Sandy is a major storm, previously a hurricane, that has caused extensive flooding, power and transportation outages, and physical damage to the US East Coast and Caribbean. More than 100 deaths have been linked to the storm. You can see an overview of what is going on in NYC here: http://google.org/crisismap/2012-sandy-nyc
So essentially, over 100,000 people in Lower Manhattan are without power, and will likely not have it back up for a few days. In order to stay informed as the situation changes, and to keep in touch with loved ones, they will need a way to communicate with their laptops and phones.
We are innovating tools using Heroku, Twillio, Human.io, google docs, google maps, crowdmaps -- pretty much anything we can get our hands on. This effort is being spearheaded by the http://civic.mit.edu/ to help make services and connect tech people with people in need on the ground. A lot of interesting things are happening in the wake of this natural disaster: http://www.fastcompany.com/3002598/sandy-prompts-louder-calls-free-wi-fi
This is a unique opprtunity to innovate to help people (people before borders, tech beyond borders) and maybe change the debate on issues like universal free open wifi)lease volunteer some coding / hacking time and help some real people in a different part of the world that are not having a great time right now. This a chance to demonstrate the power of the open, unrestricted internet
Come and help us over at #HurricaneHackers! Start here: http://hurricanehackers.com/ | Then read the HH-Projects list here: http://bit.ly/hh-projects-read | lulz: http://brownbag.me:9001/p/sandylulz | tunes: http://turntable.fm/hurricane_jammin | follow us @hurricanehackrs. Also: Join or organize a Sandy CrisisCamp this weekend: http://crisiscommons.org/2012/10/30/sandycrisiscamp/
If you are in NYC are looking for space to work with power, heat, and wifi, check out https://sandycoworking.crowdmap.com/ and the#sandycoworking hashtag on Twitter. Many of NYC's co-working spaces were damaged, so the need for work space is urgent. Updates on the broader NY Tech community response can be found at www.nytechresponds.org.
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