Safe at Home

As Lawrence Frank prepares for opener, family deals with Sandy

Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank will have his mind on the season opener as well as family in the vicinity of Hurricane Sandy.
J. Dennis/Einstein (NBAE/Getty)
Lawrence Frank’s video study has been broadened as he prepares the Pistons for their 2012-13 season opener. In addition to poring over everything there is to know about the Houston Rockets, he’s been watching TV reports and weather patterns affecting his family and in-laws in storm-battered New Jersey and New York.

“You feel defenseless when you have your family there,” he said Tuesday afternoon after the last full-scale practice in advance of Wednesday night’s opener. “You’re here, away from them. There’s a lot of guilt that goes into it when you’re not there to support them. You just try any which way of managing the situation from afar of trying to make sure your family is taken care of.”

Frank’s wife Susan and two daughters lost power at their New Jersey home, he said, and there might be some exterior damage to their house from the winds that spun as Hurricane Sandy reached landfall south of their location before being downgraded. His in-laws in his native Teaneck also were without power, while his parents in a Fort Lee apartment, he said, were fine. Frank has two brothers who live in New York City, one in the Bronx and one farther north in Manhattan. It was the southern tip of the island that bore the brunt of the storm.

“Power supplies are down,” he said. “No one has power, so they’re just kind of dealing with that. But there are people in a whole lot worse situations. It was devastating, especially to the shores.”

Greg Monroe lived through Hurricane Katrina as a high school sophomore in 2005. His family home was largely spared, suffering some wind damage but none of the flooding that devastated New Orleans. The family spent about a month in Houston, evacuating two days prior to Katrina making landfall, before returning to New Orleans.