VerbalizeIt’s Sandy Experience

Like almost every company in New York City over the past week, the VerbalizeIt team was directly affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Our technology only suffered a minor and brief outage, as our telephony service went down for about an hour at one point.  But, on a personal level, our office lost power and one of our founders was displaced.  In the words of Ryan Frankel, CEO:

Headed into the evening of Monday night, VerbalizeIt was unaffected and we were on a near 24 hour work session. Around 8:30 in the midst of reheating some dinner, we started seeing buildings all around us going dark. Moments later, power was out. The next morning, power was still not restored, and without running water we headed uptown to explore.

We climbed down 14 flights, walked around for an hour, only to find that all the buildings were locked up and the city was empty. We walked up 5th avenue and traffic was no where to be found. Eerie. Returned home and read through paperwork by candlelight. Managed to find some cereal and chips which made for a nutritious dinner. Next morning, hiked down 14 flights again, walked 40 blocks uptown, found the first café with internet and camped out. Several small fights/arguments broke out about hogging of electrical sockets. Continued uptown to the only open New York Sports Club for an ice cold shower (not hot water in the building) followed by a small work session next to an outlet nearby a treadmill. Should have saved the shower for afterwards. Got covered in spraying sweat from a large gentlemen walking briskly on the treadmill. Joy.

Contemplated another cold shower and then ditched the gym to head north. Finally made it to our offices in the evening which finally had power. Worked for six hours. Returned back downtown in to the evening to darkness – no street lights and well-armed officials in the streets. Being Halloween made it extra eerie. Awoke Thursday AM, 2 mile walk to the Bolt Bus – secured a seat and headed to Philadelphia. VerbalizeIt NYC is now back up and  running!

The last week has been quite the experience, but our entire team is thankful that no one has been hurt or their homes destroyed. We’ve heard from a few of our translators also located on the east coast, all of whom have said that they, while they still may not have power, are hanging in there.

We couldn’t be more fortunate for the community that we have. If you’re a part of the VerbalizeIt team and have been affected by Hurricane Sandy, please let us know if we can help out in anyway possible. Send us an email at Stay strong, and stay safe.

-The VerbalizeIt Team