For all that’s been written about superstorm Sandy and the travails of those who’ve had to rebuild their homes and lives after the hurricane, there are some fundamental questions we don’t have the answers to. A new survey wants to shrink that information gap.
The survey, a partnership between Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, New Jersey Organizing Project and Rutgers, is officially known as the the Sandy Truth Project. It should take about 10 minutes to complete.
Other surveys have measured confidence or satisfaction in the state’s rebuilding efforts and leadership.
For instance, a Monmouth University poll of “hard-hit” Sandy victims released on the fourth anniversary of the storm found that 54 percent were dissatisfied with the state’s recovery efforts.
But what makes the Sandy Truth Project different is the level of detail sought on questions about contractor fraud, housing assistance clawbacks and the lingering economic and health impacts related to the record storm.
Advocates and policymakers often lament they are stymied in their ability to determine what’s an anomaly affecting one family and what’s a true chokepoint in the recovery system because of the lack of data.
“(We want) to determine whether some of the concerns that we as advocates hear about anecdotally are in fact widespread,” said Jessica Limbacher, a staff attorney with the Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, based in Newark. “Once we know what the biggest problems are we can focus on trying to solve them and we can use the statistics from this survey to emphasize the need for assistance in a particular area.”
Limbacher said they plan to release their findings to the public, although personal identifying information will not be shared.
Russ Zimmer: 732-557-5748, firstname.lastname@example.org