Downed Tree from Hurricane Sandy

New York City has been hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. We’re here, safe, thank God, grateful that our little corner of NYC hasn’t been hit as hard as some others. (Just some downed trees).

So far, 34 people have lost their lives in this disaster. Many people have been injured, are without power, or have lost their homes.

Last night a friend called, frantic: A man who had refused to evacuate was trapped on top of a garbage truck at Coney Island and she needed us to help her locate him using Google Earth and his phoned-in descriptions of location. She called the Coast Guard (we are waiting to hear if they found him).

There have been at least a couple of explosions which have caused raging fires. Some hospital and nursing-home patients have been evacuated. Medical care for hundreds of thousands has been interrupted.

For us, it is largely an inconvenience. We also worry about clients who have appointments scheduled individual and group therapy at my program. 

We can’t take mass transit to work or anywhere else, and like most New Yorkers, we’re subway riders. But, we do have Internet connectivity. So we’re limiting ourselves to indoor activities and visits in the immediate neighborhood.

In the wake of Sandy, a lot of businesses aren’t open. Unfortunately, we’ve been hearing horror stories about car services (taxis that you call, but don’t flag down) that have been charging  as much as four times the normal amount to get places.  Price gouging in the wake of tragedy. Not something that makes New Yorkers proud.

We’ve made a game plan for today, though we actually put some of this in place yesterday:

1. Call people we know (at least those without extensive family networks) to make sure they’re okay. Patients, friends, family. We started calling yesterday and managed to reach all our co-workers.

2. Deliver hot soup. Some areas are without power. We have power, so last night we made a giant (24 servings) of lima-bean vegetable soup and we’re going to deliver it to whoever needs or wants it. We know people who don’t cook and rely on restaurants or take-out for lunch and dinner.

3. Check up on the elderly and infirm in our surrounding area. They might need food, emergency care or prescriptions. They might just need someone to talk to or a visit to cheer them up.

4. Donate to the Red Cross. (If you want to help, give money, blood, or volunteer your time.)

4. Bake cookies. (Peanut-butter).

5. Work on some projects that we barely get time to focus on (our addiction book, for starters).

We’re really blessed that our neighborhood seems to be one of the least hard-hit. For everyone in harder-hit areas, our prayers are with you.

Richard and C.R.