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´╗┐ALICIA HILL: Hi, my name is Alicia Hill and I'm interviewing Maureen and John Piasecki in their residence in Port Monmouth, New Jersey on Monday, March 25, 2013. Okay, I want to start by asking you guys, what is your name and how old are you guys?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I'm Maureen Piasecki, I'm fifty-one.

JOHN PIASECKI: My name is John Piasecki, I am fifty-six.

ALICIA HILL: Okay. How long have you guys lived in this home?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Twenty-four years.

ALICIA HILL: Okay. If you don't mind me asking, how much does this home cost?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: How much is the mortgage payment?

ALICIA HILL: Yeah.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Like sixteen hundred a month.

ALICIA HILL: Okay. And how many rooms do you guys have?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Uh, four--I'm going to say eight rooms.

ALICIA HILL: Okay. Why did you guys choose to live here?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Well we just liked the area when we came. We were living in 1:00New York, and it was what we could afford. We had young children, it was a good school system, nice neighborhood, nice property.

ALICIA HILL: And as you said about the neighborhood, it's good, how is the school system? Everything is perfectly fine?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: No, the school system's very good.

ALICIA HILL: Tell me about your family, both of you guys.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: My direct family, our direct family that lives here?

ALICIA HILL: Yes.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: We have four children. My son is going to be thirty, my oldest daughter is twenty-seven, my middle daughter is twenty-four, and then Mary is twenty-one.

ALICIA HILL: (laughs) What do you guys do for a living?

JOHN PIASECKI: I work in an auto dealership in the parts department, been a manager on and off for about thirty-seven years.

ALICIA HILL: Okay.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I'm a letter carrier for the post office.

ALICIA HILL: How long have you guys been doing this?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I've been with the post office a little over twelve years, and 2:00he already said thirty-seven.

ALICIA HILL: Okay. What do you like about living in New Jersey?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: (laughs) What about living in New Jersey?

ALICIA HILL: Yeah, what differs from New York, since you guys said you were from New York.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I'm from New York, he's from New Jersey. He could talk about New Jersey.

JOHN PIASECKI: In New Jersey, they have parking spaces. You can park your car--

ALICIA HILL: Exactly.

JOHN PIASECKI: --we have a driveway. I could fit eight cars in there. No, I like the shore, it's a lot of things I like about it.

ALICIA HILL: Where do you guys usually hang out? If you guys were going on a date or something, where do you guys usually go?

JOHN PIASECKI: Did we mention we've been married for--?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: A long time. Actually, we don't really go out too much anymore. Go out to dinner, that's about it, really.

3:00

ALICIA HILL: Okay. What do you guys think about the shores near your home?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Well, we like the shore for sure. (laughs) It's nice to be able to go down, just drive down the road and go to the beach, that's one of the nicest things about living in this area.

ALICIA HILL: What do you guys think about Jersey Shore, the show?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I think it's terrible.

JOHN PIASECKI: Ditto.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I think if--I would never have my children on that show. They'd have a problem.

ALICIA HILL: Tell me about how you are involved in your community.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Well, not really. We did a lot of things when the children were younger, went to different meetings and stuff like that. But you know we're just very friendly with people in the neighborhood and everybody looks out for each other.

JOHN PIASECKI: Knights of Columbus, we were with them for a number of years and all their wonderful events, charity events.

4:00

MAUREEN PIASECKI: And activities at the church, stuff like that. We were very involved in the sports programs--baseball, basketball.

JOHN PIASECKI: Softball.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Softball.

ALICIA HILL: How is the crime in your community? Like, does your community have any nicknames, or is there a reputation for your community?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Well this always has been--this actually, Middletown has been rated one of the safest communities to live many times. The crime rate is very low around this area.

ALICIA HILL: When did you first hear about the storm coming?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I'm going to say we heard about the storm, probably midweek right before--the storm was the twenty-ninth on a Monday, I'm going to say maybe that Wednesday or Thursday, because, you know, they have all these reports on the news and everything else like that. But basically we've been living here for so long that--and everything with the weather and all that is so exaggerated 5:00sometimes that--because of the fact that we've lived here for so long that we've had bad storms, we've been through them--Mary, what are you doing?

pause in recording

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Because we're on this side of the highway, so that's what I should say. But anyway, we've had bad storms and stuff, and we've had weather, and a little bit of water here and there and everything like that, but we never thought anything--we were not contemplating any kind of disaster that we got. We were actually getting a new roof, we were supposed to being put on our house that day of the storm, and the roofer called and said, They're saying were going to get a pretty bad storm, because he was coming to bring the shingles that Friday. He was going to put them in our driveway, so we were getting all prepared for that, moving all the cars out and everything else. And then he called to say he was going to keep our materials in the warehouse because we 6:00didn't know how bad it was going to be. So we were very lucky that he kept our shingles in the warehouse or we wouldn't have them.

ALICIA HILL: I know you were. What were your first thoughts about the storm? [music playing in background]

JOHN PIASECKI: Before, during, or after?

ALICIA HILL: All of the above.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Your first thoughts.

JOHN PIASECKI: We didn't think it was going to be as big as it was or as bad as it was, but at a quarter to nine that night, the water outside the pool was as high as the water inside the pool, so we knew we were in for trouble.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I honestly--I really, really didn't think it was going to be like anything they were saying. I mean, I literally actually had to go to work that day. I went to work and then they sent us home from work, they called us back off the street at eleven o'clock. By the time I got home at one o'clock we 7:00had already lost power.

ALICIA HILL: What did you first expect of Hurricane Sandy?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: What do you mean? I don't understand.

ALICIA HILL: As, what did you think was really going to happen, versus what really did happen? Like, what did you--?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Like I said, I just was expecting it to be another storm, and it was going to be something like maybe we would have some water in the basement. I was hoping we weren't going to have any trees down like we did with Irene. I just thought it was going to be something that was going to come and go and then things were going to go back to normal.

ALICIA HILL: How did you guys prepare, and what did you prepare?

JOHN PIASECKI: The girls took the doggies up to my children's house up in Summit, so they were out of the picture, which was a great thing because my one dog is a nervous wreck with the wind and everything and would have been real bad. Two weeks after that were like a bunch of vagrants, in and out.

