Feeling guilty about waking up to another glorious California day while your East Coast friends deal with wind, waves, downed power lines and flooded subways? Beating yourself up because you've got a day of fun planned — complete with sunshine, the Internet, and dry streets instead of waterways?


Guilt is pointless. You're here; you're lucky. Accept it, move on, and then do something to help.

Here are a few ways you can lend a hand (and a farthing) to your less fortunate countrymen:

Give money. As always, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army are on the ground, helping those who need shelter. That costs money. Give some of yours.

Donate blood. Duh. This is always needed after disasters; blood drives get canceled in affected areas, and supplies run low. And who doesn't have blood to give?

Check out the Red Cross' website for details on how to donate.

Volunteer. If you're a military veteran, you could help the bad-asses at Team Rubicon. If your skills aren't quite at that level, but you want to help and you're thinking long-term, you might even think about applying for FEMACorps, a new unit associated with Americorps that assists in disasters. It's a 10-month program, so while there's little chance you'd be trained in time to help Sandy victims, you'd be ready to go by the time the next big disaster hits. Nothing wrong with that!

Think of the animals. Man's best friend is often the first to be abandoned when disaster strikes. The Humane Society of the United States is there to take care of poor little Spot and Muffy. They need your financial support, too.

Think internationally. Sandy killed 67 people before it touched down in the U.S. If you want to help your fellow man without respect for national borders, think about Direct Relief, an agency that provides international help in times of disaster and unrest. Operation USA is also vowing to help Sandy victims in Haiti and Cuba.

Bottom line:

You may have spent all day yesterday riveted by the scenes on CNN and the horrifying photos (real and, sadly, not real) on Twitter.

That was yesterday. Today you get to decide if you're a voyeur who devours Disaster Porn — or a compassionate human being who tuned in because you really do care. We're confident it's the latter, so click on one of those links, get your credit card out, and prove us right already.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly