PSSD: Post-Sandy Stress Disorder & How You Can Help

New Yorkers will understand that when I say that last week was trying, it's a grand understatement. For those of you who have been living under a rock, New York, our country's greatest city (yes, I'm biased) remains extraordinarily impacted by Hurricane Sandy, also known as the most extreme weather I remember seeing...ever.

I'm not narcissistic enough to say that Sandy impacted me GREATLY. While I live downtown, and my apartment was without power, heat and cell reception for four days, there are people who lost their homes or their lives. I personally have friends who literally cannot return to their homes a week after Sandy, and at least one or two who will never return to their homes, having been permanently displaced due to flooding.

My friend Amber summarized things pretty eloquently in her post on Post-Sandy Sentiments last night, and I can only echo much of what she said. Like Amber, I pride myself on being a survivor. I've been through worse things than many people can imagine - things so bad I would never, ever talk about them in a public forum like this - but it had been years since I felt the fear, uncertainty and anxiety that I felt last week. Like Amber, it's rare that I don't know what to DO, but that's exactly how I felt on Tuesday - lost and completely and totally alone - before I made to the safest enclave imaginable, my friend Sarah's home in Brooklyn. I'm very grateful to both Sarah and Kristin for hosting me while I was without power. In case you haven't seen The Daily Show's extraordinarily funny and painstakingly TRUE take on the uptown/SoPo (that's South of Power) divide, it's worth a look:

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Hurricane Sandy's Aftermath
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

I think what was most striking about Hurricane Sandy, and what's probably hardest to understand for non-New Yorkers, was the feeling you got seeing the greatest city in the world brought to its knees, completely crippled in a way that had previously felt possible only in disaster movies like I Am Legend.  

Of course, it's not all bad. New Yorkers have a way of coming together like family when we need each other most. And for every person that disappointed me in the past week, there are countless others doing beautiful things to help people in need. I can only encourage you to do the same - give what you can, whether that's time or money. Yesterday, I spent time delivering meals to those still without power and heat in the East Village. I also donated money to both the Red Cross and the Humane Society. (Trust me when I say that this was the least I could do after my spree of Sandy-induced stress spending on myself - but that's a post for another day.)

Text donations make it all too easy - take $10, $50, $100 from your shopping fund and give right now:

  • Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross
  • Text ANIMALS to 20222 to donate $10 to the Humane Society

There are big and small ways to help New York recover. For a more comprehensive list of how you can help, visit this link.