MARY PIASECKI: This is Mary Piasecki interviewing Arij Syed on Thursday, February twenty-eighth [2013] at 12:45 p.m. Okay let's start discussing Hurricane Sandy. Can you please state your name and where you live?

ARIJ SYED: My name is Arij Syed. I live in Old Bridge, New Jersey.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and how long have you lived there?

ARIJ SYED: For about--seven years.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay and how's your neighborhood?

ARIJ SYED: It's a pretty nice neighborhood. It's diverse, I guess. It's pretty safe, I guess. It's cool.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, what do you do? Do you work currently?

ARIJ SYED: Yes. Right now I work at Rite Aid in Parlin.

MARY PIASECKI: And how do you like that?

ARIJ SYED: Uh, it kind of sucks but it's a job.

MARY PIASECKI: Do you mind discussing your salary or income bracket?

ARIJ SYED: It's probably a pretty low income bracket. I earn pretty much minimum wage and work part-time. So however much that amounts in a year.


MARY PIASECKI: Okay. And what do you like most about living in New Jersey?

ARIJ SYED: I like that we're close to the city, I like that there are a lot of roads and stores and trees and stuff. It's a pretty nice place, people are all right.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and where do you usually hang out?

ARIJ SYED: I usually hang out in, go to New Brunswick a lot. That's where most of my friends go to school, and yeah, just go out drinking and shit there.

MARY PIASECKI: What do you feel about The Jersey Shore, the show?

ARIJ SYED: I don't really watch it. I think it's dumb and stupid. And, honestly, I've never watched an episode so I guess I'm just stereotyping it, but it seems pretty dumb to me.

MARY PIASECKI: All right, do you care to discuss any more about your neighborhood or how involved you are with the community?

ARIJ SYED: I'm not like super involved with the community, I guess, but I vote and stuff.

MARY PIASECKI: All right, so when did you first hear that the storm was coming?


ARIJ SYED: Heard about, I think it was first like a week before it happened. People were talking about there was going to be a big storm coming and I thought, you know, people always say that, it's probably just a thing to get people to go out and buy like bread and water and stuff like that, like a lot of other storms. I didn't think it was going to be a big deal. Then like a few days before it, everybody was talking about, people would come into the storm and be like, Crazy storm is coming, blah blah blah. Then I started to think, Oh this might be a big deal. And like the last day before it, people were going crazy. They bought all the water and ice and bread and flashlights and batteries at Rite Aid and like sold it all out. People were going pretty nuts so then I started to believe oh yes, it's coming.

MARY PIASECKI: What did you initially first expect, though?

ARIJ SYED: I initially expected it not to be that bad. My mom was kind of freaking out and I was like, It's not going to be that bad.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay and how did you prepare? What did you do?

ARIJ SYED: We bought some water. Extra water. We had some extra batteries already stored up from before, got all the flashlights, got candles, you know, 3:00got some canned foods I guess. That was pretty much it.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, did you go to any stores?

ARIJ SYED: No, I mean, I just got the water and stuff from Rite Aid.

MARY PIASECKI: Did it take a long time? Did you have to like wait for anything? Or you got it while you were working?

ARIJ SYED: I mean because I was working, the workers there, we took all the stuff that we wanted to buy later, and we put them in the back so nobody would buy them, so it wasn't that hard for us.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, do you feel that you had adequate warning about Hurricane Sandy?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah. I think a lot of people were really worried about it. The whole news, people on the TV, the governor, even like the mayor of our town called our house and stuff and every house in Old Bridge, telling people that they might have to evacuate, blah blah blah, like--.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay. So what did you make of the governor and his warnings? What did you feel about that?

ARIJ SYED: I felt that he was in the right. He did a good job telling people that in certain areas they need to get out of there, it's not safe for them. And 4:00I thought he did pretty much all that he could do.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, you had just said that your mayor had called the house. Were there evacuation warnings? Were they mandatory?

ARIJ SYED: No, they weren't mandatory. Right now this was like a voluntary thing. Like they say that you think they should evacuate. But nobody really evacuated from my town.

MARY PIASECKI: Did you eventually evacuate, or did you stay at your house the entire duration of the storm?

ARIJ SYED: No, we stayed at our house the entire duration.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, do you have any pets or cars you had to prepare for the storm?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah, I have a lizard and a snake, and my snake actually died after we lost power because, you know, he needs heat and stuff. My lizard, I wrapped him up in like paper towels and after the storm, me and my brother made a bonfire from all the trees that fell, so we brought him outside to keep him warm like that. Or like I would turn my heater on and chill with my lizard in there so he wouldn't get cold, but the snake didn't make it, though.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, so can you take me through the day of the storm? Where were you?


ARIJ SYED: Day of the storm? I mean, I don't really know exactly, I think I was at work because it started in the night, right? So I was at work and then I came home and yeah, it started raining a lot. I just bought a lot of snacks and stuff, so I was just munching out, chilling, watching TV, and stuff like that. And then the power went out, of course. And then, I remember for my house, though the power came back on like a few hours later that night and then it went back out again the next day for like a day or two, but--.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay and how bad was--you just said it was rainy and windy. Were there any other weather conditions?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah, it was mostly just wind. Yeah I remember like the day of, like me and my brother went out. We live by this place called Cliffwood Beach so we drove around while it was storming and stuff just to see what was going on. We went to the beach and gone outside, it was basically just a lot of wind.


MARY PIASECKI: Okay and you had said your power had gone out. How long was it out and what did you do during the power outage?

ARIJ SYED: The first time it was out, it went out at night and it came back. It went out at like maybe twelve o'clock at night or eleven o'clock and it came back at I think like five o'clock in the morning, so I just slept. And then the day of, it went out and it lasted like a few days. So I mean, I don't know, I just read a little bit, did a little schoolwork, hung out with my family, played checkers with my cousins.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay and how did you get information on the first day?

ARIJ SYED: First day, I mean we used the radio in the car mostly because even cell service was pretty spotty. Even 4G and stuff, you couldn't really get where I lived. So we just put on the radio. We drove around and we went to my uncle's house and stuff, who lives pretty close by. He has better cell service.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and when did you go to sleep the first day of the storm?

