Looking forward and back: Experts talk Superstorm Sandy takeaways
Experts discuss ‘lessons learned’ and best practices in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy at the Symposium held in Dickinson Hall on Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Metropolitan Campus.
By Kenna Caprio
“All sectors came together today,” says FDU Assistant Professor Joe Devine, who teaches courses in leadership and homeland security and coordinated the day’s event. “The seminar’s focus is on response, not recovery, as the recovery phase is ongoing.”
Law enforcement and emergency management personnel, public utilities professionals, health care experts and corporate partners participated in break out sessions, panel discussions and debriefing forums. Representatives, including National Guard and State Police, came from all over the state and from the local, county, state and federal levels. Approximately 250 people attended the event.
For the most part, “New Jersey responded (to Sandy) in a professional and effective way,” says Devine. He credits that success to vigilant behavior from the top to the bottom of the response chain. “Governor Christie, much like former N.Y. Mayor Rudy Giuliani after September 11, set the reassuring tone and the state followed.”
Still, there’s always more to learn in anticipation of future emergencies. And that’s why Devine scheduled the event — to offer the chance to assess and address both the strengths and weaknesses of the state’s response in hopes that various groups and agencies can do better next time.