The Storm

As the sky darkened and the wind picked up on Sunday morning, I was headed to brunch with my boyfriend and a few friends.  No one realized what the next few days would hold for our city, and everyone in the surrounding areas that would be affected by this storm.

I actually joked about the moniker the media had given the large storm barreling toward us.  “Frankenstorm” they said, and it made me feel like they (the media) must have been having a field day with this.  It made it seem like a joke, I mean how can I take something called Frankenstorm seriously?

Hours later, sitting in the darkness with only the faint glow of a few candles, all I could hear were sirens and the wind whipping the trees outside my house.   Our power was out and the only connection to the outside world was Facebook, where I was reading horrifying things about the neighborhoods in surrounding areas.  Anxiety filled me as I worried about all of the people who I know and care about.  The air smelled of fire and I read that Breezy Point was flooded and burning.  People in southern Staten Island were fleeing their homes as the surge washed away homes, cars and sadly people, though I didn’t find that out until the next day.  So many neighborhoods and people have been affected.

It ripped houses from their foundations and trees from their roots.  The path of devastation that Sandy has caused is absolutely heart wrenching.

I can say that I am lucky.  Me, my family and most of my close friends were left relativity undamaged.  Yes, we were without power for a few days, but that is barely a worry when some of our neighbors have nothing left.  Lives were lost.  Homes were irreparably damaged.  Cars floated away.  Entire neighborhoods destroyed by flooding and fires.  One of the largest cities in the world was left at a stand still.  And yet once again, we are still standing.

New Yorkers are nothing if not strong.

There are so many people who now need help and support so please be sure to lend a helping hand where you can.  Donations are being set up all over to help the people who lost their homes and/or belongings.  Please make sure to keep everyone here in NY and NJ in you thoughts and prayers as we piece together what we have lost.

If you have been personally affected by this storm and are in the need of assistance, please go to these websites to file a claim:

http://www.fema.gov/apply-assistance 

http://www.disasterassistance.gov/

For donations or to volunteer please use the info below:

Volenteers:

NYC Mayor’s Office:https://twitter.com/NYCMayorsOffice/status/263293376592502784

New Jersey relief:

Contact: 1-800-JERSEY-7 (1-800-537-7397) or 609-775-5236 and 908-303-0471

Donations:

Community Food Bank of New Jerseyhttp://www.njfoodbank.org/

Contact: (908) 355- FOOD (3663), ext. 243

NYC Mayor’s Fundhttps://www.nyc.gov/html/fund/html/donate/donate.shtml

American Red Cross:http://www.redcross.org/

Contact: 1-800-RED-CROSS or 1-800-733-2767

Texting: REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10

Food Bank for New York City:http://www.foodbanknyc.org/ 

Texting: FBNYC to 50555

Habitat for Humanityhttp://www.habitat.org/

Contact: 1-800-HABITAT (422-4828)

Humane Society of the United Stateshttp://www.americanhumane.org/about-us/donate/

Contact: 866-242-1877

Texting: HUMANE to 80888