Dear friends, companions, and disaster veterans, I wanted to write to you to reassure you that, no matter where Hurricane Joaquin makes landfall, you have in your souls the strength to face what is to come.
You know all-too-well: it *is* traumatic. It *is* devastating. And it must be faced with immediate and sustainable vigor, resources, and energy. That you can do. That’s what you can offer. I know from direct side-by-side work with so many of you.
I would like to appeal to the Sandy Survivor community to begin to prepare and commit to aid *whichever* community Joaquin makes landfall against.
Maybe, if you have some extra travel miles you can spare, you could plan to help in the Bahamas. Or donate those miles to someone else who can use them. Or, if you want, maybe you and a buddy can pack up a van or a pickup with the sorts of supplies and tools you were short on in the days and weeks after Sandy made landfall.
Maybe get together a canned food drive at your faith community, or through a local politician’s office. Maybe get some gift cards together to take the brunt out of expenses for families in need. Maybe you can establish some sort of directed aid to a specific sponsored family, like Family-to-Family offered during Sandy.
Maybe you might ask your boss for a few days’ time for a humanitarian road trip. Maybe you can pledge to help through Social Media Emergency Management (SMEM) as we have done here for the Rockaways.
However it is you wish to help, please post your plans, personal commitments, ideas, questions and requests to this forum.
We have between now and Sunday, 4 October, to ready ourselves and our families to aid another community, as we ourselves were blessed by the thousands who came to our aid in the aftermath of Sandy.
Time to pay it forward, Rockaway!
p.s. For those interested in getting involved with Joaquin response: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HurricaneJoaquin/