Hurricane Sandy, a tropical cyclone occurring in October 2012, started life off the coast of West Africa. It travelled north-west across the Atlantic Ocean through countries such as Cuba, Haiti and The Bahamas in the Caribbean before hitting the east coast of the USA. It had a wide range of effects. The USA is a more economically developed country (MEDC). This meant it had the resources to prepare for and respond to the tropical cyclone quickly and effectively.
The responses to Hurricane Sandy were very varied. In poorer countries like Haiti there was insufficient prediction, planning or protection and at the time the country was still trying to recover from an earthquake in 2010. This tropical cyclone set the country back further in terms of its development.
In contrast to this, the USA, a richer country, invested more in tropical cyclone prediction, planning and protection. By using satellite images and other weather instruments The National Hurricane Centre in Miami predicted and monitored the path of Hurricane Sandy. The Centre was able to issue warnings to the local authorities and general public and this helped reduce the impact of Hurricane Sandy.
In the long term, governments will need to develop strategic plans to prepare for tropical cyclones. Investments made in flood prevention and coastal protection schemes such as sea walls will be essential. Careful consideration needs to be given to the use of land particularly in low-lying areas. Local people and emergency service teams will need training in how to respond to tropical cyclone events, ensuring a coordinated and planned response. This should reduce the impact of tropical cyclones on people and the environment.