Superstorm” Sandy descended angrily on the East Coast with a crash that millions of folks in NJ, NY and bordering states felt for days after (maybe weeks or months) – and many are still coping with no power and long gas lines. Millions of us heeded the call by preparedness and contingencies for what Sandy could have wreaked. The lessons were well learned for future maelstroms of nature, and possible manmade attacks on our cities. But an ignorant or unconscious awareness from our governing officials for future storms still exists.
I’m talking about our federal, state and local officials. If they were anywhere prepared like the average household, they should be more equipped for any contingency—short and long damage and repair of power lines, property, safety and water accumulation. We are long overdue for a “real” nationwide upgrade of basic physical and organizational structures and facilities, like buildings, roads, and power supplies for “Innovative Water Infrastructure.” We should be on our way to infrastructure change with power companies delivering and reforming methods of contingency preparedness to climate disturbances. But D.C. just talks about it w/out real bipartisan action – and that is appalling – not to mention that we pay their salaries – for what — to continually fight over ideology — to eternally form committees on how to “Fix Things” that never get fixed – like unemployment and the economy?
Long as I’ve lived the government never changes – I call it “day after a disaster” syndrome — a fast scrimmage for cover and faster scrambling “after the fact.”
And the next few weeks churn on rules, regulations and laws on “crowd control” and “public safety”. But never one ounce of “Prevention Preparedness” based on a “Vision” for future infrastructure change – so the next time a disaster hits, we wouldn’t need to be without power so long.
The sad truth is no real vision exists in D.C. and state and local governments. Congress and our local leaders are mostly career politicians concerned with party politics and ideology – spending more time raising their own salaries and pensions. The problem will continue because Congress is working together – and because of this inability the blame falls mostly on them. Our local and state officials are not off the hook either – because they follow suit how the federal government leads the way –pointing fingers from the state capitol windows to D. C.
Listen and hear politicians after reading this: “Well, how do you expect to pay for these infrastructure changes and reforms?” That is the typical political retort when such issues are served on their plate.
Firstly, I’d say take a look at first responders like the power companies. Look at your utility bills loaded with extra taxes. These monies should be redirected into upgrading of power and water infrastructures. The feds can also go “Bipartisan” and seriously look into already budgeted “Green” America taxation, and do the right thing with real short and long term timelines for initiatives starting now in renovating and upgrading our power and energy infrastructure change.

John Amato
North Bergen

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