Sandy Postcard From Choua

Greetings from Greater New York, Superstorm Sandy Aftermath Followed by Nor’easter, November 7, 2012

Hello from Greater New York,

I’ve been going out doing Disaster Assessment (DA). There are so many homes affected and or destroyed by the storm. DA is on hold right now due to the snow mix with rain. Based on the data that we collected, upper managements are planning to deliver supply of goodies to those affected areas. Yesterday, I went to eat with my team and our server asked where we were from. One of the teammates told her that we are with Red Cross and the server just broke down and cried. She was very grateful and happy that we were there for her community. She thanked us for leaving our families and friends to come help out.¬† It was such an amazing experience¬† with this disaster response so far. I am so happy and proud to be Red Crosser!!!


Choua Yang is one of 5,700 or so Red Cross disaster relief workers responding to Superstorm Sandy. (Around 50 are from Minnesota.) 90 percent of Red Cross responders are volunteers. You can help support Red Cross humanitarian disaster relief.

We agree with Pawpaw: Storms Affect Families

Ed “Pawpaw” Semmes and granddaughter Corrie Lee, in Picayune, Mississippi, after Hurricane Isaac. Photo & story credit: Lynette Nyman/American Red Cross

Disaster responders from our Northern Minnesota Red Cross region are home from Hurricane Isaac. Everyone returned safe, exhausted, and rewarded with the gift of helping people during a time of need.

People like Edward “Pawpaw” Semmes, 62, and his granddaughter Corrie Lee, 5. Ed’s family received food and a clean-up kit from the Red Cross once it was safe to return to his neighborhood in Picayune, Mississippi. With his household contents piled high on the lawn, Semmes recalled that they had about five minutes to escape because the water came from “the north, the south, the east, and the west. It came from all four directions.” Inside the house, his son-in-law pulled up ruined flooring. Ed easily kicked in sodden sheetrock. “We understand what others went through because we went through it.”¬† Only in recent days did he break down and cry. Before he was too stressed about taking care of his family, something he’s always done with great pride, but he was concerned for them, their lost belongings, and the uncertainty of where they’d live. Thankful for Red Cross assistance, Ed (or Pawpaw), said “storms affect families–that’s what it gets down to.”

Red Cross Rick and Karen Campion were among the volunteers who responded to Hurricane Isaac. Image provided courtesy of the Campions.

The Red Cross recognizes this truth. We are grateful to everyone within our Northern Minnesota Region who helped–and continue to help–families along the Gulf Coast. A special thanks to local volunteers who worked on this disaster relief response: Mark, Margaret, Marie, Catherine, Mark, Diane, Marty, Dave, Hildred, Judy, Dick, Amanda, Karen, Rick, Harriet, John, Gordie, David, Claudia, Greta, Steve, Richard, Kris, Susan, Debbie, Eric, Brent and Marian.

Click here and learn more about the Red Cross response to Isaac or about how to get involved with the Red Cross.

Story by Lynette Nyman/American Red Cross


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