8:00

MAUREEN PIASECKI: But we also took neighbors' dogs in, so we had them here, and they were actually very, very good. (dogs barking) And you know, we just had, we had wa--

pause in recording

ALICIA HILL: What was your availability to supplies?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: We were okay, you know, we had water, we had food.

ALICIA HILL: How long did you guys wait in line? Maybe at the supermarket, or local stores.

JOHN PIASECKI: Gas stations, ridiculous--

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I actually--

JOHN PIASECKI: --off the hook.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: The gas stations were very, very bad. I actually--believe it or not, even though we had no power, and we had no service, and the plants were down and everything, they still had the post office open, so I had to go to work everyday. Meanwhile, I had hardly any gas in my car. Then they opened up the plant so that employees could get gas. But in my postal truck, actually people 9:00let me to the front of the line, and the cop pushed me through and got me gas in my truck so I could deliver the mail, and some good little Samaritan in a car next to me--because you couldn't get coffee anywhere, no one had coffee, hot coffee--he gave me a cup from his Box O' Joe. He gave me a cup of coffee in my postal truck. I thought that was really sweet. (laughs)

ALICIA HILL: Do you think there was an adequate warning for Hurricane Sandy?

JOHN PIASECKI: I think there was but like she said, alluded to, that we've heard it so much before, and the weathermen take--it's always doom and gloom with those guys. So nobody really knew, but it was the perfect storm. Yeah, they were saying it was going to be bad and it was bad, but it's a hundred-year storm so--.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I had no--I know that they said all that, but never be in my 10:00wildest dreams in all the time that we've lived here have I ever seen the neighborhood this devastated, ever.

ALICIA HILL: What did you make of the governors and their warnings?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I think the governors of both New York and New Jersey did a very good job.

JOHN PIASECKI: Ditto.

ALICIA HILL: Were there evacuation warnings and how did you respond to them?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: We were told to evacuate, and like I said, because of the simple fact of the matter that we've lived here as long as we have and we've never had this kind of crazy insanity, we stayed here, my husband and I. My daughters were all up north with my son and the dogs. They wanted us to come up to Summit, but like I went to work that day and I didn't know what was going to happen, and I really thought, We're going to have the storm, and the next day 11:00we're going to loose power. I figured that, I knew that was going to happen, but I had no idea it that it was going to be as bad as it was. Otherwise I might have left. I might have. But I doubt it.

JOHN PIASECKI: I wasn't leaving for the simple fact that there was nobody here to look after the house. There was a lot of looting going on when the brown substance hit the fan. There was a lot of bad stuff.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yeah, there was a lot of really bad things that happened around the neighborhood after the storm, like right after the storm.

ALICIA HILL: How did you prep? What did you do about the cars and the pets?

JOHN PIASECKI: Pets were relocated up north, like she had said, and the cars I moved. Every car that was here was as far away as I could safely put it.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Put them on the other side of the highway.

ALICIA HILL: Take me through your day of the storm. Where were you?

JOHN PIASECKI: I don't believe I went to work that day.

12:00

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I don't know if you did.

JOHN PIASECKI: I don't think I did. I don't really remember that part. I mean, we just--I remember at four o'clock it was getting real, real bad.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I went to work. I had to go to work, which was ridiculous. I work right by the beach and it had really got bad. And they called us all back in, with the mail and the trucks and everything by eleven o'clock, and told us all that we had to get home. I got home. By the time I got home here, which they were starting to already close down the ocean--Route 36 along the water. I had to take the parkway home. By the time I got home, it was almost one o'clock. And when I got home, within five minutes of coming in the door, we lost power. I work in Asbury Park along the beach. I work in Asbury Park Post Office, but I 13:00deliver the mail along the beach, so that was really crazy. It was so windy. The ocean was insane already at that time in the morning, so it was like one of those kind of things, they finally decided to send us home. Because, you know, here we are having a state of emergency, but you know, the post office is open.

ALICIA HILL: What was your first sign of the storm?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: The rain and the water, the beach water, the ocean.

JOHN PIASECKI: Actually, I remember I did go to work for part time that day. (Maureen coughing) Because I remember the water coming up from the creek. At seven in the morning it was all the way up to Central Avenue, which is one big city block away from the end of the road.

ALICIA HILL: How long do you guys think school was closed for?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Middletown schools were closed for over two weeks, I'm going to say.

ALICIA HILL: When did your power go out?

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MAUREEN PIASECKI: My power was out before one o'clock in the afternoon.

ALICIA HILL: What did you guys do?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: When the power went out?

ALICIA HILL: Yes.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Well, we had a lot of candles ready for that, because that one I was expecting. I was expecting the power to go out, because I figured because of the way that the storm warning was and everything I said. And plus we lived through Irene, so we had no power from Irene, so I said, this storm is supposed to be worse than Irene, so we had loads of candles. But that was like about it. It didn't get dark until--it wasn't dark until like maybe around five-thirty so it wasn't too bad. And then we just had candles lit all over the place.

ALICIA HILL: What did you guys do for dinner that day?

JOHN PIASECKI: Don't even remember, probably nothing.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: We had food here, I don't know. We couldn't cook, anyway. Sandwiches, you know. We had no electricity.

15:00

JOHN PIASECKI: Yeah, everything is electric in the house.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Oh yeah. Yeah, we have no gas, we have no gas in the house. Well now we do, but we didn't at the time. Everything in our house was electric so we couldn't microwave anything, we couldn't cook on the stove, so we just had whatever snack type of things we had in the house, sandwiches.

ALICIA HILL: How did you get your information the first day, and who were you talking to?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: The first day of the storm?

ALICIA HILL: Yes.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Like about how bad it was? Well, my girlfriend Linda had one of those like little tablet type of things that still had some power.

ALICIA HILL: Like a Kindle?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yeah. And there wasn't too much of information, you know, the store was open, Foodtown was open, which I was pretty surprised about. We were basically filling up on getting ice as much as we could. You couldn't get ice, 16:00really, anywhere. Just to keep stuff cold, milk. Couldn't get coffee anywhere. Whatever places were open were far and few between.

ALICIA HILL: When did you guys go to sleep?

JOHN PIASECKI: I went to bed after nine, that I remember. There was no point in staying up.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: You couldn't stay up. Well, we went to sleep when we finally exhausted out. After the water started coming in through the basement trap door, I was kind of afraid to go to sleep, because I was like, Oh no here we go. But eventually we just passed out.

