One year later, Hurricane Sandy is a daily reality for the tens of thousands still struggling to recover. Many are living in damaged homes, having trouble getting the services they need or suffering from health problems due to the storm, including stress and trauma.
“It’s hard to believe a year has passed when you are out in these storm-damaged neighborhoods and you meet residents still struggling to get their lives back together,” said Lindsay O'Brien, who oversees AmeriCares Hurricane Sandy Relief Program.
That’s why today, AmeriCares is still helping to address the unmet needs of survivors.
Right after the storm, we worked with community relief organizations, providing them with medicines and supplies for survivors. Donations included bottled water, sleeping bags, batteries, diapers, clean-up supplies and personal care supplies—all to protect the health of survivors who were living for weeks and sometimes months in dark, cold homes or in close quarters at relief shelters or friends’ homes.
With a focus on restoring health, we delivered enough medicine for 12,000 prescriptions, including tetanus vaccine to protect homeowners and response workers cleaning damp and damaged homes.
There was also a call for chronic disease medicines to replace those lost in the storm. Our mobile medical clinic served as back-up exam space for 95 days for clinics that were damaged or lost power.
While thousands waited for funds from insurance companies and state and federal agencies, we developed programs and services to address the health needs of residents in dozens of shoreline communities.
More than $3 million in programs have been funded in the last year, helping dozens of local groups develop targeted assistance. Most recently, we have funded programs that:
- Train doctors to recognize stress in children: Pediatricians and other medical professionals are getting the training they need to recognize symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety in their young patients.
- Connect people to needed services. Sandy survivors have to navigate sometimes complex networks for assistance. With our support, trained caseworkers are helping the elderly and people with disabilities connect to services.
- Deliver free fresh food in neighborhoods where stores remain closed. Our funding helps Shore Soup Project double their deliveries of nutritious meals—up to 500 meals a week—to qualified residents of the Rockaways.
To be certain our efforts targeted unmet needs, we continue to work with dozens of local groups that closely monitor the recovery process in their communities.
In all, we provided more than $6.5 million in assistance – enough aid to reach an estimated 450,000 Sandy survivors —and we continue our work. New funding has just been announced using proceeds from Swim for Relief, Diana Nyad’s 48-hour fundraising event that took place October 8-10 in New York City.
“We have not forgotten Sandy survivors,” said AmeriCares President and CEO Curt Welling. “We are committed to response and recovery until our job is done.”
You can help. Donate to AmeriCares Hurricane Sandy Relief fund.