Building Hope After Hurricane Sandy

October 1, 2012

On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy slammed into the northeast coast of the United States, taking 139 lives and leaving thousands displaced or homeless. Mary and Jim, both in their 70s, evacuated shortly before Superstorm Sandy came onshore. When they returned, their home was completely destroyed. “The only things we were able to salvage were some pictures, pots and pans, and some glassware,” said Mary.

After nearly three years of shuttling between the houses of their children, in July 2015, Mary and Jim were able to move back into their home, which was rebuilt by IRT’s team of skilled construction volunteers. “Your team is so terrific and generous with their time,” said Mary. “We are so happy to move back in.”

IRT has worked for three years in some of the hardest hit areas of New Jersey. Thanks to the hard work and commitment of 178 volunteers, IRT has repaired or rebuilt 39 homes.

Disaster recovery is a long-term process, and IRT prides itself on supporting affected communities even after the cameras leave. After Hurricane Katrina (2005), IRT deployed teams every other month to the Mississippi coast through March 2012, rebuilding and repairing 219 homes.


Watch a timelapse video of one of our Mississippi rebuilds.

We are now accepting volunteers for 2016 to help rebuild homes—and hope—in areas still recovering from the devastation. Want to learn more? Fill out a volunteer form.

“Because of the number of families affected, we will need the continued support of our donors to sustain this important work,” says IRT’s Executive Director, Barry La Forgia.

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