City Council Calls for Better Response to Next Natural Disaster
While thousands of families are still dealing with the fallout from Hurricane Sandy, this week City Council Speaker Christine Quinn proposed legislation to help prepare for future disasters. Her proposed plan was developed in response to multiple problems that arose during Sandy and aims to improve conditions at shelters, accommodate people with special medical needs, and create a task force to make sure all vulnerable and home-bound individuals are visited after a storm.
These recommendations came in response to feedback from many evacuees and advocates detailing problems in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Some of the issues the Coalition for the Homeless witnessed in our outreach to storm shelters included a lack of food and access to transportation, inadequate bathroom and showering facilities, and lack of access to prescription medications.
Over seven months after Sandy, hundreds of families are still living in hotels and other temporary arrangements, highlighting the need for better planning in the future. This lack of preparation for long-term displacement is just one of the issues the City Council hopes to address with their new plan. The Coalition for the Homeless looks forward to working with the Council to finalize this new and vital response to future disasters.