ARIJ SYED: I mean I went to sleep pretty early because I mean it was pretty 7:00boring, you know. There wasn't much to do so I was like whatever, I'll just go to sleep. So maybe like, right after the lights went out. On the first day, like on the night, when the first time the light went out, I went to sleep pretty early. And I think the second day, even earlier, maybe like ten o'clock.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and when did the immediate storm end for you?

ARIJ SYED: The immediate storm--I mean I'm not even sure. Honestly, I can't like remember exactly on what day. But I remember it started at night, went through the next day and then when it was done, the next day after that.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay and that second day, when you woke up, what was going through your head? What did you first see outside?

ARIJ SYED: I mean I looked to check outside, if there was any damage. There was a lot of like branches and stuff fell. And then me and my brother drove around our development to see what happened, and there were like trees down everywhere. And thankfully nobody in my development had any damages to their house--well not 8:00any like major damages, like the trees fell and they all landed away from the houses, thankfully. And power lines were down, of course. You know, we went a little out of our development into the town, and a lot of trees and branches and stuff everywhere.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay and who did you first contact or see?

ARIJ SYED: First people I saw were probably like my mom and dad, my brother. And then we contacted my--we went to my uncle's house. He lives like maybe five, seven minutes away, he's in the same town. So we went there, chilled for a bit. Tried helping my dad contact his office because he works in the city. I remember he couldn't get into the city, obviously. Their whole building was flooded, so he was trying to work from home and stuff. Set that up, because my uncle still had Internet and we didn't.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay. And can you just describe the scene or the mood in the 9:00community for me?

ARIJ SYED: The mood was really--I don't know if people were more friendlier, everybody was kind of united because everybody was going through the same thing. People would kind of like just be as nice to other people as they could, I noticed a lot. People were out in the neighborhood, out on the streets a lot, just talking, walking around. And like people who never really walk around the neighborhood were going around the neighborhood and walking, talking to people. So in my community personally, we don't have that much damage, so it wasn't as melancholy or sad or anything like that. But I mean, there was still an air of, Oh yeah, you know, this is a serious storm. A lot of people, you know, the power is gone, the electricity is gone, you know.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay and how did you get in touch with people after the storm? What cell provider do you have?

ARIJ SYED: I have T-Mobile. And at first you really couldn't get any service or anything like that. And then I went to my uncle's house. I figured out a trick, 10:00like if you restart your phone, you'll get a little bit of service, for like five minutes. So I just kept doing that, trying to reach people. Mostly it was going through text, like you couldn't even call. But sometimes some texts would go through.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay and the following day, how did that go about? What was your day like?

ARIJ SYED: I mean, pretty much just spent it with my family. Like breakfast at my aunt and uncle's, then later on--I mean, actually we chilled at my family's for a lot. We just did whatever. I was doing my schoolwork there. My mom and dad and my uncle and stuff, they were just talking about stuff. And then we went home, and then at the night, then they came over. And you know, I played with my cousins and stuff. We played checkers and stuff, and they had their own stupid games. You know, like games you play with little kids just to pass the time. Did a little bit of that, talked about stuff.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, did you have any issues with gas shortages or store openings? What was it like in your neighborhood?


ARIJ SYED: Actually, in my neighborhood, a lot of the store people were trying to help out. Like I know there's a convenience store by my house, obviously if the electricity is down, the freezers aren't working. So he was just giving away ice cream and stuff to people, just take it, it's better than it just melting and stuff like that. And I mean some roads were closed. And where I work was closed for like a week, or like two weeks actually, it was closed for a while.

MARY PIASECKI: And did you notice any issues with your mail service or your trash pickup? How long do you think that took?

ARIJ SYED: Honestly I didn't even notice that. I couldn't give you a right answer.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay and how did you start cleaning up? You had said there were trees down, were there anything else you had to clean up?

ARIJ SYED: There were a lot of like branches and stuff. There was a lot of garbage from people's garbage cans because a lot of them flew around everywhere. Leaves and stuff everywhere. So basically me and my brother, we took all the branches and made a bonfire in the backyard because we figured that'd be easier than just bundling up. So we made a fire, chilled by the fire and stuff.


MARY PIASECKI: Okay and after the storm, who did you look for, for support or help?

ARIJ SYED: Basically, my parents, friends and stuff like that. I mean, we really didn't go through as bad as some other people did, even in our area, so we didn't have to look towards--I mean we were pretty well prepared food-wise and stuff, and we did get electricity back fairly quickly compared to other people who didn't, so I mean, it was basically just us trying to help other people out who didn't have electricity or something like that. Or like even at work, people would need to make copies and stuff for like their FEMA documents. We would let them come in, do it for free, stuff like that.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, but did you have any interaction with power companies, or insurance, or FEMA or anybody like that?

ARIJ SYED: No. We called the Internet company a few days later. Because I know some of my friends who close by me got their Internet back, so we just called to 13:00see. But I mean, it just went to recording, we couldn't get a regular person anyway.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay. And how long was the response? You said you had called the Internet service. Did they call back in a timely fashion?

ARIJ SYED: They called back once the Internet went back up, like, Oh, sorry about the inconvenience, it's going up soon. And the response was pretty well, everybody was working pretty hard, I have to say. Even like with all the wreckage and stuff. Our town, I can't say anything bad. Like they really helped out, they cleaned up pretty fast. And I think the response from everyone was pretty good.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay. Did you feel safe in your community while it was coping?

ARIJ SYED: I mean, yeah, I felt safe in my own personal community. It's pretty--the development I live in is a little closed off, so I didn't have fear of people looting or anything like that.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and was there a response with the police, or any interaction with emergency personnel at all?


ARIJ SYED: I mean, yeah we saw a lot of police on the roads of course. Police would like take down roads, I mean, close off roads and stuff. And I saw a lot of people that were getting mad at the police officers because what they were doing was inconveniencing them, but I mean, I saw it as, they have to do what they have to do, to you know, secure the town, so--.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay did you have any interaction with any religious communities that were offering aid in the community?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah, we went to our mosque that Friday. And actually going to there was pretty hard because that's by like the beach area where we live at. We're more inland, but it's pretty close, so it's right by the shore. So going there, there is like a bridge and a marina, and we saw all the boats on the road, out of the dock, and like destroyed and stuff. And it was pretty funny because a lot of people, when we went there people were calling the mosque to see, Oh are they going to have services this Friday? And the guy brought it and he was like, Yeah yeah, of course we are going to have services, why are people calling? But I thought it was dumb that he would say that. I'm like, we just went through a 15:00fricking hurricane, of course people are going to call and see if it's open, you know?

