There was one thing, however, that was consistent from the south shores of Long Island all the way to the southern beaches of New Jersey — the strength and hope displayed by the people. So what is the silver lining in all of this? There was one thing Sandy could never take away from us, and that was our can-do attitude — a Jersey type of "we won't be defeated" culture that can never be broken. Despite all of the damage and uncertainty, the people of New Jersey and New York immediately pulled together to start restoring their communities. There were no riots, no looting and no crimes. Rather, people stopped what they were doing despite how affected their lives had become to help someone else who was hurt more than they were. It was not just people from New Jersey who lent a helping hand. Electric companies from states including Ohio, Michigan and Arkansas drove their trucks out to get power back up. Police and fire companies from this country's Midwest, Southeast and Northeast regions came to our aid, as did many large corporations and nonprofit outdoor and environmental groups. One group in particular, Waves for Water (wavesforwater.org), immediately launched shelters that were led by local surfers and fishermen and began a massive hurricane relief campaign to get supplies directly to the residents living in areas that were highly affected by the storm. Ramsey Outdoor Stores worked with outdoor clothing companies like Patagonia, The North Face and Columbia to get warm and waterproof outdoor clothing to those in need. The mood quickly changed, and the devastated community quickly emerged as a unified culture dedicated to restoring the areas. Make no mistake: It will take millions of dollars and several years to rebuild the $65.6 billion of damage Sandy left in its wake.