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Six Months Since Super Storm Sandy Stirs Growth Plans for #SolarChat

Raina Russo, founder of #SolarChatIt’s hard to believe but today marks six months since Super Storm Sandy. On some levels it feels like it was just yesterday, while on others, it seem like a lifetime away. The storm has changed so many lives and its effects will be felt around our neighborhood for years to come.

While I took a few moments to reflect on my own experience about emerging from Sandy for my local Patch network (below), I quickly realized how critical it is for us to raise the #SolarChat bar. We have an opportunity to take charge of our lives and give our children a brighter future; we must seize the moment!

We have established a caliber of #SolarChat participation that is unequivocally remarkable. The solar think-tank has become an unbelievable resource for breaking news, informational links, shared ideas, and insight into future plans. It’s now time to expand our audience, reach out far beyond our solar circle and showcase to the world what solar is all about.

#SolarChat is the collection of faces (avatars) and voices (Tweets) behind the industry … the world needs to see and hear us. Imagine walking the red carpet, or the solar runway?

Join me in inviting to the next #SolarChat your family, your neighbors, your elected officials, the media, etc. Ask them to watch, listen, learn, and join the conversation. Let’s make some solar noise; let’s be the difference!

More info on the next #SolarChat  | #SolarChat Recaps  |  How #SolarChat Works  |  #SolarChat on LinkedIn  |  #SolarChat on Pinterest  |  #SolarChat on Instagram  |  Submission Form for Media

 

I think about climate change a lot. Maybe because it’s part of what I do; as an advocate for solar power, I read up on the catastrophic consequences of a warming world as part of my daily morning routine and it is daunting. Here in the US, we see allergies getting worse, favorite foods disappearing, an increase in devastating fires and of course, extreme weather events. I’m affected as we are all affected — there’s no doubt about that! However, after Superstorm Sandy struck, my personal temperature, if you will, rose a number of degrees higher.

My family, as well as many of my friends and neighbors, were left with no home, no car, no school, no power, and no means of communication with the outside world for many days after the storm ravaged the Atlantic Beach, NY area. After “gypsying” around for a few weeks, my husband, two children, and I were very fortunate to settle into a temporary residents while we began rebuilding our home. It’s hard to believe that six months have gone by! I feel like it was just yesterday we were feeling around the darkness for clothes as the fishy odors filled our home and we were in search of a place to shower. We are beyond grateful to be back home already, albeit still knee deep in construction activity. We will be for awhile, but that’s OK because we are home.

Undoubtedly, much sadness still lurks around our neighborhood as many of our favorite restaurants and stores remain closed, some with no sign of life at all; our boardwalk is blockaded off; and so many families  are still very much distraught and displaced. As I travel around, the images of homes being lifted on stilts is mind-boggling. Our new reality is a direct consequence of climate change. New building codes and flood elevations are being enforced, sand dunes are being built, and the planning for the next “100-year storm” is well underway as the realization is hitting everyone – it will occur again much, much sooner.

Yet oddly, this is how I feel Sandy has made me a better person: The cliché of “quality over quantity” is my new mantra. While we lost a tremendous amount of “stuff,” I have no desire to replace it all. Some, unfortunately, cannot be replaced, but the items that can I now carefully consider whether or not they were “necessary” to begin with. I feel lighter and more focused with this new simplified approach to life. With that focus I see clearly the most rewarding “aftermath” opportunity — a door is wide open to change our course, provide a better future for our children, and do some good.

The earth is on a destructive course, and Sandy was a rude awakening to do something about it. As I emerge from the storm these many months later, I’ve harnessed my desire to try!

Post Written by
For Raina Brett Russo, taking care of the environment is a necessity, not an option. Having grown up in Israel, a place where conservation is required and solar hot water heating is the norm, Raina knows the importance of solar energy. Through her work with the EcoOutfitters.net team, Raina found a way to help grow the solar industry in a significant way. As the founder and host of #SolarChat, a bi-monthly "gathering" on Twitter, Raina and her team have created an engaged solar think-tank community that comes together regularly for collaboration and networking with the ultimate goal in mind of spreading the solar message.

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