Optical Industry and ECPs on East Coast Begin Recovery Effort After Devastation of 'Sandy'

By

NEW YORK—The massive and unprecedented impact of this week's Hurricane Sandy was being felt up and down the New York Tri-State area and the Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S as the full extent of the damage and destruction from the storm was being assessed on Tuesday.

The winds and the water driven by the storm paralyzed transportation and devastated property of optical businesses, supplier companies, laboratories, stores and professional offices as well as that of their employees and patients.

The American Optometric Foundation sent a letter from Cheryl Archer OD, its president, to its state directors to remind ODs who have been impacted by the storm that there are resources and disaster relief available.

Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief, administered by Optometry Cares-the AOA Foundation, said it is "ready to assist optometrists whose practices and/or homes are damaged in the wake of the hurricane. The Fund provides immediate assistance in the aftermath of natural disasters."

Affected optometrists may contact their state association or Optometry Cares through this link or call (800) 365-2219 directly to initiate financial assistance.

A VSP spokesperson told VMail, "VSP is in the midst of implementing our disaster outreach communication to doctors and clients in the affected areas. As it is still early, we don't anticipate immediate responses but will continue to follow up over the next few days and weeks as necessary. Our mobile clinics will be readily available to deploy as needed.

"Additionally," she said, "messaging has been posted on our doctor-facing Facebook page and our doctor-facing Twitter handle @VSPProviders sharing our support for VSP doctors, VSP members and non-VSP members affected by Sandy. We have also posted similar messaging on our consumer-facing Facebook page and Twitter handle @VSPVisionCare sharing our support."

VMail was unable to reach many due to the pervasive power outages affecting the region but will continue to monitor the situation as it develops.