I am so proud of my former neighborhood of Woodhaven, Queens, NY. They have been collecting food and clothing for the residents of Breezy Point, Rockaway, Broad Channel and Howard Beach, Queens.
The people in those areas have lost so much to Sandy. What was not flooded and destroyed by the ocean were burned to the ground. I don't know about loss of life in this area, I do know that most of the residents followed the evacuation orders.
The Woodhaven Residents Block Association has made numerous trips to the affected areas with these donations. This all-volunteer organization is still collecting food, warm clothing, blankets, etc. They didn't wait for the government (taxpayers) to bring those supplies, they just got together and donated whatever they could spare for their neighbors. It's the American way, neighbors helping neighbors.
There is a place for the government in a tragedy like this. They should make sure that everyone is safe, that all downed wires are no longer "live" and that trees and debris are removed to avoid the danger of accidents. They should make sure that power is restored so that the clean-up can be done. They should also make sure that gasoline is available for first responders, cars, private generators and that the local towns have enough gas for the fire engines and police cars. I've heard that some places have only a 2 day reserve.
I saw an interview with a man on Staten Island (another borough that suffered major destruction) who lost his restaurant and his home. He ended the interview by expressing his concern and prayers for those who had lost family members. He felt blessed that at least everyone in his family was alive.
I was one of the lucky ones. I only lost power for 2 1/2 days and experienced no flooding, just some discomfort, but I hear that the surrounding area is devastated. There are so many downed trees that some roads are closed.
All we can do for now is pray for those who have lost their homes and that while they are rebuilding, they can find some place to live as the colder weather arrives.