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Hurricane Sandy Update -- Friday 11/9

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Location: Staten Island

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:23 pm    Post subject: Hurricane Sandy Update -- Friday 11/9
From Nov 12, 2012 to Nov 12, 2012 (included)
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Dear Elected Official:

This afternoon Mayor Bloomberg announced NYC Rapid Repairs, an unprecedented partnership with FEMA to quickly and efficiently fix homes damaged by Sandy. Not only will homeowners who enroll in the program get back in their homes faster, they will not have to pay upfront for the repairs.

The storm also severely damaged the transportation network in the Rockaways. To provide some relief to residents in the area the City is launching a ferry from the Rockaways to Lower Manhattan that will commence service this Monday morning.

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

NYC Rapid Repairs:

· This new and unprecedented program will send teams of contractors and City inspectors into neighborhoods impacted by Hurricane Sandy and quickly and efficiently make necessary repairs to damaged homes.

· We are bringing in contractors who will be given responsibility for specific geographic areas hard hit by Sandy.

· These contractors will be responsible for repairing the homes of anyone who wants to take part in NYC Rapid Repairs.

· Under the typical FEMA process, it is up to the homeowner to arrange for repair work and carry it out, but this new system will make repairs happen more quickly and efficiently.

· Beginning Tuesday 11/13, homeowners will be able sign up for NYC Rapid Repairs by going to NYC.gov or by calling 311.

· They will need a FEMA ID number, which they can get by registering at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

· The NYC Rapid Repairs teams will work closely with City agencies, including the Department of Buildings and Department of Housing Preservation and Development, to make sure that any necessary inspections and certifications are done as quickly as possible.

· President Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and FEMA Director Craig Fugate all deserve credit for their collaboration in making this program a reality.

· If they so choose, homeowners still have the option of having repairs made through their insurance company or with a standard reimbursement from FEMA. If they choose NYC Rapid Repairs, we will handle getting the contractors in and getting the work done.

· NYC Rapid Repairs will be managed by Kathryn Mallon, who currently runs the $14 billion capital program at the Department of Environmental Protection.

· Homes eligible for NYC Rapid Repairs will be those who have received a green placard from the Department of Buildings, indicating that the home is structurally sound.

Information for LIPA Customers About Restoring Power:

· This flyer from LIPA, the NYC Department of Buildings, and the Office of Emergency Management contains information on the process for a customer to restore power to their home: http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/pdf/2012/lipa_restoring_your_electrical_service.pdf

· A similar flyer for Con Ed customers is forthcoming.

Rockaway Ferry:

· The Mayor announced a partnership to provide ferry service between the Rockaways and Manhattan while subway service on that route is suspended.

· Seastreak will operate the ferry service beginning Monday, November 12.

· Ferries will depart from Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive, where the Economic Development Corporation has installed a temporary landing, and stop at Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan with free transfers between Pier 11 and East 34th Street in Midtown.

· The service will start at 5:45 AM in the Rockaways with ferries departing for Manhattan regularly until 9:20 AM, with regular service resuming during the evening rush. Each trip should take about 40-45 minutes.

· One-way fares will be $2.

· Further details and schedules can be found here: http://www.nycedc.com/blog-entry/new-rockaway-ferry-service

Odd-Even Gasoline Purchasing System:

· Mayor Bloomberg has established 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 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 this morning, medical teams have been 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 assess 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 are dispatched in ambulances and 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 runs 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.

Parks, Beaches, and Playgrounds:

· We reopened a majority of parks and playgrounds today.

· We expect many more will be open over the weekend, though some may remain closed because of tree work.

· 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

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 nearly 250,000 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:

25,105 tree service requests have been made (alerting us of downed trees or branches).
Of these requests, 15,059 were for downed trees.
8,015 of these emergency tree conditions have been addressed.
This is already more than 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 1.8 million meals

o Nearly 454,000 bottles of water

o 127,000 blankets

o 1,248 cases of diapers

o 183 cases of baby wipes

o 670 cases of baby formula

o 8,500 units of new underwear (kids and adults)

o 3,840 thermal blankets

o 1,552 winter hats

o 389 scarves

o 2,586 socks

o 8,550 blankets

o 4,000 hand-warmers

o 6,252 D batteries

o 9,972 C batteries

o 335 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 47,000 Con Ed and 39,000 LIPA customers without power.

· 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. Con Ed estimates.

· LIPA customers can get more information on restoring power to their homes here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/pdf/2012/lipa_restoring_your_electrical_service.pdf

Building Inspections:

· 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.


· We have marshaled 600 private contractors to make repairs and help restore utilities to NYCHA buildings impacted by the storm.

· Today, City-led action restored power for 2,500 residents in 18 buildings, and restored heat and hot water for 511 residents in a building.

· Power: 402 buildings housing 79,200 people lost power because of the storm; the City has restored power to 87% of those buildings.

o We expect that all but a handful of the remaining buildings without power to be repowered by tomorrow night.

· 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 70% of those buildings.

o We expect that all but a handful of the remaining buildings without heat and hot water to have those services restored by the middle of next week.

· 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.

· 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.


· 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 is open.

· 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

o Limited G and L train service has been restored.

o The MTA will run replacement shuttle bus service on damaged portions of the A train.

o Full N service has been restored.

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

· The East River Ferry is running.

· Rockaway Ferry information can be found here: http://www.nycedc.com/blog-entry/new-rockaway-ferry-service

· PATH service is still suspended.

· NJ Transit services have been restored on a modified basis. Details are here: njtransit.com.


· 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


· Outdoor construction has resumed after the Nor’easter.

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

· 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

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

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

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.

· Alliance for Coney Island -- a nonprofit organization formed, with the help of the City, to continue the transformation of Coney Island into a year-round, world-class recreational oceanfront destination -- launched ConeyRecovers.org, a multipronged relief and recovery effort to help Coney Island residents and businesses dealing with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The Alliance is comprised of all major Coney businesses, and the City has provided them with $630,000 in funding originally allocated to the Coney Island Development Corporation which will wind down operations.

Federal Disaster Assistance:

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

· They can register at DisasterAssistance.gov 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 10.

· As of Friday there were 2,656 evacuees in these facilities.

· 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 Twitter

o Sign up for notifications from Notify NYC

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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