The New Jersey Shore Days After Hurricane Sandy (update)

Mobile devices help Garden State residents connect; assist neighbors in Sandy's aftermath.

By on November 20, 2012

UPDATE - Monday, November 26: See how Northeast residents affected by Hurricane Sandy relied on the support of their wireless devices and network before, during and after the storm.

Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey on Monday Oct. 29, the worst storm in recent memory. Storm surges ravaged the Jersey Shore and flooded cities near rivers and streams. More than two million New Jersey households lost power, many for more than two weeks. In the days following Sandy, many relied on their smartphones to help neighbors, stay in touch with loved ones and communicate with work. 
 
In Brick Township, Bernie Neuhaus grasped the severity of the storm Monday night when he opened his back door and water flooded in. The tide had risen more than 5½-feet in less than 30 minutes and the storm surge cut a channel through the nearby barrier island that had protected his community from Atlantic storms in the past. He closed the door, grabbed a few things and quickly evacuated. On Tuesday, he spent the day driving through town helping others, using the Push to Talk feature on his business’ BlackBerry Bold to communicate with other drivers doing rescue work. Many distraught residents had no working phones, so he let them use his DROID RAZR to reach family and friends. 
 
Steve Goetz, international corporate consultant for a U.S.-based Fortune 100 company, lost power at his seaside home in the Ocean County community of Manahawkin as well at his family home on New York’s Staten Island, 70 miles away. He kept in touch with his global clients throughout the storm by charging his phone regularly in his car and using a mobile hotspot to access email and the internet from his laptop. “It kept me going,” he said. 
 
Further north in Jersey City, Susan Luykx used her DROID RAZR MAXX to email worried family, friends and colleagues when her high rise apartment lost power. As neighbors congregated around power strips near the building’s few working outlets, she and her husband were the only ones who could access the Internet from their smartphone and make and receive calls. “I was able to allow the people I was sitting with to send critical emails using my cell phone as a mobile hotspot. Many were from India, Germany, as well as other parts of the country, so their families and friends were far away and quite worried. They were so grateful and I was very happy to do it.”