Sandy was not a hurricane. Sandy had been downgraded to a tropical storm before it ever made landfall. It was just a big rainstorm. Most damage from Sandy could have easilly been avoided by following these simple rules:
Don't build your house on the beach. If your house is not at least 10-15 feet above sea level it will get hit by big waves in a storm.
Don't build subways and power utility tunnels 20-30 feet BELOW the Hudson River. They will flood in a storm and need major repairs.
If you build your home or business in a Flood Zone expect it to get flooded.