What happens now? Taking steps in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy

Donation, damage and area transportation information for Syracuse University students who want to get involved in the Sandy relief effort.

Although it seems that Syracuse was spared the worst of Superstorm Sandy, many students at Syracuse University have friends and family caught in disasters zones in New York City and in parts of New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Maryland.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and MTA chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota led a press conferance Tuesday morning to assess the damage of Superstorm Sandy on New York City and the surrounding areas.

Photo: Andrew Renneisen

“I don’t think words like ‘catastrophic’ or ‘historic’ are too strong to explain the impact of this storm,” Cuomo said. Many areas in New York and other coastal areas are heavily flooded, and millions are still out of power, he said.

According to Cuomo, New York’s first priority is public safety in the aftermath of the storm. There were 156 rescue missions Monday night by the National Guard, State Police and the NYPD, he said.

Here’s how to contribute to the relief effort for those impacted b the storm:

  • The American Red Cross The Red Cross has been heavily involved in relief efforts across the nation and around the world since 1881. The humanitarian organization has opened over 100 shelters along the Eastern Coast and is collecting supplies to bring to storm victims, according to a Red Cross press release. There are several ways to donate: go to the Red Cross disaster relief page online, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross of Central New York at 220 Herald Place, Syracuse, NY, 13202. The Red Cross is also asking for blood donors during this time, to assist those in hospitals impacted by Sandy. Visit their website to check out the eligibility requirements for donating blood before scheduling a local blood donor appointment.
  • Americares This relief organization mobilized a team of 130 partner organizations in many states to confront Sandy on Monday. Americares stockpiled vaccines and medicine for emergency use during the aftermath of the storm, and is prepared to award disaster grants to heavily flooded areas, according to the organization’s website. To donate, go to the website’s disaster donation page.
  • World Vision World Vision collected supplies and clean-up kits to distribute to families and children affected by the disaster. To donate, visit their donation website.
  • The Salvation Army Food trucks have deployed across five states to assist at shelters along the East Coast. So far, over 600 meals have been served to Sandy victims, according to their website. You can donate online on their disaster page, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769), or mail donations marked “Sandy relief” to the Eastern Territory Salvation Army center at 440 West Nyack Rd. West Nyack, NY, 10994.

 Syracuse is still on the alert for any damage that has been done to the surrounding area in the wake of Sandy. The Onondaga County Emergency Management Center in the Civic Center will remain open today to monitor any emergency calls related to Sandy, according to their website. Here’s who to contact if you have sustained damage to your home or have lost power.


  • Trees down Call the Syracuse City Department of Public Works at (315) 448-CITY to report downed trees.
  • Power outages or power lines down Call National Grid immediately at 1-800-867-5222 for Upstate New York division.
  • Structural Damage If your home or your family’s home has sustained damage from Sandy, you may be eligible for disaster assistance from FEMA. Go to their website to apply for assistance.


For students who have friends and family in areas affected by Sandy, or may be stranded in affected areas at this time, here is the current transportation information for New York City and other areas.  

New York City: As far as transportation in and out of the city, many outlets are still closed at this time, Cuomo said in the press conferance. “There will be a limited resumption of bus schedules started at 5 p.m. tonight, meaning the Sunday schedules,” he said. “Hopefully tomorrow there will be full service on the buses.” No fares will be charged on buses today and tomorrow, Cuomo said.
Amtrak trains out of New Jersey and other states are still closed, car tunnels like the Holland Tunnel will remain closed due to flooding, and all bridges except the Rockaway bridges will reopen at noon Tuesday, Cuomo said.
JFK airport will hopefully open Wednesday, and LaGuardia Airport is not scheduled to reopen any time soon because of extensive damage, Cuomo said.
 The subway system sustained the worst damage of transportation mechanisms in the city, said Joseph Lhota, chairman and CEO of the MTA.
“Sandy wrecked havoc on the entire transportation system,” Lhota said. “In every single borough of the city and in every single county of the MTA region.”
At least five subway tunnels between Manhattan and Brooklyn are underwater, Lhota said, and there is a 40-foot boat that was deposited onto multiple tracks of Metro North, he said.
As soon as the MTA can assess the subway damage, it will send updates out on its website and on social media, so that “our eight and a half million customers per day will have proper service as soon as possible,” Lhota said.
Connecticut: Governor Dannel Malloy lifted the travel ban on Tuesday that was enacted for all Connecticut highways and roads through the day on Monday, according to a Connecticut Transportation press release. The New Haven Rail Line was suspended as of 7 p.m. Sunday, and Connecticut’s Amtrak train service and CTTransit buses were suspended Monday, according to the CT transportation website. Malloy will hold a news briefing at 6:00 p.m. from the State Emergency Operations Center in Hartford, C.T. to assess the damage and possibly reopen transportation, according to the release.
Maryland: Dulles International and Baltimore Washington International Airports are open, but many flights going into the affected area are cancelled or delayed, according to the airports’ websites. MTA restored service to local bus, metro subway and mobility/Paratransit on Tuesday, but MARC Train, Commuter Bus and Light Rail remain suspended, according to the Maryland Transportation website
New Jersey: All New Jersey Transit transportation—including trains, buses and light rail—is suspended through at least Tuesday, according to their website. Newark Liberty International Airport is closed until further notice, according to their website.
Rhode Island:  The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority has detoured several bus routes on Tuesday, and commuter railways into Massachusetts have been suspended, according to their website. T.F. Green Airport in Providence is open, but will have limited flights only throughout the day Tuesday. It will reopen fully on Wednesday, according to the website.

Governor Cuomo issued a list of storm aftermath precautions Tuesday for people in Sandy’s affected area.


  • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed¬out bridges. Stay off the streets. If you must go out watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.
  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
  • Walk carefully around the outside of your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering.
  • Stay out of any building if you smell gas, floodwaters remain around the building or your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.
  • Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
  • NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.



Information taken from Governor Cuomo’s website

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