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Hurricane Sandy Update -- Thursday 11/8

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Location: Staten Island

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:06 pm    Post subject: Hurricane Sandy Update -- Thursday 11/8
From Nov 08, 2012 to Nov 09, 2012 (included)
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Dear Elected Official:

Today Mayor Bloomberg announced an odd-even system for gasoline purchases to help New York City customers buy gas faster. The region’s fuel infrastructure is slowly returning to normal, however supply remains a real problem for drivers. We continue to encourage New Yorkers to fuel up only when necessary and to use mass transit as much as possible.

As part of our expanding efforts to help our city recover from the storm, tomorrow medical teams will begin providing door to door medical care in high rise residential buildings in Far Rockaway and Coney Island. Today the Mayor also issued temporary guidelines to help speed up heating oil delivery and boiler repairs.

Here is the latest information for you to share with your constituents:

Odd-Even Gasoline Purchasing System:

· Mayor Bloomberg signed an emergency executive order today establishing an odd-even license plate system for gasoline purchases to reduce wait times and lines at gas stations. The temporary system will remain in effect from 6:00 AM on Friday until further notice and will operate as follows:

o Vehicles with license plates ending in an even number or the number “0” purchase fuel on even numbered days.

o Vehicles with license plates ending in an odd number purchase fuel on odd numbered days.

o Vehicles with licenses plates ending in letters will be deemed as odd numbered plates and can make purchases on odd numbered days.

o Commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles, buses and paratransit vehicles, Medical Doctor (MD) plates and vehicles licensed by the Taxi and limousine Commission are exempt.

· The use of legal walk-up fuel containers by individuals is not affected by the executive order.

· As they have been since the storm, NYPD officers will be deployed to maintain order at stations.

Door to Door Medical Care in Brooklyn and Queens:

· Beginning tomorrow morning at 8 AM, medical teams will be deployed to high rise residential buildings in Coney Island and Far Rockaway to:

o Make sure the medical needs of residents are being attended to

o Conduct a medical assessment to ensure that residents are safe

o Connect residents with prescription medications.

· The teams will be focused on assessing the wellbeing of residents who have not been able to leave their apartments and who may have been without water, electricity and heat.

o If the paramedic determines that a resident has immediate acute medical needs, the resident will be taken to a field clinic or a hospital for additional care.

· These teams will be dispatched in ambulances and will consist of a paramedic, Health Department staff, and a member of the National Guard.

· The New York City Health Department is coordinating the effort with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Guard.

· This outreach will run from 8am to 8pm starting Friday and running through Monday.

· The City is requesting that building management and landlords in Far Rockaway and Coney Island make their sites available from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm through Monday so that the teams can access residents in the buildings.

o If the building management cannot have someone at the building at these times, they are asked to please call the Health Department at 917-231-6066 or email highrisebuilding@health.nyc.gov to provide a contact name and number so they can be called to let the team into the building.

Temporary Guidelines to Speed Heating Oil Deliveries and Boiler Repairs:

· As a result of Hurricane Sandy, sufficient quantities of the low heating sulfur oil required by New York City law have been harder to obtain and distribute.

· To ensure that New Yorkers have access to heating fuel, the City has temporarily suspended the sulfur limits, which will allow the use of oils with higher sulfur content through December 7th.

· The City also has streamlined emergency work permits for boiler repairs and replacements to reduce the application timeline by as much as two weeks.

Last Night’s Nor’easter:

· The storm produced minor flooding, knocked down more trees and tree limbs, and took out power to some customers in our city. Some parts of the city received up to 6 inches of snow.

Parks, Beaches, and Playgrounds:

· Given these conditions, all parks, playgrounds, and beaches in the city will be closed for the rest of the day. People should stay away from them, including their edges, as tree limbs could fall on them.

· We expect the majority of parks and playgrounds to be open tomorrow, after we have inspected them. Some may not be open tomorrow.

· All beaches, which have experienced a great deal of erosion over these two storms, will be closed.

· Details on park closures can be found at: nyc.gov/parks


· Outdoor construction has resumed after the Nor’easter.

24-Hour Debris Cleanup:

· The Department of Sanitation is deploying teams around the clock to clear debris from the storm, with teams running 12-hour shifts since the storm ended.

· To date they have removed 225,000 tons of debris.

· The Department of Sanitation has committed 728 pieces of equipment to debris removal, including 270 trucks, 234 mechanical booms, 114 front end loaders, and 110 cut down dump trucks.

· We have reduced garbage collection in areas largely unaffected by the storm to allow us to move even more resources to neighborhoods that most need it.

