hurricane sandy: reflections on a superstorm

i’m sitting here in NJ and the only word to describe this is heartbreaking. in NJ we don’t experience weather this bad. we have never had a storm like this here, ever. it is utter devastation.

president obama has said that it is these situations where we see the very best in america – it is these situations that bring us together.

living this firsthand, i can say that it is true in some ways and in others it is not. it is much easier when this isn’t happening in your own home to reach into your wallet and pull together to help. it’s easier to send help elsewhere. it’s easier to say, oh someone should go help them. it’s easy to say, dear god please somebody help them.

it is much harder to sit here and say someone dear god please send help. we need help here. for the first time in my life, and i’ve lived here my entire life with the exception of a four year college stint in ohio, my state is begging for help. i mean it – our elected officials are begging for help.

food supplies are running low. there is power out all over the state. people need heat. cities are flooded and residents are trapped inside – they can’t get out of their apartments because there are live wires sitting in the water. there is a gas shortage. people are waiting on 3 mile lines for gas at the stations that actually still have any left.

what i can tell you about what is happening here in NJ is not everyone pulling together, not yet at least.

it is every man for himself. there is uncertainty and fear here and it’s just hanging in the air. it’s tangible. you can feel it everywhere you go.

people are looking for food. power. heat. fighting over outlets in the middle of a floor in a mall. running to get to a table at the book store right when it opens. phsycially fighting over people cutting in front of them in serious gas lines. it’s a challenge to drive anywhere in a reasonable amount of time. most of us do not live in public transportation hot spots or in areas that are necessarily walkable. it’s cold, getting colder, and they’re calling for snow.

i hope that the rest of america can pull together enough for all of us here. yes, we are “jersey strong.” yes, we will be okay and we will rebuild. but we need help. and we need gas. please send us gas.

we also need to take a step back here and remember that everyone is struggling right now, and everyone is having a hard time. nobody is untouched by this.

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