11.05.12

Hope Out of the Loss: Hurricane Sandy

by Karen Leslie Hernandez

It’s been one week since Hurricane Sandy blasted the East Coast in the United States. Living in Massachusetts, I only experienced strong winds, driving rain, downed trees, and the loss of power for a short time.

However, there are many more who suffered greatly. The US death toll is over 100 people, and as more and more damaged homes and businesses are cleared away, that toll is expected to rise.

The brunt of the storm hit the New Jersey coast, causing severe flooding, as well as severe structural damage to homes and businesses. Moreover, a great deal of damage was also done to the coasts of New York, including Manhattan, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Currently, thousands are still without power up and down the East Coast. Many people are trying to buy gasoline for their cars, as well as for their generators, so in New York and New Jersey, especially, the lines to get gas are incredibly long – with some waiting as long as ten hours to get what they need.

Furthermore, a Nor’easter is on its way up the East Coast, promising to bring rain, some snow, and much cooler temperatures. This is a huge concern as power companies are doing their best to get all power restored before the storm moves in on Wednesday.

Big Loss

I am blessed that it wasn’t worse where I live. The picture of the tree is the most damage that occurred in my neighborhood, and I live across the street from the ocean. People lost family and friends to the storm, and many lost their homes, businesses, and all their belongings, literally leaving them with only the clothes on their backs.

This last August, I went to New Orleans to volunteer in the Lower Ninth Ward where Hurricane Katrina hit over seven years ago.

There is still so much work to be done in New Orleans, as you can see from the picture. Seven years later, only about 35% of the residents have returned to live in the Lower Ninth Ward. Over 1500 people died in Hurricane Katrina, most of them from New Orleans.

We cannot compare Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Sandy in terms of damage or loss of life, but we can, as fellow human beings come together to help.

The effects of Hurricane Sandy, such as Hurricane Katrina, will be felt for many years to come, but right now, the immediate need are donations of money, food, and clothing. Please see a list of organizations below and if you feel so inclined, make a donation today.

Natural disasters strike our world every year; from earthquakes, to hurricanes, to Tsunamis. Natural disasters have no preference to what countries, cultures, or ethnicities, they strike. Natural disasters affect all of us on one level – the human level.

It is in times such as these, that we are given the chance to offer our common humanity, regardless of where we come from, the color of our skin, or what religion we are, and we can do so with compassion, love, and hope. Please join me in doing just that.

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