Monthly Archives: October 2012

After the Storm Update

Hurricane Sandy has been devastating to most of Long Island. Like many of you, I am without electricity, cable and therefore internet. Luckily, I have a phone that I get emails on and can access the internet on a limited basis. Unfortunately when I use it a lot the battery drains and I have to sit in my car to charge it. My cell number has been emailed to all host families and au pairs.

Each work day I will spend sometime at my sister’s home (who has not lost any of the modern conveniences) to do some work. I will answer emails and return calls as best as I can. I know school is closed and kids are home with little to do. If you want to trick or treat in a safe place, Stony Brook Village is having their Halloween Festival today. I will be there at 3 PM, if anyone wants to join me.

Stay safe, stay calm and know I will return all emails and calls to the best of my ability.


Tips for after the storm:
• If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
• If you cannot return home and have immediate housing needs. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).
• Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges. Stay off the streets. If you must go out watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.
• Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
• Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering.
• Stay out of any building if you smell gas, floodwaters remain around the building or your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.
• Use battery-powered flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles. Note: The flashlight should be turned on outside before entering – the battery may produce a spark that could ignite leaking gas, if present.
• Watch your pets closely and keep them under your direct control. Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through debris.
• Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
• Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
• Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
• Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
• NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
For more information visit the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and the NYS Department of Health.

Hurricane Sandy (Frankenstorm) is Coming – Be Prepared

Do not worry about the hurricane, but it is important to be careful.

• Stay home with your host family during the storm and follow their advice and direction
• Keep your own families at home informed about your location and personal status during/after the storm
• Talk to your host family about any travel plans you or they have for this week and cancel/reschedule
• If you have an emergency during the storm, please call our emergency line 1-973-413-1372

There is a possible hurricane coming this week. Do not be afraid, but it is good to go over emergency procedures with your host parents.

We may lose electricity during the storm. Sometimes it takes a few days to get the power back on. Please know that you will be safe and that your host parents are prepared for these kind of situations. Stay inside in a hurricane and stay together.

Here is a list of things to have on hand in the event of a natural disaster like a hurricane:
• Food and water
• flashlights and batteries
• a battery operated radio
• charge your cell phones before the storm
• cooler and ice for food to be stored
• hand wipes
• a first aide kit
• activities to occupy the children
I hope the storm isn’t too bad, but if you lose electricity, do not worry, it will come back on. Trust your host parents to know what to do and help anyway you can, especially with the kids!
If you have to evacuate with your host families to another location, you must:
Take your important documents. This includes passport, Form DS-2019, Form I-94, Social Security Card, Financial Records, plane ticket, checks, credit cards, etc.)
Take contact numbers and e-mail address of your community counselor
Take SEVP and Department of State contact information. SEVP email address:; Department of State e-mail address:

Au Pairs Volunteer at Charity Event

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october 2012 092This past Saturday, some au pairs from the Suffolk County Cluster of Au Pair in America volunteered at the Clubhouse of Suffolk Fundraiser.  The Clubhouse helps people struggling with mental illness, many of them returning veterans with PTSD.  The Au Pairs ran the children’s activities at the Clubhouse Chili Cook Off fundraiser.

october 2012 088The au pairs organized childrens games, crafts, and face painting.  They applied Halloween and Global Awareness Tattoos to the children’s faces and hands.  They ran a sack race, helped the kids with 2 pinatas and then led the kids in a Halloween Costume Parade.  The best costume won a family 4 pack to Harbes Farm Fall Family Fun. 

october 2012 091A lucky family won a gift basket filled with Halloween party supplies and a gift certificate worth $1200 off a year’s program fees for Au Pair in America!!!

The weather was perfect, the chili was hot and spicy, the kids had a blast.  One of the au pairs, Natty from Thailand, came dressed as a pirate.  Her Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba, awarded her a gift card to Bath & Body Works!  Fun was had by all who attended, especially the au pairs who volunteered!  They loved the music by the band, too!october 2012 094

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