Hope Amidst Hurricane Sandy
Many of you may remember "Snowmageddon," which pelted the East Coast back in early February of 2010 with as many as 30+ inches of snow in some areas. In the nation's capital, it shuttered airports, businesses and schools, and even the federal government's offices were closed for several days. Amazingly, this devastating blizzard, which left hundreds of thousands of people without power, was followed by another storm that blew through with more than 12 inches of additional snow, blanketing places already paralyzed by the previous snowfall.
Now, just two and a half years later, the East Coast met with more global weirdness by way of a ghoulish Halloween treat ... make that threat … the "Frankenstorm" Hurricane Sandy. The deadly storm claimed more than 60 lives in the Caribbean and continued to be lethal as it clamored up the East Coast where its overall death toll surpassed 90. With almost 8 million power outages, as reported by CNN, Sandy just might join the elite list of the costliest hurricanes in U.S. history; current estimates suggest losses in the neighborhood of $50 billion.
But amidst all the turmoil and tragedy Sandy (and "Snowmageddon" and other storms before it) brought, you can also find treasure and triumph -- in the form of heartfelt acts of kindness and heroics.
The one thing that's struck a chord for many is how social media was used to share messages of optimism and offers of help. Even though the storm left millions without power, many storm survivors still had Internet access via smart phones, tablets and laptops. Tweets announcing free food from local restaurants and places to charge mobile devices filled Twitter. And Facebook became a platform for members to reach out to family and friends in need of shelter. Photos have been shared online showing makeshift signs of offers of assistance. Doctors and veterinarians have offered free medical care. Utility workers from southern states like Alabama and North Carolina headed north to help with recovery efforts and restore power. And news outlets are now teeming with slideshows depicting the wonderful ways people have rallied in Sandy's aftermath.
The big stories (like the nurse helping deliver a baby in a cab) and small stories (like the photo that went viral of the charging station in front of someone's home) alike let us know that in crisis, there's still hope.
As recovery efforts continue, more amazing stories are bound to come to the fore -- and we can't wait to be inspired by them. Do you have any to share? If so, please do so in the comments section below or visit our Facebook page. And for more on Sandy, be sure to tune in to Curiosity Megastorm at 9/8c on Sunday night November 18.