So like the rest of the US, I watched Sandy hit with horror and fascination — I watch most of my TV at the gym these days, and between hours of MSNBC news and friends and facebook and twitter…dear God. Too crazy, and too real, and too many people affected. I remember when Katrina happened and just feeling so helpless — well, now I’m not. I can do something.
The day after Sandy hit, my nursing school alumni board put out a call for RNs to volunteer with the local Red Cross to get shipped out to the East Coast to help. I don’t have kids, my jobs — both of them! — are part-time, I don’t have a mortgage, my husband is amazingly cool and understanding with a wide humanitarian streak of his own, and I’ve got the vacation hours to blow. I was saving them for a rainy day — might as well use them on a hurricane.
Yesterday I talked to my local volunteer coordinator who told me to do my background check online immediately, and who registered me to take the Disaster Relief intro class tonight. This weekend I’ll take the Shelter Worker intro class, and then there’s two more classes next week and I’ll be qualified to go. I ran it up the flagpole at work tonight with my coworkers, and they’re all cool with pitching in to cover shifts for me (which is half the battle of getting it by my bosses, so I feel good about that although I haven’t pitched it to them yet ;)).
It could be that by the time I’ve got all the classes under my belt (next Weds) it’s too late to be any help. If that’s the case, then I’ll be ready to go next time — I’ll keep whatever certifications and stuff I need to have up in the meantime, so that next time I’ll be ready. I’m honestly embarrassed I’m not already ready, that it didn’t even occur to me to do this till now — but I’m glad I’m on the path, it feels pretty awesome to at least be doing *something*. I hope that everything gets fixed up magically in the meantime, but if it doesn’t, I will be thrilled to get to go and help.