0:00

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: My name is Trudi-Ann Lawrence. Today is September third, and I am at the Bayshore Senior Center. Can you state your name?

MARY CROOK: Mary Crook. C-r-o-o-k.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, and your age, if you don't mind sharing?

MARY CROOK: Eighty-four.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. And how long have you lived in this area?

MARY CROOK: Since 19— since '05, so it must be eight years.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, and where did you live before that?

MARY CROOK: Bayonne.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

MARY CROOK: And Jersey City before that. I was in Bayonne about five years.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Okay, do you own a home in Keansburg at the moment?

MARY CROOK: Do I own the home? No.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Where do you currently reside?

MARY CROOK: My daughter owns it. I live with my daughter.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. In Keansburg, right? In Keansburg?

MARY CROOK: Yes.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, and has she lived in the home for eight years as well?

1:00

MARY CROOK: Yeah, um-hm.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Do you know how many rooms are in the house?

MARY CROOK: Well, the first floor has a kitchen, dining room, and a (unintelligible) room, and then there's three bedrooms upstairs, the bathroom, and then there's a little attic apartment, too.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

MARY CROOK: Yeah.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: All right. Can you tell me who else lives in the home with you, apart from your daughter?

MARY CROOK: Who lives in the apartment? My daughter and her two sons.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. And you, right?

MARY CROOK: And me.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Do you currently have an occupation, anything that you're doing?

MARY CROOK: No, I'm retired.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, and how long have you been retired?

MARY CROOK: Oh, since '92.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Okay. What do you like about living in New Jersey or 2:00living in this area in particular?

MARY CROOK: Well, I'm just so used to it and I like the people. And of course the state, the Garden State, it's a beautiful state as far as the grass and all.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Are you involved in the community in any way?

MARY CROOK: Well, I belong to the Senior Center down here. I'm not an officer or anything, I just belong there.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

MARY CROOK: Yeah, and I belong to my church. I'm Catholic.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. All right. So can you tell me about the storm, when you first heard it was coming? What happened, what did you expect?

MARY CROOK: Well, we had had one the year before, a slight one. When I heard it was coming—actually, I heard it through my daughter. My daughter had sent her 3:00girlfriend to come and take me—

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

MARY CROOK: —with her. She lives up in New Brunswick. You know, so she just called, she said, "Judy"—that's my daughter—"wants you to come with me." She said, "So why don't you throw some things in a bag?" You know. And I did, I went with her.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Okay, so when the storm happened, what were the weather conditions like where you were?

MARY CROOK: Just, you know, just a rainy storm. No different—

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: —than any other?

MARY CROOK: No.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. All right. So when did you come back to your home with your daughter?

MARY CROOK: Oh, it was around, for about, almost two months I was out.

4:00

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Oh, okay.

MARY CROOK: You know, I went to this friend's house. Then I have a sister that lives in Connecticut. I went to her for a while. And then I have a daughter who lives in Bayonne, New Jersey. I went with her for a couple weeks.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Now the daughter who lives here in Keansburg, did she lose her home?

MARY CROOK: Not the whole home. We lost the heat. That's why I had to leave. We lost—the furnace was under. And my daughter lost her car, and her sons lost two cars.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Okay.

MARY CROOK: Yeah.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: So when you came back, what was the community like? What was the scene, the mood of the community?

MARY CROOK: Well, everybody seemed to be trying to help each other. I have to 5:00say, my daughter told me a Baptist church from South Jersey—I don't know the name. They came, a group of their volunteers came and actually helped my daughter—and my granddaughter came over—helped them take the stuff out of the basement. You know, the wet stuff, and put it on the curb to be—everybody was helping everybody else. I have to say, that's part of what I like about Keansburg. Everybody seemed to help each other.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. So do you think that New Jersey prepared adequately for the storm?

MARY CROOK: I don't know. I don't think there was anything done ahead of time, no. Like, you know, I can't say that they were.

6:00

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Do you think there's anything that could have been done differently?

MARY CROOK: No, I can't honestly say, no.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: That's okay. All right. Do you think the media covered the area properly, or was it sensationalized?

MARY CROOK: No. Well, as I say, as I said, if you ever saw the town next door, you know, it was horrible.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Um-hm.

MARY CROOK: But actually, you know, in our area, it wasn't that bad as the town next to us.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right.

MARY CROOK: I mean, as I say, we did have the water, and we had to take up the carpeting. And from the first floor, because I guess from coming up and down, that carpeting got wet.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Yeah.

MARY CROOK: Yeah, but we were—fortunately, no one was physically hurt, which 7:00is a lot to be thankful for, too.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. All right. So, do you think that Obama and Christie making their appearance here had impact in any way?

MARY CROOK: I'm sorry, I don't—

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Do you think that the governor and the president, making their appearance here, had an impact in any way?

MARY CROOK: Well, I think it made the people feel good that they're interested. It's not something they're looking at from the TV.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right.