JOHN PIASECKI: Wasn't much you could do.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Nothing you could do. That's the only was to pass the time, was sleep.

ALICIA HILL: How about your kids? Do you know what time they went to sleep?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: They were up in Summit, they were fine. I don't even think they lost power. Did you guys lose power? They didn't lose power up there. I 17:00don't know what I was thinking not going there.

JOHN PIASECKI: They were having a hurricane party in your honor.

ALICIA HILL: When did the immediate storm end?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: The media storm?

ALICIA HILL: Yeah, the immediate storm.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Oh, probably, I'm going to say the water started subsiding--it was still very windy and everything the next day--probably around, I'm going to say by like maybe ten, eleven in the morning, it was where you could almost, you could go outside.

ALICIA HILL: What was going through your head when you woke up the next day, after the storm?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I was just still shocked, I was so shocked. I still didn't realize how bad--I knew it was really, really bad, because when I was looking out the window in the laundry I could I could see the water was already up along 18:00the people's houses on the back street. So I knew the water was in my neighbors' houses, and because the water was coming in through the trap door in my basement, I knew that we were--it was bad, the water. So, but the basement is over seven feet tall, so I knew there was that, and you couldn't see my pool in the backyard, so the next day when I opened the trap door, the water was all the way up to the top of the steps. So then I knew we were in a lot of trouble.

ALICIA HILL: When did you first go outside?

JOHN PIASECKI: The next morning.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Like I said, we had those dogs here that we were watching, because their house got it worse, their house was in a lower area. So I went outside with them because the poor dogs had to go to the bathroom. They were here all day, the day before they got here around four o'clock, and the poor little things had accidents in the house, but we couldn't let them outside because they would have to swim to go to the bathroom. So I let them out, you know, I went outside with them and then I came in because they were running around the yard, and I went outside to go get them, and they were gone. They 19:00were on the back street, because I didn't know that--

JOHN PIASECKI: The fence got knocked down.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: --my picnic table was lodged in my back fence by the tree, and the tree was almost out of the ground. And when I went out back there, I realized that the fence was down, but the two dogs were so good, they came right back.

ALICIA HILL: What did you do? How did you respond, the day after the storm?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I was just blown away, freaking out.

JOHN PIASECKI: I spent a day and a half pumping out the basement.

ALICIA HILL: Who did you guys first contact?

JOHN PIASECKI: I contacted FEMA after the smoke settled.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: And our children. I called my kids. Well, and my phone died too, my cell phone died, so I had no way to do anything, because I couldn't 20:00charge it and everything, and then his phone was just about on its last battery, and I called and I finally got in touch with my kids, and then Mary told me that she had a car charger upstairs in her room, so I went up and got that and charged my phone.

ALICIA HILL: Who did you first see, the day after the storm?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: People from the neighborhood. We were outside--

JOHN PIASECKI: Next door neighbor, Johnny.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Neighbors. (coughs) Johnny? Yeah, Johnny. My next-door neighbors over here, they evacuated. My neighbors across the street--everybody on the block was out. It was really bad around here. Everybody--

JOHN PIASECKI: Still is.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Everybody lost their whole downstairs on this street.

JOHN PIASECKI: Except us and Johnny.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yeah, two houses. Everyone else lost their furniture, their walls, everything.

ALICIA HILL: Did you guys suffer any damages?

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JOHN PIASECKI: Oh yeah.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Oh yeah. We lost our pool, the fence came down, a bunch of trees, everything in our garage, our entire basement, our furnace, our hot water heater, our electric system, our refrigerator outside, everything.

JOHN PIASECKI: Heating oil tank was knocked off its perch, everything in the garage was underwater.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Everything in the garage was floating.

ALICIA HILL: Okay, describe to me the scene when you first walked outside. How was the community? How was their mood?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: A lot of people weren't here. The ones that were here, we were all just like, Wow. Like just blown out.

ALICIA HILL: How did you get in touch with people? What was your cell phone coverage?

JOHN PIASECKI: Cell phone coverage was pretty bad, because everyone was trying to hit it and you couldn't really connect. It took a long time. There were so 22:00many dropped calls.

ALICIA HILL: Who's your provider?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Verizon.

ALICIA HILL: Did you guys have any tablets, or any Kindles, Kindle Fires?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: No, we didn't have anything.

ALICIA HILL: Okay, take--

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I saw enough of it myself, I didn't even want to be looking at any more--more damage I already saw firsthand, to be honest with you.

ALICIA HILL: Take me through the next day of the storm, the second day after the storm. Take me through it. Like, how was your home, your property, (Maureen coughing) injuries, food and heat?

JOHN PIASECKI: We had some food, we had plenty of water. We didn't have any heat, we didn't have any hot water.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: We lost everything.

JOHN PIASECKI: We lost everything, and we didn't get any of that back for a long, long time.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Till December twentieth, we didn't have heat in this house.

ALICIA HILL: So your day-to-day necessities were basically lost?

23:00

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Everything. Couldn't take a hot shower. We stayed at a neighbor's house a couple of days, who has a fire place. So we stayed at her house and we sat around the fire to keep warm. And she had a gas stove, so she could cook. (whispering in background) Yeah. Well when we got the power back, we were very limited in what we could do anyway, because we had to replace our electrical panel, because it was underwater for too many--it was destroyed from the storm.

ALICIA HILL: How long did this last? Like your power outages, your stores reopening? How long did they last?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Well the power was out for almost two weeks, I'm going to say. And then, like I said, we were out--we could only use certain things because we couldn't overload the circuits, because our power was in bad shape, they were afraid for fires. But the stores weren't bad. The store were pretty much open 24:00pretty quickly.

JOHN PIASECKI: After two weeks it was back to normal, but Foodtown was a joke, it was you had to wait on line and get a number to get in the store, and once you got in there, there was nothing there. It was a disaster. The gas lines were horrendous.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: The gas was really bad, and we couldn't cross the highway.

