Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Updated 12/01/12 7:15 AM: narrowing the focus just a bit on what information is presented here, as I'd prefer to point people at charities, aid organizations and aid centers that are active and that I've personally seen doing good things in the field.

As some of you may know, I live in NJ. As some of you may have also heard or figured out, I live very close to some of the towns in NJ that were hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy, and have friends in or near a bunch of other towns in the Tri-State Area. Since then, I've been trying my best to help those in need however and whenever I can (due to my limited resources and not-amazing health, I can't do a lot, certainly not as much as I'd like to). Trust me on this: there is no shortage of help needed throughout the area impacted by the storm, and that need is not going to go away in days, weeks or months. It's gonna take years to rebuild, folks, and during that time, a lot of people in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and elsewhere will need help. This page is devoted to giving those people information and resources on how best to get that help to them, or, if you were affected, how best to get the help yourself.

If you have anything to add to these lists (or ESPECIALLY any corrections; I want to keep this information current and correct, or it's useless), please email me.

Please feel free to copy, repost, retweet, link to and spread this information around as much as you can with or without accreditation. The further it spreads, the more people get helped. Yes, I've worked my ass off on this list of information, but it wasn't for fame and fortune. It was to help people, and most of this info helps people regardless of who publishes it.

I've also posted a link here to a compilation of my storm-related Facebook status updates since we first got word of the storm, which I guess tell the story of my past week and a half or so, and a few pictures, but not many. I've tried to err on the side of "don't take pictures of someone's destroyed home".

If you're in an area hit by Sandy and/or were in the path of the Nor'easter, stay safe, stay warm, and hang in there. Also, don't hesitate to ask me or others for help if you need it. We're all in this together.

Charities and aid organizations I support or consider notable otherwise (Links to Twitter accounts now in parentheses):

Occupy Sandy (@OccupySandy): the single best source of help this area's had since the storm started. Organized by members of Occupy Wall Street, 350.org, recovers.org and interoccupy.net. You can donate here (with cash or via their Amazon gift registry; up to the minute info on the registry is available via Twitter at @SandyRegistry), find help here, volunteer here and get all sorts of information.

Occupy Sandy NJ (@OccupySandyNJ): the independently-created-and-run New Jersey branch of Occupy Sandy.

Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties: one of the best charities local to my area, before, during, and for probably long after this storm is over.

Rebuild Recover (@RebuildRecover): another brand new, Red Bank, NJ-based charity doing amazing work in the wake of Sandy; singer Nicole Atkins, one of NJ's best musicians, is working with them, and has spoken very, very highly of their efforts. (For more on Nicole, she's on Twitter: @NicoleAtkins. She's also released a new version of her song "Neptune City", and will be donating all the proceeds to charity.)

RAINE Foundation (@RAINEHazlet): a hyper-local charity serving communities near me in NJ, highly recommended by my friend Crickett Lancaster, who is friendly with the founder.

S.A.V.E. (Shore Animal Volunteer Enterprise) are in need of foster homes for cats as well as volunteers in Ocean County, NJ. You can apply and contact them via their web site or their Facebook Page.

(New!) Manasquan, NJ is putting together a holiday gift/toy drive for its residents. They're accepting donations of new unwrapped toys and gift cards at the DCI Building in Manasquan 7 days a week, Mon-Fri. 10-3, Sat and Sun 10-4. Building is located on Atlantic Avenue between North Main Street and Osborn Ave. in Manasquan, ight next to the Little Gym. For more information, contact Jeff Terry.

If you're unsure about these or other charities, you can also check out Charity Navigator for information, additional charities that are helping out and charity performance ratings.

Now, for some information links you may need or want on the storm, its aftermath, and needed resources. There will undoubtedly be overlap at these links, but there's unique information at every one.

Google's interactive Sandy crisis map

Another, volunteer-run Google Map with locations of aid centers, volunteer and donation information, etc.... this could be HUGE if well-maintained.

Another interactive Sandy relief map!  I'm just gonna keep posting these for now, hopefully folks will centralize the resources and info eventually.

Residents who have been affected by the storm can register with FEMA by calling (800) 621-3362 (621-FEMA) or visiting http://www.disasterassistance.gov

From disasterdistress.samhsa.gov: "Have a lot on your mind after a disaster? Our counselors are available 24/7 to listen: 800-985-5990 / text Talkwithus to 66746"

State of New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Information Center

NJ Hurricane Sandy Relief And Recovery Assistance Guide, published by the State of NJ, hosted (in this case) by Patch.

Asbury Park Press town-by-town Sandy updates for Monmouth and Ocean counties

NJ.com Hurricane Sandy resources

Ocean County Library's donating and volunteering info for NJ. (PDF file)

Ready NJ, maintained by the NJ Office Of Emergency Management

NYC Service, powered by the city of New York: some info on where to volunteer/donate here

The Staten Island Advance's Sandy resources page

Staten Island USA site

Where To Turn, a Staten Island-based aid page.

