Hurricane Sandy: Legal Counsel & You – Theft, Drug Crimes, Running From the Law
No one has a plan, really, for Nature. When flexed . . . it’s called Hurricane Sandy.
Thankfully, the National Weather Service and local forecasting got it right. It could have been worse – a lot worse. More lives could’ve been lost. Property and memories too.
And now a nor’easter?
Blame it on global warming . . . that’s a fair shot, and maybe rightfully so despite the naysayers. A myriad of problems continue. Thankfully, thankfully the weather is turning, despite the current moments.
Call it a once-in-a-century malfunction. A super-storm, Hurricane Sandy proved to be a very bad mix, with drenching rain, super-sized waves of unstoppable water and ripping gusts of wind – and showed up to be a national disaster. Hurricane Sandy did just about everything. Nine states are affected in a major way.
Not just by gradual erosion, Hurricane Sandy simply ate everything in its path. Geography, from The Bahamas to Maine, is changed forever by natural fury. As are the people, the everyday people you’d say “Hi” to and have coffee with.
But the casual, now special, moments are not forgotten – and never will be. The generousity. Neighbor helping neighbor, without argument. Neighbors shaking hands, without the need for coffee.
It’s a long bridge – from New Orleans (and Hurricane Katrina) to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut (there are so many other states) . . . but that bridge is not that long.
Maybe gas is at a premium and is hard to find, but neighbors arrive anyway – from Texas, Ohio and California, for example – to help restore power, to help rebuild. Governors Cuomo (New York) and Christie (New Jersey) have broken political boundaries and have urged patience. Rebuilding takes time, not just fast-action days. Nothing is easy.
The beauty may be the rise above dysfunction. Politics and personal issues are being pushed aside for the moment. (Slick politicking will probably return like a rash after the election. Aisle-wise, Democrats and Republicans will continue to feud like bad families.)
The pictures of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania speak volumes. Amid the rain and high winds, homes and dreams burned or were washed away, power stations simply stopped, hospitals couldn’t function, and for many, communication ceased.
An historic boardwalk is gone . . . and an entire history of childhood and sweet memories, the rollercoaster at Atlantic City, now sits upright like a sunken ship in the Atlantic Ocean. This is mute testimony to Hurricane Sandy’s awesome destruction.
Now it is getting darker and colder, as temperatures dip. Quiet neighborhoods – in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, e.g, – are panicking. Where’s the relief? For some, days after a mega-storm, there is nothing. No gas, no electricity, no water.
Relief organizations, for example the Red Cross and the Disney/ABC-sponsored “Day Of Giving,” are being stretched to the limit. One cannot fathom the experience of loss – except when one hand extends to another . . . with a bottle of water, a can of food, a gesture of kindness.
But for so many – dreams and security washed into oblivion – a solid comfort is still alive. It is the the resilience of open-hearted humanity. Americans do respond, whatever the tragedy, strife or cause. They don’t care about politics when neighbors are in need. Things for Americans are “bent,” not “broken.”
But on the backside of this also is the insidious: theft, pillage, robbery, price gouging, profiteering. Disaster is a potential breeding ground for criminal activity. When the social fabric shows holes, bad things often poke through.
And a tough job for a New York criminal attorney or prosecutor (or elsewhere, such as Pittsburgh), considering the circumstances and evidence, to defend the seemingly indefensible – possible predatory acts in the wake of natural disaster.
Cheers for organizations – such as the NFL, which has contributed $1 million for relief, and Home Depot, which has also contributed $1 million (for New York and New Jersey). Big-time interest makes for big-time difference.
But there are so many that surface when things go very bad. So . . . acts of desperation need to be considered and weighed as well.
Maybe, to survive in desperate times, desperate actions happen . . . compelled by survival, by need, by some disconnect from society . . . when one’s own world is washed away.
It is no a joke – it is a fact, what happens when devastation makes for desparate acts. But it is also a time for calm and sensible legal counseling.
The needs of an individual, often misunderstood or forgotten in a time of crisis, are most often seen as selfish . . . as “wrong.” But those needs should not be ignored.
Moments of abuse – drugs, alcohol, theft, bribery, extortion, even violence . . . it’s hard to express, in a time of struggle.
But an individual – caught in a legal problem during this catastrophe – is of no less of value than a neighborhood swamped by water.
To make it simple: One voice – whatever the crime alleged – is important.
This is the expression The Blanch Law Firm has long affirmed: We will not be devoured by disaster and misery, by loss and pain. We will help, no matter what.
Devastation and shock make for a weird blender . . . but we’ve got your back.