I’m sure many of you have noticed the absence of the many diarists and commenters here that haven’t checked back in since Sandy hit in earnest on the 29th (oddly enough, the date of the big Wall Street Crash in 1929). A number of them expressed sincere worry and fear for themselves, and then pretty much blinked out. You’ll know doubt join me in sending them love, good thoughts and prayers that they are safe, even though many will be living through some hard times for some time to come. If you’ve lived without electricity or water for any length of time, you’ll remember how hard daily life can be, and how you long for a return to normal.
So far I’ve heard back from only one of my friends I’ve reached out to, but as the power comes back on, I do expect to hear from more, as you do. With natural disasters, no news doesn’t have to indicate Bad News, or at least Terrible News.
The DOE’s electrical light and power page says that about 3.5 million ‘customers’ in eleven states were still without power yesterday, down from the original 8.5 million. If you can figure out how to use this Google Crisis Map, more power to you; I can’t even tell if it’s updated, or we’re just to check the links after we read the ‘about this map’ at the bottom of the screen.
If I mentioned any names of those who seem not to be back yet, I’d miss many and feel badly about it, so I’ll just send them all my best, and hope that suffices. You’ll have your own lists as well; feel free to name them. If you’re back after since the storm, please speak up! ;o)
Jack Balkwill’s Liberty Underground newsletter from yesterday said:
“French news reports this morning that at least 163 people have died from the Hurricane Sandy disaster, but the number keeps increasing as bodies are discovered. It is our experience in dealing with these storms that homeless people have probably died and were swept out to sea without witnesses, and we will never know about them.
Our concern is first about the homeless and working class people who’ve lost their homes, and therefore, all their wealth. The wealthy have subsidized flood insurance from the taxpayers for their summer homes on the Atlantic shore, and will be made whole again at record speed. Many poor along the coast have no flood insurance, it is not in the standard homeowners insurance plan, so their loss is absolute economic disaster.
To address the poor, who always suffer most but particularly in disasters like this, we often go to the Catholic Worker community, people living in poverty themselves to feed the hungry, but we’ve lost contact with many in the hardest hit areas, where they are without power, and you may be able to contact some of them here as conditions improve:
http://www.catholicworker.org/communities/commlistall.cfm This is where you get the most bang for your buck and help the most desperate among us.
We recommend that you concentrate donations to New York City, the New Jersey shore, and secondarily to Connecticut and Maryland who took nasty hits. Here in Virginia we have people flooded and with trees through their houses, but we are better off than others, so ask that you help where the needs are greater.”
In a somewhat related matter, those of you who read Arthur Silber at his Power of Narrative website may wish to know that he’s strapped again, and could every tenner readers can send him. For those of you who don’t know his medical status, he covers it again. He has a great lifetime body of work, and now that he may be dying, he’s taking no prisoners with his posts.
Haiti is experiencing another hideous disaster in a chain of them. I don’t know how the people keep the will to live, much less rebuild in the face of all their enemies, which include the political class and international financial bodies, as well as natural disasters; Sandy has taken a huge toll, and will into the future. Grace and faith, I reckon. Last time many of us sent money to Shelter Tents; I dunno how to help this time, especially since we don’t have any money. I wouldn’t give money to the usual suspects if I had any, though. Venezuela has sent 93 tons of food so far. But they’ll need vast amounts of aid.
“It is in the shelter of each other that The People live.”
~ Irish proverb