Thursday, December 6, 2012

I was Lucky: Reflections on Hurricane Sandy


I was lucky.  When Lehigh cancelled classes for Hurricane Sandy, I was headed home within twenty minutes. My hometown, Elizabethtown, PA, did not get hit nearly has hard by Hurricane Sandy as we were expecting. In all honesty, it was basically a bad thunderstorm without the thunder.

Listening to the news reports Monday night about the water getting higher and higher and the wind getting stronger and stronger, I tried to put myself in the shoes of those who were on the verge of losing everything.
When I got on Facebook the next day, I was astonished at the amount of the damage to Lehigh’s campus. Even more amazingly, no one was hurt.   But the pictures of the damage to the Jersey shore and New York City were heart-wrenching. I couldn't help but think, “What if that had been my town?” “What if I had lost everything?”

Unfortunately, those thoughts passed. I was home for a full week, enjoying the relaxation of being cuddled up with my dog and pretending like I was doing homework.  Hurricane Sandy, because it did not directly affect me, was no longer in the forefront of my mind. It’s a terrible clich√©, I know, but it is the truth.
Then I got back to campus, and I started talking to my friends who had been impacted by the hurricane. Many of my friends didn't have the option to go home when Lehigh lost power, because their parents were closer to the worst of the damage than Lehigh was. My friend Devin’s parents were told they might not get power back until after thanksgiving. Listening to these stories forced me to think about how incredibly blessed I was to have had a home with electricity to spend “hurrication” in.

That is why I think #Comm30Sandy is important. I lucked out, I was safe. But millions of other people lost everything. I was not directly affected by Hurricane Sandy, but that does not change that this is an excellent opportunity to help those who were affected in a real and tangible way.

Please consider donating to our cause at www.indiegogo.com/comm30sandy

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