US Senate candidate Wendy Long has a proposal for the up to 40,000 people left without shelter as a result of Superstorm Sandy: House them on cruise ships.

“Cruise ships could feasibly be used as a solution to displaced New Yorkers, and FEMA could reimburse for the expense,” Long said in a press release.

“…Cruise ships are essentially mobile cities, that could provide the necessary food, water, and shelter that proud New Yorkers need, given the heartbreaking aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.”

“The 40,000 struggling New Yorkers need outside the box thinking, as conventional means of dealing with this crisis is not working as quickly as it should. Cruise ships are a real solution that could provide temporary housing for displaced families, friends and neighbors.”

“Officials need to recognize the great potential of this solution and immediately examine this as a potential option for struggling New Yorkers, and need to act soon.”

Long pointed out that the average Carnival cruise ship can hold 2,744 people, and said the number of cruise ships potentially available could provide relief to thousands of New Yorkers that are in need. (She did not provide any supporting evidence for this claim).

There is a precedent for Long’s idea.

After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita smashed the Gulf Coast in 2005, hundreds of thousands of victims were put up by the FEMA in trailers, hotels, cruise ships and apartments across several states for months and even years.

But FEMA’s hasty decision to enter into a six-month, $236 million contract with Carnival Cruise Lines in the wake of Katrina proved very controversial. In the end, the ships weren’t even fully occupied as part of the post-storm emergency housing plan.

Also, the cruise industry already has its own Sandy-related headaches. Several lines have been criticized for handling delays caused by the storm.

Long, of course, is trying anything she can to raise her profile and nab headlines as she heads into what is likely to be a very lopsided election against Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. All signs point to a big win for Gillibrand tomorrow as she seeks her first six-year term in the seat she inherited from former Sen. Hillary Clinton.