JOHN PIASECKI: There was at least two hundred people at the Wawa, and I almost got written up because I went to the Wawa, they told me to go to the other gas station, went to that gas station and they were out of gas. Went back to the Wawa, and the guy said I cut his line, the police officer, and he was not real receptive.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Well we had--that was one thing that was really, really bad. It took forever to get back to our house, because all the lights and the power were out on the highway, on 36, so you had to go all the way down to come around to come back to get to the wet side. This is the wet side of the town. This is, 25:00like the bay is on this side, so you couldn't cross over the highway to come back home. So that was really bad.

ALICIA HILL: How long were you guys without gas, your gas shortages, and your trash pickup?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: We had the gas--

JOHN PIASECKI: The gas, we only needed the gas to run--I had a pump that I was pumping the basement out, gas for the automobiles. The gas situation didn't get normal for two weeks, minimum. That's really about it. Once everyone got back on line and they had power, everybody was able to get back into the swing of things. But it was real bad the first two weeks.

ALICIA HILL: And you say you work for the mail service, so how was the mail service after the storm? Maybe a day after, two days after, how was it?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Well the day after the storm, I couldn't even get to work 26:00because the parkway was closed, 36 was closed, Seabright was closed for weeks. Seabright was totally destroyed. So the bridge into Seabright was closed, and that's the way I usually go to work, because I go along the water. We were going to work every day, for what reason I don't know, because we weren't getting any mail, any real mail, like bill mail. We were getting circulars and stuff like that maybe the first three days, because the plants had no power, so they couldn't process mail. But they made us come to work anyway. Mail must go through. Yeah, right.

ALICIA HILL: How did you guys clean up?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: It was a long process. It's still going on, and we have loads more to do. It's just we've got to wait for the weather to get a little bit nicer so that we can actually get back to--all the sheet rock had to be ripped out of the garage, all the insulation, all of that.

JOHN PIASECKI: Talking about, we pumped out the basement, and took care of the 27:00mold scene, and we got--anything that visibly had mold on it, went. That's pretty good right now. And thirty eight and a half inches of drywall, so we brought it to about forty. All that and all the insulation, and all the insulation I had ready to go in, additional stuff, all that was thrown out. I mean, we were throwing out stuff for a long time. And we didn't get hit that bad. The rest of the houses up and down Bray Avenue look like a war zone, still do.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Everything they own was out on the street.

JOHN PIASECKI: They still do look like a war zone.

ALICIA HILL: Who did you look to for support, for help? Including FEMA, insurance companies? (Maureen coughs)

JOHN PIASECKI: I reached out to FEMA and they helped us out, which I wasn't expecting, for some housing assistance, and--

MAUREEN PIASECKI: But we couldn't get housing.

JOHN PIASECKI: --trying to get a hold of my insurance person, whose office is in 28:00Long Branch, was also washed out. And then the homeowners came through pretty quick, and the flood people, they took just short of forever to give me my final check, which I finally got this last Saturday.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: This past Saturday, the twenty-third.

JOHN PIASECKI: Which was absolutely ridiculous.

ALICIA HILL: How long did the response take?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Well like I said, we just got our flood check the twenty-third of March.

JOHN PIASECKI: The adjuster was out here probably three weeks after the event. Yeah, two, three weeks after the event, because he was so booked.

ALICIA HILL: Were there any curfews after the storm?

JOHN PIASECKI: Not in our town.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Well there--

JOHN PIASECKI: There might have been--yeah, I guess there was some. I don't know, I didn't leave.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Eight o'clock, seven o'clock.

ALICIA HILL: How did you guys cope?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Very, very, very stressful. Coping was not--not very well.

29:00

ALICIA HILL: How did your community cope?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: A lot of people have kind of given up around here. There's a couple of people that have just walked away. They're leaving their homes. I mean, one of the older women back here gave her house back to the bank because she just couldn't deal with it. So it's very, very, very stressful for a lot of people.

ALICIA HILL: Did you feel safe? And what was the response of the police?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Oh yeah, we had no problems. Well, they had--I work with a guy that, one of his friends, they were trying to take his flat screen off his wall right after the storm, and when the water started receding, they were already going up and down Main Street, trying to rob people's houses, where the people had evacuated. But we didn't have any of that kind of problem here because we were here. We stayed here.

ALICIA HILL: How was your interaction with emergency personnel?

30:00

JOHN PIASECKI: Really nonexistent, we really didn't have any of that.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yeah, they weren't really, the only thing you had to deal with them was, like I said, crossing the highway.

ALICIA HILL: Did you guys get any aid? Any food, or government aid that was provided to you guys?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: No.

JOHN PIASECKI: The National Guard was giving out supplies at Holy Family in Hazlet, so we got, I think we got a case of water, and not a lot, we didn't really need a lot.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yeah, there were so many people that were affected so much worse than we were, that I really felt that the people that really needed it should have it, moreso than us. But even to go to get a case of water, the lines were like ridiculous, too, so--

JOHN PIASECKI: There was no water in the stores.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yeah, there was no water anywhere.

ALICIA HILL: How long was your buses out? Do you guys know?

JOHN PIASECKI: Nope.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: No, the buses--well, the bus stopped coming on Bray Avenue. 31:00Anyway, there was no bus down Bray Avenue, but there was, like I said, the bridge into Seabright--Seabright was closed for, I could say, at least two, three months, it was closed. So there wasn't too many running on 36. Like the bus from the depot over here in Leonardo, where the buses that go into the city, they started running pretty much within two weeks' time.

ALICIA HILL: Did you guys contribute during the storm? Or after the storm?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: What?

JOHN PIASECKI: Contribute money?

ALICIA HILL: Money, resources, generator, open home? Things of those nature?

JOHN PIASECKI: No, there wasn't too many people helping me, so I really didn't have the opportunity to help.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: We didn't have the money to give to anybody else. We were lucky that we had--I had taken out a loan for the roof, we were lucky we had that money here. Becuase if we didn't have that, I still wouldn't have heat, 32:00because I used that money to get my heat. Because we were waiting, like I said, we just got the check from the flood. Otherwise we'd be sitting here in cold.

ALICIA HILL: What were your losses during the storm?

JOHN PIASECKI: Losses? Well, everything in the basement that was, you know, your basic utilities. The hot water heater, electrical panel, furnace, the oil tank was knocked over. It was just, anything that was left there, wasn't a lot. The content of the garage were done. All the drywall, insulation, anything that was there.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Tools.