Clean Ocean Action's Sandy info page 

Jersey Strong, a Facebook group maintained by my friend John Wojcik

Timothy "Timcast" Pool's site, with extensive Sandy coverage: if you're not familiar, Tim is, in my opinion, legitimately one of the best journalists in the world and he gets better with every story he covers. Tim's also on Twitter at @Timcast.

Dustin Slaughter (@DustinSlaughter) and John Knefel (@JohnKnefel) are two more reporters working tirelessly not only on covering the Sandy story, but also on providing aid where they can.

@OccuWeather: Occupy-run weather reports for the area affected by Sandy!

@OldCrowNest: "Tweeting/Retweeting anything that seems particularly relevant to the human experience. Tweeting opposing views doesn't mean that I wish to argue either side." Passing along a ton of Sandy information.

@TheRoyalHer: Twitter user acting as a signal booster for Staten Island Sandy relief efforts.

NJ Sandy Resources

Patch (An AOL-run network of hyperlocal newspapers; follow the links in the New York and New Jersey sections for town-by-town storm coverage and info)

A fantastic list of Sandy resources, Staten Island-and-NY-centric, assembled by my friend Allan B.

Red Bank Green, an independent, hyperlocal web newspaper focusing on Red Bank, NJ

Asbury Park Sun, an independent, hyperlocal web newspaper focusing on Asbury Park, NJ

Manasquan, NJ's extensive Sandy information page

Sea Bright 411, a Facebook Page with information on Sea Bright, NJ

Not "information" per se, but this post from a Katrina survivor is a must-read.

CouchSurfing, possibly a solid source of temporary housing for those displaced by Sandy.

VolunteerMatch: search for volunteer opportunites (not just Sandy ones) in your area.

New Jersey Volunteer Emergency Response Hotline: 1-800-JERSEY-7, backup hotline numbers: 609-775-5236 or 908-303-0471.

Hurricane helpline: New York residents can call (888) 769-7243 or (518) 485-1159  

The American Lung Society's Hurricane and Flooding Resources page, with useful information on what to avoid when you return home to a flooded or storm-damaged house or other building.

11/09/12: NJ Governor Chris Christie released this list of resources and needs today. It's very bureaucratic-leaning (Red Cross, etc.), but if someone can manage to help someone with this information, then it's worth having out there. Here goes...

 

Aid Offers:

(New!) Habitat for Humanity of Monmouth will begin repairing storm-damaged homes. To apply for help, 732-728-0441 press 4

A pretty damn good list of legal aid resources, from brokelyn.com.

A searchable list of hotels participating in the FEMA Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) program (currently running until December 14th, 2012) is at femaevachotels.com.

Goodwill of NY and NJ are offering $50 store credit per person for clothing and household items to any person affected by Sandy flood damage in the area. I'm not sure how they're verifying this, but it's worth looking into and a welcome offer.

CARE for Sandy: FREE digital restoration services for those whose salvaged photos have been damaged by Sandy.

NYC Warming Centers: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/warming_ctr.html

Get a hot meal in New York City: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hot_food.html

Mile High Comics are offering to replace some of your comics for FREE, if you lost them in the storm! If you lost books and can provide some proof of what you had (photographs and/or a list of the damaged books), send it to chuck@milehighcomics.com and he'll get you going or have one of his staff start figuring it all out. Yes, this is an offer of FREE comic books, SHIPPING INCLUDED, to those who can verify that they suffered comic losses because of Hurricane Sandy. They may not have all your books in stock, but they're willing to send you whatever they can replace from their reserve stock of 10,000 issues set aside for this offer. I know this probably sounds frivolous to mention here, but when you've had your life ripped out from underneath you, a kind act like this leading to you having something of your own can go a long way toward making you feel like a human being again.

For those of you who are near the area affected by Sandy, here's a list of aid center locations that I'll be adding to and editing periodically, and virtually all aid centers could use some sort of volunteer assistance if you wanna stop by and help out. More current listings than I can keep up with sometimes are available at Occupy Sandy and Occupy Sandy NJ.

New Jersey Aid Center Addresses (Links to Twitter accounts now in parentheses):

Jersey City, NJ:

Jersey City Sandy Recovery
Barrow Mansion
 83 Wayne St.
Jersey City, NJ  07302
(201) 589-1716

Manahawkin, NJ:

Occupy Sandy Registry NJ Distribution Hub (@SandyRegistryNJ)
King of Kings Community Church
1000 N. Main St.
Manahawkin, NJ
(609) 318-4271
OSNJLBIvols@gmail.com

Middletown, NJ:

Middletown Emergency Shelter
Croydon Hall
900 Leonardville Rd.
Middletown, NJ
(732) 615-2287
Hours: Tuesdays  10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturdays 9:30am to 1:00 p.m.

