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Are All Americans Responsible for Hurricane Sandy Relief?

Millions of Americans have been affected and the death toll has climbed to at least 100 people. So how on the West Coast can we help?

The 1,100 mile-wide Hurricane Sandy has caused an estimated $50 billion in damage to 24 states along the East Coast, according to the New York Times.

The need, obviously, is huge. Thousands of miles away, some Californians are rallying to help and we're not strangers to disasters—coming from a state prone to earthquakes, wildfires and mudslides. But it it our place to provide Hurricane Sandy disaster relief?

Some Americans on the East Coast still had no electricity nearly a week after Hurricane Sandy. The California Utilities Emergency Association and PG&E have been helping utility companies across the country help restore power, according to NBC Bay Area. PG&E is working to send four large generators to New York utility Consolidated Edison, NBC reported. These generators can power an entire city block or more. 

The American Red Cross is collecting funds and coordinating blood donations. The organization sheltered more than 3,000 people across nine states during the worst of the storm. You can donate $10 by phone by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.

Sandy has caused the cancellation of about 300 American Red Cross blood drives.

“Patients will still need blood despite the weather,” said Dr. Richard Benjamin, chief medical officer of the Red Cross, in a statement.  

To schedule a blood donation at a center near you or for more information about giving blood or platelets, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) takes donations to rescue and shelter animals affected by the storm. Nearly 300 animals are staying with their owners in shelters in the New York City area, the agency said.

The Salvation Army: You can donate $10 to the Salvation Army by texting “STORM” to 80888. If you are already volunteer-certified, you can sign up to help out with disaster relief.

AmeriCares: You can donate to AmeriCares’ relief fund to help the organization, which is distributing supplies to 130 clinics in the 13 states affected by Sandy.

So with all these ways to help our fellow Americans on the East Coast, is it our duty as a citizen to lend a helping hand?

Tell us in the comments: Whether it’s a blood donation or cash, should we Californians step up to aid those whose lives have been turned upside down? 

Adam D. November 05, 2012 at 08:32 PM
I think people should donate if they can. The government takes on a large amount of relief and thus every American does pay for it. Those who want to pay extra can. In the end we all pay for it.
Daniel Skeen November 05, 2012 at 09:41 PM
The great advantage of having a consolidated union that is our nation is that such a structure allows the whole to remain strong even if a part is damaged. It is our duty to provide for the general welfare and the common defense in the social contract we call our constitution. Meanwhile it is our moral duty to take car of our fellow man. We should all do what we can to help those in need.

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