While our friends, families and neighbors in the NY/NJ area really took a beating in this storm, we managed to squeak by with some downed trees, beach erosion and power outages. And although these did result in damages and inconvenience, they just don’t compare to the total devastation that those areas experienced (and will be dealing with for some time to come).
On the plus side, however, we were ready. We sent out our request for potential volunteers and, despite the fact that people had their own families, animals and homes to worry about, about 30 people made themselves available for deployment.
As it turned out, while many shelters were set up around the state, SMART was only asked to provide assistance for one on the North Shore.
As part of a co-shelter in Lynn, we set up an animal facility that opened for business on Monday morning (before the storm really hit) and stayed open until the following morning when all was clear. Special thanks to Diane Treadwell, Rachel Klopfer, MaryBeth Wilcox, Casandra Roane, Peter Coakley, Bob Emmert and Liz Williamson for their efforts.
While we didn’t have an influx of animals (or people either, for that matter), this experience DID give us an opportunity to work closely with the emergency management folks on the North Shore and gave everyone additional hands-on experience in setting up and demobilizing a shelter. Every experience offers lessons to be learned.
In addition to our own preparations, we were also asked for assistance from some of the national organizations looking for help with their own deployments. We know of several SMART volunteers who provided that support to our partner organizations and, more importantly, to the people and animals of the affected areas.
A very special THANK YOU to all of you who either helped or offered to help with this devastating event!!