Last year in late October, the Northeast was faced with a surprising snowstorm. My car was nearly totaled after an enormous branch came crashing down on the roof. I was told I must evacuate the sorority house I was living in on Lehigh’s campus. My home in New Jersey was without power for over a week, so I survived by couch surfing at my friends’ homes that had power.
This past October, those same feelings I felt last year suddenly came back as I learned the Northeast was going to be hit by a ferocious hurricane. This year, however, I am a senior living off campus with four other girls. When we first heard the storm was coming, we immediately set out to buy flashlights and nonperishable food. Tuesday morning we all woke up to a dark, quiet house and news that school would be closed for the entire week. Luckily, my phone was charged from the night before so I was able to call home. I learned that my hometown of Short Hills, NJ was completely without power with the exception of my house, since my parents had a generator installed after last year’s snowstorm.
I ended up driving home with six of my friends whose homes were without power. The drive from Lehigh to my house typically takes an hour, but this time, it took at least two. Seeing the damage that was done to my area was heartbreaking. Wednesday morning, my friends and I tried to go to my local grocery store, the only place in the area that had power. The 3-minute trip took an hour. While we were stuck on all of the back roads in Short Hills, we were able to take a closer look at Sandy’s damage to my community. Streets were blocked off by electrical wires and trees, street signs were laying flat on the ground, homes were wrecked by tree damage, and people were walking around, browsing the local damage, looking hopeless. I’ve never seen my town look so desperate, somber, and devastated before.
I was touched the other day in my Public Relations class when my Professor made sure my classmates and I all had a place to go for Thanksgiving. While my family and I are lucky to have made it through Hurricane Sandy with minimal damage to our home, thousands of others have not been as fortunate as us. Please help us make a difference.
#COMM30Sandy is an online class project for the Media & Society class at Lehigh University, taught by professor Jeremy Littau. You can donate to our campaign at this link, and for more information you can email Prof. Littau at email@example.com.