Princeton Jct Sandy

   Hey everyone...

     Yes I understand, this is not a Devils-related article at all...well maybe not. Like the title suggests, it's about the recent "Frankenstorm" that hit the Northeast US. Arguably, the hardest hit state was New Jersey. The picture that I posted above is from Clarksville Road in my hometown of Princeton Junction, NJ. As of today there are many of these down trees with power lines tangled within. There are hundreds of thousands of these cases throughout the rest of the state. While our fellow RTWD blog writers, Devin Mattera (in Long Island) and Scott Robb (only 10 minutes away from me), were affected by Hurricane Sandy, they were fortunate enough to have not lost power (not sure if our chief Darren has lost power not but he said the whole situation was a big mess). Some others, like me, have taken a direct hit. Since Monday night, I do not have power. I resort to getting online access and hot meals from my dad’s work or from the local libraries, which have some snack bars built within. All I have at home (which I am thankful for) is gas and hot water. Every night, I and many other citizens go to sleep without heat. It feels like Antarctica to be honest. To be short, this whole state is in a mess. Many cities along the shore are underwater and I don’t even know where to begin with the new set of homeless in this state. I never thought it was possible but the entire state of New Jersey is in ruins.

     But, does this mean we have given up? Obviously not! Yes, I admit the state is completely destroyed but if there’s one thing that will help this state comeback, it’s spirit. I’m not forcing any one of our readers to do anything out of their comfort zone, but the minimum I request is recognition. When a victim recognizes that you at least care for their well-being, it brings a smile and a big bottle of hope to the faces of the victims, like me. The second the storm passed, I went outside in the frigid cold and cut down a tree that missed my house, but landed in front of my garage. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to electric chainsaws at this point. In fact, not everyone has basic necessities to live out daily life. The American Red Cross is doing a great job of bringing us the things we desperately need, such as fuel. If any of you, including Jersey residents, have a dime to spare, that could make a difference in the recovery effort.

     The NHL recently posted an article that encouraged donations. One Canucks fan commented that the NHL should ignore the victims of Hurricane Sandy and just focus on getting the season back on track. I took this very offensively and I asked him how it would feel if he were stuck in that storm and didn’t have power for nearly a week. He never replied back so I hope he understood the message. Obviously, if the NHL does come back, it will certainly lift my spirits and many others’. But unfortunately, not everyone in New Jersey is a hockey fan. Yet, any donation to the Red Cross could help us. I think now is the time to forget who you’re helping. Whether you end up saving a Devils fan, Rangers fan, Flyers fan, Islanders fan, Penguins fan, or any Jersey resident in general, you have gained my respect. During these tough times, we are all united as one people. The Red Cross has a direct link in which you can place your donations. Or, you can also text “red cross” (no quotes) to 90999, a $10 donation.

     On a personal note, I will be expected to get my power back anytime between now-Monday…or at least that’s what I hope. I know this is not the same for many families in the rest of the state. So for the ones who were more fortunate to make it out of this Frankenstorm safe and sound, and to anyone who keeps up with our blog, I plead that you help our people. Make a difference! That’s what contrasts a responsible citizen from an ignorant one. If not monetary, spiritual support is also much requested. I’ve been asked by so many people if my family required fresh water, food, clothes, or a place to stay/charge our electronic devices. Since I planned ahead of time, I did not need to rely on others for those reasons. However, if you have power back at your house, I suggest you offer your place to people you know who are in need. I guarantee they will be forever grateful of your deed(s). So, once again, whether you are a Jerseyan or not, do what you can to help the recovery effort! Because you never know, you just might be the one who saved the life/lives of an individual or a family.

 - Raj Vaidya