There’s little left to say to those of us who have seen the destruction on the east coast. Millions of lives have been disrupted and others badly damaged and we are now in a period of shock as we slowly start to climb out from under the mess.
If you have been deeply affected by Hurricane Sandy then turn to others for help. Some tips on re-building to keep in mind:
-Take photos of everything. Not just for insurance, but for keeping track of personal items that you might have to throw out.
-Do not use food or supplies that have been touched by floodwater. Floodwater is dangerous and even canned goods should be thoroughly washed before using.
-Never touch downed wires. Always assume a downed power wire is live and if it’s in water then avoid being near the water as well.
-If you use natural gas or propane pay close attention to valves – they could need replacing before using after being soaked with water.
If you feel you can help others please do. Everyone can do something. Start locally by contacting friends and family to see if anyone needs anything. Do some food shopping for an elderly person in your building. Babysit for a neighbor. Drive someone to work.
Other ways to help are to organize a blood drive at work. Get co-workers to sign up and ask supervisors for approval and support. Use social media to contact and collect donations from friends and relatives from outside the affected areas. Tell them where their money will be going and follow through after you have made the donation to let them know how helpful their support was.
If you are the creative type perhaps you might lend your expertise to those around you by re-planting someone’s garden, painting some damaged property or using your photography skills to help document someone’s damage. If you are an animal lover offer to watch someone’s pet until they can sufficiently care for the animal again.
And if you have more time or resources think about some of these places to help:
American Red Cross
American Red Cross Blood
Save the Children
Community Food Bank of NJ
The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City
City Meals on Wheels
The Humane Society of the United States
Before giving to any charitable organization we recommend you do your own research on Charity Navigator
Photos courtesy of NBC News (John Makely)