MARY PIASECKI: Yeah, I understand. Okay, did you receive any aid?

ARIJ SYED: No, us personally, we didn't receive any aid.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay. And how long was school out?

ARIJ SYED: School was out for, I believe, a week and a day. I think it was out for a week and another Monday.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay and how do you get to school? Do you commute?

ARIJ SYED: I drive.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, so you had no issues with transportation or buses?

ARIJ SYED: I mean the issues were just making sure we had enough gas to drive and stuff because the gas shortages were insane.

MARY PIASECKI: Did you have any issues with the even and odd days with the gas?

ARIJ SYED: I mean, yeah, like we would drive around. Me and my brother, we figured out if you go like really early in the morning, like five, six o'clock, and we'd wait for some gas stations to open. Because I mean there was long lines everywhere, so we just figured if we just wait for it to open, we'll get there 16:00first and it worked out for us.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, did you contribute to the community with money, generators, anything like that?

ARIJ SYED: I mean no, we didn't really have any generators and nobody where we lived needed any money or anything like that. But I mean like if somebody needed--like when we got Internet back, if my friends needed to charge their phones or some shit like that, they can come to my place and like chill there, but other than that--.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, what were your losses like overall with the storm?

ARIJ SYED: Losses overall, well like my snake.

MARY PIASECKI: Hold on a sec. (shuffling) It's counting down. Please continue.

ARIJ SYED: Losses were like, my snake, and it was kind of ironic because a lot of like the branches on of one our trees fell, but we planned to cut it down anyway, so that was kind of hopeful. And I guess--and I actually found another lizard tank the next day, somebody just had it out on their lawn. I don't know 17:00what happened to them, maybe their lizard died. So I took it, so my lizard got a bigger tank out of it, so I guess I profited from the hurricane, I guess. (both laugh)

MARY PIASECKI: All right. Should I just stop and restart it for the next one? (unintelligible)

ARIJ SYED: Yeah, I guess.

pause in recording

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, beginning stage five of the Hurricane Sandy interview. How did you feel about the response, with like the local government?

ARIJ SYED: I felt that it was a pretty good response, especially considering America's history with national disasters and the government response, especially like Katrina and stuff, the government response was horrible. But I think for Sandy it was pretty great, even like federal government response. Obama came down, Christie came, Christie came to my town. He went to a lot of places. And I thought they really cared and they really wanted to try to make a difference and help the people out who were struggling and who needed help.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay how did you feel about FEMA's response to the storm?


ARIJ SYED: I felt FEMA's response was really great, too. I know some people who have had a lot of damage and they could only say good things about their FEMA agents. I felt they all genuinely cared about the people and they wanted to do as much as possible to get them as much aid as they could, so I felt that was really good, and I think they did a great job.

MARY PIASECKI: How do you feel about the insurance companies' response with the storm?

ARIJ SYED: I mean the insurance companies, I don't know, I can't say too much because I didn't deal with them on a personal level, but from what I have heard from other people, I don't think it was that bad. I know a lot of insurance companies came down from other areas to assess the damage and I think they genuinely tried and wanted to help people, and it wasn't just about money to them.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and you had mentioned the governor earlier, did you have anything else you wanted to speak about regarding his response to the storm?

ARIJ SYED: I thought his response was great and I really like how he even went against his own party when he was discussing why were aren't receiving as much 19:00aid as we should be, he said that the Republicans are hanging it up in Congress and they're not letting it go through, and I thought that was really, really important in American politics because you never see a party member, you know, say anything bad about their political party. And it kind of shows me, he really cares about the people more than his party. He's a real person and he wants to get stuff done, regardless of what his party might think.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay did you have any opinion regarding the way he responded to Romney and the political campaign that he wanted Christie to take part of?

ARIJ SYED: Oh yeah, definitely. I thought just that image of Christie hugging Obama, that was a huge image in politics. Definitely, you know, a Republican governor hugging the Democratic president in an election year, like a month before the election, is huge. And I thought, I mean Christie didn't say outright, Oh I'm going to vote for Christie--I'm going to vote for Obama for governor, you should vote for Obama. I mean, obviously he can't do that, but I thought, subtly, he did say some stuff like, at the same time Romney was saying 20:00how it's the state's responsibility to help the citizens and the federal government shouldn't get involved, and it's that whole that whole federal versus state rights issue. Which I mean, I agree with state rights and stuff like that, but at the same time, with the federal government, if our state's money is going into the federal government, then it should pay for some disaster relief or something like that. And I think that Christie believed that as well, even though he is a Republican, and he put his money where his mouth is, and he tried to get as much help--he went out and he basically kind of dissent or whatever, but he objected against his own party mates, some of the same people who wanted to nominate him as a Republican Party candidate for president, and he was going against those people because that's what he really believed.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, do you feel New Jersey adequately prepared for the storm?

ARIJ SYED: I mean, honestly, I think yes, New Jersey did all it could have done. 21:00I don't really think--

pause in recording

MARY PIASECKI: Stage five, part two. Do you feel New Jersey prepared adequately for the storm?

ARIJ SYED: I believe they did the best they could. Maybe in certain areas, by the shores, they could have put up more sandbags or something like that, but when a storm comes like this, there's really nothing you can do. Like, the wind took the houses down. It wouldn't even involve water that much, so even sandbags and stuff wouldn't do that much. The trees would still be down, wind would still destroy places, and bring the water level out from nearby areas of water, so I mean, yeah. I don't think they could have done anything else.

MARY PIASECKI: Do you believe anything should have been done differently? What the response tactics were, would you have changed anything?

ARIJ SYED: That's hard to say, I mean, in certain areas, I know roads were closed for a long time and with certain areas the damage wasn't, you know, wasn't moved for a very, very long time. Which I think they could've done better 22:00in those certain municipalities. My town, personally, I think it was handled very, very well, but I know a lot of towns, they didn't have, you know--roads were closed for up to like three weeks, four weeks. Some roads are still closed in certain areas by the beach. So I think yeah, some towns could've done better, they could've used their tax dollars better in fixing all the damage.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, so do you feel the response was adequate? At least in your area?

ARIJ SYED: In my area, definitely, the response was more than adequate. And in certain areas, though, I know that might not be the case, but in my area it was definitely adequate.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay. Do you believe anyone was to blame for this storm, or do you believe it to be a freak occurrence?

