I have been very shocked by the impact of this storm on New York, and particularly the city’s failure to attend to the needs of the most vulnerable. The authorities were clearly unprepared for this disaster, and when it struck it was the poor and invisible who were hit the hardest, and were then the most ignored.
In contrast, ordinary people – the people right beside us – demonstrated great compassion and a willingness to help their fellow New Yorkers. This story is about our next door neighbour, Gertie. The un-named neigbour who visited her, including by walking from Brooklyn to check in on her, was my wife. Meanwhile, Occupy has been showing how disaster shows the best in self-organised action and help.