In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, strangers from across New York City became first responders and colleagues. In this moment of crisis, Occupy Sandy stepped in to help organize the massive recovery effort. Residents and Volunteers worked side by side providing essential supplies, clothing and food in Rockaway’s coldest and darkest hours. This immediate relief work dwindled after the Thanksgiving holiday, as residents began to return to their homes and volunteerism decreased. Upon recognizing this shift, The Wildfire Project, Occupy Sandy and local leaders used this reprieve as an opportunity to reassess the needs of the Rockaway Community post Sandy. Through numerous discussions the needs identified as most pressing to improve in the Rockaways were pre-existing systemic and socio-economic issues that were exacerbated merely exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy. Out of this systemic critique Rockaway Wildfire was born; a space where we could collectively identify issues and educate ourselves on how to effectively respond to them in a way that would unite and empower the Rockaway Community.

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