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Press Release   - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR- 403-12
November 7, 2012

UPDATE ON CITY RECOVERY AND ASSISTANCE OPERATION

City-Led Contractor Teams Assessing Homes Block by Block to Help Utilities Restore Power

Precautions Implemented for Nor’easter

The following is an update of City Government’s Storm Response as of 4:00 PM on Wednesday, November 7, 201

New Power Restoration Efforts
The City has assembled teams of licensed electricians, plumbers, Department of Housing Preservation and Development inspectors, and fire marshals to assess whether or not buildings are ready to restore power and gas service. Though power and gas service is returning to some areas, a large number of individual properties still need repairs to wiring and other components before the utilities can be safety restored.

In the past 48 hours, 40 teams have gone door-to-door in the Rockaways and South Shore of Staten Island to inspect approximately 2,000 homes that the Department of Buildings tagged as either "green," meaning that they are structurally safe, or "yellow," meaning conditional occupation. The teams have found that half of homes accessed need repair to their electrical or gas boiler systems, and by identifying these needs now, the utilities will be able to restore power faster once service is available.

Food, Water & Blanket Distribution at City-Run Resource Sites
The City opened distribution sites in areas hit hardest by the storm - providing food, water, blankets, baby formula, diapers, batteries and more at these sites. From Thursday, November 1 through Tuesday, November 6, the following have been distributed:

  • More than 1.6 million meals
  • Nearly 400,000 bottles of water
  • 86,000 blankets
  • 1,198 cases of diapers
  • 71 cases of baby wipes
  • 520 cases of baby formula
  • 8,212 units of new underwear (kids and adults)
  • 1,552 winter hats
  • 389 scarves
  • 1,767 socks
  • 1,094 blankets
  • 4,000 hand-warmers
  • 3,060 D batteries
  • 6,876 C batteries
  • 285 cases of garbage bags
  • 3,399 Flashlights/Lanterns
  • 476 cases of toilet paper
  • 420 cases of bleach
  • 20,000 cases of Ziploc bags
  • 6,000 masks
  • 10,000 boxes of cleaning wipes
  • 1,500 work gloves
  • 878 bars of soap
  • 140 cases of toothbrushes
  • 750 units of toothpaste
  • 584 bath towels
These City-run sites are staffed by City employees, volunteers, the Salvation Army and National Guard, and will remain open for as long as there is need. The locations and hours are available here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/foodandwater.html.

Providing Heat
The City distributed 1,500 space heaters in Broad Channel and Rockaways this morning to help elderly residents who have power, but no heat. The heaters were dropped off at the distributed by volunteers made up of local firefighters, police officers, sanitation workers and other civil servants.

The City has also coordinated hundreds of volunteers to knock on doors and check on homebound New Yorkers, delivering meals and assisting in clean up. The volunteers have canvased approximately 15,000 buildings, including NYCHA properties, rental buildings and single family homes.

Preparations for Nor'easter

Hurricane Sandy weakened trees and caused extensive damage and debris, causing the predicted wind speeds from the nor'easter to present an increased risk of more downed trees and tree limbs, as well as windblown debris. All New Yorkers are urged to stay indoors during inclement conditions.

In light of the beach erosion and other damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, some of the lowest-lying areas in the city - particularly the areas flooded by last week's storm - are vulnerable to storm surge today.

No general evacuations have been ordered, but anyone who experienced significant flooding during Hurricane Sandy, you should consider taking shelter with family and friends, who do not live in low-lying areas, or go to one of the City-run storm shelters. In particular, based on analysis of the erosion caused by Hurricane Sandy, residents of Breezy Point, Hamilton Beach, and Gerritsen Beach should consider taking shelter with family or friends, or at a City-run shelter. The Police Department is making announcements via loudspeakers in these neighborhoods and other areas that saw significant flooding.

The FDNY has designated 20 special firefighting task forces for storm duties for the impending nor'easter, with units concentrated in areas hard hit by the hurricane. These teams will be outfitted with small boats for swift water rescues; chain saws; pumps; and other equipment.

Sanitation 24-Hour Debris Cleanup
Mayor Bloomberg directed the Department of Sanitation to adjust collections schedule so that 24-hour cleanup could continue in Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn. Areas normally receiving three times a week collection may only receive two collections per week, while areas that receive two times per week collection may only receive one collection while the emergency debris removal work continues. The heavily-impacted areas will continue to receive collection and debris removal around the clock. Curbside recycling is suspended until further notice.

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

Sanitation crews have collected 214,899 tons of trash, debris and tree as a part of storm cleanup operations.

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 with service at no fee, and information is available at http://www.airbnb.com/sandy.

Evacuation shelters remain open and as of Wednesday morning, they were 3,152 total evacuees and 891 staff. There are 11 consolidated shelters with their locations available here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hurricane_shelters.html.

NYCHA Facilities Provided with Generators
Approximately 323 NYCHA buildings housing 65,700 people have had their electricity restored. Currently, there are 79 buildings in 11 developments in Brooklyn (Coney Island and Red Hook) and the Far Rockaway housing approximately 13,500 people where electricity is still out. Working with the City, State and Federal governments, NYCHA is installing 15 additional generators to restore power to these locations by the end of the week.

