Today's blog post was written by Modest Needs' CEO. It contains very important information about application processing:
Good morning, everyone.
It's been a very long time since I've sent out a personalized news update. That's because, now that we have such solid Facebook, Twitter, and Blog presences, generally, people who want to follow all the latest goings-on at Modest Needs are able to receive up-to-the-minute news, on demand, almost 24 hours a day (don't you love that?) But today, I wanted to send out a quick note as we at Modest Needs prepare to face our first bona-fide natural disaster.
As you probably already know, Hurricane Irene is slated to hit the coast of North Carolina on Saturday. From there, the storm's projected path takes it straight up the "Northeast Corridor." At present, the eye of the storm is forecast to pass directly over New York City / Western Long Island as a Category 1 or 2 hurricane. NYC's office of emergency services is telling us to expect the worst sometime between 8:00am and 2:00pm on Sunday, and the impact of the storm on New York City itself - not to mention our neighbors up and down the Eastern Seaboard - is projected to be 'extreme.'
As many of you know, I've been in New York almost ten years now. I've seen a lot of warnings and various types of preparations for disasters, real and anticipated. I can tell you that I have never seen anything like this. As I write this, hospitals and elder-care facilities in certain parts of the city are being evacuated. If nothing about the storm's path changes, then sometime tomorrow afternoon, NYC is expected to shut down mass transit - the entire subway system - which will be offline until after the storm passes (this is absolutely unprecedented). And if the subway system itself floods, it is very likely the all of NYC will lose most of its utility services, as here, power lines and such all run underground.
What does all of this mean, for those of you who've applied for help from and support Modest Needs? Simply this: if the storm does not change course or weaken substantially, it is very likely that Modest Needs' office will be closed until the storm has passed and both power and Internet access have been restored.
The good news, of course, is that Modest Needs' website should remain up and running; our servers are located well outside of NYC and away from the worst of the storm, so if you need to apply for help or would like to make a contribution to this very important work, which I suspect we'll need very much after the storm, you should be able to do so (fingers crossed).
But if the storm hits NYC as expected, and with the intensity expected, it's very likely that we will not be able to process applications, answer calls, or respond to email until power and Internet access are restored (Modest Needs' office is so 'connected' that even our phone runs through the Internet.)
Please rest assured that, if the worst does come to pass and the storm hits NYC and its neighbors to the north and south as projected, all of us at Modest Needs will be back in the office and back to work at the very first possible moment. But in the meantime, I wanted first, to alert everyone to the possibility that Modest Needs' office will almost certainly be affected by this storm, and secondly, to tell all of you in the path of this massive storm that we'll be thinking of you as the storm moves through the Northeast Corridor this weekend.
If you live in a hurricane evacuation zone (as I do, unfortunately - I have to prep my 'go bag' the moment this is published), please take every precaution to protect yourself and your loved ones, and please know that all of us at Modest Needs are thinking of you.
Here's hoping this storm changes course and we're all back to work on Monday. But in the meantime, to everyone in the Modest Needs family, and especially to those of you in the path of this massive storm, take care and be well.
Warmest Personal Regards,
Dr. Keith P. Taylor
President / Executive Director