Recovering After Hurricane Sandy: Ways to Get Involved and Where to go for Help

José M. Serrano

October 31, 2012


The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has created a great deal of devastation in many communities throughout New York State. Our government agencies and first responders have been working hard to make sure our infrastructure is up and running again, but there is still much work to do. It is important that those of us who are able to volunteer give back to those who were severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy through loss of power, water, and damages due to severe flooding. Below you'll find information on agencies that are seeking volunteers and information on where to go if you have suffered damages due to Hurricane Sandy.  

Where to Volunteer:

  • American Red Cross- The American Red Cross is seeking volunteers who are 16 years or older and able to work 12-hour shifts at local New York City shelters across the city and by neighborhood. For more information and application, CLICK HERE. 


  • The New York Blood Center- The need for blood has increased post-Hurricane Sandy. Five locations are currently open: in Midtown at 601 Lexington (the Citigroup building), in the Upper East Side on 67th Street between 1st and 2nd Ave, at the Elmsford Center in Westchester County, and the East Fishkill and Kingston Center, both located in the Hudson Valley.


  • FEMA- You may provide financial contributions or volunteer at the organization of your choice. For a list of organizations by state, CLICK HERE.  


  •  Shelters and Evacuation Centers- Shelters and Evacuation Centers are in need of different forms of assistance, whether it be a helping hand or clothing donations. Please call ahead and ask what the needs are. For a list of Red Cross shelters, NYC Evacuation Centers, FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers, and DC Emergency Centers in your area, CLICK HERE. 


  • NYCService- Mayor Bloomberg's Office has urged people tosign up at NYCService for volunteer opportunities.


  • Mayor's Fund to Advance New York- You may donate money for hurricane relief to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York. CLICK HERE. 


  • The Salvation Army- CLICK HERE to offer donations to The Salvation Army.  


  • Food Bank of New York- For information on how to volunteer at a food bank in your neighborhood, CLICK HERE.  


Resources for Disaster Assistance:

  • Federal Aid Programs for State of New York Disaster Recovery (FEMA)- For information on the different federal disaster aid programs providing assistance and application, CLICK HERE.   


  • American Red Cross of Greater New York- If you need shelter or help finding relatives, please contact the American Red Cross of Greater New York at 1-877-733-2767 or CLICK HERE.    


  • Disaster Relief Assistance-  CLICK HERE to report damages to your business or home.  


  • Disaster Assistance- To find out what type of disaster assistance you may be eligible for,


  • To report non-emergencies- such as fallen trees, to 311 online, CLICK HERE.     


I hope you find this resource list helpful.  As always, feel free to contact my office at (212) 828-5829 if you have questions or need further assistance.  Also, please follow me on twitter: @SenatorSerrano and on for additional updates. Remember, for all non-emergency, storm related questions or concerns, please dial 311. ONLY dial 911 for a serious, life-threatening emergencies.