Photo: MSF set up an emergency clinic in Far Rockaway, NY, for Hurricane Sandy relief. © Michael Goldfarb/MSF
Far Rockaway: Global Disaster Zone
(originally posted on Outside)
Days after Hurricane Sandy hit New York, vast relief effort led by city, state, and federal agencies was under way, but the affected area was so widespread that many people, particularly along the poorer, low-lying margins of the city, felt forgotten and abandoned by their government. MSF set up an emergency clinic with a volunteer staff of a dozen or so doctors, nurses, and assorted health professionals. A folding table was piled high with medical supplies, and a sheet strung up in a corner created a makeshift private screening area. An empty Starbucks jug doubled as an ad hoc sharps disposal container. Misha Friedman, a Moldovan photographer in his thirties with a shaved head—a veteran of Doctors Without Borders missions from Sudan to Uzbekistan—was briefing a pair of volunteers about the dire health situation faced by 800 senior residents in a nearby housing complex who had had no running water or electricity for a week.
“No one’s been evacuated,” he told me. “There is no evacuation. Doctors have been flooded out, pharmacies have been closed. Some patients are on dozens of medications, and they kind of fall off the grid.”