Hurricane Sandy Heroes

ISS-33 Hurricane Sandy - cropped

As of this morning, the death toll from Hurricane Sandy’s devastation in 10 states is over 90 casualties, according to The Associated Press (AP). The same article described the tragic fates of two of the storm’s victims – two young Staten Island boys, aged two and four, who were swept from their family’s SUV by flooding waters.

The AP also reported that at its peak, approximately 8.5 million homes and businesses were out of power. Dangerous weather conditions came in many forms depending on geography, from heavy rains and winds to severe flooding, extreme snowfalls and raging fires.

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Hurricane Sandy has been nicknamed ‘Frankenstorm’ but this is no joke. New York state seems to have been most slammed (its death toll is highest). New York also saw its share of heroes during the natural disaster. Sadly NYPD officer Artur Kasprzak died while saving seven family members. He made sure they all reached the safety of their Staten Island home’s attic, but sadly he, only 28 years old, was claimed by the flood.

Strangely enough, a massive fire broke out, destroying 80 or more homes, in the Breezy Point neighborhood in NYC’s borough of Queens. Approximately 200 firefighters were at the scene and had to navigate without their fire trucks because the streets were so greatly flooded. They rescued individuals using boats.

Of course FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has acted as a coordinator for emergency services. “President Barack Obama has signed declarations for New Hampshire, Virginia, West Virginia, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island,” stated The Huffington Post. “The President’s action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts to provide assistance for required emergency measures, directly to state, tribal and local governments, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety”. One such role the Homeland Security branch has coordinated is supplying basic necessities to those displaced by Hurricane Sandy, such as millions of liters of water and meals, as well as hundreds of thousands of blankets.

For many who have acted heroically during or after the storm, their job descriptions were drastically changed. Local police officers became search and rescue operatives, city workers moved from small scale waste managers to large scale tree removers and power workers from all over the country stepped in to assist. From those members of the Coast Guard to the Red Cross volunteers running emergency shelters, so many people bravely came together to assist those possibly facing the most frightening moment in their lives.

Would you like work in a career where you too can act heroically to help save lives or help those deal with the aftermath of disaster? Consider taking a homeland security or an emergency management degree (or another related program).

Additionally, another way you can do your part is donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund so that the hard working and brave volunteers can continue to help during disasters such as Hurricane Sandy.