Superstorm Sandy – the New Normal?

Pondering whether this type of weather will be the new normal, and how we can prepare ourselves.

by Zaia Kendall

A freak storm, never before seen. After the end of the normal hurricane season, this ‘superstorm’ developed and severely affected the Caribbean and northern US, killing people and causing devastation everywhere. But are we really that surprised? Is nature trying to point out the error in our ways?

How can New Yorkers possibly think that they are innocent in creating this storm? How is it possible that we are so far removed from our environment, that we cannot comprehend that large cities, made from concrete, steel and glass (all highly reflective surfaces), create their own micro climate and subsequently affect the world around them? The amount of heat that is created in a city the size of New York must be astronomical. Start taking responsibility for your actions people – we are all guilty in creating this damage!

Every year lately we have had enormous disasters in all corners of the globe: major flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis, superstorms…. And this is possibly only the beginning. We have now mistreated this planet for decades, and the major effects are only just starting to show. If this is the beginning, and we do not heed these warning signs, imagine how bad things will be 10 or 20 years from now. Superstorms, erratic weather, droughts, flooding and major damage. We will not have to worry about having enough energy to keep the economy growing anymore, because power plants will end up being shut down from continuing storm and weather damage. Considering there were apparently three nuclear plants shut down and one on alert in the New York area after superstorm Sandy, and electricity was no longer available to over seven million homes, I strongly believe we need to find alternative solutions to ensure people can survive natural disasters. We have to get rid of the ‘head in the sand’ mentality, and start acting pro-actively by re-empowering people to become self reliant again. What will people do when a disaster occurs that disables government and utilities?

We can no longer rely on government supplied resources or trust that our way of life will continue to improve or even stay the same as it is now. The damage after Sandy is only just lifting the curtain on the effects of what we have created with our energy and resource hungry society. We all bear the guilt, now we all have to create solutions.

Small, reliable communities in your local area, where everyone knows who they can go to for certain skills or resources are a great start for urban or rural areas. And, people will have to start making a commitment to stop consuming. We now have so much stuff, we really do not need anymore. Who knew they needed an iAnything 10 years ago? Nobody had mobile phones 30 years ago, and we all got by fine! Public phone booths did a great job (most of the time, if they were well maintained…). We need to connect more with people who are in physical proximity, and not spend all our time on Facebook trying to connect with people on the other side of the planet. Yes, it is great to be able to be in contact with friends and family around the world, but don’t forget the people where you live!

And, playing Farmville or other computer games will not necessarily help you in day to day, real life situations. We need to get our youth back in touch with the earth, take them on survival camp trips, and teach them how to live with little. A large portion of the problem in relation to violence, depression and aimlessness in today’s youth stems from losing touch with reality and nature, and the only way we will survive as a species is to create offspring that can survive on a planet where resources are depleted; where the air and the soil is polluted, and where they will have to make do with much less.


There seems to be remarkably little news about the nuclear situation in the US. Three nuclear power stations were down and one was on alert. Apparently nuclear power stations need to be connected to the grid to be able to cool the reactors and spent fuel pools. Is this really a smart position to be in?