On the 29th October 2012 the world watched as the largest Atlantic hurricane on record hit the East Coast of America causing devastating damage. Millions of residents in a total of twenty-four US states were affected by the storm, which has been named by the National Hurricane Centre as the second-costliest US hurricane in history after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Over a hundred people were killed by the storm which destroyed thousands of homes in its path and left millions more without electricity.
There is a terrible feeling of loss along the East Coast and the situation is still critical as people cope without the basic essentials. Residents are now pulling together to help each other wherever possible and there are many ways that people can get involved. One person who is committed to the relief effort is Chiara Montalto, a New York resident and creator of the renowned play, ‘A Brooklyn Love Story’. Chiara advises anybody who wishes to help with the relief efforts to check the regular updates on www.occupysandy.org for information on each area affected.
In particular, Chiara is working with The Roman Catholic Church of St.Clare on Staten Island which has coordinated an effort to get volunteers out into the affected areas and provide people with the exact supplies that they need. This relief effort was set up by the Parish Manager John Gillen and by John Petrullo of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Mr. Gillen has advised that “the process is evolving and people’s needs are changing” and that anybody looking to help should continue to check their website www.stclaresi.com/sandy which is updated regularly.
Occupy Sandy has even set up a registry on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/registry.html/ref=sr_1_1_acs_wr_1?ie=UTF8&type=wedding&id=32TAA123PJR42&qid=1352718441 so that anybody not located in the USA can ship required items such as blankets and torches to the Brooklyn chapter of their relief operation.
Further information about how to help can be found at the website of the Federal Emergency Management Agency – www.fema.gov/sandy.