Hurricane Sandy Information – Nov. 1

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Friends: please read on for updates on power restoration, relief efforts, disaster assistance, and other important information following the hurricane.

-Liz

Update on Power Restoration
I would like to express my sympathy for the millions of residents and businesses coping without electrical power in the tri-state region.  In my district, the majority of residents and businesses south of East 39th Street are still living without power.  I spoke with senior staff at Con Edison this morning, and learned that they hope to finish repairing the transmission stations serving Manhattan by late Saturday night.  If Con Ed is able to keep to its current time-table, this should mean that many Manhattan residents will see their service restored by early Sunday morning.

However, if your building basement flooded you still may not have power until in-building problems are fixed even after Con Ed finishes its work.  Buildings with in-basement problems will need to find certified contractors to handle repairs — Con Ed will not handle this work.  I am remaining in touch with public utility and emergency management officials, and will do what I can to ensure recovery work remains on track and moves as quickly as can be managed.

Volunteers Needed on the East Side

Help Check on Seniors in the East 30s Tomorrow

Volunteers are needed to help the Met Council on Jewish Poverty and the UJA Federation check on their senior clients stranded without power to make sure they are ok and have what they need.  Volunteers should be prepared to walk and climb stairs in buildings with power outages. Volunteers will be walking between buildings (up to 20 blocks) and upstairs (up to 15-20 flights).  Also, volunteers may escort some seniors to grocery or convenient stores.

Please bring a flashlight for your safety. All buildings have lost power and have no lights.

If possible, please also bring bottled water, batteries, bananas and apples.

Volunteers should meet at 171 Lexington Ave. (between 30th and 31st St.) at 11:45 a.m. on Friday, November 2nd.  Coordinators will be available to direct volunteers from there, dispursing at 12pm.  There is no number to reach on-site coordinators, so please plan to arrive at 11:45am.


Help Needed in Stuyvesant Town & Peter Cooper Village

In coordination with CompassRock, the Tenants Association, and other elected offices, we continue our door to door effort in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, checking on neighbors and offering any help necessary.  We need your help.  We made it through about half of the property this morning, and we hope to finish our first round by tonight.  Then, we will revisit the most vulnerable residents who we identify today.  This will continue today from 2-6PM, and again tomorrow from 9AM to 6PM. New location:  All volunteers after 2pm today should meet at the Stuyvesant Town Community Center, which is off the First Avenue Loop near 16th Street. Please bring your own flashlights if you have them, and if you have extra flashlights, batteries or candles that you are willing to donate to the effort, please drop them at the Community Center.

Blood Donations Needed

Blood supplies were critically affected by the storm, as the same outages that affect our region also affect many donation sites. The New York Blood Center’s Upper East Side location at 310 East 67th Street is open and operating, and if you can, please consider donating blood. Blood donations can be scheduled by calling 1-800-933-2566 or visiting http://www.nybloodcenter.org

Emergency Storm Shelters

New York City is continuing to to operate shelters throughout the city until evacuees can return to their homes or find short-term housing.

The full list of shelters is available at http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hurricane_shelters.html.  Residents of all ages and their pets are welcome.

In Manhattan there are two storm shelter locations with medical personnel and equipment:

  • John Jay College (445 W 59th St)
  • Hunter College (695 Park Ave)

Food & Water Distribution Centers:

Note from Liz: the following information on FEMA emergency food and water distribution centers is from the City government. In addition to the centers listed below, I’m working on getting two new sites opened on the East Side north of 14th Street. Please look out for further updates.

There will be distribution sites in the Rockaways, Coney Island, the South Shore of Staten Island, the Lower East Side, Chinatown, Chelsea, and Astoria Houses.   The details of these sites, including the exact locations and hours of operation, can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/foodandwater.html

Note: As of the sending of this email, a number of these sites are already supplied with food and water.  For those that are not yet supplied, food and water are either en route or will be soon to all the locations.  As other sites are supplied over the course of today, we will update the page on NYC.gov.

  • The page on NYC.gov will also be updated with hours of operation for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Check back there for updates.
  • Each person will be able to take three meals and five bottles of water at these sites.
  • People should bring their own bags to carry their food and water.
  • We will be distributing 500,000+ flyers in English, Spanish, and Chinese to get word out to these impacted communities.
  • 400 members of the National Guard, 150 volunteers from NYC Service, and 24 staff from the Salvation Army will help implement this program, which will include going door-to-door to take meals to homebound residents.
  • Supplies are being delivered by FEMA in coordination with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Management.
  • A number of companies have provided support in the form of supplies.
  • AT&T will bring pods that provide cell service and charging stations to the areas around the food distribution sites.
  • These distribution centers will be open for as long as they are needed.
  • We are working to add additional resources in these areas shortly.

Resources for the Disabled


Update on Accessible Transportation
Access-a-Ride is beginning to take reservations for travel scheduled after 12pm today and is in the process of resuming regular service.  Call the Paratransit Command Center at (877) 337-2017 to schedule a trip.
If you are a person with a disability living in Manhattan below 39th Street and are both without power and unable to leave your building, and are in need of an accommodation in the form of food delivery, you can contact Christian Valle at the Mayor’s Office for People With Disabilities at 646-234-6488 to request this accommodation. Please note you will have to provide proof of your disability to receive this accommodation.

