30 Oct 2012 04:32 PM EST
-by Drew Kolar, Editor-in-Chief; Image: FDNY responds to a small fire in Queens earlier last night, before Breezy Point. (Image Source: FDNY on Twitter)
New York City has taken a major hit thanks to Post-Tropical Cyclone (former Hurricane) Sandy.
Power outages, flooding, evacuations and transportation closures have brought the city to a virtual standstill, and now recovery efforts are underway.
While relief groups and emergency workers are trying hard to help those in need, we as regular citizens can also lend a hand.
While the Red Cross has cancelled hundreds of blood drives due to the storm, it is still necessary. Donation appointments can be made with the Red Cross at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. Furthermore, the New York Blood Center is also taking donations throughout the area—you can find a location here.
Park Slope evacuation shelters are in need of adult volunteers. New York Cares is also taking online signups for relief volunteers, as is New York’s City Hall, which can be emailed at email@example.com. Team Rubicon has dispatched teams to join in the cleanup efforts, while Samaritan’s Purse is looking for volunteers to help rebuild. New Jersey has created an emergency volunteer hotline, which can be contacted at 1-800-JERSEY-7 (1-800-537-7397), 609-775-5236 or 908-303-0471.
Donate Food and Clothing
Many people have been left without food or electricity, but Food Bank New York City is open and accepting donations. The Red Cross and the Salvation Army are also still working hard to provide shelter and food, and they will gladly take donations of nonperishable food and clothing as well.
Other Ways to Help
If you have a friend in need, open your home to them, their family and their pets. As millions go without electricity, it is important to stay safe and sheltered even after the storm has passed until restoration is complete. Also, stay informed and in contact with loved ones as much as possible—if you are safe, it is important to make it known. The more we stay together, the quicker we can rebuild.