Frankenstorm Sandy brought us New Yorkers a new perception of this city, teaching us about a “New York City is a city that can actually sleep.” This new New York is a city that is under water. It suffered over 30 casualties, the evacuation of 400,000-plus people, the loss of water and electricity.
Losses as a result of the storm will cost New York City over $20 billion, far surpassing the expenses of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The city and boroughs have been described as a “war zone.” In Manhattan, power and water may only come back during the weekend, and parts of Long Island might only get power back in the next four to five days. Northern New Jersey is in a similar situation … but some there might not get their electricity back for the next 9 days. ConEdison has officially said that power may not be fully restored until November 11.
I was not affected by the storm, but many of my friends were. Via Facebook or text messages, I keep getting updates from friends with different stories. Some are outside Starbucks, others are cleaning rooms that had been flooded, or crashing friends' or relatives' houses, or wrapped in their blankets at home as the weather gets colder. Conversations led to questions about “What can we do to help?” “What are some of the volunteer opportunities being offered in our areas?” The answer: it is a duty to help others who are not as lucky as us, and who are in dire need. So for those interested in some volunteering options or those of you in need for help, click here for helpful links.
Luanna Azulay lives in the Moishe House in Williamsburg and is pursuing a degree in Public Administration at NYU Wagner School. Born and raised in Recife, Brazil, she can make some mean mufletas.