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What lessons can we learn about societal actions from Hurricane Sandy?

Hurricane Sandy was a very interesting societal experiment. It was an event that was big, obvious, scientifically proven, and beyond a doubt - shown to not be underestimated by people who know hurricanes. Especially for those who live at sea level.

Here's the experiment. Take a large group of people who has never experienced such an event*. Show them all the facts, ideas, observations, motivations, and so forth that other people have experienced. See what they do next.

So, what did they do next? In what way (if any) does it effect the ideas that comes from places like TED? Does it change any of the suggestions some of the speakers of this platform provided?

*To be fair, this experiment wasn't entirely blind. They experienced Irene which ended up being a devastating hurricane for Vermont and New Hampshire.