Dec 27, 2022
How do we respond to natural disasters? What comes to mind? Large relief organizations like the American Red Cross? Or perhaps the Federal Emergency and Management Agency? Well, those images are certainly part of the story — but they're not the whole story. In our new podcast series, The Response, we aim to share a perspective that isn't extensively covered in the mainstream media. Specifically, we ask the question: how do communities come together in the aftermath of disasters — often in the face of inadequate official response — to take care of each other?
In the first-ever episode of The Response, we began to answer that question by taking a deep dive into the Rockaways Peninsula in New York City, to explore how, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, a grassroots network of activists and volunteers emerged to coordinate one of the most effective relief efforts in the city. The group became known as Occupy Sandy, and in this episode, we tell their story, focusing on the personal narratives of three New Yorkers who were thrown into this spontaneous relief effort. We'll explore how, in the midst of the unfolding catastrophe, unlikely friendships were formed, deep bonds were cultivated, and a perhaps dormant side of New York City was awakened — one based on collectivity, mutual aid, and solidarity.