As soon as the announcement of Hurricane Sandy hit the airwaves, I packed my bags. As a New Jersey guardsman, we know that any type of state emergency will need our assistance, and it’s always best to be proactive. We’re reminded that while we are here to protect our country, making sure our state is protected from enemies natural and unnatural is our primary job. I grabbed my 72 hour bag, packed it full of essentials and got on the phone.
My supervisor said they were calling in anyone who could make it, but with the weather getting worse by the minute, and gas stations running out of fuel, it was becoming harder to reach the base. Then I remembered: we only had a quarter tank in our car. I spent hours searching for nearby stations that weren’t out of gas, calling family members and friends for clues. It was to no avail. We also found out that my husband, who works for NJ Transit, ended up being stuck in Hoboken for the night. The flooding there was quite dangerous, and as an Electrician, he had to stay put and help out with the effort. It would be 3 days before we would see or hear from him again.
Sandy left me wanting and worrying. Wanting to be out there, in the thick of it, helping my fellow Jersey residents save their priceless artifacts, memories and themselves. It left me worrying about my Husband, unable to communicate with him since towers were down or very busy. It also left me worrying about my military brothers, who I knew were in the middle of it all, risking their lives to save others. But I had my own purpose. My parents ended up having live electrical wires down right in front of their house, and losing power in their own home for 2 weeks. We took them in and my responsibilities went from caring for a family of 4 to a family of 7. I used my small social media outreach to tweet our happenings, retweet friends that were going through the same thing, and respond to the social media accounts of News outlets to share the story of those of us here, powering through. The story of a guardsman using her tactics right in her own home.
As the vacation season starts back up, New Jersey residents are adamant about announcing that we are back, better, and ready for our time at the shore. The battle’s not over. It’s time to bring back the tourists we welcome year after year. I’m fortunate enough to be part of a group of 40 bloggers and social media influencers who will be showing their Jersey Love. Starting on June 6th, these Social Media Moms for Social Good will hit Ceasars Palace in Atlantic City and venture to Belmar, NJ to celebrate the re-opening of their boardwalk after the devastation Sandy left in their town. As a born and raised Jersey Girl, my heart swells when I think of how this will positively effect my home state. Keep an eye out for the #JerseyLove hashtag starting now for updates, fun and information about our upcoming adventure.
A big thank you to Caesar’s Palace and D6 Sports for sponsoring this social good event. All 40 bloggers are arriving on their own accord but will be provided with lodging, food per-diem and certain experiences. All opinions in this post are my own.