JOHN PIASECKI: Tools, lawnmowers, you name it. Anything that was out there, and there was quite a bit of stuff out there. And that's basically it. You know, we 33:00had a lot of--

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Everything that was outside. You know, like all the kids' softball stuff, baseball stuff--all things like that.

ALICIA HILL: How did you feel about the response of the local government?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: In Middletown? They tried to do the best they could. They were a little bit slow as far as picking up the debris, but it was so overwhelming, I mean, the garbage and, you know, the furniture, and it was just so overwhelming for them. I think they basically, all in all, did a good job.

ALICIA HILL: How about the response of the state government?

JOHN PIASECKI: Don't really feel one way or the other on that. I think the federal government gave Middletown money, that's why they were able--they were picking up trash on Sundays.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yeah, they were doing--

JOHN PIASECKI: And they did a real good job.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I think that the state government right now is sitting on some money that should be being distributed. It shouldn't be thirty-two million 34:00dollars that they're holding on to right now, should be going to the people that need it. There are still people that aren't even living back in their homes yet, so I think they're a little bit slow with the dispersion of funds there, but other than that, you know, I think basically everybody kind of came together and did the best job they could.

ALICIA HILL: Do you think New Jersey prepared adequately for the storm?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I don't think that anybody was prepared for the kind of storm that it was. I don't think anybody had any idea of the--

JOHN PIASECKI: Magnitude.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: --the magnitude of that storm. Nobody was prepared for it.

ALICIA HILL: What could the state have done differently?

JOHN PIASECKI: Nothing, probably. They had mandatory evacuations, and a lot of people like us didn't leave. I wasn't leaving.

ALICIA HILL: Do you think anyone is to blame for this storm or it's just a freak occurrence?

JOHN PIASECKI: Freak occurrence.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yeah.

35:00

JOHN PIASECKI: It was a full moon, they had double high tide, it was the perfect storm.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: It was like the movie.

ALICIA HILL: How do you feel about the media coverage?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I think they did a good job, I mean, but after a while it got old. I got tired of looking at it.

ALICIA HILL: Did you feel represented in the storm? Did your town feel represented?

JOHN PIASECKI: Definitely not.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I think they did focus way too much on Union Beach and forgot about everybody else along the shoreline here, like Leonardo, Belford, Port Monmouth, Keansburg, Keyport. We all got devastation. I think that Union Beach was more--I think that the storm touched base from both angles there and it just--because the houses were so much older and they were such beach bungalows that they really took the hardest hit, but I think they needed to focus a little 36:00bit more on the fact that everybody else along the whole shoreline from Sandy Hook all the way to Keyport got a bad beating. Highlands--people were walking out of Highlands at three o'clock in the afternoon, the water was up past their hips.

ALICIA HILL: What did you think about Obama and Christie?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I think they both did the best they could. I think Christie and Obama--I think they put their bipartisan views aside and worked together as a team, which I think was a good thing, because it's about time they do something like that.

JOHN PIASECKI: I really don't have an opinion one way or the other. I thought Governor Christie did an excellent job, still is, and politics were out the window.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: And Christie came to the Port Monmouth firehouse, to come and see people. He did go to a couple of firehouses along the path.

JOHN PIASECKI: He was good, very active.

37:00

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yeah, he was trying to do the best he could. The firehouses were very good in all the towns along here, there was loads of people volunteering from the other side of town, cooking food, bringing blankets--

JOHN PIASECKI: And the churches.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yeah, the churches were very good. The churches gave us water, they gave us some gift cards from Lowe's to buy some sheetrock. I mean, not a lot of money, but they were trying to give everybody something. And they put out a spread of food up at the church over on Tindall Road, really good sandwiches and stuff like that. So you could always get food somewhere around the area. Like if you were hungry and you didn't have food in your house, you could get food somewhere.

ALICIA HILL: Did it change you opinion of Christie?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I just think one way or another, there's a lot of things about him I don't like, but I do think that he did go above and beyond, and he did the best that he could in the situation that he had in hand. Let's see what he does 38:00with the money. That's what I'm waiting to see.

JOHN PIASECKI: I thought he did a great job, and I think he still is doing a great job, and I'm a Democrat. (Maureen laughs)

ALICIA HILL: How did you feel about the response of the rest of the country?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I think there was a lot. I think there was a lot of people that--I think Americans are of good stock. A lot of people sent money, a lot of people looked out. So I think the Americans really did look out for--just like, they had pictures, like people from Katrina and stuff like that sent banners saying things will get better.

JOHN PIASECKI: Yeah, but what about all those people from--the workmen from Oklahoma that volunteered to cut down the trees, they had Mennonite ladies from Pennsylvania--

MAUREEN PIASECKI: They had guys coming in here, people from--

JOHN PIASECKI: Young kids, college kids--

MAUREEN PIASECKI: --coming, taking down the insulation, and the sheetrock, and all that stuff, and then--

39:00

JOHN PIASECKI: There was a lot, and Alabama, Ohio--

MAUREEN PIASECKI: All the power companies.

JOHN PIASECKI: Tree companies--

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I was driving to work one day, and I was getting off the parkway and pulled up next to a guy who was from--

JOHN PIASECKI: Georgia.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: No, I don't remember. He was from somewhere down South. Anyway, rolled down my window and I said, you know, "Thanks a lot for coming to help." And he said, (in a Southern accent) "Oh honey, you're welcome, dear." He said, "Do you have power yet?" And I said no, and he goes, "Oh, hopefully we're going to get you going on soon." And I just stopped to make sure, to say thank you, because (dog barking) you know, I just thought it was really sweet, you know what I mean? That they did that, you know?

JOHN PIASECKI: They were getting paid too, but it was a big deal.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yeah, but still, they came and helped. If it wasn't for those power companies from all over the South, and the Midwest and everywhere, we probably still wouldn't have power, you know?

JOHN PIASECKI: There was 125,000 trees down, not counting all over Atlantic 40:00County, because they didn't count them. That's a lot of trees.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I know.

ALICIA HILL: What was your response in comparison to Katrina? Do you think the response was any different? Similar?

