With only a week to go before voters head to the polls to elect the next American president, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama should be vigorously campaigning in crucial swing states such as Ohio and Florida.

But Superstorm Sandy has changed that with both candidates cancelling planned election events around the country, wary of being seen to politicise the disaster.

President Obama has had to return to Washington to oversee the emergency response, aware of the effect a botched reaction could have on his election chances, with Hurricane Katrina still very raw in the American psyche.

obama

Obama was out of the public eye on Tuesday co-ordinating the emergency response

Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency at the time of Katrina accused Obama of reacting too quickly to the storm.

In a press conference on Monday Obama said: "I'm not concerned at this point about the impact on the election.

"I'm concerned about the impact on families, I'm worried about the impact on our first responders, I'm worried about the impact on our economy, our transportation.

"The election will take care of itself next week."

romney

Romney helped at a storm relief event in Ohio

Romney made a scaled back appearance on Tuesday at a storm relief event in Ohio where he made a few remarks before collecting supplies for victims of the storm.

Romney pleaded with people to donate to the relief effort. He said: "Our victory centres are making collections.

"Do your best to help."

A spokesman added: "Governor Romney believes that this is a time for the nation and its leaders to come together to focus on those Americans who are in harm's way."

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  • US-VOTE-2012-REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney helps to gather donated goods as he attends a storm relief campaign event in Kettering, Ohio, on October 30, 2012. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 30 in the mainland United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people were still missing, officials said. Officials in the US states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina all reported deaths from the massive storm system, while Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney helps to gather donated goods as he attends a storm relief campaign event in Kettering, Ohio, on October 30, 2012. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 30 in the mainland United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people were still missing, officials said. Officials in the US states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina all reported deaths from the massive storm system, while Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Romney Campaigns In Midwestern Swing States

    KETTERING, OH - OCTOBER 30: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney helps load a truck with relief supplies that will be delivered to storm affected areas in New Jersey during a Kettering Storm Relief event on October 30, 2012 in Kettering, Ohio. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney's campaign has reduced their campaign schedule and are focusing their attention on disaster relief. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney helps to load donated goods as he attends a storm relief campaign event in Kettering, Ohio, on October 30, 2012. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 30 in the mainland United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people were still missing, officials said. Officials in the US states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina all reported deaths from the massive storm system, while Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks with supporters as he helps to gather donated goods at a storm relief campaign event in Kettering, Ohio, on October 30, 2012. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 30 in the mainland United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people were still missing, officials said. Officials in the US states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina all reported deaths from the massive storm system, while Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Romney Campaigns In Midwestern Swing States

    KETTERING, OH - OCTOBER 30: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets a supporter as he accepts food donations during a Kettering Storm Relief event on October 30, 2012 in Kettering, Ohio. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney's campaign has reduced their campaign schedule and are focusing their attention on disaster relief. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney helps to gather donated goods as he attends a storm relief campaign event in Kettering, Ohio, on October 30, 2012. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 28 in the mainland United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people were still missing, officials said. Officials in the US states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina all reported deaths from the massive storm system, while Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney helps to collect and pack donated goods as he attends a storm relief campaign event in Kettering, Ohio, on October 30, 2012. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 30 in the mainland United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people were still missing, officials said. Officials in the US states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina all reported deaths from the massive storm system, while Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Romney Campaigns In Midwestern Swing States

    KETTERING, OH - OCTOBER 30: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (L) and advisor U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) help load a truck with relief supplies that will be delivered to storm affected areas in New Jersey during a Kettering Storm Relief event on October 30, 2012 in Kettering, Ohio. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney's campaign has reduced their campaign schedule and are focusing their attention on disaster relief. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • Romney Campaigns In Midwestern Swing States

    KETTERING, OH - OCTOBER 30: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a bag of donated paper towels during a Kettering Storm Relief event on October 30, 2012 in Kettering, Ohio. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney's campaign has reduced their campaign schedule and are focusing their attention on disaster relief. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • Romney Campaigns In Midwestern Swing States

