US Flag AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Home United We Serve National Service
Mobile Menu Button
National Service Blog - Archive
Lars Anderson

The following post was originally published on the FEMA blog on October 30, 2012.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. While the worst of the weather is beyond some areas on the East Coast, Sandy remains a very large storm system that continues to pose life-threatening hazards for coastal and inland areas including high winds, heavy rains, dangerous storm surge and flash flooding, and snow and cold weather hazards in some areas.

Some important safety reminders if you're in an area that has been, or is still being, impacted by this storm:

  • Continue to listen to your local officials – If you evacuated and are returning home, make sure local officials have deemed the area safe to return to. If Sandy is still impacting your area and local officials give the order to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Stay off the roads – Emergency workers may be assisting people in flooded areas or cleaning up debris. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.
  • If your power is out, safely use a generator or candles – Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open. Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors and vents. Read both the label on your generator and the owner's manual and follow the instructions. If using candles, please use caution. If possible, use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire.
  • Avoid downed power or utility lines – They may be live with deadly voltage. Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.
  • Don't drive or walk through flood waters – It only takes a small amount of water to move people or vehicles. If you encounter a flooded roadway, don't attempt to pass through water –turn around, don't drown. And if your home has flood water inside or around it, don't walk or wade in it. The water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage.

How to help those affected by Sandy

We've had a number of questions come in on our Facebook and Twitter accounts about how to help those who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy. A few pointers to remember:

  • Cash is the most efficient method of donating – Cash offers voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and pumps money into the local economy to help businesses recover.
  • Volunteer or donate through a trusted organization – At the national level, many voluntary, faith-based and community-based organizations are active in disasters, and are trusted ways to donate to disaster survivors. In addition to the national members, each state has its own list of voluntary organizations active in disasters.

Numerous blood drives have been canceled as a result of the storm and the Red Cross has a need for blood donations. To schedule a blood donation or for more information about giving blood or platelets, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Here's a video from President Obama reminding everyone how we can help those in need after a disaster:

Latest update on FEMA's activities

Last night, the President declared major disasters for New York and New Jersey, making disaster assistance available to those in the heaviest hit areas affected by the storm. Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the following counties in New York and New Jersey can begin applying for assistance by registering online or on your phone at

  • Declared counties in New York: Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Richmond, Suffolk, and Queens.
  • Declared counties in New Jersey: Atlantic, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union Counties

Those impacted can also apply by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

In addition to federal disaster assistance being available in several counties, states and localities and the American Red Cross continue to operate emergency shelters in many states. You can search for open shelters by visiting the Red Cross website, downloading the FEMA smartphone app, or by texting the word “shelter” and a ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA). For example, if you're searching for a shelter in the 01234 ZIP code, you would text Shelter 01234.

Finally, we continue to work closely with our emergency management partners and are embedded with state teams to support response efforts and assess unmet needs. Our priority focus remains on life-saving and life-sustaining activities. Currently, more than 1,500 FEMA personnel are positioned along the East Coast working to support disaster preparedness and response operations, including search and rescue, situational awareness, communications and logistical support. Here are some details about our staff's support:

  • Twenty-eight teams comprised of 294 FEMA Corps members are pre-staged to support Sandy.
  • Seven federal urban search and rescue task forces have been activated and are deploying in the Mid-Atlantic as needed and requested.
  • Fourteen Incident Management Assistance Teams
  • Twelve liaison officers are positioned in state emergency operations centers along the East Coast supporting preparedness activities and ensure there are no unmet needs.
  • 10 Disability Integration Advisors supporting emergency management in 10 states on current alert and warning, evacuation and sheltering needs and preparing for potential post-storm operations.

Please share these important safety reminders and we hope you're taking every precaution to stay safe.

