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'Tell Your Story' Invites Red Hook Sandy Victims to Record Recovery Tales

By Alan Neuhauser | February 4, 2013 8:31am | Updated on February 4, 2013 3:16pm

RED HOOK — Sandy-sodden Brooklynites are getting their star turn next month, when an emergency-preparedness firm will film as many as 200 Red Hook residents and shopkeepers for a series of short films to be used to raise money for community relief efforts and study how better to prepare for future disaster.

The initiative, titled the "Tell Your Story Campaign," will open a "Tell Your Story Center" at the Kentler International Drawing Space from March 2 to 9. Run by Emergency Management Methodology Partners, the program's launch is set to coincide with the reopening of the neighborhood's Fairway Market, which was devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

"Everybody gets a copy of [the films]," said EMMP chief operating officer Noel Francine Kepler, who is overseeing the campaign. "It's a tool for them to go out and say, 'This is the history of our community, this is what happened.'" 

The films will ultimately be screened together at a silent auction, where residents and businesses will offer goods or services in exchange for donations to be presented by check by the end of the evening.

"There's no middle-man, which is great," said Kepler, who lives in Carroll Gardens. "One-hundred percent of the money goes to owners. This is how you empower communities."

Social workers and therapists working pro-bono, as opposed to volunteers or journalists, will serve as interviewers, Kepler continued, and EMMP will use the film's interviews to study how best to help Red Hook and other Sandy-stricken communities.

"Everyone here is going through post-traumatic stress disorder," she explained. "This is how we can know where the community is and what their needs are. Two hundred people is a strong cross-section."

The first 100 people to share their tales at the Tell Your Story Center will receive $20 gift cards to Fairway. For more information or to share your story with others even before the Tell Your Story Center opens, visit the campaign's Facebook page.