Natural Disasters

Grassroots Organizers Help Sandy Victims

Occupy Sandy has no official structure or government connections, but it gets stuff done


“They’re evacuating the Rockaways,” says Tammy, identified by her duct-tape name tag. “The storm surge is going to be 3 to 5 feet.  I can’t send my volunteers into a dangerous situation.”

“We’ve got that U-Haul truck of donated groceries,” replies Shlomo, wearing a green military-style cap.  â€The truck’s gotta go back to the Upper West Side tonight, and it’s all fresh food that’s gonna spoil.  I think I can make it out there.  What do you wanna do?”

She sighs.  â€I already told all the cars to turn back.  I don’t know.”

They gaze out at the street in front of St. Jacobi Church in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Double-parked cars drop off donations or get filled with supplies and potential field volunteers.  A new storm is set to hammer a region that hasn’t yet recovered from Hurricane Sandy.  Basements remain flooded, countless high-rise towers are still without power or water, and the Red Cross and FEMA can’t keep up with the community’s basic needs.