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My Experience During Hurricane Sandy

My experience during Hurricane Sandy was quite different compared to my classmates. During the storm, I did not experience any damage to my home and I was truly blessed to have the luxury of still having electricity and hot water in my home. In addition, I opened my home to my friends and family members who did not have the same opportunity as I did. Although they were unable to reach me at times due to the connection of their phones, I still was able to extend the offer and try to lend a helping hand.  The guilt and sadness I felt towards my loved ones and friends was undeniable. I was able to have my grandmother and my aunt stay with me during the storm, and I was really grateful for that. I still feel  the pain of those who were traumatized during the storm because although I was not able to experience it hands on, It is still a sad situation to this day.  


The OHMAR Conference was such a unique experience for me. I have never presented at a conference a day in my life, and being this was my first time, I was more than delighted to present a presentation on Hurricane Sandy. The conference included different kinds of speakers of Oral History, and many interesting panels that were very exciting. The panels included people who were apart of the CIA, House of Representatives, and Students from different universities, including me and my classmates. I enjoyed the entire trip to Washington, D.C. and I wouldn’t mind experiencing it all over again.

The Beginning

When I first stepped foot into this Oral History class, I was nervous and excited at the same time. I did not know what to expect from this class, and what I was going to learn by the end of it all. As I sat down and waited for my 20-25 classmates, I was only to be surprised that there were only 6 students including myself in the classroom. After my classmates walked in, and everyone including my teacher settled down, we each introduced ourselves and everyone as well as I seemed excited. Once my professor, Dr. Perkiss introduced the project we were going to be working on, me and my classmates just looked at each other in awe. She briefly explained to us that we would be working on an Oral History project in regards to Hurricane Sandy, a devastating hurricane that occurred in New Jersey less than 10 months ago. In addition, we were also going to interview people who experienced this traumatic event first hand. As we began the project, I knew it would end up turning out to become something magical and historical.



For the culmination of the semester our class spoke at a panel for a joint conference by OHMAR, or the Oral History Association of the Mid Atlantic Region, and the Society of History and the Federal Government. The conference included panels with historians from the FBI, CIA, House of Representatives, the Senate and numerous historians from museums  and universities.

The conference was an amazing experience.  It was enlightening to listen and talk to experts in the field. My favorite was one led by a former FBI Agent, who now works as an oral historian for the FBI. He spoke about the process and importance of oral history. My favorite part was the stories he told. All the panels were great. Our panel went great as well. It was so rewarding to present our work to experts in the field.

Meet the Crew!

Our group picture before the presentation at OHMAR.


Homemade Video of Port Monmouth during and after Sandy

Rachael E (video owner) personally took this video and images between Lydia and Port Monmouth Road and from Wilson Ave to Main St including Monmouth Ave and Brainard Ave

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Keansburg Amusement Park Ruins

Jesse Herbert, creator of this video, dedicates this video to the town in which she has taught in for years.

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The Beginning of an Oral History Project

I can say I have lived through three hurricanes while living here in America. Irene had a major impact on our area but not as damaging and devastating as Sandy. When I heard about the oral history project I immediately signed up. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into but I knew it involved people, the hurricane and being a part of documenting it. I got involved in the project because I know Hurricane Sandy had a major impact on the state. Once I got to the class and was told what was expected I was a little apprehensive but still excited nevertheless. Tackling the process of where we should interview was the most intriguing and tedious process at the same time. I know it’s sort of a contradiction but I’m a walking contradiction myself so hey! Anyways, I learned the difference between the Parkway and the Turnpike thanks to my classmates. The second part of creating the grounds for the project was what we are looking for in terms of diversity of the project. I remember finding out that one of my family’s favorite spots (Keansburg) was on the lower socio economic scale whereas, me as a tourist would have never imagined it to be so. Brittany and Mary being from the area contributed a great deal with offering insights about the towns socio economics, those affected by the storm, and other various information as well as compelling stories. So far, I’ve thought the hardest part of the project was coming up with the questions but now I am beginning to think differently as we move into the interviewing stage. My next post will speak about the interviewing process. Keep looking out for more posts!

The first sights of Sandy in my hometown.

This was pretty much the only damage on my block. I live in North Jersey

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