Interview with Karen Kiely, December 6, 2013

Karen Kiely gives a bit of background information about herself. She describes in great detail the process of buying her home, from the bidding process to the renovations her son and his friends made to the home. Kiely talks about why she likes living in New Jersey. She talks about her childhood there before she moved away after high school, and then talks about why she returned to Jersey. She talks about the reputation of her community, Union Beach. Kiely talks about her family's experiences during Hurricane Irene, and talks about why they did not evacuate for Hurricane Sandy. She talks about why her home did not flood during the storm, and says that her main concern was damage from trees on the property which did end up destroying her deck and a window. She talks about the difficulty she faced when she called her insurance company to make a claim. Kiely talks about the various groups that volunteered and assisted her family in making repairs to her home after the storm. She talks about the repairs needed in her bathroom and why it is taking such a long time. Kiely talks about the preparations she and her family made before the storm, including preparing food, water, and laundry. She talks about how they obtained a generator, and how long their cell phones and electricity were out. She talks about whether she believes they received adequate warnings about the storm. Kiely describes her experience driving through town the morning after the storm and witnessing the destruction. She talks about contacting friends and family. She talks about her son who lived in Highlands and lost everything he owned. Kiely talks about how she and her family completed day to day activities like bathing and eating without power. She talks about the lack of assistance before storms. Kiely talks about how the community was coping immediately after the storm. She talks about people who were making donations, and assistance from organizations like the National Guard and Gateway Church. She talks about being denied assistance for her son in Union Beach because he lived in Highlands. Kiely talks about the response of the police, both from New Jersey and from other states. She talks about the media's focus on Union Beach. Kiely talks about whether New Jersey was prepared for Hurricane Sandy. She gives her opinion on the governor's wife, Mary Pat Foster's handling of the Hurricane Sandy recovery funds. Kiely discusses the effect of the governor and the president's visits to New Jersey after the storm. She discusses whether her opinion on Chris Christie changed.

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