New York has made significant progress in storm recovery efforts - Democratic Ulster County Executive Mike Hein says they're ready if and when there's a "next storm" on the horizon. Republican New York State Assemblyman Pete Lopez says many of his constituents are still reeling from the one-two punch of Irene and Lee - along with others in his district impacted by Sandy.
The recent cyclone that devastated the Philippines caught the island nation off guard, similar to the trio of storms that hit New York, in that while officials knew bad weather was coming, they had no idea of the scope and severity - leading some, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, to take a second look at "climate change" - Gemma Narisma, Manila Observatory Associate Director for Research told ABS-CBN news that climatologists are cautious about attributing any one extreme event to climate change.
Back in New York, Mike Hein says discussions are underway regarding aid to the Philippines. Many downstate New Yorkers in Sandy-stricken areas know how it feels to be "without" --- Long Beach Community activist James Hodge believes the storm delivered a message about New York’s “haves and have-nots.”
Sandy victims continue to wait for grants to come through so they can begin to rebuild, they face a chronic affordable housing shortage. Displaced families are still living in rented apartments, hotels, motels or staying with friends or family.