As Sandy anniversary nears, group calls for extreme weather fund

    Should there be a dedicated national fund set aside to protect U.S. homes, businesses and communities from extreme weather?

    The group US Strong thinks so, and on Monday they’ll issue a report detailing what they say are the true costs incurred by residents and communitities since Hurricane Sandy raked the Jersey Shore last October.

    As the one-year anniversary of the storm approaches, US Strong plans to release “Extreme Weather, Extreme Costs: The True Financial Impact of Superstorm Sandy,” which they say is billions of dollars above official estimates.

    The report, which the Bradley Beach-based group declined to preview before an event scheduled for Monday in Point Pleasant, will “clarify just how high that cost is,” according to a press release. US Strong doesn’t support additional taxes for the extreme weather fund, but calls for “a financial cost to putting more carbon pollution into the atmosphere that is fueling more extreme weather.”

    In a video of interviews used in the report and released with the event announcement, one Ocean County official says more money is needed. Paul Shives, Toms River’s township adminstrator, says the town has had to borrow money not just for rebuilding but for day-to-day operations. 

    “It cries out for the need for a dedicated, permanent funding source for these types of disasters,” Shives said.

    The group launched its New Jersey effort in July, funded by an intial grant from the Rockefeller Family Fund. US Strong has been gathering testimonials through their website, and members of the non-partisan, non-profit group manned information tables at several of WHYY’s “Ready For Next Time?” post-Sandy forums. 

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