click for interactive map

Source: Newsday


First things first: After 11 days, I am back at home, with electricity and heat and internet (Yeah!). We saw tons of crews from all over the country working around the clock in terrible conditions to restore power. They were great, and I suspect they were surprised by people bringing them hot coffee and water even without power (go natural gas). We NYers may be gruff and rude and have awful accents, but deep down inside we are big softies.

I am fortunate to have family locally that put me and the brood up for so long. I empathize with those still without juice. My region is nowhere near 100%, with gas shortages, rationing, and at least 15% of electric customers still w/o power.

The damage was extensive: New Jersey got totally slammed, Connecticut got whacked, Staten Island is a disaster, Far Rockaway looks like Beirut. Fire Island was breached; (See charities to donate to below).

It was frustrating being without power or heat for so long; it felt like the twinkling lights across the Sound were mocking me each night — Damn you Connecticut! — with their heat and power and wasteful electric lights creating a warm rosy glow in the Northeastern sky. All is forgiven, CT, as I assume your taunts were mostly in my own head.

For those of you who have the means, may I suggest a) taking a family in who are still without heat or electricity; 2) Making a donation to a reputable charity. has a list of top rated organizations here (ALWAYS follow smart giving guidelines — see these tips and avoid creeps and scammers).

Easy: You can also just text a donation to the Red Cross:  American Red Cross:  Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation — or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

More suggestions for donations, along with CharityWatch ratings of each, are after the jump


Top-rated charities perform favorably in relation to CharityWatch benchmarks:

1) A charity should spend at least 75% of its budget on program services.
2) Charities should spend no more than $25 to raise $100.

Contact your favorite charities to find out if they provide the specific types of aid that you would like to fund, e.g., emergency shelters, food and water, health care, psychological trauma counseling, etc…

Other giving options are local community groups that will be offering shelter and food services to those in need. People should check with local houses of worship and municipal government.


All links open in a new window



Category: Markets

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

13 Responses to “Getting Back to Normal . . .”

  1. constantnormal says:

    As a big proponent of making emergency plans, do you have any changes in mind to your own (either personally or professionally) from your recent experience with severe storms?

  2. BennyProfane says:

    Cuomo is now using his bully pulpit to blame the utilities. He has his eyes on the prize for ’16. But, let’s face it, he’s right that the system is antiquated, but, are we all willing to spend the enormous amount of money to bury the lines and modernize the rest of it? And, are residents willing to have zillions of potentially damaging trees cut down, so that this won’t happen again? I don’t think so. This will all be forgotten until the next storm, unfortunately.

  3. george lomost says:

    By all means contribute what you can. We’ve done some and my wife has been volunteering (on State Island) but we’re adamant about not giving to the Red Cross – everything we have heard about them is that management is paid far too much and there is little bang for the buck.

    Good luck to all.

  4. ami_in_deutschland says:

    Barry, as someone who has seen things firsthand, it would be of interest to hear your opinion about how well (or not) FEMA has been handling this catastrophe.

  5. Robert M says:

    In following up on what you said; praise the maker of ziplocks.
    You need a go bag, several good sites to create one. Caveat You actually need several based on family and situation. The most basic has to have paper copies of life, home & auto insurance records, SS no, medicare info for the elderly, medical info for family-if you haven’t had your immunzations now is a good time as it is very easy to have puncture wounds from metal objects in disasters and some cash- no flashing. as cash is king and atm’s & credit card machines do not work where there is no power.(If things are really bad have everyone bend over, arch your back and duct tape the ziplock(double, triple bagged) info to the persons back. Sounds ridiculous but as you have seen children can easily become separated especially if you have to move at night.
    Home survival: candles and waterproof matches, fire starter-these are the high heat flash metal kindling kind. a cooler-fill it w/ ice, break it up, to the brim, add water and close. Medical kit-lots of good info online and goes to skill level; after this probably a good idea to take a red cross first aid class. IMPORTANT: MEDICATIONS MUST BE DOUBLE BAGGED AND SEPARATELY. REFRIGERATED MEDICINE, E.G. INSULIN MUST BE PACKAGED AND STORED IN A SEPARATE COOLER.
    Fuel: fill your tank and park the car for safety. Separate containers, small and large, for gas and kerosene and separate funnels- they are different colors. Keep them AWAY from fire sources using a small one to load camping stoves, heaters and generators. Fuel in quantity is heavy.
    Clothes: get some old ones for ratty work-when you have to do it you’ll know what I mean. this includes warm weather areas. Wet will make you cold very fast at even 60 degrees.
    Odds and ends; a roll of heavy duty plastic, the folded over sheet and a manual staple gun. Windows can be covered when blown out. a shark saw- wide teeth will cut plastic and wood. solar chargers-optional
    Lastly a plan w/ responsibilites for everyone make it game for the kids. This includes the prepositioning and distribution of goods.
    Some of this is work- Think it through. Money-This is where flea markets in the country come in. Lots of goods available see jake’s in Philly area

  6. mathman says:

    Is it me or is it actually taking longer and longer with each big storm to return affected areas to some semblance of “normal” (even it we limit it to just electricity)? It isn’t just power of course, many businesses were flooded out and lost all their stock (esp. if in basements or ground floor storage) including food, medical supplies, stock certificates, potable water, water treatment plants, and lots of people’s cars and trucks were inundated with smelly toxic storm/sea water. Tons of property damage, trees down, sand all over the place, fires, gas and water main breaks/disruptions and loss of life in some cases. People living in squallor now that the garbage isn’t being picked up regularly. Rats and vermin having a field day (those that survived). Is this what it’s gonna be like soon for all of us? Survival plans only last so long and then what? Why aren’t we planning as communities or a nation? Is it gonna be everyone for themselves? i think this was a HUGE wake-up call, not just about keeping the electrical grid up and running (which is going to get more and more difficult with climate change in the coming years).
    Where’s the leadership?

  7. BennyProfane says:


    “Is it gonna be everyone for themselves? i think this was a HUGE wake-up call, not just about keeping the electrical grid up and running (which is going to get more and more difficult with climate change in the coming years).
    Where’s the leadership?”

    Well, up here in Upper Westchester, the leadership is living in estates powered by gas fired generators on dirt roads. They’re really not too affected.

  8. Greg0658 says:

    how about the H2O wells in UpWestchester with them fracking fields under ya .. or they down the road?

  9. James Cameron says:

    > We saw tons of crews from all over the country working around the clock in terrible conditions to restore power.

    Including crews and trucks flown in from far away Washington state including Seattle:

  10. Dan Z says:

    Barry, I’m one of those lucky CT residents that had my power restored in 4 days after this storm. That brings the grand total to 15 days without power in the past 14 months.

    I broke down and bought a generator on day 3 of my 7 day outage after the Halloween snowstorm last year. Best purchase I’ve ever made.

  11. BennyProfane says:

    @Dan Z

    I got ya beat at 32 days over the last 4.5 years I’ve lived in Bedford, NY.. You know, the Third World. But, the trees sure are pretty.

  12. formerlawyer says:

    @Robert M

    What no duct tape?

    Seriously, is a good resource for preparedness.

  13. to no One, in specific..

    though, many, before Buying their next Watch..

    should, really, stop, and consider the benefits of..

    (hint: they exceed the Costs..)