Like many people out in the Rockaways today, we didn’t go out to just walk around, we went out to see what we could do to help. Before going to volunteer, Jeyhoun and I met David Gibbs who is working with Power Rockaways Resilience in setting up solar powered generators and creating sustainable power for the residents. Following him around throughout the day, we realized how much effort is needed to truly bring the Rockaways back and how resources like solar power can create a huge change in the community.

The reality of the situation is that there is no power in areas like the Rockaways. There have been rumors that power will be back on within the month, but even given this situation, the salt water flooding has destroyed the outlets and breakers in many of these homes. Even when power is restored in the community, the access that many residents will have to this will be limited due to the destruction in their homes.

Power Rockaways Resilience is working with the community to add solar generators and propane heaters into the homes of many residents, greatly helping the thousands in need. Today, we witnessed the lighting of one community center who can continue to do their great work without needing to rely on getting gasoline for their generator. With winter coming up, it becomes vital that we figure out ways to get residents sustainable, reliable heat and electricity.

The bottom line is that power can be a great tool, however there are different ways to access it. These solar generators can be used as a way to create sustainable energy whenever power is out. Furthermore, Power Rockaways Resilience is working to rebuild homes in the Rockaways with power that will be prepared for future natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. Not only will these homes be safer against these disasters, but they can be more sustainable and greener.

Jeyhoun fliming a solar powered recharging station being set up.

When I went out to the Rockaways with Jeyhoun today, I was amazed by the destruction that was sitting so near my own home. Walking around you see people cleaning out their homes, throwing away everything they owned that are now completely destroyed. You see cars crushed, store signs telling looters that there’s nothing left to steal, sand and mud caked throughout the first stories of homes, you see these lives that were changed in one day.

There is without a doubt still a need for emergency and every day items such as blankets, food and water, but what I learned today is that there also needs to be attention given to longer solutions.

Please join The Inspired Storytellers Collective as we work with Power Rockaways Resilience to build a sustainable future for this great community. If you are looking to make a donation that will create a sustainable change to the relief efforts of Hurricane Sandy, I urge you to  donate to The Power Rockaways Resilience and help them bring light to the areas destroyed by the hurricane. (P.S. Like their Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/PowerRockawayResilience