A harsh nor-easter storm is dropping temperatures and dumping snow and rain on the Hurricane-Sandy battered Northeast today. Conditions are expected to continue, impeding the recovery effort. The cold weather adds a significant risk to people sheltering in place in areas that don’t have power or services at this time.
What can you do to help? Many disaster response agencies, including Mennonite Disaster Service and the American Red Cross are continuing fundraising for storm relief on the coast. Response agencies emphasize that monetary donations are the most efficient and effective way to get help to areas quickly during this primary stage. They can be transferred electronically (where possible), and funds are much easier to track and distribute than goods.
Should You Go Help?
Do you have a trade or talent, and would like to help in the relief and restoration efforts? Contact an agency like Mennonite Disaster Service (mds.mennonite.net) or the American Red Cross, a church or community-based relief agency and volunteer. After the weather calms down, and in the days after power is restored, there will be a need for skilled tradespeople and specialists in other fields including elder care and other medical fields. Check with your relief agency to see if your skill set can be of assistance, and when it might be needed. Again, work through the agencies–because resources in the affected areas are limited now, those agencies can help distribute most efficiently during the recovery process.
Are You Ready?
You may not live in the areas currently affected, but we can’t overstate the need to be prepared. Having a plan in place, and knowing exactly what you’re going to do to keep your family safe goes a long way to coping with these major weather events. Check out our list of recommendations here. Need more information? Ready.gov features a planning list, and this preparedness list recently published by The Weather Channel is also helpful. Adjust these lists to maximize benefits to your family with a minimum of material to be moved or packed.