79 percent in neighborhoods hardest hit by Sandy say rebuild eve - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

79 percent in neighborhoods hardest hit by Sandy say rebuild even in face of risk

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Governor Chris Christie tours the coast line to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen) Governor Chris Christie tours the coast line to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

A superstorm. A mile-wide tornado. A wildfire that killed 19 firefighters in seconds. These three crushing natural disasters, all in the past year, illustrate a new challenge facing policymakers: Should communities damaged by disaster rebuild in the same places, knowing the risks of the same thing happening again? Or should they encourage residents to move to safer ground, potentially wiping those places off the map?

More Americans say they favor financial help for rebuilding than relocating, and both options draw even greater support among those hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy.

A survey from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research examined resilience following last year's superstorm, and found that among those living in the hardest-hit neighborhoods of New York and New Jersey, 79 percent said they favored government funding to help victims of such disasters rebuild in the same neighborhood.

That doesn't mean they're opposed to policies encouraging relocation, though they are a bit less likely to back them -- 59 percent were in favor of state governments purchasing homes in disaster-stricken regions so residents can move to a safer area.

That pattern follows the poll's findings nationwide: 65 percent support funding for rebuilding in the same location and 53 percent back government assistance with relocation.

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