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Hurricane Sandy Oral History Project

Sandy 4

The Final Project can be viewed here: Hurricane Sandy Oral Narratives

Hurricane Sandy was one of the most devastating natural disasters ever to hit the United States, and perhaps the most destructive to target New Jersey. It is estimated to have caused over $30 billion in damage, taken at least 37 lives, and destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses. No event in recent history has caused as much disruption to life and livelihood in the state. In the past two years, much attention has focused on the long process of rebuilding affected areas. However, there has not yet been an organized attempt to capture the experiences of people whose lives have been affected. The historical memory of the disaster, as told through the experiences of everyday people, needs to be preserved so that future generations understand the significance of the event, learn from the past, and plan for the future.

The Hurricane Sandy Oral History Project at The College of New Jersey aims to preserve these memories. Part of an undergraduate history course, the Project is working to collect oral history interviews from individuals affected by the storm. Its aim is to record the experiences of a wide range of New Jerseyans – victims who lost homes or businesses, first responders who provided crucial assistance, those working for government or non-governmental agencies involved in storm response, and those working to help rebuild communities and develop measures aimed at preventing future disasters of this magnitude. These interviews will be transcribed and archived, and they will become part of a database kept at the College and made available for scholarly use. Furthermore, selections from these interviews will be made available on a web site hosted by TCNJ. This will help to make these historical memories available to a wider audience.

For more information please contact project director, Dr. Matthew Bender (bender@tcnj.edu or 609.771.2158)

 

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