Hurricane Sandy: How To Help Friends Without Electricity

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Two days after Sandy hit the east coast, more than eight million Americans remain without power.

Our hearts go out to those tragically affected by the superstorm. Many victims are struggling to find ways to recover from serious damages to their homes, cars, neighborhoods and worse.

Hurricane Sandy has put many things in perspective for us; for one, there are so many (even little) things we are grateful for. But it's also forced us to recognize how much we've come to rely on electricity: Our country has become hyper-connected through the developments of technology. Still, we know if our biggest problem is having no power, we're incredibly blessed.

While the majority of us are lucky to have our homes and apartments mostly intact, it can be difficult to see the light when it only comes from something dim, fading and battery-powered.

If you are one of the fortunate ones whose electricity held out, there are several ways you can help your friends who are are trying to readjust to normalcy without heat, water or light. Below, six simple things you can offer to a friend without power.

1. A Couch
Even in a tiny, New York apartment, your friend will appreciate a warm place to lay his head. To avoid feeling too-cooped up or over-crowded, arrange a rotation system with your pals that do have power so your buddy has a place to sleep until the lights come back.

2. A Complementary Neck Massage
Your couch is, of course, appreciated, but what might be even more cherished is a follow up neck rub to work out the kinks that come from that awkward sleep position virtually guaranteed from sofa snoozing.

3. A Hot Meal
Needless to say, your friend might be sick of canned tuna by candlelight. Offering up a warm-meal -- homemade or not -- will be comforting and make him feel welcome in a home outside his own. One of our editors is cooking up some turkey chili for her guests. Check out HuffPost Taste for some other ideas.

4. A Listening Ear
Losing something we rely so heartily on -- as in electricity -- can make us feel a bit shaken up. Let your friend vent a little: she's bummed about the spoiled food in her fridge, the tv shows she missed, all that work she has to make up. Then, after she lets it out, show her this list of all that she has to be grateful for post-Sandy.

5. A Place To Plug In
If he hasn't juiced up all his electronics yet, let your friend know you've got an open outlet with his name on it. He'll be grateful to be able to recharge his gadgets and reconnect with the virtual world.

6. A Place To Unplug
Your friend might being craving some "me time," but doesn't know how to ask or feels intrusive. Let her know there's a space available for her to nap, surf the 'net or just be still without feeling like a guest.

There are other ways you can provide aid and relief to the victims of Sandy. How else are you helping out? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Filed by Kate Bratskeir