A few days later, we were hit by Hurricane Sandy. I went upstate to stay with my parents to avoid getting trapped in Crown Heights. Two massive trees came down in my parent's front yard, and we didn't have power for a week. If the trees had fallen the other way, I might not have parents anymore.
We still had hot water, and my parents have a typical suburban house in a cute little neighborhood; we didn't have to climb innumerable stairs up to our apartment, or fear getting robbed while doing so. We weren't stranded in a city neighborhood by lack of subway transportation, with dwindling supplies at the local grocery store. Overall, we had a pretty okay time.
But it was cold, and it was dark, and we didn't have TV to tell us what was going on.
What we did have was WNYC, and Brian Lehrer. All day long, Brian took calls from all over New York and collated the information coming in. He told people where they could get cash, where they were giving out food, and reiterated the official messages coming from the city and state government.
When I look back on Hurricane Sandy, what I remember is Brian Lehrer, calmly vetting and distributing information. I remember sitting in the darkening kitchen and marveling that Mr. Lehrer had probably been at the station since the hurricane hit. I remember being thankful that WNYC existed, and was able to operate the way it does.
I even wrote a little sustaining member Haiku:
Tuned in to Brian Lehrer
A voice in the dark