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Lessons from Sandy and Future Storm Preparedness Focus of Round Table at Ocean County College

Problems encountered during, before and after Superstorm Sandy and how we can better prepare for future disasters remains a priority for the Jersey Shore, a year later. During a recent roundtable at Ocean County College in Toms River, Sandy victims, community leaders and politicians discussed obstacles and possible solutions. The event was sponsored by the nonprofit group U-S Strong, which is proposing the idea of having a national extreme weather fund.

Shore state Senator Robert Singer told the audience Trenton has put Sandy on the back-burner because 75 percent of the state is back to normal. Shore Assemblyman David Wolfe pointed out that 26,000 Ocean County residents remain displaced from their primary homes.

First responders brought up issues with not having food, supplies and clothing during Sandy. Storm victims spoke of how difficult the recovery process has been, especially with the trail of paperwork needed.

The panel and audience members suggested having a carbon emissions tax, creating a lottery, using a portion of beach badge money and having a tax check off box as ways of generating revenue for a national catastrophe fund.

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