He's also urging car companies to make vehicles that can double as generators. After all, the engine and alternator are already there, so all that would be needed are outlets for a few power strips.
Even better than building infrastructure that can withstand water is keeping the water out to begin with.
For years some have been urging New York City -- and other coastal areas -- to build massive sea barriers that can be quickly closed to keep out a storm surge -- similar to what exists in London, Rotterdam and Providence, R.I.
There's also an idea for a giant inflatable plug that could be stuffed in subway and road tunnels, which often contain power and water infrastructure as well.
Yet others urge caution in putting so much faith in technological fixes which often don't pan out.
"The 20th century is full of ambitious engineering projects that gave us false hope," said Bill Solecki, head of the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities at Hunter College.
In the Netherlands, spaces like parks and parking garages are specifically designed to take on water in the event of a flood, diverting it from more crucial areas, said Daniel Yeh, a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida Tampa.
To make buildings without grid power more resilient, Yeh suggested greater deployment of rooftop wind and solar systems, as well as devices that can collect rainwater for drinking or bathing.
For new construction, designers should consider the possibility that buildings might not always have electricity, Yeh said. Too many buildings nowadays are designed with the assumption that air conditioning will always be available. Some don't even have windows that open. Buildings should instead be constructed with an eye toward natural air flow and shading, said Yeh.
Others argue that such measures are a side show to what really has to be done -- limiting the amount of heat-trapping gases entering the atmosphere each year.
"The best way to do this is to grab the bull by the horns and deal with the issue, which is the changing climate in the long run" New York's Democrat Senator Charles Schumer said at a press conference last week.
But even if limiting greenhouse gases is desirable -- a subject for debate -- gathering the political will to do so isn't likely to happen any time soon.
Did you sustain damage to your home due to hurricane Sandy and file a claim with your insurer? Email Les Christie if you want to share your story.