"With the start of hurricane season, it is even more important to know your risk, take action, and be an example," the FEMA warning stated. "While hurricanes often offer some warning that a threat is approaching, severe weather can occur at any time and in any place, including high winds, inland flooding, severe storms and tornadoes."
Sandy approached the coast with ample warning, as various weather forecast models predicted days prior to its landfall. While no one wants to be displaced or inconvenienced, natural disasters and the resulting response can be unpredictable.
In the event that a government response is more delayed than expected, any forethought for preparation and training can prove to be invaluable, Dougherty said. Experience, he said, can be a hard teacher when disaster strikes.
"The people panicking right now are those who didn't have anything in stock, or they kept eating as if everything would be back to normal by the next day," said Tony Wilde, public and private sector planner for Be Ready Utah, with the Utah Division of Emergency Management.
Wilde said waiting for help can be "a pain."
"You're really getting anxious and antsy, but you just have to be patient," he said.
And when it comes to getting back to normal, Dougherty said people affected by a disaster of any kind "really need to have a new normal."
"Their new normal needs to be a normal that includes a culture of preparedness," he said. "They need to create habits of being able to take care of themselves and their neighbors."
Being prepared, Dougherty said, can help people manage morale and their mental state through any ordeal.
"Having the correct expectations," he said, "can do a lot for you psychologically."
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