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Prepared for the Worst

Odery Family
The most important thing is that the family is okay and alive.

Heather Odery, a resident of Long Beach, New York, never thought that she would find herself picking up pieces of her home after a hurricane. She never thought the boardwalk her son, Brandon Rodriquez and his dog, Sandy, played on would be destroyed. It wasn’t until a couple of days after Superstorm Sandy that Odery was really able to grasp the severity of the damage. She now understands that this powerful storm has changed her life, and so many other lives, forever.

Odery talks about being in her house when the storm hit. She describes it as a very scary time and says water poured in quickly like a river and came all the way to her waist within minutes. The force of the rushing water broke an interior wall and began to take over the entire bottom floor of the home. They ran upstairs to safety.

Before the storm hit, Odery prepared for the worst and stocked an emergency preparedness kit with enough supplies to last for several days. Her kit contained water, food, a flashlight, batteries, a first aid kit, a compass, warming blankets, sleeping bags and pillows. She also built a tent for her family to sleep in on the top level of the house.

Although the family has lost so much, Odery has a positive attitude and knows that they can rebuild. “Thankfully everyone is fine,” she said. “The most important thing is that the family is okay and alive.”

She also commented that although her dog’s name is Sandy, the dog is nothing like this storm. The dog remained calm and comforting throughout, and provided a sense of security to their 10-year-old son.

Odery’s father had to evacuate his home, and is staying at the American Red Cross shelter located at Nassau Community College in Garden City. She is extremely grateful that he is in good hands and has a safe and warm place to stay until he can get back into his home.

Tags: Sandy.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.