How We Can Help the Victims of Hurricane Sandy

How We Can Help the Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Manhattan Dark against the Lights on the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo by Mark Lennihan/Associated Press (NYT)

We knew for at least a few days before Hurricane Sandy hit that it was going to be bad, but knowing something will be bad and living through it are two completely different things. On October 29th, at about 8pm ET, Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the southern coast of New Jersey.

Before hitting the shore, Sandy had already whipped and bruised a wide swatch of communities with brutal rains and winds as far away as Ohio. It wasn’t enough that people were holed up suffering from the effects of a late August style hurricane, they also had to deal with winter temperatures and in some areas, an early January style blizzard.

As Sandy approached the Northeast, forecasters were fond of pointing out that if the hurricane were a country, the area it covered would make it the 20th largest in the world — roughly twice the size of Texas. (CNN)

The degrees of damage suffered ranges from wind damage and downed trees to flooded homes and fire devastation; there is a need that you might be able to help fill.

Do you want to help? Are you up to the challenge?

If so, here are a list of organizations that are already in place to do good.

How We Can Help the Victims of Hurricane Sandy

A downed tree in Bound Brook New Jersey, by Sarah Wolff

The Red Cross

You can call 800-Red-Cross or text the word “Redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can read about other ways to help by clicking, here.

Raw Footage of the Rockaway Park Fire that eventually leveled more than 100 homes in Queens, NY (CBS)

How We Can Help the Victims of Hurricane Sandy

86th street subway station, by Derek Kardos, et al

Foundation Beyond Belief

A massive hurricane swept through the Caribbean, claiming 69 lives and producing extensive damage, then combined with a second storm system in the North Atlantic before entering the Northeastern U.S. as a “superstorm” that is now projected to be one of the most damaging natural disasters in U.S. history.

Every disaster event has a different profile and a unique set of needs. In the Caribbean, the most pressing need is for basic medical care, food, and shelter, especially in Haiti and Cuba. In the U.S., efforts are focused on restoring public safety, restoring power and safe water supplies, and rebuilding devastated communities.

This drive provides two separate opportunities for donations. In Haiti, our beneficiary is INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS, a well-established nonsectarian disaster response organization currently on the ground in Haiti.

In the United States, our beneficiary is TEAM RUBICON, an innovative new disaster response organization that leverages the skills of U.S. military veterans in the aftermath of natural disasters. TR currently has eleven volunteer teams at work in the U.S. disaster zone.

If you wish to support the recovery and rebuilding efforts in Haiti, click the DONATE button for International Medical Corps. If you wish to support recovery efforts in the U.S., click Team Rubicon. OR you can send a check, made out to Foundation Beyond Belief with “Sandy: Team Rubicon” or “Sandy: IMC” in the memo line, to:

Foundation Beyond Belief
PO Box 4882
Alpharetta GA 30023

Donations will be forwarded continuously during the emergency period. FBB retains no portion of donations.

How We Can Help the Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Foundations and pilings were all that remained of brick buildings and a boardwalk in Atlantic City, Seth Wenig/Associated Press

The Salvation Army

Latest info posted from October 30, 2012:

In New York City, officials from the Office of Emergency Management have appointed The Salvation Army as the lead agency for the City’s Food Access Plan, to coordinate feeding at city shelters. For the next few days The Salvation Army will be serving food at Seward High School in lower Manhattan where 1,000 people are being fed breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“It’s clear now that Hurricane Sandy was and continues to be a major and historic storm impacting millions of people,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army in the United States. “Residents of the impacted areas can rest assured that The Salvation Army will be with them for the long-haul – providing practical, physical and spiritual support at the areas of greatest need.”

Current Salvation Army activities in other impacted areas include:

In New Jersey:
o The Salvation Army is serving meals, snacks and drinks to hundreds of evacuees at 11 shelters in five counties.
o While serving meals at a shelter in Union Beach, a Salvation Army canteen and a volunteer vehicle were flooded when waters rose unexpectedly. Despite the loss of these vehicles Salvation Army volunteers continued to serve meals to both displaced residents and first responders.
o Local senior citizens found refuge from Hurricane Sandy at The Salvation Army building in Red Bank.
o In Montclair, The Salvation Army is operating a “charging” center for members of the community needing to charge their phones, computers, or other electronic devices.
o A canteen is embedded with Task Force 1, the State’s official search and rescue team.

