New York City, the most populous city in the United States, is well known throughout the world for its ethnic, social and cultural diversity, financial centers, technology and fashion and entertainment districts. It serves as the home of the United Nations Headquarters and is proud of its role in international diplomacy, but the events of September 11, 2001 unveiled the resilience of New Yorkers. Even though Hurricane Sandy dealt a tremendous blow to the city and its residents, New York will get through this disaster and emerge stronger than before.
Even though advance warnings were sent out and thousands of people were evacuated from their homes, the massive storm devastated several areas killing more than 100 people and injuring or trapping many others. Rescue and recovery teams were the first on the scene. Widespread flooding and power outages left more than 3.5 million homes without power. Utility companies from all across the nation have converged on the city to aid in restoring power to as many homes and businesses as possible in the shortest amount of time. Teams from other states, such as Oklahoma, are responding to the call for help.
Red Cross and Volunteers
The American Red Cross has set up relief stations all across the region to distribute food and other relief supplies. Medical care is available there for the storm victims, along with psychological support. Many organizations are in place right now to help in the relief efforts. These volunteers will make a big difference in the ongoing effort to help victims bounce back and begin the journey back to normalcy.
Rebuilding Small and Medium Businesses
Business owners need to follow certain steps in order to recover from losses. The first step is to contact insurance agents and file claims for damaged property. The New York City Department of Small Business Services and the New York City Economic Development Corporation advise them to survey the damage and apply for assistance programs to help them get back on their feet. Businesses may face short-term setbacks from business interruption, but will find many reliable resources ready to assist. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is there to help business owners secure loans to cover business losses not covered by insurance. Getting businesses back on track will help ensure a more rapid recovery.
Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief Donations
The outpouring of concern from all parts of the country, along with monetary donations, food and other supplies has helped alleviate much suffering caused by the storm. These donations will sustain victims during the crucial aftermath and help in the rebuilding process.
Repair and Rebuilding Homes
With so many people forced to abandon their homes due to the flooding and widespread devastation, helping them find suitable shelter remains a priority. As floodwaters receded, many were allowed back into their homes as inspectors spent long hours making certain that the structures were safe. Many homes were destroyed, but will be rebuilt. Those who lost everything have been given temporary housing until the structures are completed.
As power is restored and neighborhood cleanups are beginning, officials are surveying the extent of the damage and evaluating their next move. Officials will conduct surveys to determine what steps, if any, might be taken to prevent such widespread damage in future storms or disasters. Even as they work to recover from this major storm, city officials hope to improve their disaster response plans through advance planning.
Power of the Human Spirit
New Yorkers once again showed that they can meet the challenge when tough times present themselves. The indomitable spirit that is New York is evident in good times and bad. When circumstances demand it, New Yorkers stand together to weather any storm. They seem to be at their best when things get rough. There is no denying that Hurricane Sandy perpetrated much damage and stress on the city, but these determined residents proved they will stick together and help one another come through it. This city will do whatever it takes to overcome the devastating problems that Sandy wreaked on this community. Even though nothing at all can compensate for the loss of life this storm brought, the city will soon be back to normal.
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