ARIJ SYED: I mean, I don't think you can blame a storm on anything like Mother Nature? I don't know. Caribbean winds or something like that? But you can't really blame anybody. It was just a storm, it happened, you know.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and how did you feel about the media coverage regarding--

ARIJ SYED: Maybe you could blame like global warning or something, climate change, that could work.

MARY PIASECKI: I'm sorry, you want to blame global warning?


ARIJ SYED: Or climate change, maybe. I heard a lot of people say because of like climate change, that were having storms like that now. So that might be why.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay. How did you feel about the media coverage?

ARIJ SYED: I felt there was like a lot of media coverage. So I guess it was all right. I mean, I don't really (unintelligible) that much media or watch that much news, personally. But I thought it was all right. I can't really complain about any of the media coverage.

MARY PIASECKI: Did you feel it was like accurate portrayal, or it was just simply sensational kind of coverage?

ARIJ SYED: I definitely believe it was sensationalized. But I mean, certain areas, it was true, what they were saying was horrible. So they did sensationalize it a little bit, but at the same time, I feel like they have to sensationalize it because they are the news. But I think they did an all right job covering it.

MARY PIASECKI: Did you feel represented by the media coverage?

ARIJ SYED: No I didn't feel personally represented by the media coverage at all.

MARY PIASECKI: Do you feel that Old Bridge should have been represented more?

ARIJ SYED: I mean, they should have talked more. I live right by Sayerville, 24:00Parlin is basically between Old Bridge and Sayerville. And I mean, the governor came there, so maybe they could have done a little more media coverage and interviewed the people there, because there was a lot of damage in our town. But I mean, you can't get everybody.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and there was several occurrences on the media where they interviewed people who were clearly distraught and very upset, crying and such. Do you have an opinion about that? Do you feel that they should have been interviewed at that time, or at a later date?

ARIJ SYED: I mean, they were trying to capture what people felt at that moment, so I mean, obviously emotionally, it might not have been the right place, but that's what they wanted, right? Because that's what people wanted to see, so that's why they did it. I feel as a historical perspective, there is something to be said about gathering information about an event right when it happens, like the true raw emotion of people, and I think it's a little important to capture that and find out how it is. But I feel maybe it was a little 25:00inappropriate, like some people, like they did ask a lot of questions like, trying to make them look like there life was in despair now, are they going to struggle? They might have depressed some people.

MARY PIASECKI: Did you find it to be insensitive, or simply them doing their jobs?

ARIJ SYED: I mean, I thought all the newscasters were trying to be pretty sensitive. And I think like the local news, they all live in this area as well, so I believe they were pretty sensitive, even though they might have tried to sensationalize it a little bit for the ratings. I believe the newscasters themselves were pretty sensitive to the issue.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay as far as your opinions regarding Obama, did anything change with the storm for you?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah, I mean I was going to vote for him anyway regardless, but I felt that his response to the storm was, I felt, what a president should do compared to other national disasters in our country and the president, you know, 26:00took him like a week to get to Katrina. You know, like, I felt the president did a lot and he has tried to help out even though it was during his campaign. Like it was during his political campaign, he stopped his political campaign and came to our state to speak to the people here. In a state that he already knew was going to vote Democratic anyway, and he still took the time out to come here, so I thought that was really important and showed a lot of class on his part, because I don't believe--Romney didn't come here.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and you had mentioned Christie earlier, but did this storm affect your perspective on Christie or your opinions?

ARIJ SYED: It affected it a little bit. Prior to this, I wasn't like a huge Christie supporter, but I did feel that he was the best man for the job in our state. I thought he was a true person, and this only made me support him more, actually, because I mean, prior to this, I was thinking about for the next gubernatorial election to vote Democratic for Barbara Buono, but after that, seeing this, like it shows me that he's not a political puppet, he is not a 27:00party's puppet. What he says is what he means and you know, he really cares about New Jersey and New Jersey's people, and I think that's important for as a governor for somebody to be true.

MARY PIASECKI: So overall, it changed your opinion in a positive way?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah, I mean my opinion of him wasn't negative before, but it definitely made it more positive than it was before.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and do you have any opinions regarding the way he spoke to people during media coverage?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah, I thought it was really refreshing. He kept it real, he didn't try to hide behind any decorum or hide what was going on or anything. He stated basically what was on his mind, and I really respect that.

MARY PIASECKI: Do you an opinion--had you watched the way he responded to those near Atlantic City and those that didn't heed his warning about leaving? Did you see that on the media?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah, I heard a lot about that he was saying, Your mayor might not have said this, but I told you to leave, you should have left. And I think that he was right. I mean if the state's obviously telling you to evacuate and it's 28:00not voluntary, then there's probably definitely a reason for it, so you should probably listen to that. And I mean, at certain times, maybe he was a little abrasive and a little unsensitive because, considering because those are people's homes, and I can understand why they wouldn't want to leave. But also, I mean, that's also his personality. That's a lot of personality of people in New Jersey. That's just how New Jersey is, so I mean, I didn't have any problems with it. I thought it was all right.

MARY PIASECKI: How did you feel about the response from the rest of the country?

ARIJ SYED: I mena, thought it was, a lot of people sent in donations and stuff, I know. I mean, I don't know anything about it personally, I don't know any numbers, but I know a lot of people probably did, so I mean I thought it was good. It showed a little unity on Americans--.

MARY PIASECKI: Did you notice any of the involvement of different electrical companies or different states that were bringing in trucks and utility workers, had you noticed that in your area?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah, yeah, definitely. I saw license plates from all over from many different states and people who were coming over weren't like pissed that they had to be here, they genuinely saw that people needed help and they wanted to 29:00help them out.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay and how did you feel this response was in comparison to Katrina?

ARIJ SYED: I think (laughs) this response was completely different, completely the opposite, and this is what a response should be to a natural disaster from a government, compared to Katrina, which was, I thought, a debacle, and exactly how you shouldn't handle a natural disaster. I mean, President Bush didn't go there for like a week or something like that, and when he did, he just flew over. He stuck people into the fucking Superdome, and obviously it's messed up. Like Katrina basically--I don't think the government did really anything to help them out. It was more like celebrities going on TV and doing telecoms and telling people that they need to help people in Katrina, and I thought the federal government--it was embarrassing frankly.

