Workers who took part in Superstorm Sandy disaster response reflect on their efforts

People who took part in disaster relief in the wake of Superstorm Sandy are looking back on the effort 10 years later.

News 12 Staff

Oct 18, 2022, 12:03 AM

Updated 643 days ago

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People who took part in disaster relief in the wake of Superstorm Sandy are looking back on the effort 10 years later.
Anton Gjelevic is the general manager of ServPro of Stamford. They restore buildings and homes to their original state in the wake of disasters.
Before Sandy hit 10 years ago, Gjelevic remembers getting ready for the deadly superstorm, which caused billions of dollars in damage, to make landfall.
"It was just going to be another day in the office, just a little bit busier. And then as I was driving back, I realized this was going to be different," said Gjelevic.
He says after a typical disaster, like a flood or a fire, he and his crew can generally get the situation out of what they call "critical mode" within a few days to a week at the most. It lasted a month after Sandy.
Coming up on a decade later, Gjelevic says Sandy helped his company be better prepared – having made advances in job turnaround time and deployment of specialized resources.
Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim spoke about infrastructure improvements that he says developed directly as a result of the 2012 natural disaster in this year’s State of the City address.
"We are much better prepared for something like a Sandy storm hitting Bridgeport than we were when it came 10 years ago," said Ganim.
Ganim says the city has also played a key role in encouraging local utility companies to make multimillion-dollar upgrades so they're better prepared to avoid outages and to get back online faster if they do occur.
Scott Appleby, director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for the City of Bridgeport says, "It was a tough day for a lot of people because...not a lot of people had flood insurance. Not a lot of people had the right coverage to take care of themselves to rebuild, and we were here to help them as best we could as the City of Bridgeport."
He says in addition to making infrastructure improvements, the city also made "monumental strides in information sharing" as a direct result of Sandy, such as getting emergency updates out to the public through everything from texting to phone calls to social media.
For more stories on Superstorm Sandy, watch our half-hour special Sandy 10 Years Later on Wednesday Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.


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