Hurricane Sandy Is New York's Katrina

Floods, fear, and FEMA failures

Where the bikers are boisterous and profane, Buglioli is staid and decorous, but she says she's happy to have the Hallowed Sons in her lot while she begins to rebuild A Very Special Place.

"The people in this neighborhood have felt so abandoned," she says. "For a long time, these guys were the only ones showing that anyone cared at all. In a storm like this, of course there's an inevitable amount of chaos. But I would have thought that someone would have come down here, set up zones, started checking on people. Instead, there was a total void. If they had done that, there wouldn't be such a bad taste in everyone's mouth about FEMA and the Red Cross."

Buglioli is quick to concede she's not a disaster-relief expert. But she feels certain that something went badly wrong in the institutional response to the storm-damaged areas.

A family searches through the remains of their Breezy Point home, destroyed in a massive fire during Hurricane Sandy. Slideshow: After Sandy, the On-Going Recovery
C.S. Muncy
A family searches through the remains of their Breezy Point home, destroyed in a massive fire during Hurricane Sandy. Slideshow: After Sandy, the On-Going Recovery
Nastaran Mohit, a labor organizer, led one of the early drives to assess the medical needs of stranded residents in the eastern Rockaways. Slideshow: After Sandy, the On-Going Recovery
C.S. Muncy
Nastaran Mohit, a labor organizer, led one of the early drives to assess the medical needs of stranded residents in the eastern Rockaways. Slideshow: After Sandy, the On-Going Recovery

"I just hope nothing like this happens again," she says, surveying the improvised operation that has taken over her parking lot. "I hope there will be some way, when it's all over, for the people who went through this to voice what their experience was, what went wrong."

npinto@villagevoice.com

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