Storm Sandy: Mike's story
29 November 2012 Last updated at 02:33 GMT
Mike Mastronardy, chief of police for the district covering Ortley Beach, part of the New Jersey coastline battered by "Superstorm" Sandy.
The bluff, wisecracking cop has rolled up his sleeves to help householders - and keep their spirits up - as they battle to rebuild their lives in the neighbourhood, parts of which are now almost unrecognisable.
"You can never be prepared for this amount of devastation," he says, "but as chief of police you do what you have to do and get the job done."