Upstate New York isn't known for excitement, especially when it comes to weather. We get one - maybe two - really bad snow storms a year, and that's pretty much it. When we see warnings about hurricanes, a lot of us don't take them seriously, because the truth is, the hype is almost always worse than the reality.
That wasn't the case with Irene.
I was lucky enough not to personally have any damage. Though I live in a city known for its flooding problems, I live at the opposite end from the river. I'm elevated - on the way out of the Mohawk valley, not in its heart. I had wind, but I'm in dense neighborhood, and was protected. I have tall trees that are (thankfully) healthy, and stood against the gusts.
I was very lucky. Some of my neighbors, and friends, and friends of friends were not.
My thoughts and prayers go out to them, of course, and I ask for yours as well. But thoughts and prayers aren't always enough. So, if you want to help in other ways, here are a few opportunities to do just that.
American Red Cross - Volunteers Needed
Friday Puppy - Let's help Jumpin' Jacks
For more info on where to help, visit timesunion.com
Also, be sure to check with local radio stations. A couple have already held food drives to help victims. Also, check with local school districts; some are collecting clothes and school supplies for students whose families were affected.
Have more info on how to help? Feel free to leave a comment.
If you want to see some pictures of the damage Irene caused in the area, click here.