Al Lara, who is the spokesman for the largest one -- Northeast Utilities, says the company has spent big bucks trimming trees near power lines to prevent future damage. "It's a significant investment, but what the storm from last year has taught us is that it's something that's required," says Lara.
Power outages can lead to a third of the economic damage from a big storm, says Chuck Watson, with the risk assessment firm Kinetic Analysis. He estimates Sandy's overall price tag could top $15 billion. "Just about everyone at all levels can suffer from these kinds of events... So for instance, instead of maybe expanding your warehouse and maybe adding a couple of workers, now you're having to cover the deductibles to fix the roof."
Watson says small businesses and hourly workers will especially lose out as Sandy makes landfall on a Monday.