Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Location: Staten Island
|Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:26 pm Post subject: Hurricane Sandy Update -- Friday 11/16
From Nov 16, 2012 to Nov 17, 2012 (included)
|This week we took a number of important steps in our city’s response to Hurricane Sandy.
Yesterday President Obama toured Staten Island and reaffirmed the federal government’s strong commitment to helping New York City recover. Six Restoration Centers have opened in hard hit areas throughout the city, providing centralized locations where impacted New Yorkers can connect with a comprehensive set of services. Our Rapid Repairs program launched this week and already 4,500 homeowners have signed up for this innovative program that will get residents back in their home faster. To boost that process, the City is also expediting the licensing of additional contractors and waiving all permit and application fees for work to repair damage from the storm.
Here is the latest information for you to share with your constituents:
· This week we opened one-stop Restoration Centers in neighborhoods hit hard by the storm. The Restoration Centers bring together information and referral to all of the government services available in the aftermath of the storm.
· Locations and hours of operations can found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/dasc.html
· Human Resources Administration staff will provide information on Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and temporary cash assistance.
· Department of Small Business Services will provide information on loans and reimbursements to small businesses.
· The Departments of Health, Consumer Affairs, Housing Preservation and Development and Aging as well as the Administration for Children Services are also on site.
Expediting Licensing of Additional Home Improvement Contractors:
· The Department of Consumer Affairs will expedite the application process for NYC Home Improvement Contractor licenses.
· This will help unlicensed contractors or contractors who normally work outside of New York City licensed and working on repairs for homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
· The licensing process will now take only two days.
· There are currently 13,200 licensed home improvement contractors in the city.
· Agency staff is also contacting homeowners door-to-door and through the mail in areas throughout the City with information about using licensed home improvement contractors, and partnering with the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Home Depot, Lowe’s, the National Association of Remodelers/Home Improvement Contractors of Staten Island, PortSide NewYork, and Sherwin Williams to distribute information flyers to consumers and contractors.
· Consumer Affairs is also warning New Yorkers about home improvement contractors who may try to take advantage of those whose homes have been damaged by Hurricane Sandy, for example by collecting insurance and relief money up front but then not performing or completing the work.
· According to the City’s consumer protection laws, anyone soliciting or performing home improvement work in New York City that costs more than $200 must be licensed by DCA to ensure that they are accountable to homeowners.
· Tips for homeowners and information for contractors are here: nyc.gov/homeimprovement
· Home improvement contractors can begin the license application online or in-person at the Consumer Affairs Licensing Center (42 Broadway, 5th Floor).
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.
· Homeowners are able to sign up for NYC Rapid Repairs by going to NYC.gov, calling 311, or visiting one of our Restoration Centers.
o They will need a FEMA ID number, which they can get by registering at DisasterAssistance.gov, calling 1-800-621-3362, or visting one of our Restoration Centers.
· More information on the program can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/rapid_repairs.html
· The City encourages DCA-licensed contractors interested in subcontracting as part of NYC Rapid Repairs to register at bteany.com/rapidrepairs.
Information for Homeowners Restoring their Power and Making Repairs:
· The Department of Buildings has a list of helpful documents related to repairs and power restoration: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/news/storm_update.shtml
· This flyer from LIPA, the NYC Department of Buildings, and the Office of Emergency Management contains information on the process for a LIPA customer to restore power to their home: http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/pdf/2012/lipa_restoring_your_electrical_service.pdf
o NYC-licensed electricians must conduct any self-certifications on homes. Electricians must include either their certification # or their raised seal on the documentation they provide to LIPA.
· The Department of Buildings will waive all application and permit fees for any work done on buildings damaged by the storm.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:
· Mayor Bloomberg and Macy’s announced that approximately 5,000 seats in bleachers along the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route will go to families who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
· Distribution of the tickets will be coordinated by local elected officials who represent the neighborhoods hardest hit by Sandy, and transportation to and from the parade will be provided by Macy’s.
Expanded Staten Island Express Bus Service:
· The City, through EDC, has worked with Atlantic Express Bus to begin operating temporary additional express bus service in order to accommodate the additional demand being placed on the X23 and X24 express bus lines in Staten Island as a result of the storm. This expanded service began this morning (Friday, November 16).
· Atlantic Express will operate one additional bus on the X23 route and one additional bus on the X24 route. Each additional bus will make four trips, for a total of eight additional trips per day.
· The City will continue to work with Atlantic Express to evaluate the need for additional service going forward.
Door-to-Door and Mobile Medical Teams:
· The City has deployed mobile medical teams consisting of a paramedic and member of the National Guard to the Far Rockaways and Coney Island. The teams have been going door-to-door in tall residential buildings from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM to:
o Ensure residents’ medical needs are met
o Conduct medical assessments to determine if residents are safe
o Connect residents with prescription medication
o If needed, take residents to a field clinic or hospital for medical care
· The teams have canvassed 43,882 apartments and reached 27,795 people in NYCHA properties, rental buildings and single-family homes.
· Ferries 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 starts 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.
· The one-way fare is $2.
· Free parking is available at the southwest corner of Beach Channel Drive and Beach 108th Street. This lot was secured with assistance from National Grid.
· Further details and schedules can be found here: http://www.nycedc.com/blog-entry/new-rockaway-ferry-service
$500 Million for Major Repair Work:
· Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn and Comptroller Liu announced a $500 million emergency capital spending plan to make critical repairs to public schools and public hospitals damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
· The City already has authorized $134 million in spending following Hurricane Sandy to provide emergency services and recovery and relief programs.
· Power: The City has restored power to all 402 NYCHA buildings that lost power during the storm.
