Those of you who’ve been following our Facebook and Twitter feeds know that we stopped our usual updates in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to share Sandy relief efforts going on in our hometown of Staten Island and beyond.

We figure that if one person who wants to volunteer finds out where they can go to help through our feed, or one person in need discovers where they can get clothing and a hot meal from information we’ve been sharing, it’s worth the effort.

We also know that, at some point after a natural disaster, life returns to normal. It might be a new normal — for instance, right now, the “new normal” in New York is buying gas on odd or even days based on your license plate number — but life does go on.

In other states across the country, Sandy is but a blip in people’s minds, overshadowed by the 2012 Presidential Election. As we in Staten Island and beyond make the transition from “Sandy Relief” to Sandy Recovery, we return to that “new” normal… and so does our social media presence.

This week, we’ve begun to share significant AV industry news and information, which we’ll continue to provide in growing quantities over the next few weeks. But it’s not necessarily “back to our regularly scheduled programming.” We’ll also continue sharing news about Sandy relief and recovery efforts — concentrated on our hometown of Staten Island, but also including Long Island, New Jersey and beyond.

Transitioning from Sandy Relief to New York Recovery Efforts

As we support the Carl V. Bini fund here on Staten Island and volunteer as time permits locally to get necessary items in the hands of those who need them, it’s important to know that those efforts are making a difference.

I’d like to share a short quote posted on Facebook by a friend of ours, whose mother lost her home on Long Island’s south shore: “Every hour, churches, fire departments, Moose Lodge volunteers, charities and random Good Samaritans walk up to hand me a list of things they have and a giant box of stuff to help us! Local organizations are the backbone of this recovery. Donate to them: time, money, food, supplies. It gets to the residents IMMEDIATELY.”

This observation supports what we’ve seen here in Staten Island, too, with the Carl V. Bini Foundation and other organizations collecting and donating items, ranging from warm clothing to diapers to cleaning supplies. The Red Cross is out there, helping and visible, but it’s less direct. It is so true we will say it again:

Local organizations are the backbone of Sandy recovery in Staten Island and beyond.

The AV Industry Steps Up

“Local,” though, in the Internet age, takes on a new meaning. When we published our first post on Sandy relief efforts, and, specifically what our friends at Partners in Sound Productions and the Carl V. Bini fund is doing, it was spotted by Jennifer H. Willard, president of the Women in AV. She immediately contacted us, asking, “What can I do to help?” In this case, “local” or “grassroots” efforts describes an industry, rather than a region.

WAVE has been sharing all the Sandy relief news on our Twitter stream, and, together with Partners in Sound Productions and the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center, WAVE is spearheading an industry-wide Sandy recovery project. You can find out more in this post, including finding out how you can help: Help Sandy Recovery

We can’t thank Jennifer and her WAVE partners enough for the support they’ve given us. The AV industry has shown its true character as a tight-knit community of, as Jennifer wrote, “not just companies, competitors and professional colleagues — [but] friends, confidants, and supporters of each other, in the best of times and the worst.”

Ongoing Efforts

Right now, there are still thousands of displaced Staten Islanders and efforts continue to provide the support they need. As Staten Island rebuilds, money, support and volunteers will still be needed.

Even as it may seem business has returned to “normal,” it has not. It never will, for those whose lives have been impacted by Sandy. But we are stronger for it, grateful to have survived, and here to assist others, in whatever form that might take. We adapt.

We’ll continue to be a resource for AV news and information, but also for Sandy Relief and recovery updates. That’s our “new normal,” because it’s what we feel in our hearts is the right thing to do.