This week is Hurricane Awareness Week, which precedes the official start of the hurricane season.
While storms like Hurricane Sandy are still unusual, protecting populated coastal areas like New York City is a technological challenge.
"In the last 150 years, the sea level has risen 45 centimeters in New York," said Portland State University's Stefan Talke.
Talke said that may not sound like much, but the result is any storm that hits today is nearly a foot and half higher than it was during the mid 1800s.
One short term solution is to move sensitive tech equipment and electrical boxes out of basements, or build houses several feet off the ground.
Another technology that might help is a deployable flood barrier.
Philip Orton, a professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology, said it's a temporary structure built to help protect the city.
"It just gets deployed when there's a storm coming. It's unpopular to some people because there can be human error if it's not deployed correctly."