MARY PIASECKI: Do you feel that there was a great deal of celebrity support with Hurricane Sandy as there was with Hurricane Katrina? Or do you feel that it was less or more?

ARIJ SYED: I think it was less. It was definitely there, but it definitely wasn't as much as Katrina. I mean, what I thought was interesting, they did have 30:00a Katrina con--I mean, a Sandy concert, and that was interesting. Like, you know, when Katrina happened, Kayne West went on the TV and he helped out with Katrina a lot and said President Bush didn't care about black people. You know, everybody knows that. But he also helped out for Sandy, came and had his concert here, so I thought that was nice.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay. Had you noticed people selling shirts or different items to raise money for the communities? Had you noticed that by your area?

ARIJ SYED: I haven't seen any people personally selling them, like in the streets, but I did notice on like Facebook and stuff, people putting up links--Exit Something? Something on the parkway or something like that, a lot of like, Jersey Strong. There was a lot of New Jersey sentiment going around for shirts and stuff, I did see on the Internet.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, days after Sandy they did a benefit concert with just celebrities that were from the area, had you seen that?

ARIJ SYED: I didn't see it, no.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and how did this compare to other storms you've experienced?

ARIJ SYED: Well I mean, like, with Irene last year, there was a lot of damage 31:00but there was no concerts or anything for that. And I think maybe because this was a little more sensationalized than Irene, because the damage was in more touristy areas--it wasn't in any urban areas. It was pretty a lot of, you know, suburban areas, there was a lot of damages and stuff like that, and I think maybe that's why there was more TV coverage and maybe that's why there was more benefits and stuff like that.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay. Did you feel that because Irene was very minimal in comparison to Sandy that people expected Sandy to be much less than it was?

ARIJ SYED: Oh yeah, definitely, definitely. I thought that myself. Before the storm happened, I thought people were making a big deal out of nothing because that's what they did last time and nothing happened. And even after the storm, when I saw the damage around my area, because you know, I wasn't seeing the rest of New Jersey because there was no television or anything, I didn't think it was that bad. You think, Oh nothing bad happened that much. But I mean, when you 32:00started driving around a lot and you're listening to the radio. And then when, you know, the TV, the electricity did come back, and you saw the TV and all the damage, I'm like, Wow, this was one of the biggest disasters of the decade.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay and you said you gained power approximately forty-eight hours or two to three days after the storm?


MARY PIASECKI: And after that, what did you find was mostly on TV?

ARIJ SYED: Mostly all Sandy stuff. Just people reporting in different areas, talking to people who had a lot of damage, showing like, you know, pictures of all the damage.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay and how has it shaped environmental issues?

ARIJ SYED: I mean, I know now in New Jersey, just like zoning laws have changed a lot. I know if you want, FEMA money, when you rebuild your house, you have to be a certain level higher, I think eight inches higher, according to the zoning law, and if you don't abide by those laws, you won't get funding, and you can't make any new houses if they don't abide by those zoning laws. So I mean it 33:00definitely has had an effect. I feel a lot more people are more conscious of maybe climate change and the impact it has on our lives.

MARY PIASECKI: Did any of those new zoning regulations or flood insurance-type issues affect you personally, or do you have to take any of those precautions now?

ARIJ SYED: Not me, myself, but I mean, I have family who were affected by that and did have to go into those precautions. Because I have a lot of family, they own like commercial properties and stuff like that which were, you know, destroyed from the storms, so they had to rebuild according to those new zoning laws.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and has this made you think about political issues or government response issues or the FEMA institution differently? Has it changed your opinions on those?

ARIJ SYED: I mean it definitely makes me think about those issues. Because I mean, there's issues that come up if you look at what happened. Like a lot of 34:00people who were damaged by Sandy were, you know, middle to upper class, you know those suburban areas compared to less--and we had a good response here I thought, compared to, let's say, Katrina, which was--the income bracket was a lot less, and maybe there were more minorities and stuff, and they didn't get the same treatment as people in Sandy got. So it does make me kind of see that, maybe there is a little bias concerning, you know, government aid, or something like that.

MARY PIASECKI: Did you hear about there was less looting occurrences in places such as Newark as there were more upper class areas?

ARIJ SYED: I mean, I didn't hear about looting that much. My town didn't have it and I didn't really hear about that looting that much. But I mean, it kind of makes sense because I don't think Newark got hit as hard, as some of the upper class areas in like southern Jersey, right?

MARY PIASECKI: Yeah. Okay. Since the storm, have things returned to normal?


ARIJ SYED: I mean, for me, yeah, they've returned to normal. As a state on the whole, I don't think it's returned to normal. I think nobody is going to forget about Sandy anytime soon, and there are still people rebuilding. The beaches are still, you know, in pretty bad condition, and you know I think for me, normalcy is back, but at the same time, is it really normal? Because we are in a class talking about Hurricane Sandy, so maybe it's not normal.

MARY PIASECKI: You had mentioned your father had to work from home. Is he still experiencing issues with that?

ARIJ SYED: No. His office is in Manhattan, so all the trains and stuff are back, so he commutes to work now. I think after like two, three weeks, he started going back to the office. Yes, he enjoyed working from home.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and you had said that you stayed in your home during the storm, and you had not needed to move?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah during the storm we stayed in our home. We didn't have to move. 36:00We had a lot of fear that like the branches were going to fall from our trees, because we had, we cut them down now after this storm, seeing what happened, but we had a lot of old trees and stuff and we were worried they were going to fall. So we had to move our cars around the development, in different places that there weren't any trees and stuff like that. Personally, we didn't have to move anywhere.

MARY PIASECKI: Has this created any change in your daily life, your daily routine?

ARIJ SYED: Not in my daily routine. Maybe, when it happened, for like the next week or to it definitely changed my daily routine, because there's no electricity, there's no school, there's no Internet, there's not really anything to do, but other than that, it didn't change my daily routine.

MARY PIASECKI: How did it change your outlook or on the world?

