The financial toll from Hurricane Sandy is staggering.
According to new estimates, which double an earlier prediction, the economic damages could reach $50 billion, according to Eqecat, which tracks hurricanes and analyzes the damage they cause.
Some economists warned last week that the storm could shave a half percentage point off the nation's economic growth in the current quarter, The New York Times reported.
So far, at least 10 states have declared a state of emergency, and many properties have been damaged or destroyed.
When a disaster strikes a community, timely notice is imperative to our affected members, and assistance at the local level helps to ensure that those Legion family members who qualify for a National Emergency Fund grant receive funds that are needed to assist them.
Departments are encouraged to assign, or better yet, seek volunteers to be department NEF coordinators who can travel and assist fellow Legion members in the processing and submission of NEF applications. Any questions regarding the development of state NEF coordinators, or the fund, can be directed to David W. Elmore at (317) 630-1376.
Eligible members may receive up to $1,500 in emergency assistance, while Legion posts may receive up to $5,000.
Applicants must have been displaced from their primary residence and provide proof of out-of-pocket expenses, including, but not limited to, temporary housing, food, water and clothing.
In other news:
Veterans Day: Suggested remarks for Veterans Day are available here .
Membership update: The current 2013 traditional membership total is 1,405,283, which is 70 percent of the goal. Online Renewal Activity: 2013 Membership Year On-Line Renewals (since 7/1/12) – 125,598
LEAD training: Six departments have scheduled LEAD training for next year. Those departments are Alabama, Indiana, Oregon, Texas, South Carolina and Washington.
A lapel/cap pin has been developed. In order to qualify for the pin, a department has to conduct, at the minimum, eight hours training from the Leadership Education and Development course booklet. Any combination of 22 offered classes may be selected, making up eight hours of instruction.
Leadership Education and Development is a one day, eight-hour training session designed to provide professional development training for post-, district-, county- and department-level members.
Departments are responsible for identifying and providing the training facility and audio visual equipment. Any combination of offered classes may be selected, totalling eight hours of instruction. One classroom is needed for each eight-hour session. If a department desires a repeat of sessions or selects more than eight hours training, additional classrooms and equipment may be required. If interested, contact Internal Affairs Assistant Director David Elmore firstname.lastname@example.org  or Membership Deputy Director Matt Herndon at email@example.com , or call (317) 630-1330.
Washington enshrines first baseball class: ACY staff congratulates the Department of Washington American Legion Baseball Foundation on its first American Legion Washington State Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Seattle. Former players, coaches, managers and volunteers were honored Nov. 3 for their contributions and involvement in the Washington State American Legion Baseball program.
SAL membership: The Sons of The American Legion membership for 2013 currently stands at 90,454 members, or 25.7 percent, on Nov. 1. At present, the Sons are running 1,390 members behind this same date last year. Membership for 2012 stands at 351,559 members, or at 100.9 percent.