Hurricane Sandy: One year later, building materials help families move back home

World Vision continues to support storm-affected communities by equipping local churches and community groups who serve families in great need.

By Chris Huber, Cindy Higginbottom, and John Iwasaki, World Vision U.S.
Published October 28, 2013 at 07:45am PDT

Kobi Nachman, his wife, and their five children fled their neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, in a hurry.

Hurricane Sandy was upon them, overwhelming their home on Stanton Road with fierce winds, seawater, and sheets of rain.

‘Total disaster’

“There was water beginning to come into the house as we left,” Kobi says. They escaped to a friend’s house.

When they returned home the next day, the place was a “total disaster,” he says, reliving the chaos. “Rainwater and water from the ocean was also inside; we could smell the salt from the water.”

Meeting long-term needs

A year after Sandy made landfall in the northeastern United States, families throughout the destruction zone still struggle to recover and rebuild. Many have yet to settle claims with insurance companies.

But the Nachmans and a few others are more hopeful about their living situation since receiving building materials from World Vision and its partner organizations.

After the immediate relief phase ended in early 2013, World Vision shifted its efforts toward meeting long-term needs of New Yorkers like Kobi and his family.

Long-established in the city, World Vision equips churches and church ministries like Resurrection Brooklyn Relief to help families in great need, including the Nachmans.

“When you’re looking to stretch dollars in any way you possibly can for these homeowners…any resource you can get is just that much more the homeowner can use [of their limited funds for other materials],” says Brian Steadman, relief director for Resurrection Brooklyn Church.

One step closer to renewal

Kobi and his family lost everything. The children had to switch schools, and the family saw a counselor for a while. Repairs were slow to begin, but the wall studs and subflooring World Vision provided brought their home one step closer to renewal.

“We only need sheetrock and some insulation, and we will complete our repairs,” Kobi says.

Eager to settle back into a restored home, Kobi says he is humbled by the process and the generosity of others.

“You have given us a tremendous help, and God is using you to look out for and help those in need,” he says. “Thanks is not enough…it makes me very happy to know there are people who care.”

Like similar long-term responses to domestic disasters in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Joplin, Missouri — two communities devastated by tornadoes — World Vision has committed to help families affected by Hurricane Sandy through 2015.

“We’re not recovered,” Brian says. “We’ve still got a long way to go.”

Learn more

Learn more about World Vision’s approach to disaster response in the United States and around the world.

How you can help

Pray for families still recovering from the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Pray that they would receive the resources and support needed to rebuild their lives.

Donate to help us respond to disasters in the United States. In the wake of tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, storms, wildfires, or other disasters, your gift will help us immediately deliver critical assistance to affected children and families.


By the numbers: World Vision’s response to Hurricane Sandy

  • People served: 49,335
  • Value of relief supplies and materials distributed: $2.49 million
  • Volunteers mobilized (total hours given): 405 (1,534)
  • Blankets distributed: 9,904
  • Hygiene kits distributed: 9,001
  • Flood clean-up kits distributed: 1,700

Mobile Teacher Resource Center (school supplies)

  • Students served: 5,168
  • Teachers served: 398

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