Photo By: Joshua Egan '14
Most people would agree that Superstorm Sandy is a rarity that deserves noting even if such treatment only serves to rally support for the plight of the millions of people who have in one way or the other taken the full brunt of the freak of nature. Impacting 600 miles of costal front, 23 states in the union felt Sandy's wrath while the high water level at New York's Battery Park reached a record 13.88ft.
As people around the world recall the impact of Superstorm Sandy in their lives, Chicago Booth students are no exception. If anything, they echo a theme of utter gratitude as they go an extra mile to put things in perspective as they share their firsthand account of how Sandy impacted lives within the Booth community.
As expected, disruptions in air travels cost the industry millions of dollars while people's plans were upended. Career services at Booth had to send out last minute cancellation notices of some recruiting events. Some on-site advance round interviews on the east coast were rescheduled for weeks in the future, and numerous informal alumni networking and informational conversations had to be either totally scrapped or postponed. "I had a wedding that was scheduled for Central New Jersey that got moved to Washington DC" commented GBC President, Don Phillips, '13.
Joshua Egan, '14, pointed out that "My parents have been without power for 10 days, and just experienced a snowstorm due to the recent cold front. They have been waiting on line for hours upon hours in order to get gasoline from crowded local gas stations, where gas reserves are limited because of the power outage." At one point, more the 7.5 million people were without electricity due to Superstorm Sandy
And then, there were the chilling but grateful tales of close calls. Carolyn Braff, '13, recalls: "A tree fell on my fiancé's mom's house in Long Island, and she has been out of cell phone service since the storm." Alison MacArtney,'13, who was in the Westchester County area of the state of New York after a disrupted job interview trip observed that "Giant trees are still down everywhere, but looks like they are slowly but surely being cleaned up." There were at least 108 U.S. fatalities associated with Sandy which struck on October 29.
Many in the Booth community have found ways to contribute to the relief efforts behind the scenes. For instance, Chicago Booth's winner of last year's Social New Venture Challenge, LuminAID, scrambled to quickly get one hundred unit of their solar powered light source to those residents of New York and New Jersey who had lost power for an extensive period of time. "We emailed our customers who were due to receive their orders this week to ask if we could divert their lights to Hurricane Sandy relief. They all overwhelmingly answered that they would gladly wait to receive their lights and would rather us send them to those still lacking power due to the hurricane," commented LuminAID's Andrea Sreshta, '13.
In all, Superstorm Sandy left a great part of New York and New Jersey in ruins and utter paralysis. Creating $50 Billion worth in damages, it is billed as the second most expensive weather related event in American history. And while we have attempted to get a sense of how it impacted the lives of those in the Chicago Booth community, most people we spoke to are grateful of their situations and send their prayers to those in the direct line of the storm's destruction. For ways you can help out with Superstorm Sandy relief efforts, please contact the Red Cross of America.