Riding through other parts of Brooklyn and lower Manhattan today, I was horrified. Seeing all those big, dark, empty buildings was like a nightmare. Chinatown is completely shuttered. Signs of life don’t start until Midtown and even here it’s a gradual progression. There are a lot of feelings floating through the air right now: depression, relief, stress, fear, worry. As someone who got off scot-free other than not having any working subways, I feel a lot of guilt and I feel very lucky. For those who are putting the pieces back together, you guys go ahead and do you. Lash out, cry, shake your fist; do not hold it in. For everyone who, at worst lost internet for an hour on Monday night, I’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts to help you keep your friends.
1. DO offer your home as a refuge to those who are in need.
DON’T tweet/Facebook pictures of yourself looking super snuggle-y in front of a roaring fire eating obviously recently refrigerated food.
2.DO feel gratitude if your home emerged unscathed.
DON’T loudly and publicly express gratitude for the new view from your Hamptons vacation home now that Sandy moved those dunes out of the way.
3. DO alert your friends and family that you are ok at the earliest and safest moment possible.
DON’T use your company’s email list as your personal diary. People without electricity don’t care if you are going trick-or-treating.
4. DO thank your lucky stars and whatever God you pray to that we have FEMA.
DON’T call Chris Christie an opportunistic slime for publicly thanking President Obama and being grateful for federal support. It shows surprise in Gov. Christie’s sliminess and you are better than that.
5. DO donate time, money, and blood to the Red Cross.
DON’T send them food or clothes. They don’t have the manpower to go through all of that right now.
6. DO shop at local stores. They will take longer to recover than chains and could use your patronage.
DON’T loot. After this is all over, you don’t want your neighbors to remember you as “that guy.”
7. DO post helpful links, photos, and maps to your social media.
DON’T include LOL or any emoticons.
8. DO lend an open ear or a shoulder to cry on to those traumatized by the storm.
DON’T try to relate by talking about Chop’t putting too much dressing on your salad. I can’t stress this enough.
9. DO purchase enough provisions to get you through this difficult time.
DON’T buy all the bread in the store and try to sell it on Ebay. That makes you worse and dumber than “looting guy.”
10. DO go easy on yourself. This is a tough time.
DON’T forget to extend the same courtesy to others. Your landlord, the Duane Reade clerk, your coworkers; everyone had the hurricane/superstorm. We’re all trying to figure out the best way to rebuild our communities and come together for the greater good. We can do this.