JOHN PIASECKI: I took us--for our storm, it took a lot longer to get the wheels in motion, to get the stuff resolved. Katrina, they had help within I think a ten-day period, where they dragged their feet with us.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yeah, but I think that those people--

JOHN PIASECKI: The federal aid came right away from Katrina. It didn't come right away from--

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Oh yeah, because they got--that's why when Christie fought with them, fought with his own, with his own Republicans that were holding up the money.

ALICIA HILL: How was your response compared to other storms you experienced, if you experienced any?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: This is like the worst storm we have ever seen in this area.

ALICIA HILL: How has it shaped your environmental issues?

41:00

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I just think that it's very, very scary, because if that can happen, I really firmly believe that with all the global warming and all the things that are going on in the environment, that these kind of storms are going to continue to happen until things change.

ALICIA HILL: Do you think you will move or relocate or anything like that?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: We can't afford to move. (laughs)

JOHN PIASECKI: No, not as a result of the storm, that's for sure. We got lucky.

ALICIA HILL: Would you take any precautions if there was another storm coming, that you didn't take during Sandy?

JOHN PIASECKI: Wire up my generator.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Well, unfortunately, because of this whole situation with our utilities and everything like that, the cost to move them from the basement was so astronomical that we had put them back where they were, which was something that I really didn't want to do. I would have liked to have been able to move 42:00them. But other than that, there's not really a whole lot we could do. I mean, just make sure that everything that is of any value that was down there and in the garage, we would move that, that's for sure.

ALICIA HILL: Have things returned to normal in your home?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Not yet. We're still waiting on a lot of things.

JOHN PIASECKI: No, we still don't have power outside.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: We still have a lot of work to get done around here. I'm just waiting for the weather to break, and there's not a whole lot you can do when it's snowing and raining, so--.

ALICIA HILL: Are there any changes to your daily life?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yeah. Well, we don't have a pool anymore. (laughs) No, everything is just, you know, we're trying to get one day at a time.

ALICIA HILL: Are there changes to the outlook on the community?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Well, a lot of people are very upset over this situation too, 43:00with having to raise your house, and the FEMA demands, and the flood maps, and all of that. You know, they really have to reevaluate all of that and figure out what's going to go on. Because this is a middle-class area. We don't have money. We're working people. We don't have money to pay fifteen thousand dollars a year for flood insurance, or money to elevate the houses. So if this is what they're going to demand people to do, then they're going to need to come up with some cash for people to do it, you know?

ALICIA HILL: Are there any changes to your outlook on the world?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Global warming, baby, we'd better start doing it right--

JOHN PIASECKI: No, not really.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: --protecting our environment.

JOHN PIASECKI: It's a hundred-year storm, Maureen. You can't do much about that.

ALICIA HILL: What about any changes to your political views?

JOHN PIASECKI: Yeah, I might even vote for Christie, I like him so much.

44:00

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Oh, stop! (laughs) No, I'm a Democrat. But I'd like to see the Democrats and Republicans work a little better in the Senate. After this, how this whole situation with the money and everything else, I mean, like he said, the money should have been released a lot sooner than it was, and that was due to partisan politics, which is--I mean, I'm always wiling to ehar what everybody has to say. And like I said, Christie did do a good job. So you know, I mean, I'm still going to listen to what the Democrat who's going to run against him has to say.

ALICIA HILL: Do you think it impacted the 2012 presidential election?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: No.

JOHN PIASECKI: No, not really.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: No, Obama was winning anyway.

ALICIA HILL: Do you think it impacted the 2013 governor election?

JOHN PIASECKI: Yeah.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: I think it's definitely going to impact the governor's 45:00election. I mean, I think that he gained a lot of popularity after the storm.

ALICIA HILL: Would you tell your grandchildren about the story, about the storm?

JOHN PIASECKI: Whoa, whoa, grandchildren, easy. (Maureen laughs) If I had any, maybe.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Oh sure, I think this storm is going to be talked about--I didn't want to keep the newspapers because it was too depressing for me, but I do have a lot of articles about it, and I'm getting that book from the Asbury Park Press. It's still depressing for me, because I drive past it every day. I go through Seabright everyday to go to work, and there's so much devastation there, I can't begin to tell you. There was one house in Seabright that was half standing, like the house they had the picture of in Union Beach, that somebody's bed was actually hanging out of this big, gaping hole on the side of the house. Their bed was--I don't know how it was staying in the house, but it was hanging 46:00out of the house. And like, I was driving by there every day, and I'd see that, and I'd say, Wow, the people that lived in that house, why isn't anybody helping them destroy that house? Why do they want to keep looking at that? That's where they lived. You know what I mean? So there's still a lot of work that has to get done, and a lot of people where I work, down by the beach--I had one of my customers, actually, by the time that the power came back on, he had a massive heart attack. And luckily he didn't die. But this is the kind of stress--the ocean came right through their house. You know? So it's--.

ALICIA HILL: In regards to the 2012 presidential election, you guys both say you're Democrats. How was the voting process? Was the poll available, or were they postponed?

47:00

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Oh no, we waited on line, but it wasn't too bad. But--yeah, we usually vote at the firehouse. The firehouse is where they were taking care of all of the--giving out supplies and food and all that, so they moved it to Port Monmouth School, and the lines were--

JOHN PIASECKI: Long.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: --out the door. Everybody was there to vote, you know? And actually, my daughter came all the way down from Summit to vote because they still are I this--you know, their voting cards and everything from this address. But they did make an allowance that if you weren't able to get, because this was an evacuated area and a bad storm part, you could vote anywhere in the state, which I thought was very good. So like in other words, my son, who's up in Summit, didn't have to come to Port Monmouth. My daughter drove down here for some reason, because we didn't find that out until after the fact. But there was 48:00no way I wasn't voting. They made it sound like it was going to be so, so close, but it wasn't so, so close. (laughs)

ALICIA HILL: If you wanted to give a message about the storm, what would it be?

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Be prepared. I mean, you could never be prepared for that, though.

JOHN PIASECKI: Buy a generator and lots of gas with an automatic turn-on switch outside your house.

ALICIA HILL: What would be your legacy of the storm?

JOHN PIASECKI: We made it.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yeah, we were very lucky. Very lucky.

ALICIA HILL: Did I miss anything? Is there anything I haven't asked you guys, that you guys would like to elaborate on?

