FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2012
UPDATE ON CITY RECOVERY AND ASSISTANCE OPERATIONS
The following is an update of City Government’s Storm Response as of 5:30 PM on Friday, November 16, 2012
City Expedites Licensing for Home Improvement Contractors
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced that the City will expedite additional Home Improvement Contractor licenses to encourage unlicensed contractors or those working out of New York City to come work on damaged property.
Expanded Staten Island Bus Service
- The Department of Consumer Affairs will expedite fingerprinting and applications so that licenses are issued in two days.
- Home improvement contractors can begin the license application online or in-person at the Consumer Affairs Licensing Center (42 Broadway, 5th Floor).
- There are currently 13,200 licensed home improvement contractors in New York City.
- City encourages DCA-licensed contractors interested in subcontracting as part of NYC Rapid Repairs to register at bteany.com/rapidrepairs.
- New Yorkers should review tips about hiring contractors at nyc.gov/homeimprovement.
Door-to-Door and Mobile Medical Teams
- Today, the City began expanded bus service for the X23 and X24 lines in Staten Island to meet rising demands as a result of the storm. The Economic Development Corporation worked with Atlantic Express Bus to begin operating temporary additional express bus service.
- 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 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:
The teams have canvassed 43,882 apartments and reached 27,795 people in NYCHA properties, rental buildings and single-family homes.
- Ensure residents' medical needs are met
- Conduct medical assessments to determine if residents are safe
- Connect residents with prescription medication
- If needed, take residents to a field clinic or hospital for medical care
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Food, Water & Supply Distribution at City-Run Resource Sites
- Mayor Bloomberg and Macy's announced 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.
The City has opened food and water distribution sites in the hardest hit areas and are staffed by City employees, volunteers, the Salvation Army and National Guard. Locations and hours: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/foodandwater.html.
From Thursday, November 1 through Thursday, November 15, the following have been distributed:
Partnership with Local Food Trucks
- Over 2 million meals
- More than 645,470 bottles of water
- More than 170,856 blankets
- 6,791 cases of baby formula, diapers and wipes
- 8,788 packs of new underwear (kids and adults)
- 1,552 winter hats
- 3,000 winter gloves
- 3,863 socks
- 4,000 hand-warmers
- 10,758 D batteries
- 15,830 C batteries
- 1,496 AA batteries
- 507 cases of garbage bags
- 3,415 flashlights/lanterns
- 729 cases of toilet paper
- 2,136 cases of bleach and other cleaning materials
- 20,000 cases of Ziploc bags
- 6,000 masks
- 10,000 boxes of cleaning wipes
- 1,500 work gloves
- 928 cases of soap and hand sanitizer
- 375 cases of fruit and apple sauce
- 1,000 cases of dried food and canned food
- 500 cases of Gatorade
The Mayors Fund to Advance New York City partnered with the NYC Food Truck Association, NYC Food Film Festival and local food trucks to coordinate hot food distribution in areas severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
Since the start of the partnership, the food trucks have served or donated 125,263 meals. The locations and hours are available here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hot_food.html.
Power Customers Out
- Power has been restored to all NYCHA residential buildings that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
- On Thursday, NYCHA restored heat and hot water to 10,044 residents in 57 buildings. To date, these services have been restored to 95 percent of all buildings that lost heat and hot water during the hurricane.
Trees and Debris
- Total Con Ed customers without power: 2,135
- Total LIPA customers without power: 21,789
Sanitation 24-Hour Debris Cleanup Continues
- The tree service requests from both Hurricane Sandy and the nor'easter total 26,011, and 15,432 of those were for trees down.
- The City has addressed 14,662 of these emergency tree conditions and crews continue to work around the clock to address conditions.
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
Alternate Side Parking
Alternate side parking regulations are suspended indefinitely in the neighborhoods impacted by Hurricane Sandy. They include:
New NYC Restoration Centers
- 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 Sea Gate, 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.
Mayor Bloomberg launched NYC Restore to connect New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy with the financial, health, environmental and residential services they need - as well as FEMA reimbursement.
More information is available at nyc.gov.
