No pun intended, but seeing all this devastation after Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey as really blown me away. They were prepared as best they could be, but since the areas had never really ever experienced a storm of this magnitude, they are now faced with the long hard road of a massive clean-up. I was in Florida and experienced Hurricane Andrew, which was a Category 5 storm - although devastatingly windy, I was far enough inland to have not had to deal with the storm surge. I learned from Andrew and several storms afterwards, YES - it can be very frustrating (and frightening) waiting for power to come back on, wait in long lines for ice & water, and bare the uncomfortable temperatures (for us it was humidity + heat + no breeze). I can't imagine compounding the anxiety and coping after the storm with now a Nor-Eastern and temperature drops on the way.
The one HUGE difference between high impact storms of the past (like Andrew and Katrina) is the power of social media. For many just before, during, and some after the storm hit, using sites like Facebook and Twitter have been the only means of communication. But now without power, it's challenging to keep those mobile devices charged to stay connected. Thankfully, the people of New Jersey and New York are resilient: Many have already headed outdoors to start clean-up and those who do have power have shared it offering charging stations to their neighbors. A great way for people to let family and friends know, "Yes - We're ok."
Places like Facebook have also become a source to reunite lost and found pets with their families. I had learned about a page this morning while watching Good Morning America: Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets. I "liked" the page, and thought I too could also help facilitate reuniting of pets with their families... Since I have over 3 million followers on Pinterest, I've started to share the facebook page info on Pinterest and tweet about it. The channel Animal Planet has also shared info on how you can join the page and even help to foster some pets until they can be joined again with their families. The facebook page administrator has also created flyers of the pets and their info plus who to contact - which considering how much power is still down and out in the areas, this is another helpful means of bringing pets back to their families - just go "old school" and post flyers.
Find more info on Facebook here:
and see board on Pinterest at:
Petco Foundation Offers Animal Welfare Disaster Relief Assistance after Hurricane Sandy
SEE ALSO: After Superstorm Sandy, Pets Are Rescued By Animal Support Groups
Having been born and raised in New Jersey, I still have many family ties to the state. Fortunately, most have been accounted for and are safe - except I cannot reach my Godmother. We last spoke for over an hour the day Sandy was expected to hit. She lives in Spring Lake, but back off the shore. Spring Lake has not been in the news as much as Asbury Park, Seaside Heights, Cape May or Atlantic City, but it is nested directly in between them. Although she didn't live directly on the shore, she is in her 90's and has had heart trouble, so I'm worried about how all this stress is effecting her. I've tried contacting people through twitter, but they say the area is fine and not to worry - But I do. I just want (need) to hear from her that SHE is "ok"
(At the moment)
Free Water and Ice to NJ Residents Without Power
PSE&G is distributing free ice and water to customers without power at the following locations on a first come, first served basis between 8 am and 4:30 pm:
Elizabeth Customer Service Center, 550 N. Broad Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202
West Orange Customer Service Center, 59 Main Street, West Orange, NJ 07052
Garden State Plaza, One Garden Plaza, Paramus, NJ 07652
Burlington Customer Service Center (PSE&G lot across the street from CSC), 501 High Street
Union Beach. NJ
Road in Tuckerton, NJ - street collapsed
On the shore at Spring Lake, NJ
In the meantime, my other connections to New Jersey are keeping people informed of where to get free ice & water, plus where to donate items like canned goods, wash cloths, blankets and the like. Remember, even Goodwill has been hit by the storm in these affected areas, so it's even a challenge for them to receive donations. I had tweeted Goodwill Industries to ask if they would be having an event or fund raiser to help collect donations to send to New York and New Jersey, but my tweet fell on deaf ears - I'll keep trying. The Salvation Army is taking donations and has been able to get into some of the affected areas to help serve food. The American Red Cross, unfortunately cannot take clothing or homegoods donations (because of the expense to them to sort & transfer), but they are taking monetary donation starting as little as $10.
You can help - Contact
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3:
When I learn of more info, I will be sharing here on my blog, but for now, I can share this: Volunteers are needed SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30th in New Jersey at 30th and Ocean Drive, in Avalon...
As posted on Facebook:
NOTICE FROM AVALON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE REGARDING SPECIAL CLEAN UP DAY SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD
We are trying to coordinate volunteers available to assist in business and resident clean-up tomorrow, Saturday, November 3. Volunteers are asked to arrive to the Avalon Welcome Center (30th and Ocean Drive, Avalon) tomorrow at 8 a.m. to be dispatched to various locations. Please post or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are available so we have a better idea of how many volunteers to expect.
IN NEW YORK: The New York Marathon has been cancelled.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5:
Disney and ABC will launch a “Day of Giving” Monday, Nov. 15 to raise money for hurricane relief efforts. Starting on “Good Morning America” and ending with “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” ABC shows will encourage viewers to help those impacted by the storm by making a contribution to the American Red Cross. Hosts of the TV show, The View will also be participating in ABC’s "Day of Giving" to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
HALLOWEEN Trick-or-Treating for the kids will happen Monday evening after Governor Chris Christie created an order to reschedule it.
Thanks for stopping by...
Blessings to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy on the east coast. I may not be there physically (at the moment) but me head and heart are there without a doubt: Jersey Strong!