This past week we’ve all had a crash course in that dreaded subject, science. We probably know more than we want to know about surges and tide charts than we ever waned to know. One thing I kept hearing was the right side of the hurricane. I’ll bore you with more science for just a second. According to one of the many hurricane fact sites I’ve been gleaning information from,
That translates to: the right side of the hurricane is typically the worst side. As someone who never took to science, I have to disagree. A group of moms here in Massapequa have become their own right side of the hurricane.
Not that long ago, a mom in Massapequa, Dawn Boyle Kostakis, formed a group on Facebook called Massapequa Moms. From the time we heard news of Hurricane Sandy, the Massapequa Moms has been the right side of the hurricane.
The Massapequa Moms has no official place in any social work network yet they have become a growing network of support and generosity for many of our local families. When people spoke of evacuating, one mom offered to take in pets. It didn’t matter that she had never met the owner or pet. All were welcome. Large or small, friendly or not so much, she didn’t want to see any pets left behind and was willing to do whatever necessary to house them all safely.
When power went down, many were cut off from news. By some miracle, Facebook never faltered and the MMs were posting pictures, storm updates, and safety tips. We all checked FB frequently, not just for news, but to see how our new friends, people some of us had never met outside of this group, were faring in the storm.
I wasn’t one of the brave souls who stayed. I took my kids and went to a hotel and watched the events unfold while my kids went swimming in an indoor pool and Tweeted about how bored they were. The horrors of hotel living for a teen!
Throughout the storm, I was able to log onto the Massapequa Moms and share in what was happening in our community. We all felt the fear as moms talked about the water rising or the pumps not working fast enough. We shared in the sadness when people had to give up trying to save their home and evacuate. We felt relief knowing that some who stayed were rescued by National Guard and our amazing volunteer Fire Department.
We also all shared in the loss when the storm was over and our friends went home to face the devastation. We all saw posts with pictures of flooded streets and homes, downed trees and power lines. The fear throughout the community was shared by all of us whether we lost our home or not. Nobody was untouched.
The moms went from talk about what may happen to what we all can do for each other. . The MM board is filled with offers for people to come shower, do laundry, charge phones and computers, have a hot meal, and even sleep. The outpouring of support has been amazing. We have read accounts of heartbreak and destruction and all shed a few tears as some moms questioned how they can send their kids to school when they have no place to lay their heads and only the clothes on their back.
We all waited for updates from moms who posted during the storm and then were silent. We hoped that it was a power issue and nothing worse. We feared for people we loved and for people we had never met. And we came together as a group of people, a community to help.
MMs have regrouped to face the devastation as a community. Where did anyone get gas? What grocery store is open? Anyone know of a working ATM?
The right side of the hurricane has now become a place on social media that is collecting food, clothing, bedding, house wares, and toiletries. Some moms have set up documents that list all of the people with things to offer as well as people who need and what they need. There is no separation of wealth. This storm has been the great equalizer and this group called Massapequa Moms has been an amazing source of information and support for many of the moms who belong. It has been a generous outpouring of those with things helping those without.
The Massapequa Moms faced the right side of the hurricane and became their own force, a force of moms coming together to help their community survive, rebuild and thrive. We’ve all read news accounts of great things coming from tragic events, people coming together, stranger helping stranger. Now we are living it.