- NYC Restoration Centers open earlier this week from 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM in Far Rockaway, Gravesend, Coney Island and Staten Island.
- Additional NYC Restoration Centers are now open in Red Hook and Breezy Point, and a center in Throggs Neck-Pelham Bay is scheduled to open next week.
- 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.
- The Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment offers financial counseling, including filing insurance claims, personal debt counseling, and financial guidance on housing recovery.
NYC Rapid Repairs
Mayor Bloomberg announced NYC Rapid Repairs, a new program to send teams of contractors and City inspectors to areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy:
Approximately 4,500 people have signed up for the program.
- Under unprecedented partnership with FEMA, City will coordinate all repair work
- Crews work to quickly and efficiently repair damaged homes
- Homeowners can sign up on nyc.gov or 311 to secure; they must also register for a FEMA ID number from disasterassistance.gov or 1-800-621-3362
$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. Those expenses include:
Department of Buildings Application & Fee Waiver
- $20 million for the Department of Transportation to repair the Battery Park Overpass
- $1.7 million for the Department of Transportation to repair the Whitehall and St. George ferry terminals
- $12 million for the Department of Sanitation Office of Emergency Management to remove debris
- $2.5 million to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and Human Resource Administration for food and water distribution.
- $2 million to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services for the delivery of maintenance, repair and operations supplies for response operations
- $5 million for electrical plumbing and water line inspections for homes in Staten Island and Queens
- $1.1 million to the Office of Emergency Management for additional ambulances
As part of the City's ongoing recovery and assistance operations to help New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bloomberg signed an emergency order today waiving application and permit fees for Hurricane Sandy repair work until further notice.
Rockaway Ferry Service
- Buildings with significant structural damage in need of demolition, alterations or reconstruction will have all their repair work fees waived.
- In addition, all fees for electrical and plumbing repair work will be waived until further notice for any building damaged by the storm.
On Monday, Seastreak began ferry service between the Rockaways and Manhattan. Ferries depart from Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive and stop at Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan. There are free transfer between Pier 11 and East 34th Street in Midtown. One-way fares will cost $2.00
The Economic Development Corporation installed a temporary landing in the Rockaways to accommodate the temporary ferry service.
Free Parking for Rockaway Ferry Service
Free parking has been made available for those in the Rockaways taking the new ferry service to Manhattan. The parking lot, which was secured thanks to the assistance of National Grid, is across Beach Channel Drive from the new Rockaway ferry landing.
Odd-Even Gasoline Purchasing System
An emergency order establishing an odd-even license plate system for gasoline purchases remains in effect until further notice. It operates as follows:
Mobile Medical Vans with Prescription Services
- Vehicles with license plates ending in an even number or 'zero' purchase fuel on even numbered days.
- Vehicles with license plates ending in an odd number purchase fuel on odd numbered days.
- Vehicles with licenses plates ending in letters will be deemed as odd numbered plates and can make purchases on odd numbered days.
- Commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles, buses and paratransit vehicles, Medical Doctor (MD) plates and vehicles licensed by the Taxi and limousine Commission are exempt.
The City has deployed vans staffed with primary care providers who will be able to provide medical care and distribute commonly prescribed drugs at several locations in the Rockaways, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. 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.
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:
Shelter for Those without Heat
- 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.
Evacuation shelters remain open and as of Thursday morning, they were 1,182 evacuees and 359 staff. There are seven shelters operating and two locations were those in need can seek referrals to shelter sites: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hurricane_shelters.html.
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.
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:
Brad Gair Appointed Director of Housing Recovery Operations
- Haeda Mihaltses, Staten Island
- Matt Mahoney, Manhattan and the Bronx
- Nazli Parvizi, Brooklyn
- Diahann Billings-Burford, Queens
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.
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 free places to stay. Air BNB is providing with service at no fee, and information is available at airbnb.com/sandy.
Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund
- To date, more than 13,600 donors from around the country have contributed more than $39 million to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City in support of Hurricane Sandy relief.
- Cash donations to support these and other efforts can be made through the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. Learn more here: 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.
Marc La Vorgna/John McCarthy