I've been watching the devastation Hurricane Sandy left in New Jersey and New York. I lived in New Jersey in the late 80's, and early 90's. The Garden State grows flowers effortlessly. I didn't know what a desert was until I went to New Jersey and learned what it wasn't. The nice sandy soil of New Jersey grew tomatoes and bulb flowers without much effort on my part. There were no sprinkler systems and grass grew. Now, I see pictures of the houses just covered deep in sand.
Toms River was in my LDS Ward. They and most of the NJ Coast are flooded and without power. It's been twenty years since I was there and Hurricane Andrew was threatening to come aground in New Jersey. I was huddling in the corner of our apartment during the worst of that storm, alone with a baby and pregnant with another, wondering what I would do if we had to evacuate. I can't imagine what it was like Monday.
As a writer, you learn to see trials as "good book material". Someday, someone will write a disaster book based on this storm and it will help somebody heal. Right now what the good people of New Jersey need is help. So donate to the American Red Cross and journal about your experiences so you can remember.