Senior Centers Open in Senate District 26 (as of November 1)

Carter Burden

351 East 74th Street (closer to First Avenue)

212-535-5235

Mondays through Fridays:

9am-4pm with lunch served at 12pm

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House (Seniors can sign up as guests even if they’re not members)

343 East 70th Street (closer to First Ave.)

212-744-5905

Mondays through Sundays:

9am-5pm with lunch served at 12pm and dinner served at 4:30

NOTICE: St. Peter’s Senior Center closed on Thursday and Friday, November 1-2.

Stanley Isaacs

Senior Center and Meals on Wheels: phone announcement only

http://www.isaacscenter.org/programs/seniorctr.htm

415 East 93rd Street (between First Ave. and York Ave./FDR Drive)

Thursday and Friday, November 1-2:

8:30am – 5pm

Saturday, November 3:

10am – 3pm

Woodstock Senior Center

Woodstock Hotel, Second Floor

127 West 43rd St. (between Sixth and Seventh Aves.) (212) 575-0693

Monday through Fridays:

8am to 5pm with breakfast from 8-10am and lunch served from 12-1:30pm. Dining room opens for lunch by 11:30am.

Saturdays and Sundays:

9am-5pm with breakfast from 9-10:30am and lunch served from 12-1:30pm. Dining room opens for lunch by 11:30am.


Transit Update


MTA Shuttle Buses and Subways

  • The MTA has made substantial progress restoring subway service north of 42nd Street on the East Side and north of 34th Street on the West Side.  Limited service in Queens and Brooklyn has been restored as well.  The MTA is operating shuttles connecting Downtown Brooklyn with Manhattan.
  • Details are available at http://www.mta.info/.  A map of the subways in operation is available at

http://www.mta.info/sites/default/files/pdf/HurricaneRecoveryMapOct312012.pdf.
East River Ferry Service resumed operations today on two modified routes: a northern loop, making stops at North Williamsburg, Long Island City, and East 34th Street; and a southern loop, making stops at North Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO, and Wall Street/Pier 11. There will be free transfers at North Williamsburg.  Details are available at www.nywaterway.com.

Assistance for Impacted Businesses
New York City, including the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), is coordinating a set of services to assist small businesses in recovering from Hurricane Sandy.  Details are available at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/nycbiz/html/home/home.shtml

In addition, there are a number of federal resources available as well.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides loans for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance, and for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster. To learn more contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling (800) 621-3362.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides loans to individuals, families and businesses in an area whose property has been damaged or destroyed following a Presidential-declared disaster (such as Hurricane Sandy), and whose losses are not covered by insurance. To learn more, contact the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955.

Further information about these programs and others is available in Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Guide to Disaster Assistance and Relief Funding and Senator Charles Schumer’s Hurricane Sandy recovery website.


Other Updates from the Mayor’s Office as of October 31st


Schools:

  • Schools will remain closed tomorrow but are expected to be open on Monday.

Building Inspections:

  • The Department of Buildings has begun inspecting buildings in hard-hit Zone A areas to assess their structural integrity.
  • There are three areas where these inspections are happening: Staten Island, the Rockaways, and Lower Manhattan.

Healthcare Facilities:

  • 17 chronic care facilities in Zone A have been evacuated, with 4 of those evacuations still under way.  Most of these patients were moved to other chronic care facilities, and some were moved to the 7 city shelters for those with special medical needs.  These shelters are short-term facilities, and so we are arranging for these patients to be transferred to long-term facilities by this Saturday.  All the patients from the 17 evacuated facilities are safe and being cared for.  There were no deaths from any of the evacuated facilities.
  • Bellevue Hospital was evacuated yesterday.
  • Previously New York Downtown, Manhattan VA, NYU Langone, and Coney Island Hospital were evacuated.

Parks:

  • All parks and playgrounds are closed today for safety reasons. There is still a serious threat from falling branches.
  • We expect a majority will be open by this weekend.
  • Details on park closures can be found here: nyc.gov/parks

Sanitation:

  • The Department of Sanitation is collecting garbage
  • They are not collecting recycling.
  • In addition from their normal pickups they are also removing thousands of tons of debris left by the storm.

57th Street Crane:

  • Engineers have been in the building since yesterday and have determined that the ties from the building to the crane are secure.
  • This will allow them to begin determining next steps and to begin shrinking the frozen zone around the crane.
  • However the street will not be fully reopened until sometime this weekend at the earliest.

Reporting and Handling Conditions:

  • 911 should only be used in case of emergencies.
  • To report other conditions such as fallen trees and sewer backups, please use 311 Online, text 311 at 311-692, or call 311.
  • Fallen trees are incredibly dangerous.  Anyone who sees one should report it immediately.  No one should try to cut down or move damaged trees themselves.
  • Power outages and live wires should be directly reported to Con Ed (1-800-75-CON-ED) or LIPA (1-800-490-0075).
  • Live wires are also extremely dangerous.  No one should touch them or be near them.

Food & Water Safety

  • Any food – including packaged food – that was touched by flood water should be thrown away.  The flood water may contain sewage or other contamination.
  • Other items that have been touched by flood water should be cleaned and disinfected.  This should be done as soon as possible to prevent mold growth.
  • Tap water is safe to drink.
  • Do not use generators or grills indoors.  Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious threat when these devices are used indoors.  These should only be used outside and kept away from windows and vents.
  • Everyone should have and use battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms. They should test the batteries if possible.
  • If someone experiences sleepiness, dizziness, headaches, confusion, weakness or the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, they should immediately seek fresh air and call the poison control center at 212–POISONS (212-764-7667) They can also call 911, since poisoning is life threatening.
  • Important guides on carbon monoxide poisoning and food safety can be found at nyc.gov/health.