· Heat/Hot Water: 386 NYCHA buildings lost heat and hot water because of the storm; the City has restored heat and hot water to 310 of those buildings.
· NYCHA has deployed over 160 janitorial crews (60 from NYCHA and 100 from third party vendors) to remove garbage and clean stairwells and hallways in buildings impacted by the storm. This will continue until the agency’s caretaker crews are able to manage the buildings as before Sandy.
Food, Water & Blanket Distribution:
· To date we have distributed:
o Over 2 million meals
o More than 645,470 bottles of water
o More than 170,856 blankets
o 6,791 cases of baby formula, diapers and wipes
o 8,788 packs of new underwear (kids and adults)
o 1,552 winter hats
o 3,000 winter gloves
o 3,863 socks
o 4,000 hand-warmers
o 10,758 D batteries
o 15,830 C batteries
o 1,496 AA batteries
o 507 cases of garbage bags
o 3,415 flashlights/lanterns
o 729 cases of toilet paper
o 2,136 cases of bleach and other cleaning materials
o 20,000 cases of Ziploc bags
o 6,000 masks
o 10,000 boxes of cleaning wipes
o 1,500 work gloves
o 928 cases of soap and hand sanitizer
o 375 cases of fruit and apple sauce
o 1,000 cases of dried food and canned food
o 500 cases of Gatorade
· Food and water distribution sites, including locations and hours of operation, can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hot_food.html
Sanitation 24-Hour Debris Cleanup Continues:
· Mayor Bloomberg directed the Department of Sanitation to adjust collections schedule so that 24-hour cleanup could continue in the hard-hit areas of Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn.
· Sanitation crews have collected more than 258,627 tons of trash, debris and tree as a part of storm cleanup operations. They will be working all weekend to clean up backlogged recycling and refuse left at curbside from redeployment to emergency storm debris cleanup
· As of this afternoon there were 2,135 Con Ed and 21,789 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.
· All Con Ed steam accounts that take can take power have been restored.
· Alternate side parking is in effect, with exceptions for certain areas where storm cleanup continues. Details here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/scrintro.shtml
o Alternate side parking will be suspended indefinitely in the following areas:
§ Queens Community Board 14: Broad Channel, Breezy Point, Belle Harbor, Neponsit, Bayswater, Edgemere, Rockaway Park, Rockaway and Far Rockaway, and is delimited by Jamaica Bay to the north, the Nassau County line to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Note that as Staten Island does not have ASP, that borough is not affected by the reinstatement of regulations in the remainder of the city.
§ Brooklyn Community Board 6: Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, Gowanus, Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill, and is delimited by New York Bay and the East River on the west, Atlantic Avenue, Court Street, Fourth Avenue, Warren and Pacific Streets on the north, Prospect Park on the east and 15th Street and the Gowanus Canal on the south.
§ Brooklyn Community Board 13: Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Gravesend and Seagate, and is delimited by Gravesend Bay on the west, 26th Avenue, 86th Street and Avenue Y on the north, Coney Island Avenue and Corbin Place on the east, and Lower New York Bay on the south (indicating that the west side of Corbin Place will be exempt from ASP regulations, while the east side will not, for example).
§ Brooklyn Community Board 15: Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Kings Bay, Gerritsen Beach, Kings Highway, East Gravesend, Madison, Homecrest and Plum Beach, and is delimited by Corbin Place, Coney Island Avenue, Avenue Y, 86th street, Avenue U and MacDonald Avenue, Avenue P and Kings Highway on the north, Nostrand Avenue and Marine Park on the east, as well as by the Atlantic Ocean on the south.
§ Brooklyn Community Board 18: Canarsie, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, Flatlands, Marine Park, Georgetown and Mill Island and is delimited by Nostrand Avenue on the west, the Long Island Rail Road viaduct on the north, Van Sinderen Avenue and Louisiana Avenue on the east and Short Parkways on the south.
· The Holland Tunnel is open to all traffic.
· The Queens-Midtown Tunnel is open.
· The Hugh Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel is partially open and will be fully open on Monday.
· Tolls on the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Bridge and the Cross Bay Bridge are suspended.
· Meters are in effect.
· MTA services continue to operate with some modifications.
o All details on MTA service status can be found at: mta.info
· 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 has begun limited service.
· NJ Transit services have been restored on a modified basis. Details are here: njtransit.com.
Trees and Debris:
26,011 tree service requests from the two storm have been made (alerting us of downed trees or branches).
Of these requests, 15,432 were for downed trees.
· The City has addressed 14,662 of these emergency tree conditions and crews continue to work around the clock to address conditions.
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.
FEMA Workshops for Non-Profits:
· Many of our city’s non-profit institutions were impacted by the storm.
· FEMA provides public assistance to these institutions.
· The first step in this process is for these organizations to attend an applicant briefing held by FEMA.
· Details on upcoming briefings can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/workshop-non-profit.html
· Teams including FDNY, Department of Environmental Protection and other City agency workers are power-washing streets in areas that experienced flooding and accumulated sand and other debris from the storm.
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 have reopened most parks and playgrounds.
· All beaches, which have experienced a great deal of erosion over the two recent storms, remain closed.
· Details on park closures can be found at: nyc.gov/parks
· All City schools are open to students.
· Three schools that had been closed for repairs following Hurricane Sandy will open tomorrow, allowing 2,300 students and their teachers and staff to return from relocated sites. Thirty-four schools remain closed and their 15,800 students will continue to attend class at other schools.
· 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
· 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.
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
· 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:
· 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 $39 million in donations from over 13,600 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, by calling the Federal Emergency Management agency at 1-800-621-3362, or visiting one of our Recovery Centers.
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/medical_vans.html.
· The number of shelters has been consolidated to 6.
· 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
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.
· 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.
Chief of Staff to Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson