We were deployed by the American Red Cross on October 30 to assist with the response to the storm.
We drove and on our way there we saw Sandy's far reaching effects, 2
feet of snow in the mountains of West Virginia and Maryland.
When we stopped to get gas just over the Pennsylvania New Jersey line
there was about a 1.5 hour wait as everyone was there to fill up their
trucks, and fuel cans for their generators.
The workers who were managing traffic and pumping gas
were ammused when they got Halloween candy from us while we waited.
We reported to the headquarters for the New Jersey response.
Things there were typically chaotic but we signed in and stood by to find out what we would be doing.
Our first assignment was to help deliver food and other relief supplies to shelters in Hoboken, NJ.
Our first couple of nights we were housed in a very nice hotel across the Hudson river from Manhattan.
It would have been a lot better if it had electricity for registration, light, heat, and elevators.
Water in the basement and first floor had destroyed all the utilities.
The view was terrific and considering what they had to work with it was great.
We then were assigned to help set up and staff overnight accommodation in a middle school in Oceanport NJ.
Near there we saw these sailboats piled on the shore and downed power poles.
It was our first look at the effect of wind from the storm.
We arrived and were greeted by local
emergency responders who had set up a great feeding and warming station
for area residents but needed our help since they had no provision for
handling overnight guests.
There were a couple dozen the first night and the total grew steadily over the next few days.
Ultimately it grew to about 70 folks.
We made the local news too.
Late one evening a few days later we
were redeployed to a shelter in Burlington NJ where they needed help
staffing their overnight shift.
Several hundred folks were there with their cots in an indoor soccer field and a cafeteria capable of feeding them all.
We were working 12 hour night time shifts so I only have this picture
of two of the local workers trying to solve one of my rope puzzles.
When we managed to find better housing for many of our guests the
shelter was shut down so it could be used by the church that owned the
Anyone who was still there was transfered to other shelters so we
caught up with some of them when we got to our next assignment at
Monmouth Park raceway.
I didn't get any pictures but here are some from the Red Cross web site.
The last one is Mr Peace who is blind but had a really upbeat attitude to the whole endeavor.
Originally the folks who had been displaced were housed in giant tents
but by the time we arrived they had been moved to the grandstand and we
took up residence in the tents.
We had been in New Jersey for 3 weeks before we had the chance to get
to the shore side communities to see the real impact of the storm.
The flat area just to the right of the seawall is the floor of the
business that is lying in a heap in the center of the picture.