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Press Conference

10/29/14

Long Island Recovery Center, Central Islip, NY


Presenter, Liz Treston, President, LB COAD


Disasters don't discriminate. An odd saying coming from me.They level the field.
Disasters don't care if you're rich or poor, Disasters don’t care if you are black or white, Disasters don’t care if you have a disability or not.  I am here before you knowing more than I expected about Disaster Recovery and all the nuances of Disaster Relief.  17 months ago the Long Beach Community Organizations Active in Disasters was born. I was immersed in acronyms and vocabulary I did not think I would ever need to know.  The City of Long Beach and its residents came together 2 years ago.  Bonded by a new commonality. 

A storm named Sandy. The groups that you see here today were also born that day.  Born out of a sense of community. Adopt A House Friends of LI Neighbors Supporting Neighbors and many others. Together we have collaborated with each other and the major organizations. The Red Cross, FEMA, Disaster Case Managers from Catholic Charities, FEGS, SAILS and others. We've learned we are not alone.  Volunteers numbering in the thousands came from the North Shore and as far as California and beyond. They gathered in the cold to help us.

The Long Island Volunteer Center organized and continues to organize cleanups of deserted homes and huge projects cleaning marshlands of storm debris. The names of all the groups on the paper you hold paper mean that the road of Recovery is long. Our neighbors and friends are still not home.  Houses raise while hope diminishes. Look again at the people gathered here. They will not allow that to happen.  They will not let your hopes vanish. We all know personally what the storm took away. Our tales are many, the photographs too raw to look at, our neighborhoods in various stages of construction. 
We wonder when will it end?
​Others wonder when it will begin. Know that we are not clichés.  We gather to let you know we will pick you up when you falter. We will continue with the guidance of the Long Term Recovery Group the Health and Welfare of Long Island to work in the efforts to see your village, your town, and my city of Long Beach become better for you, your families, friends and neighbors.