One year ago, Superstorm Sandy tore through Larchmont and Mamaroneck and surrounding communities, downing trees, taking out power lines and leaving millions of dollars of damage.
There was flooding toward the coastline, heavily damaging parks and homes.
Power was out for thousands of residents for several days.
As the storm approached and intensified, Larchmont resident Eli Russ, 19, was prepared—not so much for himself but for the community.
Russ was the president of the Mamaroneck High School Red Cross Club.
"Disaster preparation and response is one of the things the club does," he said in a recent phone interview from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.
Sandy wasn't the first big disaster the club had been involved with.
"First we had Tropical Storm irene in 2011," Russ said. "That gave us a taste of a large-scale disaster."
For Sandy, he and 27 other student volunteers helped set up a 100-bed shelter at Mamaroneck High School.
"Setting up a cot is very exhausting work," Russ said. "It's a two-person job."
The students helped register clients and getting people fed.
At the peak, there were 70 residents in the shelter, Russ said.
He said it was an amazing experience.
"It was a privilege to be able to help your neighbors," Russ said. "They are there and they are scared. They don't know what's happening."
The overnight shelter remained open from October 28, 2012, to October 30, 2012. It was operated as a warming shelter from November 2, 2012, to November 8, 2012.
Russ said he learned from the experience that disaster can always strike when you least expect it and that preparedness was vital.
"Who expected two hurricanes in two years?" he said.