49:00

JOHN PIASECKI: We just went to a meeting at the VFW, Monday night, and it was to see if we could release funds that had been allocated thirteen years ago in a study to help the flooding problem in Port Monmouth.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: It's the Army Corps of Engineers.

JOHN PIASECKI: And they got all this money allocated and they were trying to get it released, but it's been held up for thirteen years.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Ninety-one million dollars.

JOHN PIASECKI: Yeah, it was thirty million at the time, and now it's up to ninety million to do what they say they're going to do. And like every other government project, they're doing it bass ackwards, so they're worrying about replacing the sand on the beach, instead of fixing the flooding problem with floodgates and levees and et cetera.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yes, and on top of that too, now we are being put out because they've shut the bridge down on our street, which is Bray Avenue, and they say 50:00this bridge is going to be out of commission for almost two years.

JOHN PIASECKI: Due to the storm.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: Due to the storm.

JOHN PIASECKI: That's about it.

ALICIA HILL: Well, I would like to thank you guys for your time, and for doing this interview about Hurricane Sandy with me. It was a pleasure having you guys. Thank you so much. Thank you for inviting me in your home

JOHN PIASECKI: No problem. Thank you, honey.

MAUREEN PIASECKI: You're welcome. Thank you.

end of interview

0:00 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript:Hi, my name is Alicia Hill and I'm interviewing Maureen and John Piasecki in their residence in Port Monmouth, New Jersey on Monday, March 25, 2013. Okay, I want to start by asking you guys, what is your name and how old are you guys?

Segment Synopsis: Introduction to the interview

Keywords: Alicia Hill; NJ; Port Monmouth

Subjects:


GPS: Port Monmouth, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4367, 74.0986

0:18 - Introduction to the Piasecki's

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Partial Transcript:Okay, I want to start by asking you guys, what is your name and how old are you guys? MAUREEN PIASECKI: I'm Maureen Piasecki, I'm fifty-one. JOHN PIASECKI: My name is John Piasecki, I am fifty-six. ALICIA HILL: Okay. How long have you guys lived in this home?

Segment Synopsis: Maureen and John Piasecki Talk about their life before Hurricane Sandy.

Keywords: John Piasecki; Maureen Piasecki

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711

4:30 - First impressions of Sandy

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Partial Transcript:ALICIA HILL: When did you first hear about the storm coming? ... ALICIA HILL: I know you were. What were your first thoughts about the storm? [music playing in background] JOHN PIASECKI: Before, during, or after? ALICIA HILL: All of the above. MAUREEN PIASECKI: Your first thoughts.

Segment Synopsis: Maureen and John Piasecki tell of their first impressions of the storm.

Keywords: Before the storm; First thoughts; Hurricane; John Piasecki; Maureen Piasecki; Middletown; Piasecki; Sandy; Superstorm

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711

7:34 - Preparation for Sandy

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Partial Transcript:ALICIA HILL: How did you guys prepare, and what did you prepare? JOHN PIASECKI: The girls took the doggies up to my children's house up in Summit, so they were out of the picture, which was a great thing because my one dog is a nervous wreck with the wind and everything and would have been real bad. Two weeks after that were like a bunch of vagrants, in and out. MAUREEN PIASECKI: But we also took neighbors' dogs in, so we had them here, and they were actually very, very good. (dogs barking) And you know, we just had, we had wa--

Segment Synopsis: John and Maureen Piasecki explain what they did to prepare for Sandy.

Keywords: Dog; John Piasecki; Maureen Piasecki; Middletown; Piasecki; Preperation; Sandy; Water

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711

8:14 - Supplies available during the storm

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Partial Transcript:LICIA HILL: What was your availability to supplies? MAUREEN PIASECKI: We were okay, you know, we had water, we had food. ALICIA HILL: How long did you guys wait in line? Maybe at the supermarket, or local stores. JOHN PIASECKI: Gas stations, ridiculous--

Segment Synopsis: John and Maureen Piasecki explain how they survived during the storm and what supplies they had access to.

Keywords: Food; Gas stations; Lines; storm; Supplies; Water

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711

10:12 - The Government/Evacuation Warnings during Sandy

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Partial Transcript:ALICIA HILL: What did you make of the governors and their warnings? MAUREEN PIASECKI: I think the governors of both New York and New Jersey did a very good job. JOHN PIASECKI: Ditto. ALICIA HILL: Were there evacuation warnings and how did you respond to them? MAUREEN PIASECKI: We were told to evacuate, and like I said, because of the simple fact of the matter that we've lived here as long as we have and we've never had this kind of crazy insanity, we stayed here, my husband and I. My daughters were all up north with my son and the dogs. They wanted us to come up to Summit, but like I went to work that day and I didn't know what was going to happen, and I really thought, We're going to have the storm, and the next day we're going to loose power. I figured that, I knew that was going to happen, but I had no idea it that it was going to be as bad as it was. Otherwise I might have left. I might have. But I doubt it.

Segment Synopsis: Maureen and John Piasecki talk about their opinions on how the government handled Sandy.

Keywords: Evacuation; Governor; John Piasecki; Maureen Piasecki; New Jersey; New York

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711

11:39 - In-depth account of preparation for Sandy

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Partial Transcript:ALICIA HILL: How did you prep? What did you do about the cars and the pets? JOHN PIASECKI: Pets were relocated up north, like she had said, and the cars I moved. Every car that was here was as far away as I could safely put it. MAUREEN PIASECKI: Put them on the other side of the highway. ALICIA HILL: Take me through your day of the storm. Where were you? JOHN PIASECKI: I don't believe I went to work that day.

Segment Synopsis: John and Maureen Piasecki talk more about their preparations.

Keywords: Cars; Dogs; John Piasecki; Mail; Maureen Piasecki; Pets; Work

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711

13:21 - First day of Sandy

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Partial Transcript:ALICIA HILL: What was your first sign of the storm? MAUREEN PIASECKI: The rain and the water, the beach water, the ocean. JOHN PIASECKI: Actually, I remember I did go to work for part time that day. (Maureen coughing) Because I remember the water coming up from the creek. At seven in the morning it was all the way up to Central Avenue, which is one big city block away from the end of the road.

Segment Synopsis: John and Maureen Piasecki describe the beginnings of the storm and the effect it had on them and their community.

