Sandy: 1 Year On and “Sandy Culture”

Sandy Photo courtesy of NOAA.

I know today will affect a lot of people in a lot of different ways.

For those of you who are still fighting the battles, still not home, still not whole: I want you to know that I still stand with you and I know that this is far from over for many many people.

I know many would rather not think about it, and I respect that , and I would be remiss not to mark the date today.

In all of this there is one thing that stands out to me that, if anything, is a silver lining:

The disaster and aftermath prompted an entire movement of people, who previously were not necessarily civically or politically involved, to positive action.

I definitely have an affinity with these people because I see myself the same way. I’m not necessarily (believe it or not from all these posts) politically involved but just like this blog, when I saw nobody else doing things that needed to be done, I stepped up to do them just like so many other people did. Mine were just small contributions like many many other people did. I take no special credit for that, but there are special people out there that have really done quite a lot.

Groups and the people involved that come to mind that emerged or grew :

Mohawk Ave Saint
Project Pay it Forward
Project 11561
Long Beach, NY Hurricane Information
Oceanside, NY Hurricane Sandy Updates
Sandy Help LB
Long Beach Matters to You

And many others. Thank you all.
Some provided sweat and action, others a lifeline of information no one else was providing.

You helped many, many more people than otherwise would have been helped, put lives back together and put the storm as behind us as it could be.

These people, mostly with no experience and no political aspirations, did many many things that they never dreamed that they would do. In some cases some had to just “do something” to make a difference. Not just a few people- hundreds of people, maybe thousands.

I think, sometimes the ball just drops in your lap and you gotta decide to run with it!

There are entire new channels of information from hurricane restoration and new community groups around the area through social media of a kind not seen before with a devout following.

And as an outsider who wasn’t drastically hurt by Sandy Id like to coin a phrase which has been floating in my brain for 6 months for all of this which I think is a “Sandy Culture” has arisen.

For good or bad it’s a public awareness. Admittedly, some of it is just self-pity, some is just venting frustrations and emotions, some of it is self promotion, but most of it is just genuine, heartfelt, shared community and civic experience. It’s neighbors looking out for neighbors. Its a fact-of-life kind of way life is now in the aftermath. Everything has changed.

I think the famous quote is you can make the future anything you want except the way things were.

Maybe this is the next best thing.

Who are some heroes you know of ?


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