Hurricane Sandy: How to help

My heart goes out to everyone who has been devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Dozens of people have died from this hurricane, and that number is climbing. Millions are without power, and gas and food are becoming scarce. Massive flooding continues to isolate people and hinder travel. Here are two state-by-state guides to the damage in the United States: and

The Caribbean fared worse. Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Bahamas all took direct hits from Sandy, and thousands are homeless:

As you know, Joan and the Blackhearts are from New York City, one of the regions hit hardest in the U.S. Blackheart Records has not tweeted or posted any official updates to any of their websites about how they are doing, so I’m guessing that it is taking them time to sort through whatever the storm has left them. However, the Blackhearts’ bassist, Acey Slade (@AceySlade1) has been tweeting regularly since the storm, so I am assuming that they are all at least physically OK. I hope that they didn’t lose any loved ones, or their homes, and that they can get back to normal as quickly as possible.

At the very least, the folks at Blackheart have most likely witnessed the destruction of many places they hold dear. For example, here is what the Boardwalk at Long Beach looked like before the storm – The Blackhearts filmed the “Change the World” video here:

The boardwalk at Long Beach, NY. From Larry Richman (@larry411). Taken in mid-October 2012, pre-Hurricane Sandy.

…And here’s what it looks like now. The beach is gone.

The boardwalk at Long Beach, NY, one day after Hurricane Sandy. Via Larry Richman (@larry411)

Change the World – YouTube

And here’s a news chopper video of the area after the storm:

How we can help:

1. Donate money, volunteer, or give blood.

The Red Cross and other agencies cannot accept food, clothing, or other supplies directly, so go to to find out how to donate money, volunteer, or to give blood. ABC News and CNN have posted contact information for various other charities HERE and HERE. is a great resource for determining if a charity you wish to donate to is legitimate. They have 10 great tips on how to donate properly, so that your donation has the best chance to do the most good. Avoid telemarketers and email solicitations, make sure the website you visit is official before you donate, investigate the charity to be sure they are going to spend your money the way you want, and designate your gift for a particular crisis to make sure the money goes where you want it to. Read the rest HERE.

Don’t forget our friends in the Caribbean when deciding where to donate your money. Haiti is still trying to recover from the 2010 earthquake on top of all of this.

2. Vote on November 6th.

If you are American, and if you are a registered voter, I cannot stress enough how important the elections are this year. The timing of this hurricane is horrific in terms of the number of people who will have difficulty getting to their polling place on November 6 due to power and transportation problems. If your neighborhood was damaged by the storm, contact your local board of elections to find out if your polling place has been relocated. If your loved ones are out of power and can’t read this, please help them research their polling places and assist with transportation if you can. The presidential race is close, and every vote counts. PLEASE do not waste this opportunity to have your voice heard. It will be four years before you get another chance.

3. Vote for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts for the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This won’t rebuild any homes, but it will make a nice gift for the band to lift their spirits (and ours too)!

*Thanks to Liz Cullen for the voting button.
**Thanks to Larry Richman, @larry411, for permission to use his photos. Follow him on Twitter for more NYC updates. (He’s a pretty awesome film critic too.)

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