WOODBURY - There are probably three main images that will always come to the minds of Long Islanders when they think of Hurricane Sandy: Destruction to our coastline, power outages and frustratingly long lines at the gas station.

Now Long Islanders are wondering how the system broke down and how we can keep it from happening again.

Oceanographer Dr. Malcolm Bowman is proposing building a colossal storm surge barrier that would stretch from New Jersey to Queens and another one across the upper East River. Bowman says the barriers would swing closed during storms like Sandy, protecting New York Harbor, the city and the region's delicate energy infrastructure. The cost is upward of $20 billion.

What about the gas situation? The Town of Hempstead recently passed a law requiring large neighborhood gas stations to have standby generators so fuel can keep flowing in an emergency. Similar legislation is under consideration in both counties.