ARIJ SYED: My outlook on my community, it definitely brought the community together, and people are a lot friendlier to each other for even like a month or 37:00two after it happened. And yeah definitely, generally we saw people were worried about each other, they wanted to help each other out and I thought that was really great and it didn't matter. People who might be from an upper class income bracket, and people from lower class income bracket, there wasn't like that kind of, you know how sometimes, there might be some kind of bias there. People genuinely cared about everybody so.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and did you believe that the storm has changed political views for others?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah, yeah definitely. I know a lot of people who were Republican, and Obama's actions after the storm made them want to vote for Obama. So I definitely think those, it changed political actions. It has to be, because there was one political party who basically did nothing for New Jersey or New York or anywhere and they were saying that the federal government shouldn't do anything for those people, and that those people should be left up to their own devices to fend for themselves, and there was another political party saying 38:00that no, we're one country and something horrible happened to you and we're going to help you out. So I definitely think people saw that, and maybe a lot of people saw the hypocrisy in the Republican party because of it.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and do you believe that the storm has impacted the election? Or had impacted the 2012 presidential election?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah, I do think it had definitely impacted the election because people saw Obama, that he took time out from his campaigning to come to New Jersey and help the people here, and you know, while he's not campaigning, people are the world and people around the country are seeing this, and they are going to view him as a genuine person, if it looks like he's doing something that is not to his benefit, he's taking the time out was really important for his career to help people out. I think people saw that as him being--you know, it showed that he was a real empathetic, he cared about America, he cared about the people in America, and I think that made people want to vote for him. And I think that people saw that Romney, like the president he said, was basically 39:00saying, if the same thing happened in your area, the federal government shouldn't help you out, and people would think, If that happened to me, what would Romney do for me? Nothing, so--.

MARY PIASECKI: Do you believe it will impact the 2013 governor election?

ARIJ SYED: Oh, yeah. Yeah, definitely. Because I mean, before this there was a lot of people who didn't care for Christie that much. A lot of people, especially with like his stances on education and things like that, and I mean, I kind of felt the same way, a little bit, I didn't like that some education things were being cut, or budgets for firemen or police officers, losing their pensions and stuff, I thought it was horrible. But at the same time, I thought, he had to do what he had to do, and he really didn't have a choice because the economy of New Jersey at the time. But there are still people, like the Democratic Party definitely in New Jersey took that as an attacking point on Christie, saying that he hates education, that he hates police officers, he hates firemen, and they used that as political tool. But I think after what 40:00happened and they saw, you can definitely see that he genuinely cares about New Jersey a lot. He didn't try to take a political stance, he didn't try to make a political thing out of it. He genuinely tried to help people and I think people are going to see that, and they are going to be like, Christie's got my back. They don't know what Barbara Buono would do in that certain situation and they know that Christie did help them. So I think it definitely will, it definitely gives the Republicans in the state, a good reason to vote for Christie again, and it gives Independents a good reason to vote for him, and maybe some Democrats a better reason to vote Republican.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, I know you had stated that you did not have power for a few days after the storm. Had you seen any of the clips of Christie during interviews throughout the storm? It was stated through various different outlets, that he was wearing the same clothes and that he looked, very like all over the place, yeah a little disheveled. Did you happen to see any of that coverage?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah, I did see some of that, and I thought, clearly, when you see that, you're like, Oh he's a political figure, they always try to you know, look 41:00their best and stuff like that, and he didn't really care about that. He cared about what was really important and that was helping people and doing his job. And it showed that he did work through the night and stuff, and he was doing his part.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and what did you, what were you thinking about telling your children regarding Hurricane Sandy?

ARIJ SYED: I mean, it's just it's crazy, you know, that we can tell our children that we survived Hurricane Sandy. We didn't have electricity for a long amount of time, that there was such destruction, that there were boats in the middle of the road and stuff. I think just the part, that we didn't have electricity for so long, will be pretty crazy for them to fathom, some people didn't have it for three weeks.

MARY PIASECKI: Do you think people complaining about not having electricity was justifiable even while others no longer had homes?

ARIJ SYED: That's an interesting question because at a certain--yeah that's a hard question to answer, because yeah people did want their electricity back, 42:00and a lot of people were like, Oh yeah, people aren't working hard enough. But at the same time, people were homeless, you know, it's a big storm and should people be complaining about electricity when other people don't have any homes to live in? I think maybe that's, maybe they shouldn't be. Like obviously this was a big thing and I generally thought people were, like PSE&G was trying to bring electricity back as fast as they could, because that's how they make money because if people are getting electricity, they can't bill those people for electricity. So I thought they did the best they could and if they couldn't get back on time, you know, that's just the nature of the storm, of what happened. I don't think they had any of other choice in it, and I think people should be thankful that they do have homes when people don't.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, how do you think people will be telling their children or their grandchildren about the storm?

ARIJ SYED: I mean, people are definitely going to exaggerate about their children and maybe sensationalize it like news people did, but that's just part of, I guess, storytelling. People are going to tell, you know--I kind of see it 43:00as its going to be something like, maybe not as on the scale of the Great Depression, but it's definitely going to be a big thing people talk about. Kids in history classes, in like middle school, like twenty years from now, they're going to be interviewing their grandparents, asking them what happened in the storm, What was it was like? I definitely think it's going to be a big part of New Jersey's history.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay. If you wanted to give a message about the storm, what would it be?

ARIJ SYED: Give a message about the storm? It would be that it's important for not just people in a state, but for people in a country to be more united and just care about the issues that they might not be facing, but their fellow countrymen are facing in another area, and I think it shows that it is important as, for the federal government to give aid. Yeah, it shows that it's important 44:00for the federal government to give aid to people that need it in this country.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, in the future, if another storm of this caliber occurs, do you feel that if it doesn't directly affect you, you'll be more willing to aid with the recovery and cleanup because you had experienced it, or had family and friends who had experienced it first hand?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah, I do think so. Because I've lived through it, and people I know have lived through it. And because I saw other people came here to help us out so I think if it happened in another area, we should do the same thing.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and what do you believe the legacy of the storm to be?

ARIJ SYED: The legacy of the storm? I think the legacy of the storm will be that New Jersey was hit really hard, even harder than Katrina, but we still got back up and we're trying to get back to life. And you know, I think we did a good job 45:00as a state to do the best we can to get, you know, to beat this storm and I think that is what the legacy will be.

