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For Sandy victims, resources to help get back on track


Google's NYC Crisis Map shows shelters and recovery centers, as well as power outage information.

For New Yorkers, the damage from Hurricane Sandy has been wildly uneven. Many are without power — some without homes — while just a few blocks away, life is not that dissimilar from before, with full utilities and comfort available. If you're in a pinch, here are some resources that should point you in the right direction. (And if you've been lucky, we've included some opportunities for you to help your fellow citizens.)

GET A BITE: Restaurants and bars were some of the first businesses to open. (In fact, a few never closed.) Eater.com has a list of open NYC restaurants, continually updated since the storm hit Monday night.

DRIVE A CAR: WNYC has a live traffic map that shows current road conditions. I was on the BQE on Wednesday morning (just past Williamsburg) and it wasn't too bad, but obviously, conditions will vary. And if you don't need to be on the roads, stay home and keep traffic as clear as possible for the recovery crews.

RIDE THE SUBWAYTransit Tracker is another page from WNYC, this one geared to people who take public transportation, as well as those who are keeping an eye on airports for upcoming air travel.

FIND A SHELTER: Google has a helpful Crisis Map showing shelters and the like. Some buildings in lower Manhattan are still being evacuated as it has become clear that power may take a few more days to restore. (We took in a Manhattanite last night here in Brooklyn.) If you still need a place to stay short term, shelters are still open.

LOCATE A LOST PET: The ASPCA is staffing a 24-hour hotline set up specifically for evacuees who left their pets behind. The number is 347-573-1561. To report stray animals, the ASPCA is asking people to continue to call 311 and talk to NYC's Animal Care and Control. For more information and animal-related updates, visit the ASPCA's blog

STAY HEALTHY: The CDC has a guide to preventing illness after a flood or hurricane, focusing on food and water safety, as well as avoiding carbon monoxide, mold and other environmental hazards. 

FILE FOR ASSISTANCE: The federal government's disaster assistance website is up and running. It's not too early to file.

FIND A PLACE TO LIVE: FEMA operates a housing portal to assist in finding longer-term temporary housing, should you need it. Don't feel like a hotel or AirBNB is your only option. 

VOLUNTEER: Helping hands are needed at many of the shelters across the city.  WNYC has a list of the many opportunities to help out in New York and New Jersey.

The Red Cross also has details on what you can do to volunteer. You must be at least 16 years of age, be willing to work at least a 12 hour shift, and understand you may be deployed to shelters outside of NYC.

If you're of a nerdy persuasion, the New York Tech Meetup is gathering a list of volunteers who can assist with technical troubleshooting and repairs.

HELP OUT IN OTHER WAYS: If you're not in the vicinity, but want to help out Sandy victims up and down the Atlantic coast, we've compiled a list of charities and other non-profits that could use your support.

More links from TODAY.com and NBC News: