Posted tagged ‘post sandy clean-up’

Post-Sandy: How to Help

November 4, 2012

Here are three excellent resources for New Yorkers and people around the world, who are wondering how to help with Hurricane Sandy relief and recovery. Please check out these websites for volunteer opportunities, lists of needed supplies, and many other ways to help. Volunteers will be needed throughout the week, as many New Yorkers go back to school or work.  Donations of money are also needed.

Occupy Sandy Relief

“Occupy Sandy is a coordinated relief effort to help distribute resources & volunteers to help neighborhoods and people affected by Hurricane Sandy. We are a coalition of people & organizations who are dedicated to implementing aid and establishing hubs for neighborhood resource distribution. Members of this coalition are from Occupy Wall Street,, and”

Occupy Sandy seems to be doing an excellent job of organizing volunteers and getting help where it is most needed.

This is a city initiative, founded in 2009 by Mayor Bloomberg, that connects people looking to help with organizations and opportunities throughout the city. Right now, of course, the focus is on recovering from Sandy. This very clear and easy-to-access webpage has a growing list of links to donation sites, neighborhood and park clean-ups, blood centers, the Red Cross, and much more.

The city is also looking for poll workers on Tuesday.

The Red Hook Initiative

“As many of you know, Red Hook, Brooklyn is one of New York’s communities most devastated by Hurricane Sandy. In response to its impacts, The Red Hook Initiative immediately diverted its efforts to serve as a de facto center for local relief and support efforts – especially for the 5,000 public housing residents without power or heat but also for local residents and small businesses whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed by this storm – so many of whom have supported our efforts in the past.
We are currently providing emergency supplies, serving hot meals, providing access to power and communications, helping to provide information and access to necessary services, and coordinating community volunteer efforts. The situation is very much in flux and we expect to adjust our role to respond to evolving needs; meanwhile, all donations received at this time will go to support these and similar efforts. Thank you for your support – we will keep you updated on the progress.”

And don’t forget we still need to get out the vote on Tuesday November 6th. How are people going to vote in areas without power? Whatever solution is arrived at, help will be needed.

President Obama’s immediate response to the devastation wrought by the storm was swift, decisive and helpful, and he may even start uttering the dread words “climate change.”  We need new ways of thinking, building, and restructuring our cities, if we hope to avoid much worse in the future.

Cleaning Up After Sandy: A Tree Crew

November 2, 2012

Walking just got easier along Riverside Park’s upper promenade on Riverside Drive.

On Wednesday, it looked like this at 107th Street and Riverside Drive.

But yesterday, all that was left of the tree was sawdust and a pathetic bit of stump.

Gazing south to 105th Street, we spied the heroes of the scene toiling away on yet another downed tree.

The tree crew from East Greenwich Tree Service has been working in Manhattan since Sunday.

Yes, Sunday. The city hired them to cut down potentially hazardous trees before Sandy reached its peak.

This gentleman told me of working up in the bucket on Sunday in 50-mile an hour gusts.

He also showed me impressive photos on his iPhone of cars smashed by trees.  He said he likes to take the photos before they clear the trees, and he remembers exactly where each car was located. The job now is to clear streets and sidewalks.

After that, they’ll move into the parks. And in fact, directly below the team inside Riverside Park, a large tree with a huge root ball was blocking the upper path. To get a sense of just how huge, look at the little pedestrian coming along the path on the left.

A man from the Parks Department conferred with the team.

I asked him how much damage Riverside Park had sustained.  He said he didn’t know exactly, since his priority has been to clear the streets for emergency vehicles and to keep people safe.

The tree at 105th Street took part of the playground fencing with it.

I told him I had heard that Morningside Park had lost a lot of trees, which he confirmed.  (Scroll down for information on volunteering tomorrow in Morningside Park or your local park.)  We talked about the storms over the past couple of years that have caused our parks to lose a substantial number of trees in the parks, including last October’s freak snow storm that took down 1,000 trees in Central Park.

“You know how they talk about a once-in-a-hundred years storm, well, we’ve had four of them in the past few years,” said the man from Parks. “Well, they’re gonna have to think of a new way to describe these storms.”

And they – I mean, we – are going to have to face the facts about climate change, and come up with new ways of living and working to protect our city and our planet.

Meanwhile, thanks to the tree guys for their hard, necessary work.

Post Sandy Volunteer Cleanup in Morningside Park
  • Saturday, Nov. 3rd from 10am – 12 pm
    116th Street and Morningside Drive
  • Dress for outdoor work. Equipment will be provided.
  • Email to let the Friends know how many people you will be bringing.
To find out about other volunteer opportunities, check NYC Services or your local park, shelter or ASPCA. I just received emails from Kicy Motley at that there are clean-ups going on tomorrow in Staten Island and several locations in Riverside Park. email for info.
I’ll post more volunteer links soon.

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