November 26, 2012

Sandy has hit the Island.

Oh Sandy!

I'm so late posting this, but better late than never.

Were you hit by Superstorm Sandy?

I have lived hearing about hurricanes, tournedos and tsunamis, but this one especially hits home.  Superstorm Sandy really devastated Staten Island, a place I used to call home.  I still have friends and family that live there and I have wondered how they got through the storm.  It's heartbreaking to hear about people loosing their homes and their lives.

39 year old Glenda Moore mourning with husband Damien their two children: Brandon, 2 and Connor, 4.
Many people in some communities in the Northeast today still don't have their lives back in order; many lost everything—literally, no home to go to; many lost electricity and still don't have it back; many find their lives in the midst of a pile of rubble; many are unable to salvage their lives from there.  Many lives are shattered forever.

New York is worked into the imaginations of movie makers all the time as a target of some mass destruction where many people loose their lives and a whole city is left desolate, but that that's it, only in motion pictures.  No one ever anticipates such events happening in real life, even if you've imagined it.  Due to the extent of devastation, many communities lamented on how slow help was in reaching them.  Many people blamed the higher authorities, the Red Cross and FEMA.  In the midst of all the chaos, it would be hard to reach every community affected by the devastation in what would be considered crucially timely manner.  But that would be difficult to accept when you have an 80 year-old mother who depends on some life saving equipment that runs on electricity, or little defenseless children that must keep warm, or, less drastic, food stock-piled in the fridge that would soon become biological waste.
Devastating mess Sandy made in the Northeast, lives are changed forever.
I remember watching one woman on TV whose lived in her home on Staten Island her whole life; there, she and her husband raised generations.  There rests a lot of memories; pictures, heir looms going back generations. In one quick swoop, they were all gone; her house was lifted and destroyed.  At first she couldn't find her house.  When she did about a block away, it was in rubble, she managed to find some pictures still intact in their frames; she had literally lost her whole life and didn't know where to go from there.

The after effects of the storm has been hard to watch; neighborhoods ravaged by the flood, wildfire destroying so many homes.  However, with advanced warnings, I kept wondering why so many people didn't heed to it.  I remember asking my uncle (who has a family with wife and 4 adorable children) on Staten Island if he was evacuating and he told me he had no where else to go, they live close enough to the water to me (about a mile away from Richmond Terrace.  Thankfully all he lost was electricity, it could have been worse).  Just like him, many people that live close to the shores, didn't evacuate, not even to the shelters provided.  Some decided to "ride out" the storm.  Unfortunately, not everyone was so lucky.  Take for example, a woman named Glenda Moore who in an attempt to escape the surging waters in her home, lost her two young children.  She couldn't hold on to them tight enough, both were swept away while in her arms—tragic!
Gas shortage reached epic proportions as people line up for miles (lets not forget the vehicle traffic).
In my opinion, that didn't have to happen, it didn't need to be that tragic.  I don't know.  If there weren't warnings, then people would apparently blame the authorities for not predicting such an event.  But there were, so what happened?  Maybe I have to be in the victims' shoes to have such an authority of an opinion, maybe.  Or maybe, I would have done the smart thing and evacuate, to a higher ground, to the shelters, to relatives, I know I would have done something.  There was no way I was letting my children be caught up in such a tragedy.
Ever imagined the Big Apple under water?
Many definitely lost a lot with this event, now its rebuilding time.  For some, it's from scratch.  Each and every one of us can help the victims.  I did the little I could do by donating to the Red Cross.  It's been wonderful to know that people do come together in the face of adversity.  Neighbors that usually passed one another now know one another's names.  This kinda reminds me of 9/11, just a little.

Stay warm, stay blessed.
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