FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 4, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES CITY'S PREPARATION FOR AND RESPONSE TO HURRICANE IRENE IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, September 4, 2011
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“This time last week, New Yorkers were still waiting out the first hurricane to hit our city in decades. Thankfully, we had made extensive preparations for a major storm years ago, and as Irene approached, we put our Coastal Storm Plan into action. The plan – and the expertise of the first responders who helped carry it out – allowed us to emerge from the storm in pretty good shape, all things considered. The evacuation of more than 7,000 hospital patients and residents from nursing homes was particularly complex, and it is a tribute to the men and women who work in those facilities that it was such a success.
“Unfortunately, many residents here in the city did get hit hard by Irene, just as they did upstate. There was extensive flooding in some low-lying areas that damaged homes – and some New Yorkers and businesses are still recovering. We’ve activated a disaster assessment tool on the City’s website, nyc.gov, and I encourage anyone who suffered severe property damage from the storm to report it online or call 311.
“On Monday, I went to Staten Island to thank some of the people who did extraordinary work to keep New Yorkers safe, especially the firefighters in Engine Company 166 and Ladder Company 86. Last Sunday, just as Irene was making landfall, they rescued more than 60 adults and also three children from their flooded homes in the Bulls Head area. The FDNY made similar waterborne rescues in other parts of our city, including Broad Channel, Howard Beach, and the Rockaways. We owe a big ‘thank you’ to the FDNY, the NYPD, the Office of Emergency Management, the Correction Officers, and all the first responders who developed, trained for, and then executed our Coastal Storm Plan. That includes our Department of Homeless Services, and thousands of teachers, school custodians, and staff from many other City agencies, who were responsible for sheltering nearly 10,000 New Yorkers who heeded the call to evacuate.
“There were many other New Yorkers who went beyond the call of duty, too. They include: the workers in frontline agencies like the Departments of Transportation, Buildings, and Environmental Protection; the 311 operators who handled an incredible volume of nearly a quarter-million calls last Sunday; the bus drivers, cab and livery car drivers and others who drove New Yorkers to shelters; and the elected officials who mobilized their offices to help us communicate urgent messages to New Yorkers. And let’s not forget our volunteers! I can’t say enough about those who staffed our evacuation centers and shelters, or about the fantastic Red Cross volunteers who helped out all over the Northeast.
“Over the past nine-plus years, we’ve worked hard to inform millions of New Yorkers about the importance of being prepared for disasters. September is National Preparedness Month, and in recognition of it, we’re launching a new program called ‘Partners in Preparedness.’ So far, more than 150 businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies have pledged to join this effort by, for example, encouraging employees to sign up for the City’s ‘Notify NYC’ free emergency alerts and scheduling a CPR training or blood drive – something that’s really urgent now, because of Hurricane Irene’s disruption of normal blood collections. To learn more about ‘Partners in Preparedness’ and how to better prepare your family and your business for an emergency, please visit the Office of Emergency Management’s webpage at nyc.gov.
“Emergencies really do bring out the best in New Yorkers; we saw that again last weekend. And each time our city is tested, we recover, rebuild, and emerge stronger than ever before.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening, and have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend.”
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
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Listen to the radio address