Clearing up Sandy’s confusion

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“The recovery center is a one-stop-shop for eligible survivors where they can meet with both state and federal representatives in order to get help as quickly as possible,” said Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano. “I encourage residents who think they may qualify for federal aid or would like additional information on what disaster assistance programs are available to stop by the mobile Disaster Recovery Center.”

Residents can also turn to the Red Cross, which can help families reconnect after a disaster. If you’re looking for someone with whom you lost contact or want people to know you are all right, visit Those who were displaced by the storm can register there to let family members know they’re OK, and others can search for loved ones who have registered.

I’m OK, but I want to help. What can I do?

A lot. Volunteers are needed virtually everywhere, in places too numerous to list here. People all over the area have been taking donations of food, clothes and money to give to survivors and first responders, many of whom have been working nearly nonstop since the storm hit.

If you have power but a neighbor doesn’t, share it with them. If you have elderly or sick neighbors without power, check on them.

If you’re able-bodied, you can volunteer with the local Red Cross. Call the Red Cross offices in Mineola at (516) 747-3500. To volunteer, you must be 16 or older, able to lift and care 50 pounds and be comfortable working with people in stressful situations. You can also make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999. You can also call (800) REDCROSS or visit to donate.

The Red Cross prefers monetary donations to physical goods, since it’s the quickest and easiest way to spread help.

The Island Park Fire Department could also use donations: shampoo and soap for showers, dry socks and food that’s easy to cook in bulk.

“We have 50 to 75 guys from other departments here that are assisting us from as far as Canada,” said Assistant Chief Anthony D’Esposito. “We’re not looking for anything crazy.”

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