Hurricane Sandy Update: The Post-Disaster Reconstruction Challenge

Hurricane Sandy Update: The Post-Disaster Reconstruction Challenge

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • Dec 14, 2012
  • comments

Queens, NY, on November 6, 2012. Image by Flickr Creative Commons user Official U.S. Navy Imagery

Seven weeks have passed since Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, and Architecture for Humanity's Reconstruction and Resiliency team is on the ground planning for long-term reconstruction by talking to community members, assessing damages and meeting with town officials. The Hurricane Sandy Reconstruction Program is dedicated to helping communities by assisting families and community leaders navigate the reconstruction process. Together we can change lives!

There is much work to be done and communities are now facing the challenge of long-term planning and rebuilding in a more sustainable and resilient manner. Currently:

  • 5,400 New York City students are in temporary schools
  • 265,000 New York businesses are still recovering
  • 12,500 New Jersey families are displaced from their homes

As part of the Hurricane Sandy Reconstruction Program, we have announced two programs to date: Restore the Shore and Rebuild One Block.  Our primary focus is the rebuilding of important centers of the community such as schools, small businesses, senior centers and housing.

Every disaster creates a unique set of challenges but Architecture for Humanity's 14-year long history of rebuilding in disaster-affected areas, domestically and internationally, ensures that we can make a difference.  Successful post-disaster projects include those in Haiti, Japan, South America, Southeast Asia and areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

As the Hurricane Sandy Reconstruction Program unfolds you can look forward to solutions that strengthen communities, support small business owners and provide children with spaces to learn and play. View our most recent projects below in Key Considerations in Post-Disaster Reconstruction.

We know how to rebuild communities affected by disaster; the East Coast needs our help. Please show your support today.

Best Regards,
Architecture for Humanity


1. Bringing Communities Together

view from Hikado Restaurant Hikado during lunch

Hikado Marketplace, Motoyoshi-cho, Kesennuma, Miyagi, Japan, 2011 

The Hikado Marketplace provides a public space for members of the Motoyoshi-cho community to gather. The community lives in a temporary housing complex that has no public gathering space leaving residents feeling isolated. Using salvaged timber from the tsunami, this open space is one where the community can share a meal and plan for their future.

2. Supporting Local Business Owners

oshika house complete accessories

Oshika House, Ayukawa-hama, Ishinomaki, Miyagi, Japan, 2011 - 2012

The Women's Group of the Oshika Peninsula Fishing Union makes and sells woven bracelets made from fishing net material to support their families.  The Oshika House serves as a work space and community center; expanding to a processing station and market for local seafood. The Women's Group contributes a percentage of their profits to help other local small businesses.

3. Building Back Better

Architects and Families biloxi model home

Biloxi Model Homes, Biloxi, Mississippi, 2005 - 2008

Families who participated in the Biloxi Model Homes program worked with our team of professional designers to build a home that was affordable, complied with new building requirements, used sustainable materials, reduced energy use and would be resilient to the next disaster.

4. Providing Safe Places for Children to Learn and Play

maria auxiliadora school maria auxiliadora complete

Maria Auxiliadora School, Avenida Calderones s/n, Los Calderones, Ica, Peru, 2010 - 2011

Three years after the 2007 7.9 earthquake in Ica, Peru, the Maria Auxiliadora School was abandoned and students were still attending classes in temporary unsafe classrooms. Our architect worked with the community and students to plan a safe, stimulating and fun learning environment. Our team was able to upgrade an existing building to serve the students and demolish all the unsafe structures.

Support communities who need to rebuild by donating and sharing our message with your friends and family.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at

ReNew York // ReNew Jersey // Restore the Shore Architecture for Humanity provides design and construction services after disaster. We help rebuild and will be focused on disaster mitigation and technical assistance to under-served communities. Read more about our Restore The Shore and Rebuild One Block programs.

Click to Get Design Click to Give Design Click to Donate

Get Services - If you are personally connected to a community or group affected by the storm and in need of professional rebuilding services, please follow this link.

Give Services - If you are an architectural, landscape or construction professional that is interested in volunteering your time or the services of your firm, please complete this form. The short form asks for information we'll use to match you with needs from within your immediate area. Keep in mind if you've already filled this out, we've got you on file.

Donate - We are not going to be able to do this without support. Funds will go directly to support design and construction of local projects as well as mitigation work. Click here to support our work.

Thank you in advance for your support.


*we are already undertaking rebuild and recovery work in Haiti and damage caused by Hurricane Sandy will be managed by our Port au Prince regional office.