Hurricane Sandy has made landfall in the United States, creating massive flooding, fires that have destroyed over 80 homes, blizzard conditions in West Virginia, flooding the NY City subway, knocking out power to millions, causing an evacuation of a hospital in New York,evacuations of hundreds of families and people staying in hotels, sinking a tall ship, closing the NYSE and causing at least 16 deaths.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been quoted as saying the financial cost in "incalculable."
Additionally, news reports have stated that over 100 blood drives that had been scheduled in the Northeast have been cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy.
There is a great need for donations to help the families who have lost their homes, or who have been evacuated. There are several ways you can help.
You can text 90999 on your mobile phone to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross. This $10 will show up on your next mobile phone bill.
If you are able, please consider donating blood. Blood is perishable and needs to be replenished regularly.
If you are in communities close to those affected please contact your local Red Cross chapter to see how you can help.
Additionally, both presidential campaign donation websites have links to the American Red Cross website, which I think is pretty cool.
If you read this blog and you are in the affected areas you can also visit the safe and well site of the American Red Cross to let your family and friends know you are safe and well.
Please be aware that after disasters such as this unscrupulous people will try to get donations for charities that don't exist. Please, donate to recognized organizations such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, or other local *known* assistance organizations. Food pantries will likely bit hit hard, so consider donating food to local organizations. Blankets, coats, and personal care items are also needed. Toys, books and games can be helpful for small children who may not understand what is going on.
Lastly, try to stay safe out there!