Squeaky Occupies Sandy

Hurricane Sandy 2012

When Hurricane Sandy hit, it left parts of NYC and the surrounding areas devastated. Though Manhattan bounced back fairly quickly, the hardest hit areas are still without power or heat, facing a long road to recovery ahead. A few of the Squeaky team had volunteered and seen firsthand just how much the people out in Far Rockaway were suffering. People had lost everything, all their possessions ruined by flooding and sewage backup. Even without heat or power, they were desperately trying to salvage their homes before the water damage got any worse. When we heard about what they had seen, we knew we had to get involved in helping rebuild our community.

In a week, we raised donations from within the Squeaky family, as well as from our neighbors, Manhattan Neon. We checked occupysandy.com, an information hub on the Sandy recovery effort, to find out what supplies were most needed, and with the money we raised, were able to get enough supplies to help dozens of families in need, including:

  • Clorox
  • Garbage bags
  • Latex gloves
  • Workers gloves
  • Safety masks
  • Flashlights
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Batteries
  • Handwarmers
  • Kitchen towels
  • Mops

We loaded up the zipcar and drove out to the Far Rockaways, one of the areas suffering most in the Sandy aftermath. When we got there, it was shocking to pass by a block in which all the buildings had burned down.

Everyone’s belongings were in the streets, as everything from mattresses to refrigerators had been destroyed.

Remains of the Rockaway Beach boardwalk

Along the water, all that was left of the once busy boardwalk was the concrete foundations, some of which had been reduced to rubble as well.

You Are Never AloneWe had looked up the organizations that were already operating in the area and decided to donate our time and supplies to YANA, (You Are Never Alone). We found that YANA was very well organized with a medical center, a table for free legal advice, food and refreshments, in addition to the main hub. We unloaded our donations of cleaning supplies and got to work. They had work orders coming in from volunteers who had canvassed the area, block by block, finding out what each house needed help with. Giving out suppliesVolunteers were being dispatched to help with everything from carrying out ruined furniture to remove tiling from the floors. We ended up on supply delivery duty, going to each address, delivering the cleaning supplies they needed.

Though it was heartbreaking to see the conditions that people were living in, it was extremely motivating to see the streams of volunteers coming in to help out and the fortitude of the people who were trying to rebuild their homes. Any and all help is appreciated out in areas like the Rockaways, so for anyone who would like to know how to help, check out occupysandy.com for more information.

Occupy Sandy Relief

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