When we heard that Hurricane Sandy was coming, my roommates and I began to prepare but in the back of our minds, we thought, “Really, how bad could it be?” The answer, we soon found out, was bad…devastatingly bad. Luckily, our area didn’t suffer too much damage other than power loss and a few fallen trees here and there.
Losing power didn’t seem like something to be all too afraid of when we heard it was a major possibility. In all honesty, in hindsight I would say we were a bit naive when it came to hurricane preparation because we didn’t think it would be as bad as it turned out to be. However, when the lights went out and the temperature dropped, we knew this was no joke.
The day after Sandy struck, we decided to try and drive to look for somewhere that may have had power. One of my roommates has a car that was filled with gas before the storm, so at least we had a means of ‘escape’. After driving for a little while, we began to notice that street lights were operating, which meant that we had found power. We stopped at a restaurant to eat and to watch TV to see how other areas of Jersey were doing. It was so upsetting seeing houses that were destroyed, cars completely overturned, boats that had been carried to the middle of the road, and especially seeing the shore completely turned into sand. In that moment, I was extremely grateful that we hadn’t suffered damage to that extent, but at the same time felt awful for the families along the shore and in other areas that did.
After grabbing food, we decided to try and stock up on some of the things we didn’t really think to grab before the hurricane. We found a Wal-Mart, but when we walked in, most of the shelves had been scraped clean of any merchandise. It appeared as though other people were on to our idea as well. We were able to grab a few small things, like batteries, some canned food and a couple cleaning supplies, and were on our way back to the pitch black Jersey City. We arrived to an absolutely pitch black and freezing cold house, armed with nothing but a few flashlights. It was the first of a few cold nights we were going to endure.
After a few days, we got a call from a friend whose power had come back, and we were invited to stay. Without a moment’s hesitation, we grabbed our things and headed towards the power and heat.
Hurricane Sandy was almost a surreal experience in a sense. I had never experienced anything like it, from not being able to stay in my own house due to lack of heat to the power being out for such an extended period of time. Although those things were unfortunate, there were areas that were much more affected than ours. It was and still is so sad to see the way people’s lives were turned upside down due to this natural disaster.