November 3, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

November is supposed to be the month where we take stock of our lives and be thankful for what we have.

So let's talk thankful.

I'm thankful for the electricity and heat that I was without for 5 days. I'm thankful that my house is still standing, that my car wasn't damaged. I'm thankful that none of the trees on my property were uprooted in the 80 mph wind, like so many others I've seen. I'm thankful that we only got 12 hours of rain instead of the 36 that was predicted. I'm thankful that all my family is safe and accounted for. I'm thankful that my biggest concern right now is how I'll fill up when my car finally runs out of gas.

I'm thankful that the tree that was uprooted in front of my friend's house fell on her mom's car, and not the house. I'm thankful every time I see a tree that fell in a similar fashion-- just missing the road or or a house.

I'm thankful whenever I see traffic cones around a downed wire or temporary stop signs at a traffic light that is out, because it makes traveling much less dangerous. I'm thankful when I see utility crews working tirelessly around the clock to restore power. I'm thankful when I see police at one of the gas stations keeping order, because I know they've barely gotten the chance to rest for a week now and they're still out there keeping us safe.

But what breaks my heart is that I lost power for 5 days, and I was one of the lucky ones. People who experienced flooding might not get their power back for another two weeks. If they're even still in their homes. If they're even able to get back to their homes. If their homes are even still there. And the temperature is dropping.

You see, Sandy wasn't just a storm. Sandy wasn't even technically a hurricane. Sandy was a post-tropical cyclone, the perfect storm, a 200-year freak-of-nature storm. Sandy was an historical event that will go down in the history books, and she hit one of the most vibrant and densely populated areas in the country. That bitch hit my home, and I will not take this lying down. Because honey, you hit a Jersey girl, you can be damn sure she is going to hit you right back.

But the problem is, Sandy is bigger than me. I can't tackle her on my own. I need your help. I don't need you tsking and talking about how terrible this is. I don't need you sharing on facebook, or creating hashtags on twitter, and I certainly don't need anything "in honor of" or "in memory of" unless it is something tangible that can actually be used in the relief effort. We don't need to raise awareness; in the 21st century, we already know immediately when these things happen, and the world is plenty aware.

What we need are donations. Money, if you can. Visit or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. The Red Cross is also in need of blood donations. Visit the website for information on that.

Can't donate money or blood? Many shelters are in need of food and blankets. I've posted some on my facebook page, but you can always email me for more information, or check out the Jersey Shore Hurricane News page. They do not post anything until they confirm its validity, so you can trust it. (Please note, I am not affiliated with them, but they've done a spectacular job this past week.) Check out this article for more ideas on how to help.

I would also love if I could organize something with my fellow bloggers to raise money for the Red Cross. If you're interested and have ideas, please email me.

Things are a mess here, and your help is needed right now. So I want you to think of everything you have to be thankful for right now, and then think of those people who lost everything in the blink of an eye.