Here is What We Liked About the NY AG’s Sandy Report

Yesterday, we told you what we didn’t like about New York Attorney General Schneiderman’s Hurricane Sandy report:  it’s short-sighted and focuses on short-term needs.  Plus it seems very transactional, emphasizing money spent rather than people, vulnerable populations, and what it takes to rebuild a community.
But there are some things we liked about it too:

  1. We like that they’re paying attention to disaster relief.  Once the TV cameras  are turned away and fundraising stops, the public tends to forget about the after effects of the disaster.  As the AG points out, there’s still a lot to be done.
  2.  We like the fact they are paying attention to how the money is spent, where it is spent and when it is spent. Accountability is just as important.  We’re pleased to see that the AG’s office is asking why money hasn’t been spent, clarifying expenses and making sure that money raised for Sandy goes to Sandy relief.
  3. We like the fact that they are encouraging collaboration, community and coordination. Any one working in the disaster space, would admit that there is more we can do to improve the coordination and collaboration among nonprofit organizations.  As the AG’s office observes: now is the time to begin upgrading systems, planning and processes before the next disaster hits.
  4. We like the fact that by focusing on Sandy charitable dollars, they are keeping the recovery from Sandy in the spotlight. As we frequently point out at CDP, funding for disaster relief is only part of disaster philanthropy.  We need donors to to think as well about planning, preparedness and mitigation. And  to remember that it will take years to recover from  a natural event of the magnitude of Sandy.  In truth we’re still only in the early stages of recovery – and we don’t even know what all the unmet needs will be.  There’s still much to do.

Robert G. Ottenhoff

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