    KETTERING, OH - OCTOBER 30: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney shakes hands as he accepts a food donation from a supporter during a Kettering Storm Relief event on October 30, 2012 in Kettering, Ohio. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney's campaign has reduced their campaign schedule and are focusing their attention on disaster relief. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • Romney Campaigns In Midwestern Swing States

    KETTERING, OH - OCTOBER 30: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney helps load a truck with relief supplies that will be delivered to storm affected areas in New Jersey during a Kettering Storm Relief event on October 30, 2012 in Kettering, Ohio. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney's campaign has reduced their campaign schedule and are focusing their attention on disaster relief. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • Romney Campaigns In Midwestern Swing States

    KETTERING, OH - OCTOBER 30: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney shakes hands as he accepts a food donation from a supporter during a Kettering Storm Relief event on October 30, 2012 in Kettering, Ohio. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney's campaign has reduced their campaign schedule and are focusing their attention on disaster relief. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • Romney Campaigns In Midwestern Swing States

    KETTERING, OH - OCTOBER 30: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to supporters before collecting food and supply donations during a Kettering Storm Relief event on October 30, 2012 in Kettering, Ohio. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney's campaign has reduced their campaign schedule and are focusing their attention on disaster relief. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN

    US Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks to supporters calling for donations during a storm relief campaign event to help people who suffered from hurricane Sandy, in Kettering, Ohio, on October 30, 2012. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 30 in the mainland United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people were still missing, officials said. Officials in the US states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina all reported deaths from the massive storm system, while Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Romney Campaigns In Midwestern Swing States

    KETTERING, OH - OCTOBER 30: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney accepts a food donation from a supporter during a Kettering Storm Relief event on October 30, 2012 in Kettering, Ohio. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney's campaign has reduced their campaign schedule and are focusing their attention on disaster relief. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney helps to load donated goods as he attends a storm relief campaign event in Kettering, Ohio, on October 30, 2012. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 30 in the mainland United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people were still missing, officials said. Officials in the US states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina all reported deaths from the massive storm system, while Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Romney Campaigns In Midwestern Swing States

    KETTERING, OH - OCTOBER 30: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reacts as he accepts a food donation from a supporter during a Kettering Storm Relief event on October 30, 2012 in Kettering, Ohio. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney's campaign has reduced their campaign schedule and are focusing their attention on disaster relief. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • Romney Campaigns In Midwestern Swing States

    KETTERING, OH - OCTOBER 30: Supporters of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney look on as he speaks before collecting food and supply donations during a Kettering Storm Relief event on October 30, 2012 in Kettering, Ohio. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney's campaign has reduced their campaign schedule and are focusing their attention on disaster relief. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a storm relief event, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, at James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio. Gov. Romney made brief remarks and then collected food and donations for storm relief. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney accepts donations of food as he participates in a campaign event collecting supplies from residents and local relief organizations for victims of superstorm Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 0212, at the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a storm relief event, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, at James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio. Gov. Romney made brief remarks and then collected food and donations for storm relief. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a bag of paper towels as he participates in a campaign event collecting supplies from residents and local relief organizations for victims of superstorm Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, at the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds bags of food as he participates in a campaign event collecting supplies from residents local relief organizations for victims of superstorm Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, at the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney lifts bottles of water to load into a truck as he participates in a campaign event collecting supplies from residents and local relief organizations for victims of superstorm Sandy,Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, at the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks before participating in a campaign event collecting supplies from residents and local relief organizations for victims of superstorm Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, at the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to audience members as he participates in a campaign event collecting supplies from local relief organizations for victims of superstorm Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, at the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, as he participates in a campaign event collecting supplies from residents and local relief organizations for victims of superstorm Sandy . (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney loads a truck as he participates in a campaign event collecting supplies from local relief organizations for victims of superstorm Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, at the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hands a pack of bottled water to a student as he helped collect donations at a storm relief event, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, at James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets people as he participates in a campaign event collecting supplies from residents and local relief organizations for victims of superstorm Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 0212, at the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)