Earlier this summer I was thinking about moving to some of the neighborhoods in Brooklyn that were flooded and without power after the storm. Ultimately I decided to give Harlem at least one more year and I am so happy that I did.I am blessed to say that I have survived hurricane Sandy without missing a beat. Part of me feels a bit guilty for celebrating my birthday this past weekend while others who aren't too far from me were without power, hot water and heat. The images I've seen on my news screen and stories I've been hearing about those killed during the storm strongly resonate with me. I keep thinking, "it could have been me."
Besides being a little stir crazy, I was resourceful and spent a lot of time with friends and family. I did my best to show my sister the good parts of New York but made sure to include those parts affected by the storm. We witnessed police doing their best to keep peace at a gas station in Queens. We saw tape at some train stations in Manhattan. She was even robbed in Brooklyn while we were at a cafe. Don't be alarmed. She forgot her purse in the restroom and luckily the assailant only took the little bit of cash she had.
As I attempt to resume a normal life, I could easily go on without thinking about those still suffering. The social worker in me will not let this happen. I've been looking for volunteer opportunities and funds I can donate to now that I am able to devote more time. I won't forget what Sandy has done to my city, event hough the storm has passed.
Information about Volunteer Opportunities
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE (“FEMA”):
Individuals may have suffered losses that make them eligible for FEMA assistance.
Apply online anytime at www.disasterassistance.gov
Call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY at 800-462-7585. These are toll-free numbers operating from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.
Through smartphone or tablet, use m.fema.gov/. If an Android system is being used, a FEMA App can be downloaded at market.android.com/details?id=gov.fema.mobile.android
Once you apply, a nine-digit registration number will be utilized for future communications with FEMA.
Applicants should have the following info when applying:
- current telephone number
- address at time of disaster and current address
- social security number
- general list of damages and losses
- If insured -- company name, agent and policy number
- Bank routing number for any direct deposit
Individuals can also go to www.governor.ny.gov and find out more about the Hurricane Sandy application procedures and information.