Northeast Alumni Grapple with Hurricane Aftermath

Haas received several updates from alumni in the Northeast helping each other and still recovering from Hurricane Sandy after Dean Rich Lyons sent them a note last week to extend the school’s support.

Amber Yusuf, MBA 01, and Inder Grewal, MBA 02, offered shelter to fellow Haas alumni Eric Frandson, MBA 02, BA 94; his wife, Nina, MBA 06; and their children after the Frandsons lost power and a tree fell on their home. The two-night family sleepover included trick-or-treating together while the Frandsons waited for power to be restored.

“Thank you for checking on us! The devastation here in Westchester is astounding—trees down everywhere (one fell on our next door neighbor's house!) and downed power lines blocking many roads days later,” Yusuf and Grewal wrote Haas. “We are in the lucky 30% of our village (Scarsdale) to have power …  Although our surroundings are bleak, people are more neighborly, friendly, patient, and generous than ever before. In what could be very dismal times, I am very proud of the community in which we live.”

Larry Smith, MBA 81, was another Haas alum in Scarsdale who lost power at his home for days. “Please send electricity,” Smith wrote in Friday in response to the dean’s note. “Thanks for checking in,” he added. “My neighborhood was hit hard­—some streets look like a war zone. Electricity has been out since 6 p.m. Monday night, and there’s not a ConEd truck in sight.”

But given the death toll, Smith added, “We’re doing fine.”

Meanwhile, the school's Haas-NYC Google group has been buzzing with harrowing messages as alumni confirm their safety and share updates with one another. 

Here is the dean’s letter to alumni:

Dear Haas Alum,

We have been following Hurricane Sandy from Berkeley and wanted to let you know that our thoughts are with you and your family.

We hope that your homes and businesses were not affected too badly by the floods and winds in the region.

When time permits, we will be grateful to know how you are and if there is any support your Haas Alumni Relations Office can provide. You may reach us at [email protected]

In the meantime, you are in our thoughts, hopes, and prayers.

Dean Rich Lyons
Rich Lyons, Dean
Haas School, UC Berkeley
Twitter: @richlyons

Manhattan photo from Bjorn Austraat, MBA 09