Political Parties and Elections 11/08/12
Election Journal #4
I voted for my first time yesterday. I feel the general election was greatly impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane brought out the positions of both candidates. Voters were allowed to really concentrate on the purpose of government agencies. The hurricane also hurt other elections of house representatives, judges, and assembly people, due to the last minute election laws that were implemented.
From the beginning of the election, both candidates have had different positions on how they would operate the United States economy. Obama’s policies favored government agencies that funded natural disaster relief programs. Romney’s policies favored limiting funding for natural disaster relief agencies. Victims of Hurricane Sandy noticed the benefits of Obama’s policies. The hurricane was a real natural disaster; no one realized the extent of devastation that Sandy brought to the east coast of the United States. Americans all over the country were able to view the devastation on television.
Unlike President Bush’s behavior during Hurricane Katrina, on October 30, 2012 after the natural disaster occurred President Obama flew to the scene to comfort the victims. This allowed him to get a first-hand briefing on the extent of the damage; he also offered whatever help was necessary. Similar to Hurricane Katrina, Sandy did horrific damage to east coast residents. The power of the majority of east-coast homes including these in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut was blown out by the strong winds. A vast amount of residents also lost their homes due to flooding and trees falling on them. The storm’s damage was so terrible, that the process of electric companies restoring power is still difficult to this day, and taking a long duration process. Sandy left many of victims dead- without homes, heat, lights and food, which are important necessities for families including children. There are shortages on food, water and gasoline due to the impact from the storm. When coming to the rescue of east-coast residents, Obama’s policies were also publically supported by republican Governor Christie of New Jersey and independent Mayor Bloomberg.
A temporary blanket waiver of the Jones Act was issued by the Obama Administration a couple of days after the storm. This allowed foreign-flagged vessels to help expedite gasoline to the Northeast. A total of 8 million gallons of fuel was delivered to New York residents post-Sandy. The fuel was sent to different mobile fueling stops in each county. Residents were then allowed to receive 10 free gallons of gas for their vehicles. This helped a number of victims who still needed to travel to work, use the electricity in their car, and yet couldn’t get money from their banks due to power outages.
Since Sandy occurred, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been actively answering the needs of victims. Many families lost hundreds of dollars in food from power outages, so FEMA has created food vouchers for victims to apply for. FEMA has also activated its Transitional Sheltering Assistance program, which allows eligible survivors who are in shelters and cannot return to their homes due to storm-related damages, to stay in participating hotels or motels until more suitable housing accommodations are available. The government agency is also processing registrations for disaster assistance through their call centers. They have inspectors on the ground assessing disaster damages, and FEMA is