Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Second Year Can Be Worse Than the First

It takes resilience to survive a disaster and power through to the one-year anniversary.  Millions in New York and New Jersey marked that milestone Tuesday. But disaster veterans like those in my hometown on the Mississippi Gulf Coast know that residents still struggling should brace for the second year, when the adrenaline rush is over and reality sets in.

            Eight years have passed since Hurricane Katrina shredded Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, at 10,000 a town similar in size and character to many of those destroyed on the Jersey Shore.  But it has come back strong, and some who shepherded the town through its remarkable recovery were eager to share what they have learned with Superstorm Sandy survivors. 

            Patience is the watchword from Eddie Favre, mayor for 16 years when the storm hit.  “It’s not going to happen overnight - unfortunately.  To think that it is and maybe even that to think that it should is not reasonable,” says Favre.