Elsewhere in New York:
o The Salvation Army provided food and shelter assistance at two locations in Albany as Sandy impacted that area last night.
o On Long Island, The Salvation Army is assisting the American Red Cross with redistribution of supplies to eight shelters.
In Pennsylvania:
o The Salvation Army is serving approximately 1,000 meals per day in nine shelters throughout the Philadelphia area.
o In Lehigh Valley and West Chester, the Army is providing meals at three shelters.

In Stamford, CT:
o The Salvation Army has served more than 400 meals and will serve 650 dinners tonight using supplies collected for this year’s Thanksgiving meal.

The Salvation Army maintains a fleet of disaster vehicles and supply warehouses across the United States to enable speedy mobilization. There are more than 300 emergency response vehicles in the eastern and southern United States alone and nearly 600 units nationwide.

In addition to food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care, The Salvation Army is also prepared to provide:

• Clean-up kits containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies
• Hygiene kits
• Shower units
• First-aid supplies
• Communications support

The Salvation Army also provides a ministry of presence to residents looking for hope in the midst of turmoil. Pastoral care is available for all those impacted, but is not a prerequisite for receiving assistance. The Salvation Army encourages all residents of areas in the storm’s path to stay informed of and heed all warnings and evacuation orders. Disaster response professionals recommend having a three to five day supply of food and water for each member of your family as well as flashlights, medication and battery powered radios.

The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by this disaster to visit or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). Donors may also contribute $10 via their phone bill by text messaging the word STORM to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word, “Yes.”* At this point, in-kind donations, such as used clothing and used furniture, are not being accepted for hurricane relief. However, these items are vital to supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825). Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Services Center, PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate “2012 Hurricane Season” on all checks.

For more information on The Salvation Army’s preparation and response to Hurricane Sandy, please visit or

How We Can Help the Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Water Flooding at the World Trade Center, by Derek Kardos, et al

Breezy Point after the fire (ABC)

How We Can Help the Victims of Hurricane Sandy

A flooded Wall Street area parking garage, by Damon Winter (NYT)

The New York Blood Center

Info as of October 31, 2012:

While deliveries to hospitals have continued without interruption, the blood supply has weakened considerably due to the forced cancellation of all blood drives on October 29 and 30. The schedule for today is still limited and fluid as we assess power outages and other factors to enable us to open additional locations. The following locations are open today:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Kingston Donor Center 51 Albany Ave, Kingston, NY 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Citigroup Donor Center 153 E. 53rd St., NYC 8:00 am to 7:30 pm
IBM East Fishkill Donor Center 2070 Rt 52, Bldg 320, Hopewell Junction, NY 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Elmsford Donor Center 525 Executive Blvd., Elmsford, NY 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Upper East Side Donor Center 310 E. 67th St., NYC 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
New York Blood Center 1200 Prospect Ave., Westbury, NY 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Mercy Medical Center 1000 N. Village Ave., Rockville Centre, NY 6:45 am to 5:15 pm
Galleria Crystal Run 1 Galleria Drive, Middletown, NY 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Ulster Community College Vanderlyn Hall, 491 Cottekill Rd, Stone Ridge, NY 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Columbia University School of Law Jerome Green Annex, 410 W. 117th St., NYC 9:30 am to 3:30 pm

Please call 1-800-933-2566 for updated information or visit to donate blood or for current locations to donate platelets.

How We Can Help the Victims of Hurricane Sandy

FDR Drive in Lower Manhattan by Damon Winter, (NYT)


Info posted on October 30, 2012:

AmeriCares has launched a large scale emergency response to help people affected by the hurricane, starting with deliveries of water, family emergency kits, and other relief supplies to hard hit communities. Our Emergency Response team is in contact with 130 clinic and response partners, as well as FEMA and voluntary agencies to assess needs and prepare targeted shipments of medicines and relief supplies. Members of our emergency response team are prepared to deploy within the next 24-48 hours.

