Posted on April 5, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

The immediate impact of ‘The Storm’ on our business has subsided.  We’re currently able to run our computers and phone lines, and the internet is back to normal.  As most of you know, our headquarters are in Princeton, NJ and we were significantly impacted by ‘The Storm’.  Neighbors are getting back to normal and life is seeming to go on in our area of New Jersey.

However, the damage that those along the Jersey Shore endured has created a disaster from which many people may never recover.  Like NJ Governor Christie, I lamented the many memories I had as a child at the boardwalk at Seaside Heights, which no longer exists, and going to towns like Lavallette, where houses are now in the middle of the road and the water has cut a path through it, bridging the bay with the ocean.

Yet it’s the site of my birthplace that has really shaken me.  I was born and raised in New York City’s forgotten borough of Staten Island.  Early after the storm, Mayor Bloomberg contemplated the damage in the city and boldly stated that NYC would get back to normal and the NYC Marathon would go on as planned.

However, no one remembered to check on Staten Island.  Once again, the forgotten borough was neglected and when someone finally decided to see what had occurred there, the entire city was in shock.

Staten Island became the epicenter of the disaster in New York City.  People had died in their homes.  Children were washed out to their deaths by the raging waters that terrorized the island.  As the news came in and the cry for help was finally heard, the Mayor did the right thing and cancelled the Marathon.  Sure many tourist marathoners whined, but there were many who wore their Marathon bibs and took the ferry to the starting point on Staten Island and helped those in need on the day of the Marathon.

The sight of people, mainly non New Yorkers, who had come to be part of the race of their lifetime to take care of those who were impacted by the storm of their lifetime was a glorious one.  In fact, it made the Mayor’s decision to continue and then stop the race to be a wonderful and fateful one as it brought out of town assistance to a place that needed immediate help.

Staten Islanders have always been “loud and proud”.  The fact that it took so long to have their voice heard by the world is a clear indicator of how damaging ‘The Storm’ has been to my hometown.

GEM Research Solutions is committing its support to helping Staten Island recover from this disaster,  Locally, we’re coordinating donations that we’ll personally transport to the Island during the week.  There’s desperate needs for cleaning supplies, blankets, canned food, diapers and wipes.  We’re beginning to implement collection points in our community and we’ll be making the trek to the island to deliver and help those in need during the week.

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For our friends out there who would like to help, please visit the site for Staten Island Recovers at to see how you can help as well.  Thanks!

About the Author

Jack Tatar, CEO and President of Research, brings over 20 years of experience in the retail, entertainment, and financial services to GEM’s research services. He is a frequent speaker at conferences ranging from customer relationship management, innovative market research approaches and marketing to the online consumer. Jack has also been featured in numerous publications, and has been involved in designing, developing and implementing award winning websites, working with start up businesses and coordinating numerous non profits.