I haven’t been able to post much since there’s still no power here and my classes have been canceled for the past week so it’s been interesting figuring out how to keep busy and stay warm!
Our area is on it’s way to cleaning up the trees and power lines that are down and most of the “business” area of town is up and running again a week after the storm…hopefully the residential areas aren’t too far behind! I’m at the library in town which seems to have become a home away from home for a lot of people to get warm and charge up computers, cell phones, etc. (it’s so busy I couldn’t even get a parking spot!). It’s been amazing to see as businesses got their power back they’d hang signs that said, “Come in to get warm and charge devices!”
I think the craziest thing I’ve seen as a result of the storm is the gas lines! Before the storm my husband told me to fill my tank with gas…it’s one of those silly things he always tells me to do before a storm and I usually don’t actually do, but since I was pretty low this time I did. Good thing, because the lines in my town and apparently all over New York and New Jersey, are unbelievable! For the first few days after the storm only 1 of the 4 gas stations on the main street of my town was open, you can’t really tell in the picture below, but the line stretched about a mile through town for cars and a few blocks for people trying to fill containers for generators.
I know the other 3 gas stations got power back yesterday, but all 3 of them quickly ran out of gas and I’m pretty sure were back down to 1 station now! Luckily when Jason and I went to Massachusetts for a few days to warm up we filled gas containers and brought them back so we haven’t had to wait in line yet!
Since I’m not currently working right now and my classes have been cancelled I’ve tried to volunteer for a few Sandy disaster relief projects I’ve found online. It was hard to volunteer for anything in the city since the trains weren’t running for awhile and there were commuter restrictions, and I didn’t want to have to drive anywhere too far from home because of the gas issues. I did finally find a donation drop off center in Queens looking for help, so I spent Sunday there sorting clothes to go to the hard hit Rockaway area.
It was amazing to see all of the donations pouring in and how many people showed up to volunteer their time to sort, box and transport the stuff to the disaster areas. My favorite were the families who brought their kids to help – what a great lesson to teach kids to help others who lost everything!
On Monday I was signed up to volunteer at Island Harvest, the Long Island Food Bank. We were supposed to sort food at their warehouse and help load it on to the transportation vehicles to bring it to the shelters housing people who lost their homes. I was only there for about an hour when they decided they has too many volunteers and told half of us we could leave. I was sort of frustrated because I has planned for my entire day to be there volunteering and I didn’t want to just go home and sit in a cold house…I tried to look for other places to go volunteer, but I wasn’t able to find anything so last minute, oh well, I guess it’s not a bad thing for an organization to have too many volunteers!
After a week with no power though we’ve got this pretty well figured out!
Hoping power is back on soon, but in the meantime we’re making the best of it! (And I can’t complain…I leave for Florida Thursday morning!)
For anyone looking for ways to help the victim’s of Sandy this is a great site with a lot of opportunities for people who live both nearby and out of town: http://nycservice.org