One Week On, Sandy Still Disrupts, But Volunteers Innovate

Almost a full week after Sandy hit, the East Coast is still struggling to get back on its feet—and the biggest worry now is, as seven days ago, the elements. With the temperature set to drop in the coming days, Mayor Bloomberg yesterday estimated that between 30,000 and 40,000 people would need temporary housing. As of last night, 145,000 homes in NYC were still without power. The Rockaways area of Queens is one of the worst-hit areas, and yesterday residents made their displeasure known to the Mayor as he toured the area.

Transport around the region is also going to be a problem. Governor Cuomo warned commuters that today would put the state transport system under a lot of pressure, as well as asking people not to hoard fuel. NJ Transit is expecting an extended period of disruption, with a fully restored service several weeks away.

The disaster has brought out a raft of tech-based aid. Two mapping-based sites sprang up yesterday: NeedMapper connects volunteers with people in need of help; while a co-working crowd map shows office space available for anyone whose work life has been disrupted. And Facebook group SandyBaggers yesterday distributed aid to victims in Staten Island and Queens.

[Image from the SandyBaggers' Facebook page]

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  • Tyler Tringas

    Missed one. Our Sandy Volunteer Mapper helps you find the nearest locations to pitch in (since transport is still pretty sketchy). 1,000s of folks checking it so if you have a need or know of somewhere that needs volunteers please Post it via the simple form and it gets added to the map. Great work all! http://sandyvolunteermap.herok...

  • Jennifer Turliuk

    Thanks for the mention! Please #textiton to let Sandy victims know they can text needs to 607-269-HELP. Volunteers: find up-to-date opportunities at

  • Gabriela@Startupcircle

    Awesome article, there is always some good to be found when the worst hits.  In San Diego, the startup community has rallied around another innovative effort #SandyWebOutside to post interactive messages of support on digital screens in NY and surrounding area through tech startup Locbit -- $1000 has already ben raised with support from StartupCircle and we like this effort bc it raises money and helps bring a smile to these communities as they rebuild iver the next weeks and months. 

    Great piece, the #SandyWebOutside item is below, sorry link is so long no time to post proper presser right now!  http://campaign.r20.constantco...