It’s always better late than never, right?
Confession: I did not realize how massive the impact Hurricane Sandy had on the lives of people in New York City and New Jersey until I came across the pictures.
In my ignorance, I had thought in the very beginning, “How bad could it be? This is New York City we’re talking about.” Somehow I was enough of an idiot to assume that NATURE would have nothing to claim in NYC, the pulsing URBAN center of the universe. I know it does not make any sense to you. It shouldn’t since these were assumptions made by an idiot, moi.
I was waiting for reports on the dire situations to stop, waiting for the “All Clear!” news item showing people patting each other on the back for “disasters divertes”, for “a good job done”. Certainly this is New York City and New Jersey we’re talking about. These people know people and have people. Things should go back to normal soon.
But it didn’t.
On the contrary, more and more images and stories showing the devastations surfaced. Reports on how “far flung” [relatively] communities were still waiting for adequate assistance finally caught our attention: Reuters just published a news article on the dire situation now in Far Rockaway. For starters, many areas are still without power, and that means no heat as temperature drops to the 30s. Here is a video from Democracy Now.
Thanks to a good friend of mine who has been posting the latest updates and the most relevant information on Facebook throughout, I was able to quickly bring myself up to speed on what’s happening and how to help, regardless of how little I could do in the face of such devastation. I thought I’d share the information I’ve collected, thanks to the lovely Sue:
Red Cross is a great org, but at times like this, some grassroots orgs are better at reaching smaller, more remote areas that are not getting enough attention. I am not accusing FEMA or Red Cross: the needs are simply too overwhelming now as the communities in need are so widespread. If you would like to donate and help, consider some of the other orgs, such as AmeriCare and World Cares Center. (The links take you directly to the organizations’ donation pages – If I could, I prefer to donate directly rather than going through 3rd party sites. Just my personal preference…)
World Cares have volunteers on the ground in places such as Far Rockaway that are still waiting for the arrival of help in proportion to the needs. Follow World Cares on Twitter for live updates and also on how you could volunteer on the ground.
For more ideas on how to make an impact, read 8 Ways to Help Hurricane Sandy Victims Beyond Donating to the Red Cross for more organizations that are on the ground delivering tangential helps right now.
The Occupy movement reemerged as Occupy Sandy, a community-based relief organization mastering social media and crowd-sourcing to coordinate and distribute assistance on the ground. Check out their Facebook page full of updates from folks who are offering to help, such as an offer of industrial pumps to pump out the water free of charge. It really is amazing. They have also cleverly set up a “wedding registry” on Amazon for blankets, flashlights, etc. to be delivered directly to Church of St Luke and St Matthew.