Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy has had such a powerful impact on so many people all over the world. In the days since the storm touched down on the Jersey Shore, it's become more and more evident that the aftermath has been life changing for most, and deadly for far too many. I live in coastal Connecticut, and we were braced for the worst. Many waterfront communities were under emergency evacuation orders, and between the full moon tides, an anticipated slow moving storm, and the rainfall expected during it, we were in for a rough time.
Many of the photos in this post were taken at 9:30am last Monday, or 2 1/2 hours before the first high tide of the day. As you can see, flooding was already wreaking havoc on many homes and businesses. But as bad as it seemed at this time, and as heartbreaking as it was to see the path of devastation left behind after the storm had come and gone, our community was spared when compared to others.
Raymond Street
Many coastal areas here in Connecticut, some just blocks from my front door, had their homes flooded and their belongings destroyed, and millions lost power for what seemed like an eternity in 40 weather, yet much of what was forecasted to happen here didn't. The second high tide, expected at midnight, was predicted to occur while Hurricane Sandy's storm surge peaked, and that would have been disastrous. But thankfully, the storm moved through this area faster than predicted and we were spared the second blow that would have surely devastated thousands more.
However, there is really no way to compare or diminish people's suffering. The fact is millions are suffering in towns all over New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Like many out there who are counting their blessings, I wanted to know how to help.
Shorefront Park
There are many grassroots efforts happening right this very minute, on the ground in the areas worst hit by the storm. I have gathered a list of those I've discovered and I'm sharing them below (I will update this post if I come across more, so feel free to comment here, or contact me if you know of others I should add). In the unlikely event that there's anyone out there who doubts the level of devastation in the wake of Sandy, I'm also sharing links to some emotionally powerful stories and images I've come across in the past seven days. For those who have asked, my family escaped relatively unscathed and we are very grateful. As a former resident of both Brooklyn, NY and Jersey City, NJ, when I see the devastation there I am filled with both shock and sadness. My thoughts are with all of the families, right here in South Norwalk and beyond, who have lost loved ones, homes, treasured memories, and to anyone who's lives have been changed forever by this disaster.

