The northeast has taken a one-two punch, and generic government response has been as expected. Agencies are mobilized and doing what they can. Problems include the magnitude of the damage and the relative inaccessibility of those affected by the storms.
From my humble perspective, the role of government is not to save ME. It is to assist in the restoration of shared infrastructure and to reduce dangers/increase safety to an acceptable societal norm. Huh? To me, it means if you had sewer and electric service and the crime rate was X, then government's role is to reduce the obstacles for private business to restore the electric and sewer and assist local governance in their roles related to utilities and law enforcement so locals can restore the crime rate more toward X to support individual restoration efforts. Those individual efforts include rebuilding the homes and businesses that were damaged or destroyed.
Government's job is not to be clairvoyant. Government is not structured to hunt for each and every Jane and John Doe and bring daily deliveries of what Jane and John want, much less what they need. That's why I write about personal preparedness.
Sometimes government gets it wrong. Occasionally evacuation is recommended but not needed. As we've learned recently, it may be better to accept the inconvenience of timely evacuation than to die from drowning, electrocution or falling debris. Staying with Granny, or even camping in another state may be a better alternative than hanging on to a flooded house in the freezing weather. Yes, it's your stuff, but it is meaningless without your family. I'd rather have my husband alive and safe than have him die trying to save a wedding picture.
If you are not affected by the current events, you may want to soul search and decide ahead of time what you want to do. ADD A PAGE to your preparedness plan with a matrix so you don't need to decide under stress. It could be divided by season and event and should include your identified potential emergencies.
Using a matrix, you can follow your column and row for a recommendation that you made to yourself during more sane moments. If winter and major storm, what's in the box where they intersect? Does it say GO TO GRANNY'S? SANDBAG DOORS AND MOVE FURNITURE UPSTAIRS? BRING MORE WOOD INSIDE?
Another consideration is from lessons learned from Sandy. If you follow the 72-hour guideline, is that enough? Somewhere between filling your car trunk and filling your entire home with supplies is your personal answer. Something is better than nothing. Storing your supplies in a location that is accessible but less likely to be damaged or lost by events on your emergency list (see my page on Prep 101).
If you haven't started, this site and several others cover how to start. Even if you can only scrape an extra $1 together each week, it's enough to start. Having a few candles, cans of food and source of heat is better than having nothing when nothing is truly the alternative.
Search for 'Sandy lessons learned' or posts from those affected. Some with no preparedness supplies were begging for government help or dumpster diving within 2 to 3 days. Some who were prepared lost their preps, others flourished. Learn and revamp your plans as these lessons may apply to your situation.
What will you do differently based on lessons learned this month?