Five days after Hurricane Sandy, we’re getting a better sense of its impact on our region. The damage and dislocation seem worse than initially understood. Although conditions are basically fine in my Queens neighborhood, St. John’s University has been closed since the storm because of power outages. It looks like we will reopen Monday, but, of course, there are no guarantees. Many faculty, staff, and students have been without heat and power all week. Most gas stations are not pumping, either because they lack fuel or power or both, and only a couple of subway lines are operating. In short, it’s a mess — and, for many people in the greater metropolitan area, who have lost loved ones, homes, and belongings, it’s a true disaster. For CLR Forum readers looking for ways to help, this website provides a list of charities, religious and non-religious, that are trying to provide assistance.