Newark, NJ:

St. John's Soup Kitchen
22 Mulberry Street
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 623-0822

The New Hope Baptist Church
106 Sussex Ave.
Newark, NJ 07103
(609) 318-4271
OSNJnewarkvols@gmail.com

Point Pleasant Beach, NJ:

Rock'N Joe Coffee House (Occupy Sandy NJ Volunteer Hub)
1805 Ocean Avenue
Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08743
(609) 318-4271
OSNJptpleasantvols@gmail.com

Port Monmouth, NJ:

Middletown Township VFW Post #2179 (Occupy Sandy Relief Hub)
1 Veterans Lane
Port Monmouth, NJ 07758
amanda.occupysandynj@gmail.com

Red Bank, NJ:

Rebuild Recover
47 Shrewsbury Ave.
Red Bank, NJ 07701
(732) 219-6902
rebuildrecover@gmail.com

Somers Point, NJ:

New Covenant Community Church
710 New Hampshire Ave
Somers Point, NJ 08244
Volunteer Coordinator: Debbie (609) 601-1299
OSNJsomersptvols@gmail.com

South Amboy, NJ:

Occupy Sandy Volunteer Hub (canvassing on weekends 11 AM-2 PM)
Augusta St.
South Amboy, NJ
Phone: (609) 318-4271
OccupySandyNJ@interoccupy.net

Toms River, NJ:

Church Of Grace And Peace
1563 Old Freehold Road
Toms River, NJ 08755
Contact Josette at (732) 349-1550 ext. 211

Toms River East Little League
2195 Windsor Ave.
Toms River, NJ
(732) 245-8070 (ask for Lisa Fobian)
mspmsn@aol.com

Union Beach, NJ:

Union Beach Borough Hall
650 Poole Ave.
Union Beach, NJ 07735
(732) 264-2277

Wood Ridge, NJ:

First Presbyterian Church of Wood Ridge
190 Valley Boulevard
Wood Ridge, NJ 07075
(609) 318-4271
OSNJnorthvols@gmail.com

New York Aid Center Addresses:

Brooklyn, NY:

Occupy Sandy Clinton Hill Hub
520 Clinton Avenue
(between Fulton & Atlantic)
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(347) 770-4520
Hours: 9am–8pm daily
Update: Not accepting donations after Friday, Nov. 30th.

St. John's Episcopal Church (Occupy Sandy Distribution Center)
461 99th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11209
(347) 465-7430
SandyBayRidge@interoccupy.net

Staten Island, NY:

Occupy Sandy Staten Island Hub (@StatenIslandOS)
St. Margaret Mary Church Community Center
1128 Olympia Blvd.
Staten Island, NY
(347) 201-0670
sandy1128olympia@gmail.com

Pennsylvania Aid Center Addresses:

Transport Workers Union Local 234 (Occupy Sandy NJ Distribution Hub)
500 N. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(609) 318-4271
OSNJphilly@gmail.com

NJ Animal Shelter info:

Food, blankets, towels, and other pet supplies can be dropped off at:

AHS/Popcorn Park
1 Humane Way
Forked River, NJ 08731

AHS/Tinton Falls
2960 Shafto Road
Tinton Falls, NJ 07753

AHS/Newark
124 Evergreen Ave.
Newark, NJ 07114 

Insurance Companies:


Allstate Insurance: (800) 547-8676 or www.allstate.com

GEICO: (800) 841-3000 or www.geico.com

Liberty Mutual Group: (800) 225-2467 or www.libertymutual.com

Nationwide Insurance: (800) 421-3535 or www.nationwide.com

Progressive Insurance Group: (800) 274-4499 or www.personal.progressive.com

State Farm Insurance: (800) 732-5246 or www.statefarm.com

If you don't know your insurance company call (888) 379-9531 or visit http://www.floodsmart.gov and they can pull it up with your name and zip code.

4 comments:

  1. For donations to the community in Queens that lost 100+ homes due to fire:
    St. Francis de Sales Parish School
    ATTN: Sister Pat Walsh
    219 Beach 129th Street
    Belle Harbor, Queens New York 11694

    ReplyDelete
  2. THANK YOU for that info, Bo, adding it to the main post now. Hoping you and yours are OK. So many people to keep track of in this area that I haven't gotten to you yet.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Scott
    You are really doing great work. My family was without power for four days, we thought we had it rough until we got TV and internet back and saw how bad it was for everyone else.

    Lost power again Wednesday night during the snow but got it back yesterday. Unfortunately yesterday my car broke down (and with 3/4 of a tank of gas, ironically)!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Glad to hear you folks are OK, broken down car aside.

    And yeah, some of what I've seen up close locally and in Staten Island is indescribable. You can write about it, take pictures, make video, but it's just not going to cut it on capturing how tragic and terrible and catastrophic it all is.

    ReplyDelete