⟫⟫⟫ NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has set up a relief fund at the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, to assist with immediate and long-term aid, and restoration efforts. You can donate by clicking here, or mail your donation to: Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, 253 Broadway, 8th Floor, New York City, NY 10007 (write "Hurricane Sandy Relief" on your check). You can also donate over the phone by calling 212-NEW-YORK or 311, if you live in NYC. [@MikeBloomberg]
⟫⟫⟫ Occupy Sandy (an off-shoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement) has rallied to organize volunteer hubs, set up Amazon wish lists online for specific needs, and mobilized volunteers across the hardest hit areas. To help, visit their website. [@OccupySandy]
⟫⟫⟫ A fund set up by the Brooklyn Nets, Barclays Center, Forest City Ratner Companies, and the Brooklyn Community Foundation, the Brooklyn Recovery Fund is assisting the Brooklyn coastal communities of Red Hook, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Gerritsen Beach, Sea Gate, and Sheepshead Bay. Visit their website to help. [@DoGoodBklyn]
⟫⟫⟫ The Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation has set up a fund to help the residents of Staten Island, as well as other hard hit areas. To make a donation by credit card, click here, or mail a check payable to "T2T Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund" to: Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation, 2361 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10306. You can also choose the area you'd like your donation to go towards. [@Tunnel2Towers]
⟫⟫⟫ The Red Hook Initiative has organized hundreds of volunteers to hand out hot food, clothes and other supplies. I've read they're doing an amazing job, right on the ground where the help is needed most. [@rhookinitiative]
⟫⟫⟫ To help the hard hit Garden State, visit the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, or mail donations to: Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, PO Box 95, Mendham, NJ 07945. [@Sandynjrelief]
⟫⟫⟫ In response to drastically increased demand, the Connecticut Food Bank has launched a Hurricane Sandy Virtual Food Drive. Click right on the food drive link to donate food, or visit their website to find out how you can contribute. [@CTFoodBank]
⟫⟫⟫, a community-powered disaster recovery organization, has relief pages set up for Staten Island, Red Hook, Astoria, and the Lower East Side. [@recovers_org]
⟫⟫⟫ Airbnb has partnered up with Mayor Bloomberg to connect displaced New Yorkers in need with hosts who are providing free housing. Click here if you need a place to stay, or if you'd like to offer your place. [@Airbnb]
⟫⟫⟫ A Cup of Jo and DwellStudio are hosting Operation Kids - a kid-friendly Bake Sale to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief efforts (Sunday 11/11 from 12-3pm at DwellStudio, 77 Wooster Street, between Spring & Broome).
Water Street
⟫⟫⟫ To make a donation to the Red Cross text the word "REDCROSS" to 90999 and donate $10. [@RedCross]
⟫⟫⟫ Text the word "STORM" to 80888 and make a $10 donation to the Salvation Army, or mail your donation to: Salvation Army Disaster Services Center, PO Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301. Write "2012 Hurricane Season" on your check to designate your donation. [@SalvationArmyUS]
⟫⟫⟫ After Hurricane Sandy there are thousands of homeless animals who need help. The Humane Society is accepting donations to help with its efforts in Hurricane Sandy affected areas. Visit their website to donate, or text the word "ANIMALS" to 20222 and donate $10. [@HumaneSociety]
⟫⟫⟫ The United States is not alone in their suffering post-Hurricane Sandy. In Haiti and Cuba, 69 people were killed, and hundreds of thousands were left homeless. The International Medical Corps relief efforts are focused on victims in these areas. If you'd like to donate, you can do so by visiting their website. [@IMC_Worldwide]
⟫⟫⟫ Seeing the progression during and after the storm is simultaneously shocking and inspiring - New York Times Hurricane Sandy Photos by Day
⟫⟫⟫ Unbelievable photos from just after Hurricane Sandy made landfall, and the subsequent aftermath.
⟫⟫⟫ Google Earth's satellite images showing the view before our landscape was changed by Hurricane Sandy and the view afterwards. Unreal.
⟫⟫⟫ This framed satellite image of Hurricane Sandy, called Blue Marble, is available via 20x200. All net revenue from this Sandy Benefit Edition print go to the Red Cross.
⟫⟫⟫ An amazing time lapse video of Hurricane Sandy hitting New York City.
⟫⟫⟫ Nola to New York - messages of hope from those affected by Hurricane Katrina to those struggling post-Hurricane Sandy.
⟫⟫⟫ Slivers of something beautiful - Rainbows and more rainbows were captured by New Yorkers during the calm after the storm.
⟫⟫⟫ Twitter: I've included the Twitter handles for most of the charities listed here. Social media has made getting the word out on the street so much faster and more effective. It's a great way to coordinate drop-offs, list items of need, and it's also nice to know where your donation (whether monetary or otherwise) is going and how it's helping people in our area.
⟫⟫⟫ This Hurricane Sandy: Resources on Twitter page is something I found particularly helpful before, during, and after the storm. I thought it was a bit belated to share it at this point, but seeing as a Nor'easter is hitting our region again right now, it might still come in handy!
We lost power already today for several hours, but it's back. My fingers are crossed it will stay that way and that everyone out there has a warm place to stay and a hot meal tonight...


Lauren Brown said...

Thanks for the info Kate. It is nice to know where we can help. Glad you and your family were all safe.

kelley chapman said...

I just caught up with you! Amazing pictures! Our back wall made it on your blog:) the tree limbs are gone and new fence put up. My heart sank when I saw the pic. However, it lifted quickly knowing we already replaced it:) great post!!!!

katie said...

@kelley - I can't believe how quickly you've been able to repair! Although I'm sure it didn't seem that quick to you. I have some more photos from your back fence. I'll email them to you. Glad you're on the mend!

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