© 2012 Leanna Bornkamp. All rights reserved. Baruch Professor Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D., left, found herself in three different storm shelters over the course of four days in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Here, she laughs with Lucy, a woman she met during her experience.

A New York woman explores the meaning of “shelter” through the trials of Sandy

Baruch Professor Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D., left, was in three storm shelters over the course of   four days after the hurricane. Here, she laughs with Lucy, a woman she met during her experience.

As Hurricane Sandy blew through the Northeast, many New Yorkers from all walks of life were left with few available options for shelter.

Baruch Sociology Professor Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D. was supposed to be in New Orleans for a music conference the week of the storm – but, as the winds picked up, her travel plans were canceled and she found herself stranded in the Lower East Side.

      “I made a list, I got my batteries and my
      candles, and also what you needed for a
      go bag – but it didn’t occur to me to think
      of where I would go.”
- Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D.

When her high-rise was evacuated, Gaunt began a four-day journey through three different emergency shelters at opposite ends of Manhattan – and she learned a lot about herself and her environment along the way.

Listen to her recounting her experience below.

Below is a map of the various shelters that Gaunt inhabited over the course of four days. The first, a public high school on the corner of Grand St. and Essex St. in the Lower East Side, housed her through Monday night after her first day displaced from home. Destination B, Wadleigh Elementary School on 114th St, was where she and her fellow evacuees were relocated to on Tuesday. She stayed at Wadleigh until Thursday, when she was moved again to George Washington High School on 191st and Audubon, where she remained until she was able to reach out to friends.


  1. Posted 21 Dec ’12 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    WOW!! Who posted this? You should be really proud of yourself. I like the approach you took, giving a four-minute clip of the professor bearing witness to the situation. Plus the use of a map to show how far she was displaced. And the picture showing, to a degree, that the woman on the right is traumatized. Well done.

  2. Posted 15 Jan ’13 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    We stumbled over here by a different page and thought I
    may as well check things out. I like what I see so i
    am just following you. Look forward to going over your web page for a second time.

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