In the wake of devastation by Superstorm Sandy, OWS is getting involved, using its grassroots strength to help those affected and to organize relief efforts.
As stated on their home page, "Occupy Wall Street & 350.org have teamed up with Recovers.org – a people-powered disaster relief platform – to help coordinate response to Hurricane Sandy in NYC."
With around 750,000 New Yorkers without power, large areas of New York City remain under water and at least 18 people have been killed.
The OWS volunteers started in the Lower East side and have been moving through New York's five boroughs with members of international environmental organization 350.org and recovers.org, a disaster aid group.
Occupy Sandy Relief NYC
OWS is using the social media to coordinate its efforts, with the help of local churches and city agencies. Anyone wishing to get involved should tweet using the hashtag #SandyVolunteer. If you need help, tweet using the hashtag #SandyAid. There is also a Facebook page to help coordinate efforts as well as a Twitter page. Volunteers are also out on the streets, giving aid where possible and finding those in need, and passing the information on to Recovers.org.
Occupy Sandy Relief NYC
OWS is calling for people with "experience in or tools for medical and psychological services, electrician work, plumbing, construction, financial or legal services, debris and tree removal, childcare, transportation, senior services or language skills," who can sign up at one of three sites in the Red Hook in Brooklyn, Astoria in Queens and in the Lower East Side in Manhattan.
A pay portal has been set up for anyone wishing to make financial donations in the recovery efforts. Also drop off points have been established throughout Brooklyn, where people can donate food, water, flashlights, batteries, candles and other necessities.
Drop off points are as follows:Red Hook - Red Hook Initiative, 767 Hicks St
Park Slope - Residence, 258 15th St, apt #2
Sunset Park - St. Jacobi Church, 5406 4th Ave
Williamsburg - Residence, 75 Powers St. #2, 11211
Bedstuy - Residence, 136 Jefferson Ave, apt 2 11216
Harlem - Residence, 47 Saint Nicholas Avenue #4d, btw 112 and 113
In other response news, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office has suggested the NYC Service be employed, which is a government initiative coordinating volunteer efforts on a year-round basis. Bloomberg wrote on Twitter, "We've seen an enormous outpouring of support from people who want to volunteer & contribute." Volunteers will be notified once opportunities become available.
Bloomberg also praised New York City's first responders, for their "heroic efforts to protect New Yorkers" during the storm.
"I can’t say enough about the extraordinary work of our first responders at the FDNY and NYPD, EMS, hospital workers, and more," he said.
In his speech in the video above, Bloomberg says that it will take some time to get things back "on the path to recovery." He admits it could take up to five days to have the city's transportation system running again. He also quoted Governor Andrew Cuomo as saying, "It was as bad as anything I have experienced in New York."
The American Red Cross is coordinating blood donations, collecting financial donations and seeking volunteers to staff its shelters.
The Daily Mail has several striking photographs of the devastation in the city.
Video: Aerial footage of the devastation from Superstorm Sandy: