Originally for this week’s blog post, I was going to write about Halloween traditions and activities. However, the impact and effects of Hurricane Sandy put me in a different frame of mind.
As last weekend progressed and it became more evident that I would be in an area impacted by Hurricane Sandy, my son’s Saturday soccer game made way for “Sunday storm preparations.’ Having experienced Hurricane Irene (which thankfully wasn’t as bad as the media had projected) and a few basement floods, I knew it would be best to move as much as possible off the basement floor, clean our drains and get the Wet-dry vacuum and buckets ready. Candles, flashlights, extra batteries and plenty of board games were gathered. Monday started out fairly normal, windy and rainy—however there was a sort of ominous calm in the air around my neighborhood.
We made an emergency trip early Monday morning to Home Depot to pick up some mulch bags (sand bags were completed sold out) to help out my mom fortify her house as well as fill up a spare gas can for her back-up generator. At Home Depot, that ominous feeling gave way to panic and nervousness as seen on the faces of those in the store. (Not good.) Back home, as the rain came down and winds started whipping, I hoped that my own “mulch bag” fortification around my basement window would hold. But there was nothing to do but wait for the power to go out. And it did, Monday, around 5:00pm. Monopoly, by candlelight, kept us entertained. However, I could see the anxiety growing on my son’s face as the wind howled and branches and leaves flew by our windows and hit the sides of our house. We “hunkered down” in the living room.
And as the winds escalated and it seemed even the walls were creaking, I was so thankful my son was sleeping through everything. I tried to calm my own nerves but I kept thinking about those very large trees surrounding our house. And, I can honestly say, I hadn’t been that afraid in a very long time.
Luckily and gratefully, we made it through unscathed. As the morning broke, our street was filled with the buzz of chainsaws. The clean-up had begun. I was so happy to see that there was no damage and no water in the basement and, that all of our neighbors were safe. It didn’t matter that projections for power outages were estimated to be at a minimum 3-5 days.
That was my initial introduction to Sandy. The hours and days that followed were filled with so much unwavering support as well as caring, giving, and empathetic moments—it was truly awe inspiring. Strangers, neighbors, family, and extended family all circled their wagons in support of each other. It was amazing to me. This was the sense of community that I have always loved and strived to attain. I guess that’s why I do what I do, and love the job that I have!
And, then truly to my own ‘surprise and delight,’ I received an email from Barclaycard Ring. My power was still out, my internet connection down, many of my friends and family also in the state of ‘limbo,’ the only thing coming through was email on my iPhone.
Nothing made me feel prouder at that moment. I reflected on my pre-hurricane preparation and realized that I used my Barclaycard Ring for storm prep. And I knew, I could use my “Ring card” if necessary for future emergencies—a sort of comfort blanket. And, here was an email from Barclaycard supporting me, offering help and providing assistance.
Apparently, I was not alone. Approximately 2.4 million Barclaycard US customers live in impacted areas that stretch from Maryland to Massachusetts. Our customer service representatives, in a various locations (including our own Barclaycard Ring Maine team!),worked overtime to handle calls while the Delaware locations were closed. And the feedback from other cardmembers was equally wonderful:
- "While I do not need to take advantage of it, I would like to thank you for the offer that you extended to those of us on the east coast who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. None of my other credit card companies offered this kind of help, and I think it was a very kind and considerate avenue for your company to take. Thank you." -Jeri G.
- "I just received your email regarding assistance to cardholders. Although my family thankfully does not require any, we greatly appreciate your kind offer."
So, while my experiences were certainly tame (based on others I know), it amazed me to see how these different communities came together during the aftermath of Sandy. And, after all—isn’t that what it’s all about?
I hope you, your family and loved ones on the East Coast are safe. Feel free to share your own personal "Sandy Story" on our Barclaycard Ring Facebook page.