Hurricane Pick and Pack

People out east found out how life can change in the face of a storm very quickly.  Sometimes, to say “we’re far enough inland it won’t affect us” just doesn’t fly.  “That kind of weather doesn’t happen here.” just doesn’t fly.  Three “storms of the century” in three consecutive years, deserves some respect and attention, to be sure!

My thoughts kept gravitating to the victims of Hurricane Sandy the whole drive out to the east coast.  I wanted to help.  I wasn’t sure how.  So after doing some research on line, I found an opportunity.  Lynn and I spent the morning in North Brunswick NJ helping out at Feed The Children.  The project of the morning was building Hurricane Relief Boxes.  Our jobs were to build the personal hygiene packets being distributed in each box.  We heard stories about how things are going, now weeks after the Hurricane disaster.  There are still hundreds of people without potable water, not much relief has been brought to the shoreline victims, and many are still unable to get to their jobs because transportation is still down. 

The truth is, most of the hardest hit victims of Hurricane Sandy lost everything.  Even their tooth brush.  Even their deodorant.  Even a change of clothes.  Just think about it.  What does it mean to loose everything?  As I stood bagging common necessities into zip lock baggies, I hear the sad details.  According to the program coordinator, many people not only lost their homes and everything in them, but also have no fall back support from insurance because of loopholes in the coverage, or outright refusal to address hurricanes as a cause for claim. On top of that, the transit system is still not up. The priority of dollars and efforts is being focused on bringing in new sand for the beaches instead of getting transportation back up. New Jersey transit is not getting better any time soon. They are being left to twist in the wind, so to speak.

Even in Lynns neighborhood, trees remain down across yards, and tarps are covering portions of roofs or sides of homes that trees busted across.  There is a fine line between when the city will assist with tree removal and when it becomes home owner responsibility.  Some of the trees that fell are 70 plus years old, with trunks as big around as a golf cart.  On top of that, her husband and hundreds of others spend hours commuting from NJ to NY for their jobs every day with no end in sight. 

I’m hoping we do more volunteering while I’m here.  Never underestimate the importance of helping out in troubled times.  Often, its volunteers that do the most in in disaster relief situations like these.  Every gesture is needed and appreciated, whether it’s shoveling debris, reframing a broken home, or putting tooth paste and deodorant in baggies.  Someone in need is grateful to volunteers.

So as I’ve been bagging the goodies, I’ve been thinking; “hmmm, I’ve got a nice little set up going on as I travel.  Maybe I’ll not unpack my “home on wheels” after my trip is over.  You never know.

 

Don’t Want to Miss a Thing? Subscribe to My Blog

Speak Your Mind

*