Heat and hot water has been restored to 263 NYCHA buildings housing approximately 54,000 people. Currently there are 123 buildings throughout 18 developments affecting around 23,000 residents without heat. NYCHA has set up warming center in Red Hook and are working with the city to establish additional warming centers and provide blankets to residents who have not had heat or hot water restored.

Trees and Debris
The City has received 20,040 tree service requests to date. Of these requests, 13,242 were for trees down. Of these, 6,954 of these emergency tree conditions have been addressed and crews continue to work around the clock to address conditions.

Partnership with Local Food Trucks

The Mayors Fund to Advance New York City has partnered with the NYC Food Truck Association, NYC Food Film Festival and local food trucks to coordinate hot food distribution at 21 sites in areas severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The locations and hours are available here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hot_food.html.

On Tuesday, six trucks alone served hot meals to 2,947 people.

Shelter for Those without Heat
Cold weather in the city continues, increasing risk of hypothermia. Anyone who needs heat should find warm shelter, whether at City facilities or with a friend or relative.
  • The City is providing warm shelters. A list of locations is here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hurricane_shelters.html

  • Buses are running to take people to warm shelters if they cannot get their own their own. The bus pickups are listed here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/overnight_shelter.html
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  • The City also has opened daytime-only warming centers at senior centers in every borough: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/warming_ctr.html.

  • Those who are using generators in their homes to run their heat should be very careful to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by never using portable generators indoors, in garages or near open windows.

  • Early signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, confusion or sleepiness, slowed or slurred speech, stiffness in arms and legs, poor control over body movements and slow reaction.
Disaster Assistance Service Centers
The City's Human Resources Administration in cooperation with FEMA, operates six sites to provide information about applying for emergency social and economic benefits and to connect residents with recovery resources. They will be open from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM, seven days a week. The list of sites can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/dasc.html.

Mobile Medical Vans with Prescription Services
The City has deployed vans staffed with primary care providers will be able to provide medical care and distribute commonly prescribed drugs at several of the City's Disaster Assistance Service Centers, as well as two additional high-need areas. Volunteers are also going door-to-door to reach people who may have medical needs but remain in their homes without heat and power. The location and hours are available here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/medical_vans.html.

Community Recovery Directors Assist with Immediate Needs in Impacted Areas
Mayor Bloomberg appointed senior level New York City managers this week to identify urgent needs, stay in close contact with the community leader and deploy resources to meet needs. The City's Community Recover Directors are:
  • Haeda Mihaltses, Staten Island.
  • Matt Mahoney, Manhattan and the Bronx
  • Nazli Parvizi and Diane Billings-Buford, Brooklyn and Queens.
Brad Gair Appointed Director of Housing Recovery Operations
The Mayor appointed Brad Gair, one of the nation's top emergency management professionals, to lead the effort to address challenge of providing longer-term housing for New Yorkers displaced from their homes by Hurricane Sandy. Many buildings that were flooded are going to be out of commission for a long time because of damage to boilers and electrical systems. This includes public housing, as well as private apartments and houses.

More City Schools Open

The City opened more than 1,700 schools and have reassigned students and staff from buildings that sustained structural damage to other school sites. Three schools that served as shelter sites will open tomorrow and 13 remain without power, and will open once restored.

Parents should continue to check the status of their schools by:
  • Clicking here for the school locator search or by going to www.nyc.gov/schools.
  • Call 311 or texting "nycschools" or 'escuela' to 877-877.
The Department of Education has coordinated transportation options for families with children who have been reassigned to other school sites:
  1. Full reimbursement for any family of a K-8 student at a relocated school taking MTA/cab service to and from school.

  2. 55 cents per mile reimbursement for any family of a student at a relocated school who uses their own vehicles.

  3. Free metro-cards will be distributed to all high school students at relocated schools who do not already have one.
The City has conducted extensive outreach to families, making 1.2 million robo-calls to parents; direct messages were sent from principals and parent coordinators to parents; full page advisories ran in three of New York City's newspapers; text messages were sent to parents and families enrolled in the Department of Education's texting program; and information was provided to television and radio outlets.

Alternate Side Park Regulations Suspended Through Tuesday, November 13
Alternate Side Parking regulations will be suspended citywide through Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, to facilitate storm recovery efforts. Alternate Side Parking regulations are not in effect on Sunday, November 11, and will also be suspended for Veterans Day, Monday, November 12, as previously scheduled. All other parking regulations remain in effect.

Volunteering, Donating and Giving Blood
  • To date, more than $32 million supporting Hurricane Sandy relief has come into the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City from more than 10,000 donors from around the country.
  • Cash donations to support these and other efforts can be made through the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. Learn more here: www.nyc.gov/fund
  • Cash donations are preferable to in-kind donations because the logistics of collecting and distributing those supplies are complex.
  • Anyone wishing to make cash contributions can go to nyc.gov or call 311 for details.
  • Those who want to volunteer can visit NYC Service at: www.nyc.gov/service
  • Giving blood is incredibly helpful right now. For more information visit: nybloodcenter.org.






MEDIA CONTACT:


Marc La Vorgna/John McCarthy   (212) 788-2958




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