As city after city surveys the damage left in Hurricane Sandy’s path in the east coast, photos show the devastation of entire neighbourhoods covered in sand and slowly-receding water. Even more sad is the reported loss of lives to the storm; a sad fact from which some may never recover. According to MSNBC nearly 8 million remain without electric power — and though crews are working feverishly to restore and repair, it’s impossible to pinpoint when a sense of normalcy will return.
New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie has offered his praise to President Obama for his support and noted the “outstanding” response to Hurricane Sandy. And then, when asked about his feelings on Sandy’s impact on the upcoming election, Christie made it clear that he “doesn’t give a damn” about the presidential campaign at this point — a gruff but appropriate response, quite frankly, given the size and scope of the problems his home state is facing. Christie clearly has other things to worry about.
President Obama has suspended his campaign efforts in order to coordinate efforts. This afternoon he left the White House to address the nation and send the message during an address held at a Red Cross location that “America is with you,” and encourage everyone to support one another “pull together and …leave nobody behind.” For his part, former Governor Romney has suspended his campaign until the situation from Sandy has somewhat cleared — but he is in the battleground state of Ohio…not campaigning?
Here’s where the politics remain: since Sandy began, Romney has had to back-track on statements he made about FEMA and which entities should be in charge of coordinating disaster relief efforts. Before he was against it, Romney’s position was that privatization was the way to go. It appears Hurricane Sandy ‘Frankenstorm’ has changed his mind. For now. Funny how being in the face of real-life challenges may make someone change his mind about a course of action to take. Romney’s inexperience with these challenges makes him speak first without taking time to note other alternatives. The bottom line business approach of privatisation may work for corporations but taking that approach where government is concerned speaks volumes about how Romney would handle matters. Kick the can down the road. Another thought comes to mind: given the GOP’s non-support and borderline contempt for unions, where does regard for the work done by first responders fit into Romney’s new view as seen from the eyes of Sandy?
It will be interesting to see the Romney/Ryan reaction. And hear the spin.
Now for the important stuff: From ABC News:
Nearly 100 Red Cross blood drives were cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy so blood supplies are low in the areas affected the most. The Red Cross asks that those able to donate, schedule an appointment to give blood. The New York Blood Center is urging people to donate blood for those in the New York/New Jersey area. To donate, call 1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.
The Salvation Army has dozens of mobile feeding units and shelters along the East Coast that are working to serve thousands in the most heavily hit areas. Visitwww.salvationarmyusa.org to donate.
Feeding America has thousands of pounds of emergency food, water and supplies in the disaster zone that they are working to distribute to hurricane victims. To donate, visitwww.feedingamerica.org or call 1-800-910-5524.
AmeriCares is providing medicine and other supplies to people impacted by Hurricane Sandy. To donate, visitwww.americares.org.
World Vision is distributing flood clean-up kits, personal hygiene items and emergency food kits to people hit by the hurricane. To donate, visit www.worldvision.org.
Save the Children is working to provide relief to families and their children affected by Hurricane Sandy. Visitwww.savethechildren.org to donate.
Samaritan’s Purse is asking for volunteers to help with the response to Hurricane Sandy victims. To volunteer, visit their website.