Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Lara Bednarczyk, August 10, 2014

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Interview introduction

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Partial Transcript: My name is Trudi-Ann Lawrence. Today is August 10th, and I am at the Tuckerton Seaport Museum.

Segment Synopsis: An introduction to the interview with Lara Bednarczyk.

00:00:08 - Brief biography

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Partial Transcript: Can you state your name please?

Segment Synopsis: Bednarczyk says she like living in New Jersey because of the accessibility to so many activities and places. She also talks about her family and being a Girl Scout leader in her community.

Keywords: Community; Cost; Daughters; Dogs; Ethnicity; Family; Home; House; Income; Involved; Little Egg Harbor; Lived; New Jersey; Occupation; Ocean; Office; Rooms; Salary; Town; Tuckerton; Water

GPS: Little Egg Harbor Township, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 39.610756, -74.357044
00:02:28 - First thoughts about the storm

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Partial Transcript: Um, when did you first hear about the storm coming?

Segment Synopsis: Bednarczyk discusses her low expectations of Hurricane Sandy. She also talks about the availability of supplies and how she felt the warning her community received was an adequate one.

Keywords: Adequate; Adequate warning; Availability; Evacuate; Evacuation warnings; Expect; First thoughts; Gas; House; Mom; Parsippany; Prepare; Stores; Storm; Supplies; Wawa; Work

GPS: Parsippany, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 40.857523, -74.427041
00:04:04 - Day of the storm / day after Hurricane Sandy hit

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Partial Transcript: Okay, take me through the first day of the storm.

Segment Synopsis: Bednarczyk discusses when the storm hit and how she tried to convince her husband to evacuate the area. She also reveals that she did not get any sleep that night.

Keywords: Area; Boats; Boats in street; Evacuation; Family; High tide; House; Kids; Mandatory evacuation; Media; Morning; Neighbors; Phone; Pictures; Sleep; Storm; Town

00:05:44 - The day after the storm / damages / mood of the community

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Partial Transcript: Um, when you woke up the next day, what was going through your head?

Segment Synopsis: Bednarczyk describes her reaction upon returning home the day after the storm after only seeing horrific pictures. She also explains that her house was completely lost to the storm and how her community came together during this time to help one another.

Keywords: Boats; Boats in street; Community; Damage; Damages; Daughters; Devastation; Dinner; Driving; Help; Houses; Media; Mood; Pictures; Power; Respond; Safe; Salvageable; Salvaging; Shock; Street; Suffer; Trees; War zone

00:07:51 - Personal and community recovery

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Partial Transcript: How did you get in contact with people? Was your cell phone still working?

Segment Synopsis: Bednarczyk describes how she and her husband began to clean out their flooded home and sift through what items were or were not salvageable. Also, she tells about how her community began to recover right after the storm.

Keywords: AT&T; Acme; Area; Attics; Cell phones; Clean up; Facebook; Floors; Garbage; Home; House; Outside; Power; Room; Salvageable; Stores; Water

00:09:57 - Support-seeking after the storm

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Partial Transcript: Um, who did you look to for support? Did you call--immediately call your insurance company, power company, FEMA?

Segment Synopsis: Bednarczyk explains that she and her family had to clean up her house without help. She also talks about the government's response and how her family tried to keep her daughter's schedule as regulated as possible.

Keywords: Clean up; Community; Cope; Curfews; Daughters; Dogs; FEMA; Help; House; Insurance companies; Lightning; Neighbors; Power companies; Rebuild; Response; Storm; Support; Thunder

00:13:06 - Contributions from the community after the storm

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Partial Transcript: Do y--did you feel safe in your community when everything was going around?

Segment Synopsis: Bednarczyk describes the efforts made by her community to return to normal. She also explains that her Girl Scout troop made contributions by collecting money for those animals who were affected by the storm.

Keywords: Aid; Church; Community; Contributors; FEMA; Help; House; Looting; Monmouth; Neighbors; Police response; Red Cross; Religious communities; Response; Safe; School; Shelters; Storm; Town

00:15:06 - Losses / opinion on New Jersey's preparedness

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Partial Transcript: Can you describe your losses, or is it easier to describe what was--what you were able to save?

Segment Synopsis: Bednarczyk describes that she lost everything under counter-height to the storm. She also believed that the state as a whole was not prepared for Hurricane Sandy and that Mother Nature is to blame for this disaster.

Keywords: Aid; Blame; Communities; Furniture; House; Income; Lived; Losses; Lost; Mother Nature; New Jersey; Prepared; Prepared adequately; Shore; State; Storm; Water

00:17:01 - Media coverage / opinion on President Obama and Governor Christie / change in environmental views

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Partial Transcript: Do you think that--how do you feel about the media coverage? Was it sensationalized, or did it adequately portray what was going on?

Segment Synopsis: Bednarczyk says that she believes most of the attention by the media, president, and governor were more focused on the resort areas that were affected. She also now knows not to underestimate the power of the ocean and will take more precautionary measures for her house.

Keywords: Appearance; Area; Barack Obama; Chris Christie; Country; Coverage; Environment; Governor; Governor Christie; Help; Helping; House; Hurricane; Immediate; Living; Lost; Media; New Jersey; Ocean; Parsippany; President; President Obama; Rebuild; Response; Seasons; Sensationalized

GPS: Parsippany, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 40.857523, -74.427041
00:19:07 - A new normal

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Partial Transcript: So, have things returned to normal?

Segment Synopsis: Bednarczyk reveals that she and her family have been staying in a dorm room on her local Rutgers campus for the time being. She is still paying for her damaged house and plans to rebuild on the same plot of land in the future.

Keywords: Area; Building; Community; Cook; Daily life; Damage; Electricity; Home; House; Internet; Kitchen; Mortgage; New normal; News; Normal; Outlook; Phone; Rebuild; Room; Rutgers; Storm; TV; Water

GPS: Rutgers University (Camden, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 39.947566, -75.123203
00:21:18 - Impact on the elections / legacy of the storm

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Partial Transcript: Do you think that the storm had an impact on the presidential election?

Segment Synopsis: Bednarczyk reveals that while she believes the storm will have no impact on the presidential election, she believes it will have a huge impact upon the gubernatorial campaign. Also, she gives a word of advice for those who own homes in times of disaster.

Keywords: Election; Governor; Impacting; Legacy; Message; Moore, Oklahoma; Presidential campaign; Storm; Warning

GPS: Moore, Ok.
Map Coordinates: 35.339483, -97.486868