· The General Contractors Association has helped us marshal private contractors, and the Army Corps of Engineers has partnered with us.

· Until further notice curbside recycling is suspended.

Trees and Debris:

* 23,464 tree service requests have been made (alerting us of downed trees or branches).
* Of these requests, 14,551 were for downed trees.
* 7,369 of these emergency tree conditions have been addressed.

* This is already twice as much tree and limb clearing as we had to do for all of Hurricane Irene last year.

Food, Water & Blanket Distribution Sites:

· From Thursday, November 1 through Thursday, November 7 we have distributed:

o More than 1.7 million meals

o Nearly 426,000 bottles of water

o 110,000 blankets

o 1,198 cases of diapers

o 127 cases of baby wipes

o 670 cases of baby formula

o 8,212 units of new underwear (kids and adults)

o 3,840 thermal blankets

o 1,552 winter hats

o 389 scarves

o 2,486 socks

o 4,550 blankets

o 4,000 hand-warmers

o 3,564 D batteries

o 7,380 C batteries

o 285 cases of garbage bags

o 3,399 flashlights/lanterns

o 476 cases of toilet paper

o 837 cases of bleach

o 20,000 cases of Ziploc bags

o 6,000 masks

o 10,000 boxes of cleaning wipes

o 1,500 work gloves

o 878 bars of soap

o 140 cases of toothbrushes

o 750 units of toothpaste

o 584 bath towels

· We have distributed 1,500 electric space heaters to people in Broad Channel and the Rockaways who have had their power restored but do not yet have heat in their homes.

· We have distribution sites set up in the hardest-hit areas of the city.

o Food, water, blankets, baby formula, diapers, batteries and other supplies are available at all sites.

o These sites are staffed by NYC Service volunteers, as well as the Salvation Army, and the National Guard.

· The details of these sites, including the exact locations and hours of operation, can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/foodandwater.html

o We will keep them operational for as long as is needed, and no one who shows up for food and water will be turned away.

o Each person will be able to take three meals and five bottles of water at these sites.

o People should bring their own bags to carry their food and water.

· Local food trucks are giving away free hot meals at sites in the hardest-hit areas in a partnership arranged by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. The locations and hours of operation can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hot_food.html


· As of this afternoon there were 70,000 Con Ed and 40,000 LIPA customers without power. Some of these customers lost power due to last night’s Nor’easter.

· With many of these customers, the hurdles to restoring power are with the buildings, rather than the utility. Even when the power is restored to these areas, there is work to be done in these buildings before the lights can be turned on.

Building Inspections:

· The Department of Buildings has inspected 58,000 of the estimated 70,000 buildings that may have been damaged by the storm.

· 89% of the buildings inspected so far have been determined to be structurally safe.

· Buildings will be tagged with one of three color placards to indicate their safety:

o Green: the building is structurally safe

o Red: the building is not safe and may not be entered

o Yellow: it can be occupied conditionally (i.e. one floor may be safe while another is not.) These conditions would be explained on the placard.

· Building owners can also self-certify with the Department of Buildings.

· Where flooding has done damage to electrical wiring and gear repairs must be made before the building can be repowered.

o We have deployed teams of Buildings Department employees, electrical contractors, and representatives of the utility companies that have already inspected more than 1,000 of these buildings.


· The City has assessed all NYCHA housing in Zone A and found no major long-term structural issues.

· All NYCHA buildings flooded in the storm have been pumped dry.

· Yesterday, City-led action restored power for 1,174 residents in 8 buildings, and restored heat and hot water for 1,658 residents in 9 buildings.

· Power: 402 buildings housing 79,200 people lost power because of the storm; the City has restored power to 331 buildings housing 66,874 residents.

· Heat/Hot Water: 386 NYCHA buildings housing 77,000 people lost heat and hot water because of the storm; the City has restored heat and hot water to 272 buildings housing more than 55,000.

· NYCHA has set up warming centers in Red Hook and additional warming centers are being established.

· Staff and volunteers have been providing blankets to residents who have not had heat or hot water restored.


· Alternate side parking will be suspended through Monday the 12th. It will be suspended tomorrow and Saturday this week to facilitate storm cleanup efforts. It is suspended on Sunday per usual, and is suspended on Monday because it is Veterans Day.

· The Holland Tunnel is open to all traffic.

· The Queens-Midtown Tunnel will be open on Friday.

· The Hugh Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel is still closed.

· Tolls on the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Bridge and the Cross Bay Bridge are suspended.

· Meters are in effect.

Mass Transit:

· Subways, railroads, and buses are operating on a modified basis.

o All details on MTA service status can be found at: mta.info <http>

o Limited G and L train service has been restored.

· NYCEDC, Seastreak, and DOT are partnering to provide temporary ferry service during the morning and evening rush hours tomorrow, from the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, to Wall Street/Pier 11 and East 35th Street. Learn more <http> .

· Staten Island Ferry service is running on its regular schedule.

· The East River Ferry is running.

· PATH service is still suspended as they continue to remove water from facilities and fix damage.

· NJ Transit services have been restored on a limited basis. Details are here: njtransit.com <http> .


· All City schools are open to students.

o Those students and staff who have been reassigned from buildings that sustained structural damage have gone to other school sites.

· The Department of Education has coordinated transportation options for families with children who have been reassigned to other school sites:

o Full reimbursement for any family of a K-8 student at a relocated school taking MTA/cab service to and from school.

o 55 cents per mile reimbursement for any family of a student at a relocated school who uses their own vehicles.

o Free MetroCards will be distributed to all high school students at relocated schools who do not already have one.

· We are working hard to re-open as many schools that are currently closed as possible. However some schools will remain closed for some time. Parents of students in those affected schools should watch for communication from their schools or:

o Visit nyc.gov/schools

o Call 311

o Text the words “nyc schools” or “escuela” to 877-877

Air BNB Temporary Housing:

· Air BNB, an on-line service that connects people seeking temporary housing with those who have unused space, has launched a new platform to link New Yorkers displaced by Hurricane Sandy to New Yorkers who want to offer places to stay.

· Air BNB is providing the service at no fee, and information is available at: airbnb.com/sandy.

Staying Warm in the Cold Weather:

· Anyone who needs heat should find shelter, whether at one of our city facilities or with a friend or relative.

· We now have opened over 200 warming centers across the city: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/warming_ctr.html

o We opened a new warming center in Red Hook that is open from 8am to midnight. It is located at 110 West 9th Street.

· Our volunteers have been going door-to-door in affected areas urging those still without power to find a warm place to stay.

· Our shelters are also open for those who are seeking warmth. The list of shelters is here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hurricane_shelters.html

· We have buses running to take people to shelters tonight if they need a place to stay warm overnight. The bus pickups are listed here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/overnight_shelter.html <http>

· Those who are using generators in their homes to run their heat should be very careful to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Tips for smart generator use are below.

Volunteering, Donating, and Giving Blood:

· Workers from the City Departments of Sanitation, Parks, and Transportation, NYC Service volunteers, and the US Marines are also partnering with the Salvation Army to collect the large amount of used clothing that’s been left outdoors as donations in various parts of the city. They’re also distributing cleaning supplies.

· All clothes collected will go to Salvation Army locations in our hardest-hit areas.

o If you would like to donate clothing: Please do not leave these items outside. Instead, deliver them to Salvation Army centers; they’ll make sure your donations get where they’re needed.

· You can also donate them to New York Cares, Goodwill, the New York Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, or Catholic Charities. If you’d like to make a donation of food, you can do so with City Harvest and Food Bank for New York City.

· Cash donations to support recovery efforts can be made through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Learn more here: nyc.gov/fund <http>

o Generally, cash donations are preferable to in-kind donations because the logistics of collecting and distributing those supplies are complex.

o The Mayor’s Fund has already received over $32 million in donations from over 10,000 people.

· Those who want to volunteer can visit NYC Service at: nyc.gov/service <http>

· Giving blood is incredibly helpful right now. For more information visit: nybloodcenter.org <http>

Support to Businesses:

· The City's Department of Small Business Services and Economic Development Corporation have put together a package of support for NYC businesses impacted by the storm.

· Emergency low-interest loans of up to $25,000 for businesses that have been interrupted and suffered damage as a result of the storm. Applications are available at any of the City's NYC Business Solutions Centers, by calling 311 and asking for "NYC Business Emergency Loan," or by visiting: on.nyc.gov/contactnycbiz.

· For businesses facing significant rebuilding costs, the City will provide sales tax exemptions of up to $100,000 on purchases of materials, equipment and related services needed to rebuild. Learn more here: nycedc.com/backtobusiness

· For displaced businesses, the City has identified more than 170,000 square feet that will be made available free of charge, including 40,000 square feet of City space at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and more than 125,000 square feet of space that private landlords have made available, across the five boroughs. A full listing of commercial spaces and other resources is available at: nycedc.com/donations.

· Information on disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration is available at any of the City's NYC Business Solutions Centers, by calling 800-659-2955, or by visiting sba.gov/disaster.

