The New York Times recently published a couple of interesting articles in the wake of superfrankenstorm Sandy. The first is related to the disaster-preparedness economy, or what the author appropriately calls Mad Max Capitalism (article access here).
The bottom line is that there is big money in disaster preparedness, and this is a growing segment of the economy. My bet is that they will sell millions of generators in the NY metropolitan area in the coming years. One of the people interviewed is from The Ready Store, which is based in Draper, Utah. One of you enterprising meteorology students ought to give them a heads up before the next big storm.
The second discusses a neighborhood on Staten Island where there were unfortunately several fatalities (available here). Relevant is how residents were lulled into complacency by false alarms or past storms that were not all that severe. This is one of the challenges facing meteorologists and emergency management groups, especially since the margins of error are such that "overwarning" can be reduced but not completely eliminated.