Unfortunately, the predictions were right: Hurricane-turned-tropical-storm Sandy proved to be catastrophic for the northeastern United States. After a night of wild winds, massive flooding, and deadly tree damage, residents across a wide swath of the country woke up to devastation this morning.
Eleven states have been affected—Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia. Millions are without power. Homes have been destroyed by electrical fires. Flood waters are still gurgling in living rooms and front lawns.
Whether the storm was caused in part by climate change is a debate for another day. Right now, let’s pull together to help those in the hardest-hit areas.
These organizations are on the frontlines of helping those most affected by the storm, and they all have ways that you can support their efforts:
American Red Cross, one of the nation’s leading disaster relief organizations. So far, they've opened 112 overnight shelters in 9 states, secured more than 230,000 shelf-stable meals, and deployed more than 1,300 trained Red Cross workers to areas affected by the storm. Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10, and follow the latest updates on Twitter @redcross.
ASPCA is helping pet owners keep their companions safe during and after the storm. Donate here or use the hashtag #SandyPets on Twitter to get updates about emergency needs to help animals in the aftermath.
The Humane Society of the United States is on the ground in New Jersey and New York, working with animal shelters and local government to help pets separated from their owners get the care they need. You can donate to their emergency fund here.
Feeding America, the nation’s largest disaster hunger relief organization, is mobilizing to provide food and water to those impacted by the storm. Donate here to support its efforts to provide immediate meals.
Music for Relief is partnering with International Medical Corps to bring relief to devastated communities in Haiti, where Sandy has left an estimated 200,000 people homeless. A first responder during the 2010 Haiti earthquake, International Medical Corps' Mobile Medical Units are delivering lifesaving medical care to those that need it most.
AmeriCares provides emergency medical relief in disaster areas at home and abroad. It was already at work in Haiti helping Sandy survivors there before the storm made landfall in the U.S. Donate here.
FEMA is the government's Federal Emergency Management Association. Some presidential candidates have quipped that FEMA should be shut down, but the 2012 election is still about a week away. We still have time to enlist with FEMA here; unlike when Katrina hit, the agency is now in the business of marshalling resources to where they will do the most good.
Have we missed any ways to help people in the path of Sandy? Leave your plans of action in COMMENTS.