Hurricane Sandy has moved past the Philadelphia area and the work of clean up and recovery is just beginning. While the storm is still a force to be reckoned with as it moves across Pennsylvania and up into New York, many in the Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York areas awoke this morning to the task of picking up after Hurricane Sandy.
If you’re looking for ways to assist in the recovery efforts here are 5 practical things you can do today:
- Walk the perimeter of your house, apartment building, or community. Check for downed power lines, loose gas lines, structural damage, or large debris. Call your local power provider for downed power lines and mark any large debris with flags or tape that alert others to its presence. Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury. Before making any repairs ensure that all electrical breakers are off.
- Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
- Check on your neighbors, especially those who are living alone or are elderly. Ensure everyone is accounted for. If you’ve been evacuated and cannot return home and have immediate housing needs. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).
- Prepare a meal for lunch or dinner and invite those who live around you to join. Discuss what each of you can do to help the other in recovery efforts.
- Talk to neighbors, friends and family. A hurricane is an immensely stressful time and leaves many feeling deeply unbalanced. Spend time patiently with those around you and develop a supportive group of friends. Be that supportive group of friends to someone else.
Most importantly, do not do anything that may put you or others in harms way. If the storm is still heavy in your area please stay indoors in a safe location.
Our prayers are with all those affected by the storm and their families. May the peace of God be with you today and each day moving forward.