Anyone who follows this blog knows that I like to post at least once and sometimes several times per week. However, hopefully most will forgive me for going dark last week as Hurricane Sandy blew into our lives, here in NY and the Mid-Atlantic; and it is hard to say when or if things will ever be the same.
Sure, most of us now have power, Internet, shelter, and food. But the impact of this storm has been wide ranging, for the local economy, citizens and NY tech. In terms of the latter, both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal ran stories, see NY Start-ups Become Officemates in Hurricane Sandy Aftermath and Start-ups Move Fast to Revive Operations, respectively. Also, the Huffington Post ran this piece: Silicon Alley During Hurricane Sandy: Techies Adapt to Weather, Work from Home.
The NY Tech meetup mailing list buzzed about the mess, and featured many heart wrenching stories, and offers of help.
The impact on the local tech community was felt beyond Silicon Alley in NYC; Miles Rose chimed in from hard hit Long Beach, New York, on Long Island (where DeskCenter, a software company that we have worked with, is also located) via the NY Tech Meetup mailing list:
It's ugly, car destroyed, no electric, no water, good
that there is still gas. I literally was left with the clothes on my back but now
have some from the only open office shop drop off place in LB. As much as you read about natural disasters it's not the
same until you experience it. It's bay water, ocean water, oil from up ended oil
tanks and sewage from overflowed sewers. Not fun my any means. And showers
surely needed by all.
Miles is spearheading a relief effort there; you can subscribe to his newsletter, which lists helpful resources, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Fairfield County, Connecticut colleague wrote:
As you well know, my town in Connecticut has been
severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy and I have been without power,
internet and phone for exactly 1 week.
Due to downed trees, I am still trapped on the street after 1 week due to dozens of downed (and massive)
oak trees which block the way. Although I was promised by CL&P (our power utility)
that power would be restored by 9pm tonight, I recently learned that the
devastation was 10x worse than they originally forecast and that
several more days will be required.
For the first time in my life, I feel completely
powerless and depressed (not to mention cold/the house is now 55
degrees). Generators are nowhere to be found.
The impact is being felt well beyond the area, as some papers have reported that supply chains have been disrupted; this could spell doom for holiday shopping season business results (e.g., my girlfriend's company had a deal to sell some of their fashion merchandise on NY Tech company Fab; however Fab's site appears to be down; the WSJ article linked above mentioned that the company's operations have been affected).
As for me, I really can't complain too much as power came back after one day in the Northern Westcheter town where I live, and cable TV and Internet shortly thereafter. I just bought gas today without too much of a problem.
But it is far from certain when things will really be back to "normal."