Lessons from Hurricane Sandy
I have to admit that I was fully enthralled with all that was happening on the East coast last week. Switching from news station to news station trying to find out where the fury of the hurricane was going to land next.
Of course, my main concern was for the safety of my sweet 23-year-old cousin, whom I am very close to, and her boyfriend and dog. They were right in Sandy’s way hunkering down in their 38th floor apartment in downtown New York City near Battery Park.
Just a few short months ago my family and I were there in that beautiful, chaotic yet exciting city enjoying all of the adventure it has to offer. So, seeing the ravaged streets and neighborhoods I had come to love was heart-wrenching. However, my biggest concern was my cousin. All I can say is thank goodness for text messaging!
Even with her power out for more than five days, she was able to keep in contact through her cell phone. The day after the storm they were able to convince a taxi driver to take them and their dog uptown to stay with family. I was just glad that they had prepared themselves for the worst and had plenty of food and water in case they couldn’t get out.
Many of us have since realized the importance of being prepared for such disasters. While we can’t move our homes and belongings to higher ground or out of the way of an earthquake’s wake, we can have extra supplies of water, food, candles, flashlights and even clothes.
We may even have to pack away a little extra for our neighbors who may not be as prepared or may not have the funds to ensure they have “extras” needed in an emergency.
We must also ensure that we check on those living around us especially the elderly, sick or afflicted or those who don’t have family nearby. It is our responsibility as human beings to take care of each other.
We have seen many news stories this past week that remind us of the good that people all over the east are doing. Several are climbing endless flights of stairs to make sure those who can’t get out have food and medication they desperately need.
Doctors were riding in ambulances to take their patients to hospitals in safer areas of the city. First responders were risking their own lives to save others and their families.
Even now people are driving from all parts of the country to bring much needed supplies to those left with nothing and millions of dollars have been donated to help the hurricane survivors.
It is heartwarming to see how humanity, and especially Americans, always pull together in a time of crises. We become stronger as a nation and through tragedy comes compassion, empathy and charity. Something none of us should ever have to live without.