Well… this week certainly hasn’t gone as planned. Instead we had a hurricane. It’s been a very strange couple of days, but John and I are doing great here on the Upper West Side. Our power flickered quite a bit, but never went out. And although it sounded like our windows up here on the 18th floor might blow in, they survived as well. My neighborhood is mostly unscathed aside from some downed trees and limbs and some awnings that blew off local stores. We were not near the flood zone. The rest of New York City – as well as Long Island and New Jersey – are not quite as lucky. And it’s been shocking to see the devastation in my area.
So now the Northeast needs help, and whether you’re across the country or local – there are ways you can get involved, and I’d really encourage you to do so.
As always, you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Redcross Disaster Relief. Many blood drives were also canceled as Sandy barreled toward the Northeast, so giving blood is always an amazing thing to do as well. You will 100% be saving someone’s life. You can find places to donate blood here.
In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg has said the best way to offer help would be to email NYC Service with your name, email address, and borough at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be coordinating volunteers for Hurricane Sandy disaster relief, and will get back to you with instructions on what is needed in your area. This Crisis Map also lists locations for all local shelters and many, many of them need volunteers.
In New Jersey, volunteers are being coordinated through a hotline: 1-800-JERSEY-7. Or alternatively: 609-775-5236 or 908-303-0471. You can also email email@example.com.
If you’d like to help animals that may have been affected by the storm, a great way to do that is to donate to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The ASPCA rescues and shelters animals affected by the storm. The ASPCA is currently focused on New York City where hundreds of animals have been displaced.
Seeing the devastation in my beautiful city – and all over the Northeast, New Jersey in particular – has been heart wrenching. But then watching the way New Yorkers came together to help each other – neighbors rescuing neighbors; the doctors and nurses who carried NICU babies and sick patients down 9 or more flights of stairs in the dark when NYU Hospital’s generators failed; the first responders who were out all through the storm rescuing people and putting out the many fires that sprung up all over the city… has been unbelievably beautiful. New Yorkers take care of each other, and I am so proud to call this city home.
Thank you so much to my clients all over the world who have emailed and texted over the last few days to check on me. You guys are amazing, and I am so lucky to have you all. It has meant so much to me. (Client galleries have been going on and offline the past few days – I am hoping today they’ll be back online permanently, and I’ll be emailing clients whose slideshows/galleries were affected once I’m sure they’re back up for good.)
I hope all of my clients who were in Sandy’s path are doing okay and have everything they need. And if you don’t – please don’t hesitate to let me know. We have food, water, electricity – if you need ANYTHING, I am more than happy to help.
This morning I woke up to sunshine and the familiar sound of traffic on my street. The subways are still down, but it’s starting to feel like New York again.