If you're lucky, you've emerged from Hurricane Sandy's siege on the U.S. Northeast without much, or any damage; if you're really lucky, you're just sitting around with Internet and power and food but nowhere to go because of possible trees down and other weather debris, and in New York City, at least, the subway is likely to be down for several days. (Limited bus service in the city will be back as of 5 p.m. tonight, and it's free, per NY1.) A lot of us for whom the big impact is past—and keep in mind: in other places, she's only beginning—want to help, but what to do, without getting in the way? We've compiled some options for you.
Simply, stay inside. Help people who are trying to clean things up by staying off the roads. Don't go wandering around outside if it looks at all dangerous. As Mayor Bloomberg has reminded us, when you invite harm to yourself, you invite it to the first responders who will have to rescue you if things go awry. Nature can be pretty dangerous; so can downed power lines. Don't touch them, don't get near them. Don't call 911 if you don't have a life-threatening emergency. Don't call 311 unless you have a real issue to report (downed trees, for instance). And, if you have neighbors or friends nearby without food and water or power or Internet access, offer to share, as we've seen many people on Twitter and Facebook already doing. If you have elderly or ill or, hey, any neighbors, check on them and make sure they're O.K.