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Hurricane Sandy And Its Aftermath

Normally for this time of year the subject of this editorial would be the upcoming holiday selling season, or some commentary about the TWICE Business Annual.

Forgive me, but I’m distracted due to Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, which has been the main focus here in the New York metropolitan area. Rarely does TWICE cover non-industry news, but this has been overwhelming.

First off, our thoughts and prayers especially go to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy. The deaths and loss of homes and businesses are staggering.

While the loss of life is far less than 9/11, it is almost as profound since the damage is more widespread. The Jersey Shore has to be rebuilt, as do major sections of Staten Island, the Breezy Point and Rockaway Beach sections in Queens, large parts of Long Island, and other locations up and down the East Coast.

You can read about some of the effects on the industry with the story that begins. What effect it may have on the holiday selling season is yet to be determined.

TWICE offices were closed for several days due to the storm. I’m happy to report that our staff is safe and sound, but some of our editorial team continued to experience power and communications outages at their homes into the week of Nov. 5.

But they kept on working. If they were able to power up a generator, or go to a place to work, they were able to post stories on the web, keep our newsletters going, and get this print issue published, in spite of the emergency while trying to take care of their families and loved ones.

So I am so proud of the TWICE editorial team, and I thank them for their professionalism, and I hope you do too.

Of course, the only way our staff could do this is with the power of the digital technologies this industry has provided over the years.

Hurricane Sandy taught many lessons, one of them being how reliant we are on our electrical grid and communications networks. Something has to be done to protect them from future disasters because in this century, “once in 100-year storms” seem to hit some part of the U.S. annually.

Let me paraphrase Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, who said in one of his many press briefings last week that anyone who doesn’t think that weather patterns are changing is just not paying attention. It isn’t just here; it is everywhere around the globe.

For our children, grandchildren and future generations, we have to wean our way off of fossil fuels rather quickly and try — at least try — to move to solar and other renewable energy sources. If this tragic storm does have a silver lining, maybe it will convince many more people that climate change is here. And we have to change our energy usage as a result.

While we try to clean up, rebuild, we need to remember that we have to help those who have lost everything and take the time to console those who have lost loved ones.

As the days go by, and Sandy gradually disappears from the headlines, the holidays will be coming for many families. Please send contributions to your favorite charities who are collecting funds for Hurricane Sandy relief.