How to Help and Get Help After Hurricane Sandy

We’ve been hearing about seniors in New York City who are stranded in high-rises, powerless and alone. Other New Yorkers have lost homes and possessions. How can you help? Or how can you get help to someone who needs it (maybe even you)?

The New York Observer did the homework and tracked down several ways you can pitch in during this aftermath—or find the help that you need—and we found a few of our own.

  • The Lower East Side Recovers Organized by the Occupy NYC people, this easy-to-use site matches those looking for help with those offering to go on missions and/or donate funds or needed items. You’ll have to sign up for an account—the site will ask you to enter phone and address info—before you describe what you need or can offer: clothes, baby items, furniture, etc. Highest priority needs right now are food, water, flashlights and batteries; and people to to help with outreach, distribution of supplies and organizing/moving people. The Lower East Side Recovers will email you with details on where you can help. Click here to access the website and sign up.
  • Human Services Council of NYC If you or someone you know is in need of food, water or other emergency assistance, call 1-718-875-1517.
  • #SandyVolunteer Search for this hashtag on Twitter by going to, clicking on #Discover in the top menu bar and entering the hashtag in the search field (or click here). You’ll find a stream of requests from various sources, including the Red Cross and individuals. Click here to go straight to the SandyVolunteer newsstream.
  • The Google Crisis Map lists evacuation and emergency centers in your area. At the top left of the screen, enter your zip code; then click on any pink or red dot near you to find the address of a NYC or Red Cross center. Many of these centers need volunteer help. Click here to access the map.
  • New York City council member Brad Lander’s website is detailing needs in Brooklyn. Right now, the Park Slope Armory and John Jay High School shelter at 237 7th Avenue need volunteers to work 8-hour shifts—especially anyone with medical training. In Red Hook, the Red Hook Initiative at 767 Hicks Street is accepting donations. Much needed are non-perishable food, ice, water, batteries, flashlights, candles and financial donations. Click here to see more on Brad Lander’s site.
  • Food Bank NYC is looking for volunteers. Click here to fill out a volunteer form.
  • eRideShare If you can offer someone a ride or need a ride, sign up here. Click to post a ride wanted or offered.
  • New York Cares will be looking for Sandy volunteers—but you have to sign up for NYC and attend an orientation first. Click here to sign up for future volunteer opportunities.
  • Senior Planet’s Facebook page Check in for regular updates on how to help and how to find help. Click here to see Facebook updates.
  • Make a $10 donation by text message straight from your cellphone; the $10 will be added to your phone bill or deducted from your prepaid plan:
    To donate to the Red Cross, text the word REDCROSS to the number 90999
    To donate to the Salvation Amy, text the word STORM to the number 80888
  • Electricity, food, water stations For emergency stations citywide, click here.

If you are able to help, please do. And of course, if you know anybody who may be stuck in their home or unable to reach out, please check in on them or let us know on our Facebook page so we can try to help.

We’re all in this together.



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