FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2012
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES INNOVATIVE CITY EFFORTS TO REPAIR DAMAGED HOMES AND HELP FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY HURRICANE SANDY 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, November 18, 2012.
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"We're working hard to help all those hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, including residents of Staten Island, Southeast Queens, Coney Island and Red Hook, get back in their homes and get their lives, and their neighborhoods, back to normal.
"A key part of that effort is an initiative called 'NYC Rapid Repairs.' The City is working with contractors to assess, free of charge, homes damaged by Sandy. Then, when homeowners give the go-ahead, contractors will do the work that's needed. That's especially crucial for repairs required before a home's electricity can be turned on - which is the case for the vast majority of homes still without power. We'll make sure such work is done safely, efficiently and promptly - so you can get back in your home.
"To sign up for an NYC Rapid Repairs assessment, you'll first need to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency; FEMA will provide an ID number that you'll use with NYC Rapid Repairs. You can register with FEMA - and then sign up for a Rapid Repairs assessment - online at the City's web site, nyc.gov, by calling 311, or by going in person to one of the Restoration Centers we've set up in affected communities. To find their locations, go to nyc.gov or call 311; they're all open seven days a week, from 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM.
"The Restoration Centers - which are in convenient, wheelchair-accessible locations - make it simple for New Yorkers affected by Sandy to get help under one roof. In addition to registering with FEMA and NYC Rapid Repairs, you can, for example, get connected to benefits like emergency food, cash assistance, or public health insurance, learn about temporary housing, and get help with insurance claims, or replacing important documents lost in the storm. Small business owners can apply for low-interest loans of up to $25,000 from a $10 million emergency fund, too.
"We also know that there are New Yorkers who need immediate help with hot food, fresh water, blankets and other essential supplies - and we're continuing to provide them. Going door-to-door in high-rises in the Far Rockaways and Coney Island, mobile medical teams have also checked in on more than 26,000 people, and medical vans are providing commonly prescribed medications for those who need them.
"In another step toward restoring neighborhoods struck by Sandy, last week we worked with the City Council to authorize $500 million in emergency capital funds to repair public schools and hospitals damaged by the storm. We're hopeful that the Federal government will cover most, or all, of these costs, as well as the $130 million-plus, and counting, that City agencies have spent responding to Sandy and its aftermath. When I joined President Barack Obama and Governor Andrew Cuomo on the hard-hit South Shore of Staten Island on Thursday, I thanked them for all the help our State and Federal partners have provided, and for all the help they've promised to continue to give. And New Yorkers should know that City government will also continue to be there for every New Yorker who needs us, for as long as it takes.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Marc La Vorgna (212) 788-2958
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