Keywords: Disaster, FEMA, FEMACorps, Hurricane Sandy
Volunteering, Teamwork, Learning and Growing, Being Prepared- proactive choices that make a difference in our social security as a nation, community, family and individual.
In 2005 I left a successful career in tv advertising to join the staff of A Child's Place of Charlotte, a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit helping to erase the impact of homelessness on children and their education.
The Lemon Lounge, a community project inspired by one little girl's dream to find the cure for childhood cancer, has raised nearly $1,500 for pediatric cancer research.
To honor the first annual 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, Rebuilding Together partnered with United We Serve to distribute 50,000 outreach bags filled with energy efficient savings information in 19 states.
A DC resident joins the President and First Lady by honoring the victims of September 11, 2001 through service.
I’ve done everything from coordinating search and rescue activities to cleaning up and carrying out the trash. After a transfer to Hugo, Colorado, my latest unique volunteer opportunity began.
For the first time ever, I felt I was doing something with a purpose and in turn it gave me a sense of worth and meaning. Up until then I had felt like I was a burden to people around me. Whereas at the event, I felt like I meant something to someone and was doing good for those around me. I then immersed myself in volunteer work.
I am a mentor for the Y-FRIENDz Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program with YMCA Youth & Family Services in San Diego. For the past year and a half I have mentored a now 10-year-old girl who has both parents in and out of prison.
Today, girls face many obstacles. Girls in the Game empowers girls to overcome challenges. Game Day events introduce girls of all ages to different sports and fitness activities while teaching leadership, nutrition, and life-skills.
EPA's ENERGY STAR and Boys & Girls Club offer Dallas homeowner a youthful energy check-up.
In Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, local youth groups have stepped up to lead local community renewal efforts.
By tagging on to the President’s initiative and encouraging service this summer, we have engaged people in community service work to help make it a part of the everyday lives of all Americans with a hope that they will make an ongoing commitment to each other, their communities, and volunteer work throughout their lives
This halloween International Hand Foundation a non profit charity focusing on education would like introduce "Treat for Good", a halloween program that has kids reaching out for more than candy but for a life lesson in compassion for a child across the world.
The high cost of energy in rural Alaska prompted a VISTA member serving with the Rural Alaska Community Action Program to look into using the local hot springs as an energy source.
The adjustment from Brooklyn to Ajo, AZ was made easier when Maria embraced her responsibility to her community and herself.
I have been battling some medical conditions. I use to be flat in bed for five and a half and now live with daily chronic pain. However, I have been sending all handwritten letters to the troops since Nov. 2000.
Tay-bandz, an nonprofit organization founded by a young cancer patient, raises public awareness about childhood cancer and funds for research.
It started with one woman’s belief that helping kids learn to read would make a difference. A flight attendant flying for one of the major airline carriers on 9/11, LeeAnn Butler-Owens was prompted by the loss of friends and coworkers to examine her part in making the world a better place. By combining her interest in early childhood development with a love of music and the arts, Butler-Owens started by developing a children’s musical audio book.
Creating a New Path is a Learn and Serve America sub grantee at CASMAN Alternative Academy in Manistee, Michigan. Students at the school recognized a need for a better place to walk dogs instead of down a dirt road.
I became certified as a Guardian ad Litem in Marion County, Florida in April 2009. In case you are not familiar, guardians are volunteers that are appointed to cases where children have been removed from their homes by DCF due to abuse/safety conditions. It is our job to be the voice for the children in the courts and advocate for them.
October has been a milestone in our Chapters history with the signing of a "COMMUNITY COVENANT" by our Chapters 1st Vice President, John Snyder, and the Commanders of American Legion Posts 129;316.233; VFW Post 3270; and FRA 290, along with the Mayors of Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach.
Jobs and homes have been lost, but if Dr. Alan Singer can help it marriages will not be lost to this recession. Dr. Singer, a family therapist in central New Jersey, volunteers his services on the weekends for couples hard-hit by the recession.
Twenty-five Foster Grandparent volunteers in Hamilton, Bradley and McMinn counties participated in an educational campaign to share basic character traits with students in their classrooms.
I volunteer at a community Food Bank which serves approximately 2,000 people a week's worth of groceries each month. The need for food has increased about 35% in our community.
This year during Ramadan, right before the start of the United We Serve Interfaith Week of Service, the Interfaith Committee at my church, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Arlington, Virginia, organized an iftar (dinner to break the Ramadan fast) for members of local Muslim communities. More than 60 Catholics and Muslims attended the dinner, a turnout far surpassing our expectations.
To most people, digging up dirt and spreading mulch may not sound like a good time. However, that’s exactly what over 30 volunteers of all ages at RAF Mildenhall UK Air Force Base did in early September when they came together to create a remembrance garden for armed services veterans.
Shafia Clinic is a community-oriented alternative for people who cannot afford medical treatment. Operated by a volunteer team of physicians, nurses, and administrative staff, Shifa Clinic also receives generous donations from the community.
Staff members from The Hitachi Foundation and Hitachi, Ltd. in Washington, DC spent the 9/11 Day of Service with Covenant House.
Crenshaw High School opened in 1968 in the historic Crenshaw District of South Los Angeles. Students here face more than the normal teenage dramas; they also deal with shifting cultural alliances and the threat of gang violence. 85% qualify for the Free/Reduced Lunch Program. Out of these difficult circumstances, the Crenshaw Eco Club has risen to become the largest and most ethnically diverse club on campus.
Students at Woodmere Middle School on Long Island completed a service-learning project at the Town of Hempstead's Marine Nature Study Area in honor of the 16th Annual National Public Lands Day. They lent a helping hand to Long Island's tidal wetlands, which provide protection for shellfish, small fish, migratory birds, and other animals.


Stay in Touch

Follow us on the following social networks, to ensure that you are always up to date!

Facebook Icon
Twitter Icon
YouTube Icon




Tell us how we're doing:

National Service websites:


Back to Top