Hurricane Sandy was one of the most devastating storms to hit the East Coast, affecting 15 states and causing damage worth billions. One of our DoSomething.org members, Alycia Grant, shares her story of the events before and after the superstorm hit her New Jersey town.
On a chilly afternoon in October, many residents in Monmouth County, New Jersey, prepared for a storm that most media outlets warned would mimic movies that depict the end of the earth. NJ had not seen a storm of this size in 100 years [and as a result] many residents did not heed these warnings.
My family prepared by making sure we had enough water, non-perishable food, gas in our cars, a first-aid kit, and other medications we might need. I was only hoping that the storm would not be as bad as Hurricane Katrina. I was fearful and needed to cling to hope that whatever happened, communities would come together to help each other. Little did I know that many communities themselves would be washed away; leaving many homeless and evacuating after the storm passed with only the shirt on their back.
On Monday (October 29), the power on my street and hundreds of others finally went out for good after flickering on and off for several hours. Our family, like so many others, did not fully prepare for a storm of this magnitude. We were all silently worried for what was to come that evening. As the winds grew more powerful, we heard a tree crack near our house. Looking outside (from the safety of our home), we were shocked to see two trees had uprooted and toppled over. Thankfully, they didn't fall on our house or anyone else's.
The only damage our property incurred was nine fallen trees. After some cleanup and conversation with our neighbors, we drove around to see the destruction first-hand. Shore relaxation points such as Pier Village, in Long Branch, were destroyed, as were the Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant boardwalks, along with many others. Even homes and other property that were not near a body of water incurred destruction mainly from fallen trees.
My advice to everyone concerning storm preparation is have a gallon of water per person per day, have lights and batteries that can illuminate a room similar to how it would be lit with power, adequate non-perishable food, phone numbers of relatives/friends in other non-affected states that could possibly assist, a full tank of gas in your car and several filled portable gas cans, chemically heated bags that campers often use, and a battery operated radio (so you can listen to music and follow the weather and relief efforts).
What did I learn from this experience? Listen to directions given by officials who inform you on how to stay safe (evacuate, stock up on supplies, etc.) and make an evacuation kit in case you need to leave your house. Take one day at a time and stay safe!
Help Sandy's victims by collecting supplies for shelters. GO