Superstorm Sandy racked up nearly $70 billion in damages and killed more than 280 people, but one year after it struck on Oct. 29, 2012, business preparations for the next U.S. megadisaster remain very much a work in progress.
With more severe weather events hitting the U.S.— and likely to keep on hitting—experts say the country remains largely unprepared to handle catastrophes and their aftermath.
"The main lesson to take from Sandy is that we've had opportunities to learn from other storms for a long time—be it storms like Katrina, Agnes, or earthquakes, fire and flooding," said Scott Knowles, a history professor and disaster planning expert at Drexel University. However, "it's not a one-time lesson. We can't just move on from the events like we're doing without being better prepared."
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Even many who suffered directly from Sandy are failing to take steps to weather a future storm, said Greg Wank of the accounting firm Anchin, Block & Anchin.
"We just did a survey of some 266 small businesses in the New York City area on storm preparations and less than half say they are prepared for the next one," he said.
"That includes putting an emergency plan in place for workers, to having enough cash on hand to get through a business shutdown, or knowing what damage is covered by their insurance," Wank said.