Interview with Roger and Mary Jane Michalak, October 23, 2013

The Michalaks share their previous occupations and their reasoning as to why they currently reside in Union Beach, New Jersey. They also discuss their favorite spots to spend their free time. Mary Jane describes how she and her husband were told to evacuate to a school which ended up getting eleven feet of water inside. They also tell about the water rising in their house while Hurricane Sandy hit. Roger shares how a neighbor was very upset about the damage to her house but he was able to make her feel better by making her realize she still had her significant other. Mary Jane also discusses the fact that it was hard to do many things after Hurricane Sandy because not many people had proper identification with them. Mary Jane talks about the support from FEMA and living in a mobile home. She also describes that all of her clothing was damaged so she had to go to a store in her community which was giving clothing items out. Roger explains that people from all over were coming to Union Beach to obtain free supplies and food. He also discusses how some contractors were going around and ripping people off. Roger feels as though New Jersey was not prepared, and if the flood gates were in place the magnitude of the damage of the storm would have not been as bad. Mary Jane describes the media coverage as accurate because they came to the source--the people affected. Roger and Mary Jane describe how stressful it was to find places to go after the storm. They also talk about the fact that you can't really be prepared for anything these days and that whatever is meant to happen is going to happen.

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