But, for a St. Joseph volunteer who just returned from one of the areas hardest hit areas, the view was much different.
Joe Sorrento just returned from the Northeast where he spent time helping the victims. He's seen his fair share of disaster, helping the American Red Cross with relief efforts nearly 20 times.
When Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, he didn't hesitate to lend a hand.
"Everybody is there on their own time, giving their heart and soul and really trying to do everything they can to help people," Sorrento said.
During his time in New Jersey, he worked as a feeding manager, overseeing 108 emergency response vehicles.
Sorrento, along with 2,000 other volunteers in the area, set up food kitchens, providing up to 60,000 meals a day.
"It's very gratifying knowing our efforts do help. We sometimes wish we could do more and there will always be people that are unhappy, but it's kind of overridden by the amount of people that are happy with what the Red Cross does," Sorrento said.
The volunteers live in the same conditions as those displaced from their homes, often going without electricity for days.
"There are times we actually become clients right along with the people we're trying to help," Sorrento said.
He says spending time away from family is an adjustment, but those close to him, like his wife, know he's passionate about helping people.
"Yeah, I missed her birthday, but honey I apologize. She knows what goes on and she understands," Sorrento said.
Sorrento was one of 23 volunteers from the Midland Empire Chapter working on hurricane relief efforts.
The St. Joseph Red Cross sent another wave of volunteers this week.