Our View: Recovering from the storm

DKS Editors

Summary: Hurricane Sandy’s economic impact is estimated at $50 billion and thousands are still suffering; we should contribute to relief efforts by donating.

With tens of thousands of residents left homeless after last week’s storm, New York-area officials are worrying about colder weather that might make conditions even worse.

Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, said 20,000 to 40,000 people will have to find homes, comparing Hurricane Sandy’s destruction to the aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. At least 20,000 people have homes that are uninhabitable following the storm. Relocating those residents, Bloomberg said, will be a daunting task.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Sunday that it would begin providing transitional housing to those who could not return to their homes. More than 164,000 residents of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York have applied for aid, and the agency has approved more than $137 million in financial assistance.

Still, disaster modeling company Eqecat estimated the loss to the U.S. economy from Sandy has climbed to as much as $50 billion, making it one of the nation’s most costly disasters. Hundreds of thousands need help, and we can do so by visiting the Red Cross’ website, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can also use the “donate” feature on the free Red Cross apps for mobile devices to support the relief response.

You can also help by donating blood. More than 360 Red Cross blood drives have been cancelled due to the storm, representing a loss of as many as 12,000 blood and platelet products, according to Red Cross’s website. Those who are eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, can help by scheduling a donation appointment in the days and weeks to come. Kent State’s next blood drives are Nov. 13, 14 and 15 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the DeWeese Health Center.

This overwhelming election week, don’t forget the thousands still suffering. We can help our country and our fellow citizens in the days to come by not only remembering to vote, but remembering to contribute to Hurricane Sandy relief.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.