If there’s a silver lining to the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, it is that the loss of life was unusually small.
The reality is there was so much media attention paid to the storm that we got very lucky considering it hit an area that represents 20% of the total U.S. population.
More than 60 million people were in the path of the storm dealing with high winds, excessive rains, flooding, and extreme snow in some unusual cases. In spite of that, surprisingly few people were injured or deceased, which is not to minimize those deaths that did occur.
Some people will be without power for many days. The storm is so multifaceted that the issues people face on the road to recovery will be very different based on where they were when the storm hit.
Sandy is swirling inland now, and continuing with the rain, snow, and high winds. The damage is not done, but some areas in the next 24 hours will start the messy process of cleanup.
Fortunately, there are a few things that bode well for a speedy initial cleanup after the storm.
First, there are so many police, fire fighters and EMTs per capita in the affected areas throughout the Northeast.
Second, private industry also has logistics in place. Ahead of the storm, Lowes and Home Depot had preparations in place to get supplies for rebuilding to where they were needed.
And third, so many National Guardsman are stateside this time, so they’ll be able to play a bigger role than they did during Katrina when many of them were deployed in Iraq.
Meanwhile, I’ve seen a lot of comments about Gov. Christie of New Jersey and how he has been honest, blunt, and completely patriotic in handling this disaster. He’s not looking at anybody as an (R) or a (D); he’s looking at them as Americans in what we can do for ourselves and for each other. I tip my hat to him.
As far as what you can do, for the most part now, we’re still in the phase that hopes and prayers are important. The Red Cross and the Salvation Army will certainly be afoot doing their thing.
If you’re in New Jersey, Gov. Christie has a phone line to coordinate volunteer activities established at 1–800–JERSEY–7 (1-800-537-7397).
But the main opportunities for volunteerism in other areas won’t start up until this weekend.