On October 30, 2011, Lehigh University’s campus was evacuated after being left without power for more than 24 hours. A snowstorm, that Lehigh students have affectionately nicknamed “snowpocalypse,” hit the area, causing trees to fall and downed power lines. The storm did not cause too many issues for areas outside of Bethlehem, and traveling somewhere to stay during the evacuation was not very difficult. I traveled with one of my friends to her home on Long Island. We spent the few days we had off from school having the time of our lives. We went to New York City for their annual Halloween Parade in the Village. We went to the South Hamptons and ran around the beaches at night in the freezing cold. We had adventure after adventure.
On October 30, 2012, Lehigh University’s campus was evacuated for the second year in a row after being left without power. This time, it was because of Hurricane Sandy. I luckily had power in my house in Rhode Island, and traveled home safely. The time off, however, was not the same. I was not excited or relived to have a few days off from classes. During the evacuation, any moment that I felt relaxed or happy was immediately followed by a moment of guilt and sadness. I knew what people were suffering through. I knew there were many with demolished homes, missing loved ones, destroyed memories, no access to power, and very little help.
I thought back to the time I had spent on Long Island the year before. The Village Halloween Parade we had gone to was cancelled this year. Most of Manhattan was without power. The beach we had driven to was demolished. The road we had taken to drive there had been flooded and destroyed.
It is terrifying to think of what can change in just one year, or even in just a few hours of powerful winds and rain. Those few hours changed lives forever. A month may have passed since Hurricane Sandy hit, but there are still thousands that need help. Any size donation could help those in need.
#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.