I was born and raised in New Jersey, and my heart is breaking for families -- just like mine -- suffering the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. Since the evacuation a week ago, I have been watching with a heavy heart and sick stomach as my family and myself struggle to cope the destruction and loss.
My family and their neighbors have lost so much, and they are going to lose even more if they are not allowed to return home to make sure their houses are safe and get the things they need.
We have been told it may be eight months until people can return to live due to infrastructure damage. But residents of the barrier islands have not even had a chance to be able to access their homes, check damages, get clothing and other important possessions, (most people took what they would need just for a few days only) and most importantly, be able to fully winterize homes to prepare for a lengthy evacuation period.
Houses that were able to make it through the storm standing may become un inhabitable if pipes freeze and burst, causing extensive flooding and mold.
With winter and freezing temperatures coming soon, families like mine are worried about what will happen next.
Please, myself, my family, and their neighbors have been through much. New Jersey families need a real plan that allows residents of the devastated Jersey Shore to get what they need from their homes and weatherize their homes before every home on the island that was not lost in the storm is lost through neglect and human error.
Please allow us access to our homes.