“This city isn’t built for this,” said a Sergeant from the National Guard as I thanked him for his work. I believe he came from North Carolina. He really had little knowledge of the area and it’s people but he knew that NYC was no match for a Hurricane like Sandy. The infrastructure, the people, the government, no one was ready. I write this as I sit at home feeling sick after just one day in Far Rockaway. I don’t feel like I have a cold, I just feel sick. My throat is scratchy, my bones are tired, and I am still feeling out of sorts. The air quality is horrible, the mold in people’s homes is unsafe, and regardless, people are making it work and their not complaining. In fact, the residents of Far Rockaway are making little noise. That's why we need people who are ready to step up, stand up, help, and make noise for those who can’t.
The volunteers of the Occupy Sandy movement are doing just that. They are feeding, caring for, clothing, and providing support to people who lost it all. I am concerned about the exposure to harmful air, gases, and substances. People just trying to survive and others just trying to help. We need more professionals out there with the tools and the expertise to get people back on their feet. I know that Far Rockaway is not the only community undergoing these conditions. Residents of Staten Island, the Jersey Coast and Long Island are in the same situation. I can only imagine the number of health issues that will arise from this, the medical bills, and the lawsuits. This really is only the beginning of the story. What will the history books say about how we handled this?
It was hard to go back home as my community returns to normalcy while knowing that 40 minutes away, people struggle. I strongly urge others to find a way to help. Just because the world keeps on spinning, doesn’t mean things are better. Please watch our video and read my friend’s blog about our experience.
Also, check out the efforts of Occupy Sandy Relief for NYC: