Now that my power is back from the hurricane, I decided to goto the Rockaways on Long Island this Saturday to help out with the hurricane relief. It’s a little over an hour drive from me. I was a little worried about wasting gas because Long Island has a shortage and the lines are approx. 4-6 hours at most stations….but I said “screw it!”
As I got closer to the town, it started to hit me. The destruction was horrible and it made me feel quite upset but thankful for my family at the same time. I started seeing the piles of debris in front of houses getting bigger and bigger as I got closer.
My destination was a church called St. Frances De Sales were I started out lifting heavy boxes, moving and sorting clothes and food as the rush of desparate residents shuffled in to live another day without power and deal with the cold weather. It felt great to help organize things as well. I was able to ask other volunteers what was moving the quickest and I found out the popular items everyone wants
- Batteries (especially AAA, D, and 9V)
- Flash Lights
- Baby Wipes
- Face Masks
- Work Gloves
- Cough Medicine (infant, children, and adult)
- Baby Formula
- Men’s Sox (but I’m sure all sox are fine)
- Rubber Boots
I felt the need to take pictures around the neighborhood with my iPhone because I didn’t seem to get the same experience from mainstream TV media. Many people have lost their homes to fire or water damage. There is limited shelter space so many of these families have to stay in their houses with no heat. It’s especially hard on the little children who don’t understand what’s happening and elderly who can’t help themselves.
There is still a lot of problem areas like the Rockaways that have similar situations. According to the Huffington Post, the death toll in New York alone is now 41 and about half of those are in Staten Island which reportedly got hit the hardest out of all the boroughs. New Jersey death toll is now 22 and the shore got hit especially hard.
There was also a lot of controversy over Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to keep the famous NYC Marathon scheduled for this Sunday. Many people in New York shared the same criticism saying it was not the time for a marathon especially when life-saving resources would be diverted from the recovery.
Mayor Bloomberg decided yesterday to cancel the marathon due to the negative feelings from the public and yet he still insists that the marathon would not have taken resources away which is hard to believe. This quote from a Breitbart article explains the anger that was building up from families in Staten Island where the NYC Marathon was supposed to start :
The Examiner had a great idea about using the generators for gas stations but what’s really startling is hearing that these generators could power 400 homes. The part that really kills me is that I want to know where the generators are today. I couldn’t find one article about what happened to the generators…so where are they now and are they saving people or are they sitting in a warehouse?
The most important thing to take away from this storm is that we should always respect mother nature and try to be as prepared as possible when it does happen. It is great to see how many people come to the aid of their fellow neighbors when tragedies like this strike a community. I believe these catastrophes only make us stronger in the end. Please try to help anyway you can and don’t let the media allow you to forget as the election nears. Stay close to these links and check in to see the progress even after your news channel stops reporting. If you want to help families in need, here are a few links whether its donations or volunteering :
INCREDIBLE : 3 huge trees fall and fire erupts during Hurricane Sandy Storm.
East Village, Manhattan at 8th st and Avenue C
Time lapse of storm arriving and destroying
News bloopers to make you smile
Coverage of destruction
Breezy Point Fires
NYC Crane breaks
Do you really care if the person saving you is a union worker? Who makes these decisions? UPDATE : There have been reports that the union has denied this.
Fire fighters fighting fire in 5 feet of water
A Chevy Cavelier copletely totaled by Hurricane Sandy :
Aerial View of Destruction
Tree knocked down by Hurricane Sandy reveals a full skeleton
Face of building falls in NYC during Hurricane
Tree being uprooted