Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc last week when it slammed onto the shores of the Northeastern United States, going on record as the largest Atlantic hurricane on record. The aftermath is devastating. At least 56 people in the US were killed, approximately $60 billion dollars in damages have been estimated, more than 4 million people lost power (2.5 million are still without power 6 days later) and many have been left without a habitable home.
Many Americans are watching helplessly, wondering what can be done in the wake of such tragedy. If Hurricane Sandy wasn’t enough, now a Nor’easter storm with predicted winds of up to 55 miles per hour is likely to reach the area by Wednesday. Weather Service meteorologist Joe Pollina advised people in the area to “Prepare for more outages. Stay indoors. Stock up again.”
So what can we do to help? Consider donating to the following organizations:
- Donate to the Red Cross — they provide shelter for those in need, meals and snacks, and relief items such as clean-up kits and hygiene kits.
- Donate to AmeriCares – an organization who is delivering flashlights, bottled water, first aid kits, and medical help to those in need.
- Donate to Occupy Sandy – a group who are going into the hard-hit neighborhoods, coordinating food, clothing and supply drives; going door to door and checking on the elderly.
- Donate to ASPCA – an organization who is helping rescue stranded pets as well as giving pet food to those in need.
Another great way to help is to find out what is needed! A lot of the organizations providing the relief efforts are too busy to get this information out. Check their websites, their Facebook pages, or call them directly.
Check with your local church or school, many of which are holding donation drives for items such as non-perishable food, batteries, clothing items, etc.
Give blood! Many blood drives were cancelled as a result of the storm, and the Red Cross has a need for these donations.
Be proactive and organize your own drive. Research and find what is most needed, and where you may be able to help. What the power of one can achieve when called to help is amazing and inspiring!