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two weeks later

Phyllis here. Thanks to Deb for posting all that amazing info on where to give and receive help. If you’re able bodied and have some free time on your hands, you better be doing your part! People are still without power and food.

It’s been two weeks since Ms. Sandy came tearing through. If you haven’t been visiting or living in the A Zones, it looks like everything is back to normal. Subways are mostly running. Even the gas lines seem to be fine now. Yippee!

Not so back to normal in the hardest hit areas. I can only personally report on Rockaway since that’s where I’ve been working. The good news is that it doesn’t look like the war zone it did the days after the storm. The piles of personal lives on the street have gone down. The sidewalks and roads are less cluttered with sand and trash. There are street and traffic lights working in many areas and some residences even got their power back.

But not too many. LIPA has been as awful as one can imagine. Pretty much non-existent. They finally started coming around this week and I’m happy to report that they actually came into my house to check out my electric panel. I’m ok for power if/when they ever turn it on!

The FEMA checks are rolling in. Not for me because I don’t qualify, but the neighbors are pretty happy with FEMA. Insurance agencies, well, I don’t see anyone singing their praises. Volunteers have been coming around offering food, clothing and cleaning supplies as well as helping hands.

Still, people are living in cold, dark houses. Personally, I couldn’t do it. I would get the fek out of there. But good for them. Some have generators. They barbeque outside and share beers. They all help each other. It’s what a community SHOULD be. It’s almost….pleasant. Yes, I understand I wouldn’t feel it’s so pleasant if I had to spend the night.

Looking forward, with the clean up nearly finished and power about to be restored any day now, methinks that’s when the real rebuilding gets going. Anyone can volunteer to clean but it takes skilled workers to rebuild a house and not everyone can afford that. There will be contractor rip offs and crappy work going on big time.

If you are a contractor or material supplier, I know, I know, you stand to make a killing. But please do your part for society and offer discounts or volunteer time to communities in need. If anyone wants to step up by emailing me or posting in comments, consider the free advertising you’ll get here as payback for your good deed.

Also, peeps in need, don’t forget NYC’s Rapid Response set up through FEMA. You will need a FEMA ID to register.

On the “Me” front, my own Rockaway basement is gutted and cleaned. Will need boiler, water heater, washer, dryer, walls and some kitchen cabinets, tools, yada, yada. No FEMA, no flood insurance. Still feeling like a lucky punk. Found some black mold in the basement walls that was not Sandy related so it’s probably a good thing the basement was gutted. I’m just waiting for power so I can get back to work on the house.

I’ve made the decision to rent it out instead of sell it this year, because really….who the hell is gonna buy a house in Rockaway now?

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