(TRENTON) – Assembly Human Services Committee Chair Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) released the following statement on Monday, after hearing testimony on storm preparedness following Hurricane Sandy for persons with developmental disabilities and other vulnerable residents:
“It has been more than a month since Superstorm Sandy ravaged New Jersey, and residents continue to feel the impact. This storm was unprecedented and so was the destruction it caused.
“There is a lot to be thankful for and there are many individuals who deserve our appreciation for helping those in peril during the storm, but there were also some missteps that must be addressed.
“While the storm wreaked havoc for many residents, it was especially dangerous for elderly residents and residents with developmental disabilities whose very well-being is dependent on having working electricity. The power outages experienced during Sandy were inconvenient for most residents, but for this vulnerable segment of the population, they became matters of life and death.
“As we continue the rebuilding process, it’s important to figure out what we did and what we did not do, and learn from our mistakes so we can be better prepared for the next one.
“Evaluating our strengths and weaknesses may not prevent the next Sandy, but it will allow us to better respond to the needs of all our residents, especially those who require special assistance.”