How New York Companies Helped Rebuild After Hurricane Sandy


Hurricane Sandy, which occurred in the year 2012, was the deadliest hurricane in the US, affecting millions of Americans. In New York, Hurricane Sandy caused flooding along subway lines and streets, led to power outages in the city, and wreaked havoc. By the time it made landfall, the hurricane was categorized as a category three storm. It tormented and battered New York for three long days before it ran out of steam.

The massive storm killed a total of 233 people and left many survivors homeless as the storm ripped apart homes. One of the hardest hit areas was the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, which was already dealing with unemployment and housing issues long before the hurricane occurred.

Impact of the Hurricane

Here are some of the startling facts about the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy:

  • Homes were utterly destroyed living people homeless and no place to stay
  • People died due to the storm all around New York
  • There were numerous electricity black-outs recorded in over 8 million homes
  • There was massive flooding in areas like Long Island in Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island
  • Due to the fierce winds, dired destroy 111 homes in Breezy Point
  • Due to the strong winds, there were cases of land falls around Atlantic City
  • The New York Stock Exchange was forced to close for two days which significantly affected the financial status of the markets

NYC Companies Help in the Aftermath

After Hurricane Sandy struck, people were in dire need of help, and different organizations and companies joined efforts to help those affected. It is amazing how quickly people responded to the situation, an encouraging reminder of the goodness in most people’s hearts. In addition to many individuals helping out neighbors and strangers alike, several companies and not-for-profit organizations used their own resources to restore and stabilize New York City. A few of these companies included:

Faith in New York

This multi-faith citywide network of congregations banded together following the storm to help those most affect in the Rockaways. While they assisted with meeting the immediate needs for those affected by distributing donated items,  their overarching goal was to provide long lasting relief to issues of economic disparity and unemployment.

American Express

This credit card giant donated to other organizations that were involved in the relief efforts like the Red Cross. They also worked with small businesses in the area (like Surfside Bagels, 95-11 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Queens, NY 11693, (718) 634-3196) to rebuild after flood waters covered the Rockaway Peninsula.

Imperial Moving & Storage

One of the biggest ways local companies contributed to helping was by continuing to provide reliable services to those in need. With the storm approaching, Manhattan moving company, Imperial Moving & Storage (83 Washington Pl, New York, NY 10011, (212) 879-6683), continued showing up to its previously booked moving jobs. One customer, Joanne Russo, had no choice in whether to move out or not, despite the storm (see the full story here). She was relieved that the movers showed up and moved her to her new residence, even though they probably wished to be with their own families in the midst of the chaos.

Bank of America

BOA donated to the American Red Cross Hurricanes 2012 fund to go towards long-term recovery efforts.

Chase Bank

This bank also contributed financial aid through charitable donations, offering simpler loan terms to small business owners and funds to the state for rebuilding purposes.

Two Boots Pizza

The owner of a pizza chain in Brooklyn, (Two Boots, 284 5th Ave, Brooklyn NY, 11215, (718) 499-0008) opened up his home to a family affected by the storm. He was then inspired to open up his kitchen and start serving free meals to other Hurricane Sandy Victims. He used Facebook and Twitter to rally public support and ended up dishing up 1500 servings of soul-warming soup every day to those in need.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPMorgan contributed to the Red Cross, World Vision, and United Way. They also donated to local agencies who were involved in counseling and social services.

Airbnb

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Airbnb stopped collecting its typical fees for bookings in the affected area and encouraged home owners to offer lower rates to guests displaced by the storm. Many of these Airbnb hosts opted to let people stay free of charge.

All these acts showed that when you work together as a team, anything is possible. These companies and foundations contributed to reconstructing New York and stabilizing the economy.