Agree with Amber leaf. As much as I feel awful about the situation in Haiti, my BIL, SIL, niece and nephew live in New Jersey. We anxiously watched the news and waited to hear from them. They are ok (no electricity for a week, but that's nothing compared to what some have suffered).
There are pictures being 'shared' on fb, of people trying to hold their houses together made of corrugated iron, in waist deep water.
So people are becoming aware, not only of the extent of the damage and what the after effects will be, but of the media reporting what they choose to and who they consider important enough to have their hardships, to be news worthy.
It is more shocking though to report from America as you presume that they are more protected/ able to prepare from this kind of thing, even though it is a natural disaster.
It is also probably much easier for world media to get to America than Haiti.
So far, according to Kim147's OP more people have died in America as a result of Sandy. Just because they are "wealthier" does not mean their lives are worth any less or their families aren't just as devastated.