One Alum’s Perspective on Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

November 19, 2012

News in our world happens at a 24/7 pace.

As a result, we’ve heard less and less about the destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Lives were lost, property destroyed, and countless folks are in shelters or with family members grateful their loved ones are safe and have a roof over their heads.

The Power of Hurricane Sandy

Rob Gross via Compfight

We here in Bethel, for the most part, dodged a bullet. Some people lost power, a few tree branches fell, the Androscoggin overflowed its banks, but we are fine.

Those living further south were not so lucky.

We recently heard from alumnus Mike Ricker ’00, director of emergency management and emergency medical services at Montclair State University in New Jersey, who staffed their Emergency Operations Center during the storm.

Mike was in charge of evacuating the six residence halls on the Montclair campus and also assisted area communities with their own emergency evacuations, including facilities like local hospitals and nursing homes.

We asked Mike what the best ways were to help the communities in New York and New Jersey, who still need assistance:

“In terms of perishable items, the most direly needed is blood and plasma donations to your local or regional blood bank.  The hurricane has drastically reduced the region’s supply of blood products, which has caused some hospitals to be forced to reschedule or delay some non-emergent surgeries and procedures.

While it may sound glib, what we need is your money.  A donation of ten dollars worth of bottled water is useful in the first few days of an incident….What is most useful at this point in the recovery phase is a monetary donation.

A large part of aiding in the recovery process is spending money in the impacted communities.  We want to spend disaster relief funds in the shops and stores of those areas effected in an effort to breath life into the economies that have largely had their legs cut out from underneath them.  In the long term it has a tremendous influence on the length of time it takes a community to recover.

All donations will provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by the storm. To donate, visit www.redcross.org or call 800-Red-Cross or text the word “Redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The Salvation Army has dozens of mobile feeding units and shelters along the East Coast that are working to serve thousands in the most heavily hit areas. Visit www.salvationarmy.org to donate.”

Thank you, Mike.

Gould Academy has a long history of giving back to its community and this is a time when we must come together to support those in great need.

Please know that we here in Bethel stand behind those in our Gould community who suffered loss during this storm. We have all seen the pictures, watched the footage, and heard the stories of heart-wrenching loss of life and property.

Please consider helping our friends. Give to the American Red Cross or another organization helping those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

My heartfelt thanks to Mike Ricker ’00 for his good, hard work and critical information, and to all those who are working to help those impacted by Sandy.

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