MARY CROOK: You know, I think to see him down here, you know, yeah.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Yes. Okay, so have things returned to normal for you?

MARY CROOK: Yeah, I would say, yes.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Good, good. Are there any changes to your daily life since the storm?

8:00

MARY CROOK: No, no, I wouldn't say.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Good, good. Okay. Do you think that the storm has a certain legacy or a certain message that it carried?

MARY CROOK: I think just more to learn to be prepared. You know, there's things I think if I heard of another one coming up—especially like medication, I had to be very careful. As a matter of fact, my medicine was in a druggist here. My one daughter had to come up from Bayonne, you know, to pick it up for me. I think just to be more aware and prepared.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right. Is there any word of advice that you can give to those that recently suffered another disaster in Moore, Oklahoma, from the tornados? Is there any advice that you would possibly give them?

9:00

MARY CROOK: Well, I guess just prepare yourself as much as you can, but no, there's not really—communication's important, though. You know, as I say, I never went to those little hand computers, but boy, they—calling here, or calling there. They were very handy, you know. Other than just try to be prepared a little bit more.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right. (clears throat) Okay. Is there anything else that you'd like to tell me that I didn't ask?

MARY CROOK: No, I don't think. I think that covers it.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

MARY CROOK: Yeah, no. My daughter has been helped, you know, thank God. We had 10:00the furnace put right in, you know, and that's when I came home, because, you know, with the—we had to have a new roof put on the house. But she went—see, that's one of the reasons she wanted me to go with her friend, because she said, "Mom, if I know you're out of the way," she says, "I can run around here and do things," you know. And she went to apply for help and all—

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Who did she apply for help with? Did she contact FEMA or your insurance company?

MARY CROOK: I honestly don't—I think it was FEMA, but I can't swear, you know, I don't—

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, all right.

MARY CROOK: Oh, she had some home—she had some insurance, too, you know, homeowners.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, that helped.

MARY CROOK: Yeah. But, yeah, no, I think—but I think the people were very good 11:00to each other here.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

MARY CROOK: Anything else?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: No, that's it.

end of interview

0:00 - Intoduction

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:My name is Trudi-Ann Lawrence. Today is September third, and I am at the Bayshore Senior Center. Can you state your name?

Segment Synopsis: An introduction to the interview with Mary Crook.

Keywords:

Subjects:

0:07 - Brief biography

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Can you state your name?

Segment Synopsis: Crook describes her residential history as well as her current residence and who she resides with. She also goes on to talk about her involvement in the community and religious affiliation.

Keywords: Apartment; Area; Bayonne; Bedrooms; Church; Community; Daughter; Home; Jersey City; Keansburg; Lived; New Jersey; Occupation; Retired; Rooms; Sons

Subjects:


GPS: Keansburg, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 40.441718, -74.129909

2:42 - When the storm hit

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Okay. All right. So can you tell me about the storm, when you first heard it was coming? What happened, what did you expect?

Segment Synopsis: Crook didn't think it would be that bad but realized it was when her daughter sent someone to pick her up. She was out of her house for two months before she finally returned.

Keywords: Bayonne; Car; Conditions; Daughter; Furnace; Heat; Home; Lost; New Brunswick; New Jersey; Rainy; Sister; Storm; Weather

Subjects:


GPS: Keansburg, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 40.442025, -74.127842

4:51 - The community after the storm

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Partial Transcript:So when you came back, what was the community like? What was the scene, the mood of the community?

Segment Synopsis: Crook describes how everyone in the community seemed to be helping each other through the storm.

Keywords: Basement; Church; Community; Daughters; Help; Keansburg; Mood; New Jersey; Voluntary

Subjects:


GPS: Keansburg, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 40.442025, -74.127842

5:42 - How New Jersey prepared / political views

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Partial Transcript:Okay. So do you think that New Jersey prepared adequately for the storm?

Segment Synopsis: Crook tells how she felt about the preparedness of New Jersey for the storm. Also, she describes how she believes that the involvement of the president and governor led New Jerseyans to feel more supported during this time of need.

Keywords: After the storm; Appearance; Area; Barack Obama; Chris Christie; Horrible; Impacting; Media; New Jersey; Obama; Prepared adequately; Sensationalized; Storm; Town; TV; Water

Subjects:


GPS: Keansburg, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 40.442025, -74.127842

7:48 - Life after the storm / storm legacy

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Partial Transcript:Okay, so have things returned to normal for you?

Segment Synopsis: Crook warns that we should be more prepared for future disasters and learn to communicate better throughout these times. She also describes how grateful she is to have her "normal" life restored and her daughter's home restored.

Keywords: Bayonne; Communication; Daily life; Daughters; Disaster; FEMA; Friends; Furnace; Helped; Home; Insurance; Legacy; medication; Message; Normal; Oklahoma; Prepared; Roof; Storm; Suffered; Tornadoes

Subjects:


GPS: Keansburg, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 40.442025, -74.127842
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