A year after Hurricane Sandy wreaked devastation on the East Coast, about 30 people gathered Tuesday at Davenport’s Centennial Park to remember the victims.

At least 162 people in the U.S. and Canada were killed by the storm, said Bill Sherwood of Davenport, who was representing the sponsor of the event, Progressive Action for the Common Good.

Environmental issues such as manmade global warming contributed to Sandy, “and we can expect more and more storms with global warming,” he said.

“We need to help end the suffering Sandy casued, and do our best to make the people in the East Coast whole,” Sherwood said.

Roger Loesch, disaster program manager for the American Red Cross of the Quad-Cities Area in Moline, said he was on a cruise to Mexico with his wife when Sandy formed.

“We followed Sandy up the east coast as far as Florida,” Loesch said of the cruise liner he and his wife were aboard.

When the call came for volunteers, he went to Staten Island in New York City.

“I worked with wonderful people from all across the nation,” Loesch said. On Staten Island, he and the other volunteers fed hundreds of people each day and helped them put their lives back together.

“It is one of the most rewarding deployments I’ve ever been on, and I was in the Air Force,” he said.

What is important is that people in every community need to be prepared for the possibility of major storms and other potentially disastrous events, Loesch said.

“People think that disasters like Sandy can’t happen to them, that it won’t happen in their community,” he said. “Preparedness in a community is what helps a community survive when a major disaster strikes.”

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