International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer Skip Storch, who did a triple circumnavigation of Manhattan Island, has been in the thick of the relief efforts to help residents wiped out by Hurricane Sandy in the New York area.
This is his follow-up report into the second week after the catastrophe:
“In 1999 I lost my home, business and was injured in Hurricane Floyd. The scares and emotional trauma that I suffered were great. When Hurricane Sandy was a slow-moving incubating storm, I started tracking it. I did not think much would occur until a second parasitic system transformed it into a monster.
When Hurricane Sandy was on our heels, I did not sleep one second. I knew the wind and water would be our greatest enemy. During that long restless night, I relived the nightmares of my 1999 ordeal. This time would be different. With Hurricane Sandy, I not only had a chance to save those who could easily fall through the cracks during a natural devastation, but I could also to put to rest the haunting demons of my past.
I thought out a plan of action to assist the disabled and senior citizens who could not help themselves. What started as an individual quest grew like Hurricane Sandy itself. It transformed my plan into an obsession to save the northeast United States.
During Hurricane Sandy I was able to think and move through the waves of obstacles as if it was a marathon swim. Not only did I understand the inner working of social emergency safety nets like FEMA, the American Red Cross, Small Business Administration and the U.S. federal government, but I also knew the psychology of the victims and the public. I used these factors and formulated a plan to put into action and save lives.
Most of the emergencies have now past. Yet much rebuilding lies ahead of us. Like the survivors of any natural disaster, if you find yourself alive, you are the winner.
From my perspective, marathon swimming has much to do with suffering and making headway when all seams to be lost.”
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
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