It seems not very long ago, we were all nervously watching weather reports on TV waiting for the arrival of hurricane Sandy in New York area. I am originally from a part of India where weather related calamities are extremely rare. Therefore anytime there is a hurricane in the weather forecast or even high velocity winds, for that matter, I tend to get extremely nervous. Mercifully, Sandy did not have any major impact on our neighborhood but the devastation was only a few minutes drive from where we live, mainly in water front communities of Long Island. Most of the devastation caused by the hurricane was something that we saw on TV. For the most part, it was no different than watching the devastation of a major storm in some other part of the country. Visiting Sheepshead Bay on March 15 and listening to the first hand accounts of the devastation made me realize how real the impact was and that there are people who have yet to recover completely from the damage. It was remarkable to see the dedication of local volunteers who showed us around in the neighborhood. I was amazed at the resiliency of people who live there and their determination to move on with their lives as much as they can. This community effort made me appreciate the importance of giving back to the community because we are all part of this human community. I realized how helpless we can be in the face of such extreme events like hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. It also made me realize how important it is to have emergency preparedness in communities that are the most vulnerable to such natural disasters. It was encouraging that most responders to our surveys did realize the importance of having such emergency plans for their neighborhood. Hopefully we all learned from this hurricane that the only way to minimize loss of life and property is to have efficient emergency response plans in place and that we as citizens should always heed to the warnings issued by the local authorities and respond appropriately before the disaster strikes and it is too late.