"Compassion is an unstable emotion" - Is a quote by writer and activist Susan Sontag . Though Susan wasn't a data analyst, the numbers around natural disaster Google Search support her statement.
For any major disaster there will be a 3-8 week window of interest from the public, with the peak coming in the first week of the event. As a rule this is why it is important for organizations like the Red Cross to mobilize their responses as soon as possible. Sandy, compared to past natural disasters, will have an added challenge for the public's attention - the election. Given the coming election, public attention (measured in search interest) will have a lower peak and shorter lifespan on the attention curve.
Over two years ago I was writing about this trend in attention around the earthquake in Haiti . The public's attention span for Haiti was even shorter than I had anticipated and that was without another major news event competing with it. I am writing this learn something from my Brooklyn, NY apartment turned remote office for DoSomething.org which is currently without power. Sadly, I think that this prediction for #Sandy attention will be even shorter.Thoughts and prayers  to everyone impacted by the storm.
- Article by George, CTO DoSomething.org @georgecaweiner