After witnessing boats wash up on the front lawns of homes throughout the Five Towns and students from Lawrence High School forced out of their building and into Lawrence Middle School due to flooding from Hurricane Sandy, John Licata knew something had to change to prevent anything like that from ever happening again.
The Lawrence resident, who in 2005 founded the Manhattan-based Blue Phoenix Inc., an independent research company that focuses on the future of energy, wrote his first e-book, â€śLessons from Frankenstorm: Investing for Future Power Disruptions,â€ť and released it in July.
Licata was inspired to write the book by seeing first-hand how people were affected both in Lawrence and his native hometown of New Dorp, on Staten Island. â€śWhat helped me to write this book was having no communication; days and weeks went by and no one knew what was happening with the [Long Island Power Authority],â€ť he said. â€śIt was uncomfortable living without power and if a stronger, new or different storm were to come, could the U.S. still be at the forefront of global leadership if the lights werenâ€™t on?â€ť
The 80-page book, Licata said, was needed to help prepare people for the future. â€śThe next storm may or may not come from weather, it could come from cyber terrorism or too much reliance on natural gas,â€ť he said. â€śTiming was essential to bring these issues to the forefront and people need to be open to change. We need to put more money into our schools to advance new technology.â€ť
Bill Falloon, executive director of Finance and Investment at Wiley, the publishing company that produced Licataâ€™s book, said the timing was right to address these issues. â€śWe are now in the middle of the 2013 hurricane season,â€ť Falloon said. â€śThe book is meant to raise awareness that weather is not our only threat to future power outages and to help those interested in learning about the future of energy while also keying into new opportunities, technologies and companies to consider investing in.â€ť
By writing in simple terms, Licata said he strived to make the book easily understandable. â€śWhen people think energy they instantly think science and engineering,â€ť he said. â€śThis book is written in plain English so people can understand and learn about the future of energy post-Sandy.â€ť
Licataâ€™s longtime friend from Staten Island, Ralph Ranieri, read the book and said energy has been a serious issue in recent years. â€śI found the book to be very insightful,â€ť he said. â€śThere were a lot of things in the book that I wasnâ€™t aware of so Iâ€™ll probably go back and read them again to become more familiar with them. These issues are vital for people in todayâ€™s society.â€ť
Ranieri said he now understands more how to participate and contribute to helping prepare for the future. â€śThese storms are going to happen and instead of waiting for them to happen, Iâ€™m going to start preparing,â€ť he said. â€śIt really opened my eyes.â€ť
â€śLessons from Frankenstorm: Investing for Future Power Disruptionsâ€ť is available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and Barnes & Noble for the nook.