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Sandy Update: New York's Progress on Community-Based Disaster Recovery Efforts
The program has allowed individual committees to come up with and prioritize recovery projects in their communities
By Leischen Stelter
American Military University
During his 30-year career as a firefighter, George Munkenbeck has been involved in many disaster response and recovery efforts. But when Superstorm Sandy hit his hometown of West Sayville, N.Y. in October 2012, the flooding was far beyond anything he had seen in his fire district and in the surrounding areas.
In addition to a long career in fire services (he served as a captain with the West Sayville Fire Department and now serves as chaplain), Munkenbeck is also a professor at American Military University, teaching courses in fire, emergency and disaster management, and homeland security for more than 12 years.
The field of emergency management has changed dramatically, but what he has seen in the recovery efforts to Sandy stands out as one of the best recovery strategies yet. “There has been a new approach to emergency management and recovery, which is this grassroots approach,” he said.
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