One of the leaders of a proposed lawsuit challenging the state and federal

Dr. Philip M. Nufrio, photo credit Linked in

government's anemic response to Sandy victims, has put together a panel of public policy experts to come up with solutions this week. Dr. Phil Nufrio of Stop FEMA Now, who's also a Public Administration Professor at the Metropolitan College of New York, is organizing the panel at the American Society of Public Administration's 76th annual conference in Chicago on March 8.

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Dr. Nufrio is also a Superstorm Sandy victim who's Seaside Park home sustained damage. As a result of his frustration over the government's delays in getting out federal recovery money, its misinformation, lack of communication and transparency, according to Nufrio ... he joined the grassroots group Stop FEMA Now.

Nufrio, assumed the alias Dr. Mike Zasa in January, to speak with us about a lawsuit that Stop FEMA Now is planning to file against the state and federal government. (Previous Story)

Nufrio said the panel will be comprised of Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy policy decision makers, as well as storm survivors, to look at the lessons learned from both storms.

"Our purpose is to exchange some impressions, ideas on the development of recovery policies and programs, lessons learned and in particular, how policies could be developed in a way that is fair and equitable and timely for the thousands of victims," said Nufrio.

Nufrio said one of the Major problems with New Jersey's response in delivering recovery assistance to storm victims is its constant change in policies. Nufrio describes a haphazard response to problems by implementing poorly thought out solutions that seemingly did not include input from the victims and wasn't transparent to the public.

"If you're going to do this efficiently, you form focus groups, just like they do in the private sector; focus groups of survivors, stakeholders of the storm and you get data from them. And based on that data, you make adjustments. And then you're transparent based on those adjustments," said Nufrio.

Nufrio said he formed the panel to try and have some rational discussion about storm recovery matters in an effort to make immediate improvements.

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