Ok fine—John Lennon said Happy Christmas, War is over, but the lyrics of that song held truer this past Holiday season than I can ever recall.
The opening line of “And so this is Christmas, and what have you done?” resonated throughout the tri-state area this December—not only as a result of what happened with Hurricane Sandy; but also due to what occurred in Newtown Connecticut on December 14th.
I couldn’t help but notice a dwindling effect in all forms of media as the Holidays approached on their coverage of the relief efforts regarding Hurricane Sandy. I saw their focus mainly on gifts, etc for the families and survivors of the super storm that changed the face of my beloved New York, but as far as actual aid was concerned, all I could think to myself was “Cricket, cricket?”
In my last article regarding the recovery/relief efforts of Hurricane Sandy (or rather lack thereof) I was quite disturbed to see some of the comments that followed the article’s publication. I have done nothing to alter this comment, with the exception of a few spelling errors here and there.
Well said...Just a few side notes the Red Cross actually drives down my block once a day about five days a week between 12 and 2PM when most are at work or school. And when I say drive they drive they do not stop I have actually seen people having to run after the truck...
Bloomberg Rapid Repair was put in place a week to ten days after we were told get the materials that will get molded out of our homes, dry up and treat for mold and begin rebuilding, so those of us who have done this for thousands and thousands of dollars will get NO ASSISTANCE from rapid repairs.
FEMA gave my family 1821.90 then I had another inspector who said I will get more so they send me 5100.00. When asked what their formula is they have NO ANSWER...and FEMA representative today told me they profile us based on our income...So if my families income is $100,000 we get no assistance for personal property like school text books, uniforms, washer, dryer but we can get a loan for the bargain price of 3.87 percent interest.
NOW the biggest scam of them all Insurance companies, lets start with cars they insist all cars be totaled...they pay you on the spot, tell you to keep up your premium so you can use the rental car part of the policy...when cars actually become available they give us 7 days rental (my policy covers me for 30 days or it did but they change things as they go along.) and insist we use our money they paid us to purchase new cars...Fighting for survival here no time to go out shopping for a new car if you even would buy a car in NY at this point...
Homeowners insurance supposed to send an adjuster in 15 days we laughed at that some of us have not even been called yet...When we ask what happens if they don't see our damages which by the way used to be our lives our memories our homes in 15 days...We get another BS agency to call and complain to and they will reach out to the carrier and tell them basically to play nice with the citizens that keep their billion dollar business as a billion dollar business. You ever not pay a premium how long does it take them to send out a cancellation NOTICE?
When I ask what the repercussions are to the insurance company when they do not hold up their end of the agreement I am asked to write down my question and it will get answered. Ever read an insurance policy they give you coverage on page one and take it away on page 4. Lets not forget this is a big one my home has a $360,000 mortgage how is my dwelling only insured for $282,000 so if my home is totaled which thank God it is not and I actually had to have them pay out the full amount I would still owe what like $70,000 how on earth is that legal how did the bank except that. I hired an advocate to deal with this mess.
I MUST SAY I am not a big fan of attorneys but they need to get involved and start some CLASS ACTION law suits...This chaos goes on and on....
The media that I have seen shows a lot of fluff but not the abuse that we victims experience on a daily basis.
I must say one more thing this disaster was not bad enough, the stress is going to make us physically ILL, mentally we are shot....And I have heard the same story from so many you just start talking to random strangers and all our stories are the same just different levels of insane.”
The above person’s story is unfortunately all too common among the survivors of Sandy, and it is something that should make more people stop and question the relief efforts at hand. If this is not enough, what occurred this week in Congress, absolutely should. If you don’t know what happened regarding Congress releasing funds for Sandy Relief, I just want to know what rock have you been living under?
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey blasted members of Congress last week regarding their lack of sense of immediacy regarding the bill for Hurricane Sandy relief. According to the LA Times, Christie was quoted in saying [Washington politicians] "will say whatever they have to say to get through the day," Christie said, adding that, as a governor, he had "actual responsibilities" -- "unlike people in Congress."
Christie’s outpouring of fury triggered a domino effect, as Wednesday came to a close and Thursday began, more and more people began to express their outrage; not only at the lack of action on Congress’s part—but also that it had been 66 days since the storm, and no “game plan” (for lack of a better word) had been put into place to get the American people in the tri-state area the help they so desperately require.
By Friday, because of the rage expressed by the American people and many of their state representatives, President Obama signed a bill for the release of $9.7 billion in flood insurance to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Where this is a step in the right direction, as cliché as it sounds—it is only the tip of the iceberg. In this writer’s opinion, this is going to be an uphill battle every step of the way to get the recognition we so clearly deserve.
Around me, I am seeing more people waking up to the new reality of what life will forever be like since the storm. I am seeing more social media feeds of friends and pages expressing their indignation at the lack of response by our government (and rightfully so), and I am overjoyed to be witness to this awakening. As I have said many times over the last 70 days since the storm, I will be eternally grateful to outlets like social media, as well as to the communities that have now banded together. Without either of these things, none of the recovery that has happened would have occurred. We cannot allow the country, the government, the media—the world to forget about this. Sandy was life-changing for too many people to count, and is not something that I will not allow to be swept under the rug. This is not (nor will it ever be) “Happy New Year, the relief efforts over”—as a city, state, and region, we have only begun to walk on the very long road of recovery that lies ahead.