In case you are looking for a way to help, here are some things we learned from Isabel:
1 - volunteer. The red cross needs all the able-bodied folks they can get, especially with local knowledge. They send in great organizers, but need troops. If you live in the area and have some time, this is a great way to help.
2 - volunteer. The food kitchens will be rolling in any minute now. The various state Baptist conventions do a terrific job of providing hot meals, but they may need extra hands to cook, clean and deliver. Local churches and agencies will need help, as will individual families. You may be able to donate goods and food to these local groups for direct distribution.
Don't live in the area?
3 - give. As much as you might want to collect "stuff", you need a distribution system. in these early days, they need money more. Our first choice is the Baptists. Its the Home Mission Board - to pay for all that food. They get good marks for low admin costs and using all the money for relief. They even pay the credit card charge themselves rather than taking it out of the donation. (We aren't Baptists.) To donate go here.
Also the Lutherans. They do a good job of getting the right stuff to the right place. (Not Lutheran either.)
There are plenty of other good places to give .. Google "hurricane sandy relief fund" for lots of places that are collecting. Just be sure to check that they don't take too much for admin. You can check CharityNavigator.org for information. i've linked to their sandy page.
This is going to take a long time and a lot of dollars. This will take a huge village. we can be part of it.
Pretty, but Fleeting
3 minutes ago