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Tech Community Helps Sandy Victims By Offering Expertise

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As those less affected by Sandy search for ways to help those most affected, the tech community in New York City has decided the best way to do its part is by offering up its expertise.

Free tech support. That's what the Big Apple's tech community is offering businesses and organizations that've been displaced or disrupted by Sandy.

NY Tech Meetup, a nonprofit that helps promote and support the New York tech community, is reaching out to its 28,000 members and asking them to offer up whatever IT type help they can.

"Many of these organizations needed additional administrators or help with some of the web development that they were building," says Jessica Lawrence of NY Tech Meetup. "We've also helped a number of different government entities with projects to help people find things like office space to work in if they've been dislocated from their office spaces, reporting price gouging for any price gouging people may be encountering in the tri-state area."

Among the projects volunteers are working on include a way for parents to find out the status of New York City schools that've been damaged or left without power.

Right now, more than 800 people are registered to volunteer, some from companies you might recognize like FourSquare or Verizon. Noel Hidalgo is a volunteer from the lesser known New Amsterdam Ideas.

"One of the most amazing things is seeing the community saying 'I have an open door. Please come in. We understand that you've been affected by this. We understand that your business may not survive a week or two weeks without power, without internet. So come back, get back to work, reconnect with your community, recharge and be prosperous again,'" Hidalgo says.

If you're an individual who's not connected to a small business but you've had some of your tech devices damaged by the storm and you're wondering whether NY Tech Meetup will help you. The answer is maybe. It'll try its best

"If we get requests from individuals who need our assistance, we'll do our best to connect them with a volunteer who might be in their area, who has some expertise in whatever they need assistance with, whether that's data recovery or getting their Internet or Wi-Fi back up and running," Lawrence says.

If you think you can help or if you need help, head over to http://www.NYTechResponds.org.

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