Federal Disaster Assistance:

· Anyone affected by Sandy – homeowners, renters, and businesses – can apply for federal disaster assistance.

· They can register at DisasterAssistance.gov <http> or by calling the Federal Emergency Management agency at 1-800-621-3362.

Disaster Assistance Centers:

· These centers provide information about applying for emergency social and economic benefits.

· The list of sites and hours of operation can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/dasc.html

· These facilities are operated by the City’s Human Resources Administration in cooperation with FEMA.

Mobile Medical Vans:

* Mobile medical vans staffed with primary care providers are providing medical care and distributing commonly prescribed drugs at several locations in the Rockaways, Staten Island, and Coney Island.
* There is a particular need for pharmaceuticals in the Rockaways because of a limited number of pharmacies still open and able to fulfill prescriptions.
* Volunteers working through the City’s volunteer operation, NYC Service, have been knocking on doors to check on and address the medical needs of those who remain in their homes, often without heat and power.

* The New York City Human Resources Administration, along with FEMA Search and Rescue, have targeted our most high risk households and will continue this effort until power is restored.

· The list of sites can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/dasc.html.

Evacucation Shelters:

· The number of shelters has been consolidated to 11.

· As of Thursday morning there were 2,743 evacuees in these facilities supported by 812 staff.

· Our shelter system will remain open until evacuees can return to their homes or find short-term housing.

· A full list of shelters can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hurricane_shelters.html


· New York City tap water is safe.

· However water in Breezy Point is not potable and should not be consumed in any way due to damage to the pipes.

o Bottled water is being provided to Breezy Point residents. That is what should be consumed there.

o For more information visit: nyc.gov/health

Director of Housing Recovery Operations:

· We are committed to ensuring that every New Yorker who needs a warm place to live and a roof over his or her head is going to have one.

· Brad Gair has been appointed the City’s new Director of Housing Recovery Operations.

· His mission will be to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to house New Yorkers displaced by Sandy.

· He is a resident of Brooklyn who has 20 years of experience in such efforts at every level of government, with a particular expertise in post-disaster housing recovery.

Community Restoration Directors:

· We have appointed seasoned, high-level managers from our administration to identify urgent needs in affected communities and deploy resources needed to meet them.

· These directors will each cover part of the city. They are:

o Staten Island: Haeda Mihaltses, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Mayor’s Office

o Queens: Diahann Billings-Burford, Chief Service Officer

o Brooklyn: Nazli Parvizi, Commissioner, Community Affairs Unit

o Manhattan & Bronx: Matt Mahoney, Associate Commissioner, Department of Environmental Protection

57th Street Crane:

· The crane has been rotated and tethered to the building.

* All streets in the area are open.

· All buildings can be reoccupied, but some may have utilities that need to be restored.

Reporting and Handling Conditions:

· 911 should only be used in case of emergencies.

· To report other conditions such as fallen trees and sewer backups, please use 311 Online, text 311 at 311-692, or call 311.

o Fallen trees are incredibly dangerous. Anyone who sees one should report it immediately. No one should try to cut down or move damaged trees themselves.

· Power outages and live wires should be directly reported to Con Ed (1-800-75-CON-ED) or LIPA (1-800-490-0075).

o Live wires are also extremely dangerous. No one should touch them or be near them.

Advice to Share with Your Constituents:

· Any food – including packaged food – that was touched by flood water should be thrown away. The flood water may contain sewage or other contamination.

· Other items that have been touched by flood water should be cleaned and disinfected. This should be done as soon as possible to prevent mold growth.

· Tap water is safe to drink (aside from the Breezy Point restrictions.)

· Do not use generators or grills indoors. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious threat when these devices are used indoors. They should only be used outside and kept away from windows and vents.

· Everyone should have and use battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms. They should test the batteries if possible.

· If someone experiences sleepiness, dizziness, headaches, confusion, weakness or the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, they should immediately seek fresh air and call the poison control center at 212–POISONS (212-764-7667.) They can also call 911, as poisoning is life threatening.

· Important guides on carbon monoxide poisoning and food safety can be found at nyc.gov/health.

Elected Officials Hotline:

· This line will be open 24 hours/day until further notice.

Staying Informed

· For the latest updates, New Yorkers can:

o Visit NYC.gov

o Follow @nycmayorsoffice <http> Twitter

o Sign up for notifications from Notify NYC <https>

Thank you for all of your efforts, and we will continue to keep you informed.

-Ryan Whalen

Chief of Staff to Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson

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