So… Hurricane Sandy happened. Are you safe? I hope that wherever you are living right now, it is safe and with heat/water/electricity.
As you doubtless know by now, the New York-New Jersey area — as well as other Eastern Seaboard states such as Virginia — got pummeled. The president has declared NY and NJ literal, legal disaster areas. (Photos of the devastation at CNN.)
If you want to help with the relief efforts, here are some places taking donations:
The American Red Cross (obviously). Particularly the Greater New York branch. You can donate money through mail, telephoning with your credit card number, via their website or, more mysteriously, via texting “REDCROSS” to 90999. The text automatically donates $10 to the organization’s Disaster Relief branch, which helps with relief efforts in general; this doesn’t specify if your $10 would go to Sandy relief efforts exclusively (or at all). I imagine that right now, though, at least part of your donation would go to Sandy. It’s my understanding that any texted donations will show up as charges on your phone bill.
The Red Cross does not accept donated goods (e.g. clothing, canned food, etc), as that would require diverting part of their workforce toward sorting, shipping, and distributing said goods. It’s more efficient to donate money to the relief efforts; the Red Cross can buy needed items nearby the affected communities, assisting their local economy and saving precious time.
They do, of course, accept blood and platelet donations, and those are needed more than ever.
Food banks run by Feeding America is supplying basic meals in the aftermath and Direct Relief International is working to give people healthcare in the 16 states affected by the storm, especially individuals’ access to pharmacy services. Given that the MTA in New York continues to be shuttered and that transportation remains an issue in several other states, this is not something to dismiss.
CNN has further information on ways to help.