Hurricane Sandy has left her mark on me. The storm showed me that patience with others and the ability to change your plans as well as becoming flexible to other people’s needs can have a rewarding outcome.
The storm touched the most sacred place of all – Mom’s house. Not just hers…. but many family members, friends and neighbors have been affected. First there was the hurricane, then a flood, then a nor’easter, followed by birthdays and Thanksgiving. We have been in a collective state of overwhelm for a few weeks now.
As a new year inches closer, the house is still damp, and it is taking longer than expected for the mold treatment to cure. Temperatures are dropping outside as workers, contractors and helpers are looking to continue their work indoors. The home is uninhabitable and will be for some time.
There were a few unexpected laughs in all of this – like when I saw the pictures of the back porch floating several miles away. “How on earth did that get there?” Our heads did a 180 from the point of where it was, to where it floated away… followed by a hearty round of laughter that put our hearts and minds back in a place of temporary sanity. We needed the laugh, badly.
And while we laughed, there were so many others that could not.
Dealing with massive amounts of paperwork, taking photos of everything, documenting the loss, removing debris, helping friends, the “I love you’s” go on… and on…. and on. When I get tired I remeber that this too shall pass. But ‘this’ will never be the same.
Sandy showed me the importance of emergency preparedness. It is important to keep the cell phones and laptops charged, organize important contact information, have your policies in hand and know what coverage you do/don’t have, be proactive about the clean up, call in any loss early in the process, document belongings with serial numbers and photos in advance and most of all, that having patience is a virtue. Recovering from Sandy is a process and a lesson learned.
There are many other tips regarding the emergency credit card, cash, bookkeeping, insurance, food and other intricacies of disaster preparedness… these can be included in future posts.
Participating with volunteer disaster relief efforts has been rewarding and a real growing experience for me. My thoughts and hopes for a speedy recovery go out to everyone affected by the storm.
Candi Sparks is the author of children’s books about money “Can I Have Some Money?” Max Gets It!, Nacho Money and other titles. Her upcoming titles include “Sold Out“ and “Smart & Pretty” and her money books for young people focus on building community and entrepreneurship. She is the Dean of Young and Rising Moguls at World of Money and a Brooklyn mother of two, on Facebook and Twitter (Candi Sparks, author).