MARY PIASECKI: Do you feel that your participation in this, in creating this archive for future generations, do you believe that that's an important part?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah I definitely believe that's an important part. I'm a big supporter of history and it's true that history always repeats itself. And it's important that maybe fifty years from now, let's say we don't have any major storms, and fifty years later we have a crazy, insane storm and there's a lot of damage, a lot of people are homeless and stuff, and there's not that precedent there that people from other parts of the country, or you know, should help other people out. Just reading this historiography will show people that when this happened here at this point in time, people from all over the state helped each other and then people from all parts of the country came here to help out, and that was the only reason why we were able to, you know, get away from it so 46:00quick compared to other parts of the country where this didn't happen. And I think that's an important thing to remember.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, and when the talk of FEMA and federal support again comes up in the future, do you think that Democrats or people who directly used FEMA's funds will be able to use that, to use Hurricane Sandy as kind of a way to explain that FEMA is necessary and that it's not just a program giving away money?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah definitely. I mean, I think every event that happens becomes used in politics, and people are going to definitely use FEMA to show that, Hey it's not just lower-class people who receive aid from the government, you know, it's everybody. And I think that's important because I do think the government has a responsibility to help people who can't really help themselves and there are certain people in this country who don't feel that way. And I think what happened in the state shows that it's a good thing, and it only helps people out, because it helps build businesses back up, stuff like that, helps get 47:00people on their feet, you know, in turn helps the economy.

MARY PIASECKI: Had you noticed any cases where the victims were not able to receive FEMA funding or had difficulty receiving funding?

ARIJ SYED: No, I know like there was this girl who was in my class last semester who was complaining that her beach house was destroyed but she can't get any FEMA funding because that's her secondary residence. And I just thought that, you should just be happy that was your secondary residence and not your primary residence. Like if you have enough money to have a secondary residence, obviously you don't really need that money compared to people who have no homes. So I thought a lot of, a lot of people who were complaining about the FEMA was a little bit of bullshit, because I know people in my town who lost their homes, which there were a lot of, and they were pretty happy with FEMA, and FEMA's agents, and their insurance companies and they're really grateful for what FEMA was doing.


MARY PIASECKI: Did I miss anything? Is there anything you would like to share about the storm?

ARIJ SYED: No I think you covered all the bases. Very comprehensive interview.

MARY PIASECKI: Okay, thank you.

ARIJ SYED: You're welcome.

end of interview

0:00 - Introduction

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:This is Mary Piasecki interviewing Arij Syed on Thursday, February twenty-eighth at 12:45 p.m.

Segment Synopsis: An introduction to the interview with Arij Syed.



0:09 - Brief biography

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Okay let's start discussing Hurricane Sandy. Can you please state your name and where you live?

Segment Synopsis: Syed tells about his residence, occupation, and what he likes to do on his free time.

Keywords: Community; Diversity; Hurricane Sandy; Income; Jersey Shore (TV); Job; Lived; Neighborhood; New Brunswick; New Jersey; Old Bridge; Parlin; Safe; Salary; School; State; Stereotype; Stores; Vote; Work


GPS: Old Bridge Township, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 40.412844, -74.302786

1:56 - First warnings of Hurricane Sandy / expectations / preparations for the storm

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:All right, so when did you first hear that the storm was coming?

Segment Synopsis: Syed talks about the first warnings he and his town received from the news, governor, and also their town's mayor. Since evacuation wasn't mandatory in his town, Syed and his family decided to stay in their house with his pets during the duration of the storm.

Keywords: Adequate warning; Area; Batteries; Candles; Canned food; Cars; Duration; Evacuate; Evacuation warnings; Expect; First thoughts; Governor; Heat; House; Hurricane Sandy; Mandatory evacuation; Mayor; News; Old Bridge; Pets; Power; Prepare; Rite Aid; Safe; Stores; Storm; Town; Water


GPS: Rite Aid Pharmacy (Old Bridge Township, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 40.402660, -74.296829

4:58 - Day of the storm / weather conditions / power outages

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Okay, so can you take me through the day of the storm? Where were you?

Segment Synopsis: Syed talks about the first day of the storm and his town's weather conditions. He also mentions what he did the first day and the information he was able to receive during the storm.

Keywords: Beach; Brother; Car; Cell phones; Cliffwood Beach; Conditions; Family; Home; House; Information; Lights; Outside; Power; Power was out; Radio; Rain; Service; Sleep; Storm; TV; Weather; Windy; Work


GPS: Cliffwood Beach (Aberdeen Township, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 40.442056, -74.216397

7:21 - Immediate end of the storm / first contacts

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Okay, and when did the immediate storm end for you?

Segment Synopsis: Syed describes the mood and scene of his community after the storm took its course. He also talks about the remains of his neighborhood after Hurricane Sandy.

Keywords: Cell phones; Community; Contact; Damage; Development; Electricity; First person called; Flood; Home; House; Houses; Internet; Mood; Neighborhood; Office; Outside; Phone; Power; Power lines; Scene; Serious; Service; Storm; T-Mobile; Town; Work


GPS: Old Bridge Township, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 0.410753, -74.302099

10:15 - The neighborhood after the storm

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Okay and the following day, how did that go about? What was your day like?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Syed talks about the day after the storm and how he spent it with his family. He also goes on about his neighborhood and issues that resulted from being without electricity.

Keywords: Clean up; Electricity; Family; Fire; Freezer; Garbage; Gas shortage; Home; House; Mail; Mail service; Neighborhood; Service; Stores; Trash


GPS: Old Bridge Township, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 40.411276, -74.308965

12:05 - Support from power companies, insurance companies, and FEMA

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Okay and after the storm, who did you look for, for support or help?

Segment Synopsis: Syed speaks about how he looked to his family for support. He also mentions the responses of the police and interaction with religious communities.

Keywords: Aid; Area; Beach; Clean up; Community; Electricity; Emergency; Family; FEMA; Food; Help; Hurricane; Insurance; Internet; Looting; Mosques; Police; Power companies; Prepared; Religious communities; Response; Services; Support; Town; Work


GPS: Old Bridge Township, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 40.411276, -74.308965

15:13 - Issues with school, transportation, and gas after the storm

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Okay. And how long was school out?

Segment Synopsis: Syed talks about issues with school, gasoline, and transportation after the storm. He also talks about his losses with the storm.

Keywords: Brother; Buses; Community; Driving; Gas; Gas shortage; Gas station lines; Gas stations; Gasoline; Generators; Hurricane; Losses; Money; Phones; School; Transportation


GPS: Old Bridge Township, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 40.411276, -74.308965

17:21 - Response from the local and federal government, FEMA, and insurance companies

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Okay, beginning stage five of the Hurricane Sandy interview. How did you feel about the response, with like the local government?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Syed talks about the responses of the local and federal government, FEMA, insurance companies, and much more. He also comments on Governor Christie's objection against his own political party.

