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66 days after the storm – and no congressional aid

It took 8 days after the 1989 San Francisco earthquake for Congress to approve at aid package. It took 10 days after the federal levee failure in New Orleans in 2005 for them to act. It’s 66 days later and people and communities in New York and New Jersey have received nothing. From the January […]

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One page list of what’s needed

I produced this list for an upstate hunting and fishing club that wants to help. It might be useful generally. After Sandy What’s needed – and what’s not Updates at: HelpAfterSandy.org First, what is NOT needed 1. Used clothing (unless WINTER clothes in excellent condition) 2. Bottled water (it’s being delivered daily by the pallet […]

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$1 million in 2 weeks from a standing start: Innovation in direct aid after Sandy

Info on how you can participate in this effort: See the list of needed items here The complete story: Audio interview [Audio clip: view full post to listen] Or download: – audio interview with one of the founders Info on how you can participate in this effort: See the list of needed items here

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Memories of New Orleans

When the smoke cleared in New Orleans (and the rebuilding is still ongoing), no one thanked the Mayor, the Governor, FEMA or the Red Cross. They thanked the thousands of volunteers who put up their own time and money to provide real help. If you want to make the maximum difference, invest a little time […]

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The indescribable wonders of clean, new socks

It’s one of those things you either know or you don’t know – and if you know, you really, really know. Ask anyone who has ever been camping in bad weather, in a combat zone, or in any tough situation how they feel (or how they would have felt) about getting a bunch of clean […]

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The sublime pleasures of dollar stores as a source of relief supplies

Let’s say you need to buy toothpaste…for 100 people…or 500 people. Before you head to Wal-Mart or even Sam’s Club or Costco, pay a visit to your local “dollar store.” They’re everywhere. For example, here’s what I found in a dollar store in Kingston, NY: 1. Toothpaste – $1 for a big tube (compared to […]

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Kerosene Heaters: A primer for disaster zones

In a city where he mayor feels he has the time to regulate the size of soda servings, talking about kerosene heaters to keep people from freezing to death is probably some kind of crime. Throwing caution to the wind and taking refuge in the First Amendment, I’m going to take a stab at it. […]

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Katrina vs. Sandy

Since this comparison has come up a lot, let’s sort a few things out. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll limit the comparison to the two major cities that were effected, New Orleans and New York City (which includes the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.) Scope Over 800,000 people evacuated New Orleans, some […]

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Why you should boycott the American Red Cross and give to other groups instead

It’s not that hard to boycott the American Red Cross if you’re a disaster victim. Your odds of finding one of them, let alone getting help from them, are close to infinitesimal. Unless news media cameras are around… Then you can count on one (very thin) blanket, a bottle of water and a hug which, […]

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The Sandy Effect: The second wave of the disaster

Brief note and I hope a full-time professional journalist (are there such people left?) will be able to cover this topic in more detail. Missing from the reporting of the catastrophe unfolding in New York and New Jersey is that fact that this area leads the nation in charitable giving – and not just for […]

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