The East Coast of the United States has suffered alot of losses these past couple of days as Hurricane Sandy made its destructive path across the coastal states, the hardest hit were New York and New Jersey. Unlike Hurricane Katrina, the residents were given fair warning to evacuate areas that were predicted to be hit hard, however over 100 lives were lost and property loss is at least 50 billion dollars. Even though the danger has passed, the survivors of this destructive superstorm lost their loved ones, their homes and their communities. The recovery will take months or even years as people need time to heal both physically and emotionally and with the cold weather coming, they need our help and support.
Even though the rest of us can’t be there to help physically, online media offers various opportunities for us to gather information and donate food, clothes, money etc. Even during the storm, social media played a key role as the real time technology was used to inform citizens unable to access a radio or television get up-to-date information; Emily Rahimi, who runs the New York Fire Department Twitter account, tweeted information and words of comfort for those trying to find safety. Almost instantly, Google developed a crisis map to help guide survivors to emergency shelters, gasoline stations, and to avoid flooded areas. Need Mapper is a basic site that manages an up-to-date display of outstanding requests for help via SMS. In a surprising move, both AT&T and T-Mobile decided to call a truce and share networks in order for people to use their phones.
Even in the aftermath, several sites and social media efforts have been made to reach out to us to help out the East Coast. My New York friends, George “Urban Jibaro” Torres and La Boricua Goddess used their online radio show, The Capicu Show, to keep people posted on the latest info regarding food, clothing and shelter put together by volunteer groups.
Below are a list of resources that you can go to in order to donate what you can. If you have any other sources please post them on the comment area. Remember, the holidays are on the way and some of these people may not be able to celebrate given the circumstances so let’s show them that we care. Please Donate!
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