” Throughout this tragedy, the response of churches, community organizations, and neighbors was inspiring. Volunteers stationed near one closed FEMA office continued to hand out supplies. While thousands of families remained without temporary housing or heat two weeks after the disaster, in even the earliest days of the tragedy, residents north of 40th Street in Manhattan who still had power took in people who had lost theirs.
Church community halls and gyms teemed with donations that had been rushed in from across the country. These included more than 2,500 boxes of coats, winter clothes, diapers, and other supplies from Mormon congregations in D.C. and surrounding areas, which hundreds of volunteers sorted and loaded into five 26-foot trucks.
The immediate responses of neighbor-to-neighbor outreach in the first hours of the disaster were nothing short of heroic. In the devastated Belle Harbor community of New York City, one man created a lifeline from twine, rope, extension cords, and lamp cords that families clung to as they escaped from a raging fire through torrential flood waters in the streets. Another man moved through chest-high waters, shepherding two women—with a toddler on his shoulders—to safety.
Another Belle Harbor resident, who was out of the state when the hurricane hit, drove for 20 hours to the devastated community in his truck, which was loaded with generators, pumps, and supplies that he had maxed out his credit card to purchase “
- photos: Hurricane Sandy destruction in Belle Harbor & Neponsit in The Rockaways (brooklynvegan.com)
- After Sandy: Devastation and determination in Belle Harbor (cbsnews.com)
- Belle Harbor Man Who Saved Neighbors During Sandy To Launch Charitable Foundation (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Belle Harbor, NY: 11/2/12 (ireport.cnn.com)
- Mormons Uniquely Ready To Respond To Disasters Like Sandy (wnyc.org)
- Belle Harbor Residents Tell Harrowing Stories From Sandy On ’60 Minutes’ (newyork.cbslocal.com)