Interview with Dorothy and Robert Gajewski, August 28, 2013

Dorothy discusses how she came to live at Union Beach with her sisters. She also talks about what it was like being born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey. Dorothy tells about the school in Union Beach, which she has heard good things about from her nieces and nephews. She also talks about the help that the community, churches, and organizations such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army had provided. Robert describes the lack of damages he discovered when he came back home after being evacuated for Hurricane Irene. He also talks about how they planned to stick through Hurricane Sandy despite the evacuation warnings. Dorothy describes spending her and Robert's twentieth wedding anniversary in the Comfort Inn after leaving their home. She also tells a story about her friend's niece who did not take the warnings seriously and ended up in the attic of her apartment calling for help during the storm. Robert describes the process they went through calling organizations for support the day after the storm. After having adjusters come to the house, they were told that the house had to get knocked down. Robert discusses the lack of help they received when looking to FEMA and his insurance company. Dorothy describes that she cannot climb stairs nor have a two-story house because of her illness. Dorothy talks about renting a pod for all of her belongings and keepsakes. She also describes how the community wanted more from their insurance companies. Dorothy talks about how one of the schools was closed until June. She also discusses how people from overseas sent up to $600 and gift cards to each family in need. Dorothy and Robert Gajewski discuss the lack of preparations by New Jersey for the storm. They believe this is because no one expected a storm of this magnitude. Both Robert and Dorothy discuss how they believe it was a good idea for President Obama to make his appearance in Union Beach. Dorothy also states that her opinion on Governor Christie did not change after his role in Hurricane Sandy relief. Dorothy discusses feeling like she has no place to go after the storm. Robert adds that it is important to listen to the warnings given.

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