Our initial emergency response include:

  • Working with the Salvation Army to provide hundreds of family emergency kits and household clean-up kits to families displaced by flooding throughout New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
  • Working with Feeding America and Nestle Waters North America to deliver truckloads of bottled water to food banks in affected areas.
  • Deploying our mobile medical clinic, stocked with medicines and relief supplies to help the injured and displaced in coastal Connecticut.
  • Emergency Response teams have been deployed to clinics in Westchester, NY and southern Connecticut to assess damage and identify unmet needs.
  • In hard-hit communities that are inaccessible due to flooding and road closures, we are prepared to award disaster relief grants.
Millions of people across the eastern United States awoke on Tuesday to scenes of destruction wrought by monster storm Sandy, which knocked out power to huge swathes of the nation’s most densely populated region, swamped New York’s subway system and submerged streets

Meanwhile, our emergency outreach efforts continue to support clinics in our network by making family emergency kits, medicines and supplies available to help survivors in need. A stock of targeted medicines and supplies is positioned for immediate shipment, with special focus on tetanus vaccine, chronic care meds including insulin, first aid, personal care and hygiene kits for the displaced.

For more information, click here; to donate to AmeriCares, click here.

How We Can Help the Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Flooding along Manhattan’s Water Street, by Justin Lane/European Pressphoto Agency

Feeding America

Info posted on October 29, 2012:

As the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, Feeding America is preparing to provide food, water and other supplies to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Thousands of pounds of supplies are already stationed near the anticipated disaster zone to make sure that those affected by the storm have immediate access to food and water.

Through a network of more than 200 food banks and 61,000 food pantries, emergency shelters and soup kitchens,  Feeding America is able to reach into disaster affected communities with basic needs supplies including food, water and cleaning products. It is anticipated that the service areas of 25 to 35 Feeding America food banks could be adversely affected by the storm.

The organization has pre-staged emergency food supplies throughout the nation, including significant quantities of food and water at the Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside.

These provisions can be to quickly transport to food banks throughout the region as they are needed.

Feeding America food banks help low-income Americans throughout the nation 365 days a year.  They will distribute more than 3.5 billion pounds of food and groceries to more than 37 million Americans in 2012.

“It is our responsibility to ensure preparedness for disaster response and relief, so that we can move food to affected areas as quickly as possible — and stay as long as our help is needed,” said Matt Knott, interim president and CEO of Feeding America. “We are there to offer support long after these disasters disappear from the headlines.”

Feeding America’s advance disaster response efforts are funded by grants from Allstate Insurance, Abbott Laboratories and PepsiCo.

Feeding America has a trained approximately 80 designated staff throughout the Food Bank Network to serve on support teams in the event of a large scale disaster. In addition, Feeding America provides specialized disaster training for its food banks around the country, ensuring a prepared network and seamless disaster response.

In 2005, Feeding America formalized its commitment to providing aid during times of disaster, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Today, as a member of the National Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disaster (NVOAD), Feeding America is often among the first responders called upon to assist with relief and recovery during a national emergency.

Feeding America (then named America’s Second Harvest) provided more than 83 million pounds of supplies to Louisiana and other Gulf States during the months-long recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

To learn more about Feeding America and its disaster relief operations, or to donate to the organization, please visit  Donations can also be accepted by calling 800-910-5524.

I’ll post more information on charities and other organizations who are helping with Hurricane Sandy victims as I find them. If you have a favorite charity that I’ve not listed, please add them in the comments.

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

1 Comment on "How We Can Help the Victims of Hurricane Sandy"

  1. The Red Cross also makes it clear that you should *not* donate “in kind”, i.e. give them canned goods and such. They need money, so please send them some!

    From a tech perspective, I have found the weather apps Weather Channel ) ($3.99) and Weather HD ) ($0.99) to be good, solid apps. I know it has a flavor of “closing the barn door after the horses got out”, but you might consider checking the out anyway.

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