Monday, December 10, 2012
Super Storm Sandy and the Red Cross
My fall plans shifted just a bit when on November 16th I deployed with the Red Cross for Disaster Relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy.
I was working in the communities along the south shore of Suffolk County on Long Island. Photos do not begin to capture the degree of destruction along the New York and New Jersey shores. The numbers are staggering. 350,000 homes destroyed in New York state alone, 250,000 cars ruined. Fortunately the death toll from this storm was relatively small.
I was proud to be one of the army of volunteers who went to provide disaster relief. My job was pretty simple: Show up at a distribution point at MacArthur Airport on Long Island every day, work as a team to load up trucks with needed items like food, water, diapers, handwarmers, cleaning supplies, and then with my partner, Dean McKinney (in the truck) drive through the affected neighborhoods distributing goods to storm victims. At the end of the day, we took the empty truck back to MacArthur, ready to do the same thing the next day.
I have so many images in my mind: demolished neighborhood, neighbors helping neighbors, Red Cross volunteers scrambling to get supplies on to trucks...I'm not sure how these images are going to manifest themselves in my work. I've only got sketches and some rough ideas at