Keywords: Beach; Central avenue; Closed; Cook; Creek; Flooding; Food; Maureen Piasecki, John Piasecki; Power; Rain; Schools; Water

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711

17:08 - The beginning of the aftermath

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Partial Transcript:MAUREEN PIASECKI: Oh, probably, I'm going to say the water started subsiding--it was still very windy and everything the next day--probably around, I'm going to say by like maybe ten, eleven in the morning, it was where you could almost, you could go outside. ALICIA HILL: What was going through your head when you woke up the next day, after the storm?

Segment Synopsis: John and Maureen Piasecki describe the day after the storm and the damage that Sandy had done.

Keywords: Blown away; Call; Damage; Dogs; Evacuated; FEMA; Fence; Floating; Flooding; Furniture; Garage; Gas; Heat; Heater; John Piasecki; Lines; Maureen Piasecki; Mold; Neighborhood; Oil tank; Phone; Pumping; Shower; Tablets; Underwater; Verizon; Water; Wawa; Work

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711

27:41 - FEMA and insurance companies

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Partial Transcript:ALICIA HILL: Who did you look to for support, for help? Including FEMA, insurance companies? (Maureen coughs) JOHN PIASECKI: I reached out to FEMA and they helped us out, which I wasn't expecting, for some housing assistance, and-- MAUREEN PIASECKI: But we couldn't get housing.

Segment Synopsis: Maureen and John Piasecki talk about their interaction with FEMA and their insurance company.

Keywords: Assistance; Booked; Curfews; FEMA; Housing; Insurance; John Piasecki; Maureen PIasecki; Response; Stressful

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711

29:29 - Opinions on emergency personnel and local government

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Partial Transcript:ALICIA HILL: Did you feel safe? And what was the response of the police? MAUREEN PIASECKI: Oh yeah, we had no problems. Well, they had--I work with a guy that, one of his friends, they were trying to take his flat screen off his wall right after the storm, and when the water started receding, they were already going up and down Main Street, trying to rob people's houses, where the people had evacuated. But we didn't have any of that kind of problem here because we were here. We stayed here. ALICIA HILL: How was your interaction with emergency personnel?

Segment Synopsis: Maureen and John Piasecki talk about the involvement of emergency personnel after Sandy.

Keywords: Aid; Busses; Emergency; Food; Government; Holy family; John Piasecki; Lines; Maureen Piasecki; Money; National guard; Personnel; Police; Problem; Rob; State; Stores; Supplies; Trash

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711

35:10 - Media coverage of Sandy

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Partial Transcript:ALICIA HILL: How do you feel about the media coverage? MAUREEN PIASECKI: I think they did a good job, I mean, but after a while it got old. I got tired of looking at it. ALICIA HILL: Did you feel represented in the storm? Did your town feel represented? JOHN PIASECKI: Definitely not.

Segment Synopsis: Maureen and John Piasecki talk about how they feel about the media coverage of Sandy

Keywords: Belford; John Piasecki; Leonardo; Maureen Piasecki; Media; Port Monmouth; Represented; Shoreline; Town; Union Beach

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711

36:17 - Opinions on President Obama and Governor Christie as well as the rest of the country

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Partial Transcript:ALICIA HILL: What did you think about Obama and Christie? MAUREEN PIASECKI: I think they both did the best they could. I think Christie and Obama--I think they put their bipartisan views aside and worked together as a team, which I think was a good thing, because it's about time they do something like that. JOHN PIASECKI: I really don't have an opinion one way or the other. I thought Governor Christie did an excellent job, still is, and politics were out the window. MAUREEN PIASECKI: And Christie came to the Port Monmouth firehouse, to come and see people. He did go to a couple of firehouses along the path.

Segment Synopsis: Maureen and John Piasecki say their opinion on how Obama and Christie reacted and how the American public helped out.

Keywords: Christie; Churches; Democrat; Food; John Piasecki; Maureen Piasecki; Money; Obama; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Power companies; Trees

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711

40:05 - Comparison to Hurricane Katrina

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Partial Transcript:ALICIA HILL: What was your response in comparison to Katrina? Do you think the response was any different? Similar? JOHN PIASECKI: I took us--for our storm, it took a lot longer to get the wheels in motion, to get the stuff resolved. Katrina, they had help within I think a ten-day period, where they dragged their feet with us. MAUREEN PIASECKI: Yeah, but I think that those people--

Segment Synopsis: Maureen and John Piasecki compare the response to Hurricane Katrina to the response to Hurricane Sandy.

Keywords: Government; Help; John Piasecki; Katrina; Maureen Piasecki; Storm

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711

40:57 - Opinion on environmental issues

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Partial Transcript:ALICIA HILL: How has it shaped your environmental issues? MAUREEN PIASECKI: I just think that it's very, very scary, because if that can happen, I really firmly believe that with all the global warming and all the things that are going on in the environment, that these kind of storms are going to continue to happen until things change. ALICIA HILL: Do you think you will move or relocate or anything like that?

Segment Synopsis: John and Maureen Piasecki talk about their thoughts on the environment and what they would do to prepare for another storm.

Keywords: Change; Environment; Generator; Global warming; John Piasecki; Maureen Piasecki; Move; Precautions; Storms

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711

42:15 - Any return to normal

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Partial Transcript:ALICIA HILL: Have things returned to normal in your home? MAUREEN PIASECKI: Not yet. We're still waiting on a lot of things. JOHN PIASECKI: No, we still don't have power outside.

Segment Synopsis: John and Maureen Piasecki talk about how things have changed in their lives since the storm.

Keywords: FEMA; Global warming; John Piasecki; Maureen Piasecki; Middle class; Money

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711

45:10 - The legacy of the storm and voting after the storm

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Partial Transcript:ALICIA HILL: Would you tell your grandchildren about the story, about the storm? JOHN PIASECKI: Whoa, whoa, grandchildren, easy. (Maureen laughs) If I had any, maybe.

Segment Synopsis: John and Maureen Piasecki talk about the legacy of the storm and give a message to anyone else in a similar situation. They also talk about how the voting process was effected because of Sandy.

Keywords: Devastation; Gas; Generator; House; John Piasecki; Maureen Piasecki; Prepared; VFW; Vote; Voting

Subjects:


GPS: Middletown, NJ.
Map Coordinates: 40.4073, 74.0711
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