Keywords: Aid; Barack Obama; Campaign; Chris Christie; Christie; Damage; Disaster; Election; federal government; FEMA; Governor; Governor Christie; History; Hurricane Katrina; Hurricane Sandy; Insurance companies; Local government; Money; National disasters; Party; Politics; Republicans; Response; Responsibility; Romney; State; Storm; Town; Vote


20:54 - Warnings about and responses to the storm

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Okay, do you feel New Jersey adequately prepared for the storm?

Segment Synopsis: Syed talks about his feelings towards the preparation for and responses to Hurricane Sandy. He also mentions that he believes global warmingis the cause of the storm, not Mother Nature.

Keywords: Adequate; Area; Beach; Carribean; Climate change; Damage; Freak occurence; Global warming; Houses; Mother Nature; Municipality; New Jersey; Prepared adequately; Response; Sandbagged; Storm; Tax money; Town; Water; Wind


23:08 - Media coverage / President Obama and Governor Christie after the storm

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Okay. How did you feel about the media coverage?

Segment Synopsis: During this segment, Syed talks about the sensationalizaiton of the newscasts and newscasters. He also reveals changes in opinions of the president and governor after they responded to Hurricane Sandy.

Keywords: Accurate; Area; Atlantic City; Barbara Buono; Campaign; Changed; Christie; Country; Coverage; Damage; Democratic; Distraught; Emotions; Evacuate; Governor; Gubernatorial campaign; Home; Horrible; Hurricane Katrina; Information; Issue; Job; Mayor; Media; National disasters; Negative; New Jersey; News; Newscast; Obama; Old Bridge; Parlin; Party; Perspective; Political; Positive; President; Response; Romney; Sayerville; Sensational; Sensationalized; State; Storm; Struggle; Support; Voluntary; Vote; Warning


GPS: Sayreville, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 40.460601, -74.357509

28:23 - Response from the rest of the country / celebrity support compared to Hurricane Katrina

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:How did you feel about the response from the rest of the country?

Segment Synopsis: Syed talks about the response of the rest of the country to Hurricane Sandy including celebrities and their support for those affected by the storm. He also compares celebrity involvement in Hurricane Sandy to that following Katrina.

Keywords: America; Area; Benefit concert; Celebrities; Communities; Comparison; Concert; Country; Disaster; Donation; Facebook; federal government; Help; Hurricane Katrina; Hurricane Sandy; Involvement; Jersey Strong; Kanye West; Money; New Jersey; Parkway; President Bush; Response; State; Superdome; Support; Television; TV


30:53 - Comparing Hurricane Sandy to other storms

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Okay, and how did this compare to other storms you've experienced?

Segment Synopsis: Syed compares Hurricane Sandy to Hurricane Irene. He also goes on about what he saw on television after the storm hit and how much damage was shown.

Keywords: After the storm; Area; Coverage; Damage; Disaster; Electricity; Experience; Hurricane Irene; Hurricane Sandy; Minimal; New Jersey; Pictures; Power; Radio; Sensationalized; Storm; Television; TV


32:35 - Enivronmental issues after the storm

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Okay and how has it shaped environmental issues?

Segment Synopsis: Syed talks about zoning laws and flood insurance in New Jersey.

Keywords: Bias; Climate change; Damage; Destroyed; Environment; Environmental issues; Family; FEMA; Flood insurance; Government aid; Higher ground; House; Hurricane Katrina; Hurricane Sandy; Income; Issue; Looting; Middle class; Money; New Jersey; Newark; Precaution; Property; Rebuild; Response; Storm; Town; Zoning laws


GPS: Newark, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 40.736284, -74.173000

34:57 - Changes in day-to-day life after the storm

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Yeah. Okay. Since the storm, have things returned to normal?

Segment Synopsis: Syed talks about his daily life and how it has changed after Hurricane Sandy.

Keywords: Beach; Branches; Cars; Changed; Community; Conditions; Daily life; Electricity; Experience; Home; Hurricane Sandy; Income; Internet; Issue; Manhattan; Normal; Normalcy; Office; Outlook; Rebuild; School; State; Storm; Trains; Trees; Work; World


GPS: Manhattan, Ny.
Map Coordinates: 40.790521, -73.961420

37:24 - The impact of Hurricane Sandy on politics

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Okay, and did you believe that the storm has changed political views for others?

Segment Synopsis: Syed tells about his opinion of how Hurricane Sandy impacted both the 2012 presidential election and the 2013 gubernatorial election.

Keywords: 2012 election; 2013 election; America; Area; Barbara Buono; Campaign; Changed; Christie; Country; Coverage; Democratic; Economic; Education; Election; federal government; Fireman; Gubernatorial campaign; Help; Horrible; Hypcorisy; Impacting; Independents; Job; New Jersey; New York; Obama; Party; Police officers; Political; Power; President; Republicans; Romney; State; Storm; Vote


41:16 - Legacy of Hurricane Sandy

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Okay, and what did you, what were you thinking about telling your children regarding Hurricane Sandy?

Segment Synopsis: Syed talks about the legacy of Hurricane Sandy and what he looks forward to telling his future children and grandhcildren about this experience.

Keywords: Aid; Archive; Area; Boats; Boats in street; Children; Clean up; Country; Damage; Destruction; Electricity; Experience; Family; federal government; Grandchildren; Great Depression; Help; History; Home; Hurricane Katrina; Hurricane Sandy; Issue; Legacy; Message; Money; Nature; New Jersey; News; PSE&G; Recovery; School; Sensationalized; State; Storm; Support; Survived; Working


46:08 - Future FEMA and federal support

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Okay, and when the talk of FEMA and federal support again comes up in the future, do you think that Democrats or people who directly used FEMA's funds will be able to use that, to use Hurricane Sandy as kind of a way to explain that FEMA is necessary and that it's not just a program giving away money?

Segment Synopsis: Syed talks about how he thinks FEMA and federal support will respond for future disasters. He also speaks about victims who were not able to receive FEMA funding.

Keywords: Aid; Beach; Country; Democrats; Economic; Federal; FEMA; Funds; Future; Help; Home; House; Hurricane Sandy; Insurance companies; Money; Politics; Responsibility; State; Storm; Support; Town


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