FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 4, 2005
STATEMENT BY MAYOR BLOOMBERG ON NEW YORK CITY'S HURRICANE KATRINA RELIEF EFFORTS
The Following is the Prepared Text of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's Remarks at City Hall this Morning
“One week from today we will commemorate the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks. During the days and weeks that followed that dark day, we received help from all over the country. Over the last week, we have tried to show our fellow Americans in the Gulf Coast that we have not forgotten what they did for us and that will be there for them in their hour of need.
“As we know all too well in New York City, it takes weeks, months and years to recover from a catastrophe like this. So today on behalf of all New Yorkers, we wanted to tell our fellow Americans who have been hurt by this disaster that we will be there to help over the long haul.
“Let me give you an update as to what we are doing so far:
“As we speak, a task-force of 70 MTA buses, 230 MTA personnel and 172 New York City Police Officers is headed to New Orleans. The buses will transport victims of the hurricane from New Orleans to Dallas, Texas and Little Rock, Arkansas. They are being escorted by support vehicles, including highway cars, tow, repair, supply and communication vehicles. The buses left yesterday from 1 Police Plaza and the first group should be arriving in New Orleans momentarily. 30 more buses carrying 90 MTA personnel and 20 more Police Officers are prepared to leave this morning from the MTA’s Staten Island bus depot.
“There are two other requests for personnel we are working on. One is for additional Police Officers to provide much needed law enforcement to keep people safe in and around New Orleans. The Police Officers would be federalized so they would have the same authority as local law enforcement officers. We have 150 Police Officers who have volunteered and they will leave tomorrow in 50 patrol cars. We also have a request for 300 firefighters.
In addition to fighting fires, the firefighters would conduct structural rescues and forced entry-searches across the affected areas. We are working through to see what equipment would be needed to support their operations and are preparing to send them as well.
“Both departments have signup lists and there is no shortage of willing volunteers for us to tap into. We already have a good amount of personnel in or headed to the Southeast. We have deployed an Urban Search and Rescue Team made up of NYPD, FDNY and OEM personnel to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The team has been operating since Wednesday and consists of NYPD Emergency Service Unit, Fire Rescue and OEM personnel.
“As part of an Incident Management Team, the Fire Department dispatched three Chiefs highly trained in disaster-management, relief logistic and command and control operations. The FDNY and the American Red Cross in Greater New York have activated a Disaster Assistance Response Team made-up of four active and eight retired New York City Firefighters to assist in the distribution of aid in and around New Orleans.
“I have asked OEM Commissioner Joe Bruno to be the administration’s point-person for disaster relief. Any relief agency should contact him with any request. As I have said, we will do whatever we can to help.
“As for Any New Yorker wishing to help, the best thing they can do is make a donation to relief organizations. For more information and a list of different relief agencies, New Yorkers can call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov. People can also send a contribution to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, City Hall, New York, NY 10007 and note on the check that the donation is for ‘Hurricane Relief.’ Dollars will flow to organizations that are providing the food, water and shelter to those in need.
“City employees will also be able to make voluntary automatic deductions from their paychecks to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Using the Combined Municipal Campaign, City employees can make voluntary donations to more than 950 non-profit organizations including Americares, International Relief Teams, and Feed the Children.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this horrific tragedy.”
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
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