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Some Springfield Residents Struggle to Prepare for Hurricane Sandy

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) –Shelves at various home stores and supermarkets are picked clean of supplies, but Linda Stalker hasn’t done much in preparing for Hurricane Sandy. She can’t really afford to. “I feel very scared and helpless. because I’m sitting here watching the news and the typical scene is people going out to the stores getting ready  and I’m sitting here knowing I can’t do it because I’m not getting my check on time,” she shared.

The Springfield native relies solely on Social Security.

Her checks come one the first of the month, but financial setbacks aren’t her only obstacle in being able to get herself ready. “I have very little to be honest, because my social security check doesn’t come until the first of the month. By then, even if it came tomorrow, everything will be sold out. I use a walker and cane to get downstairs, and I’m disabled. I can’t pull a ride out of the air in 5 minutes.” Stalker said.

Stalker says that many of her neighbors are in the same predicament.

However those like Linda don’t have to be left in the dark during sandy. Organizations like the Red Cross offer pointers on how everyone can prepare for Sandy. “They could connect with neighborhood watch, and community response teams, CERT, there’s also things people with special needs should consider, so they can do basic things around the house. Do you have all your medication, do you use a walker or a wheelchair, is it easily accessible if you do need to evacuate?” Dawn Leaks, Regional Director of the American Red Cross.

Leaks says the Red Cross is busy making sure they’re not caught off guard when sandy hits. “We have some potential shelter sites located, we are working with our volunteers making sure they’re ready and available, stocking supplies, making sure we have enough cots, things like that if we do have to open up a shelter”

Leaks notes that the toughest part is getting ready for Sand .because it’s unclear how much impact we’ll actually get from it.

Stalker says that she plans on going to the community center in her apartment complex if she loses power.


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