Here I was, a stranger with no identifying jacket, or armband, or hat, or badge, walking around, alone, knocking on doors asking questions with an iPhone in-hand and logging answers and addresses into my shiny device.
"Good morning, I’m a volunteer with the United Way of New York conducting a survey of residents’ evolving needs after the storm. The information is to be used by State, Federal and Non-profit agencies. Can I take ten minutes of your time and ask you a few questions?"
That’s how I explained my presence on their doorstep. I was assigned a two-block area, Beach 91st and Beach 92nd streets, between Beach Channel Drive and Rockaway Beach Blvd, near the Thai Rock restaurant.
But to my surprise, the vast majority of the residents there opened their doors and answered the intrusive questions. They were friendly, kind, gracious people, eager to respond. Many here are firemen. They’re strong, resilient folks.
”Do you have food?”
"Do you have water?"
"Do you have electricity?"
The blocks are mostly composed of detached single- and multi-family homes. Beach 92nd street was particularly striking because of how clean and ordered it was. No debris was visible on it. I was almost tempted to say that things were fine here.
The survey questions made me feel silly. They seemed outdated, out of tune. But upon a closer inspection, things were not as fine as they seemed - not by a long-shot. While residents here had food, water and electricity, some were still without heat.
A retired fireman told me he’d recently switched to natural gas after the storm. “I have heat but my brother-in-law still doesn’t. I called a contractor. He’s still waiting on Rapid Response,” he said.
After the survey we sat a bit, chatting about how his family weathered the tempest. His bushy mustache framed a determined smile. It was a smile, I thought, chiseled into his face from years of work as a rescuer. I imagined it would have been especially reassuring to see it if I’d been trapped in a burning building.
As the ocean flooded his basement, he recounted, his oil tank had leaked all over. That’s when I finally pinpointed the smell that permeated his home.
In this section of Far Rockaway, things were coming along, but lots of people still didn’t have heat. Those that did, had it because of their own effort and expense.
Those relying on the city were still waiting for heat.
One family - a mom, dad and two-year-old - like many of their neighbors, were using space-heaters for warmth as they waited for “rapid response.” The father was a 41-year-old filmmaker who made a documentary about Far Rockaway’s surfer culture. The family had only recently bought their home.
They weren’t worried about the heat, it was on the way. They were OK, they said. Once again, a block away, amid the grim recovery, there were smiles. But the optimism was tempered by the long legal, financial and emotional journey they now faced.
As I left the home I noticed two guys in a brand-new Mercedes going door-to-door giving away space-heaters.
Recovery on Far Rockaway has been uneven.
Many have it a lot worse than the area I visited on Saturday. One of the volunteers in charge of organizing the collected survey data told me that many of the poorest folks still don’t have access to food, or water, or electricity. “It’s disgusting.”
But regardless of socio-economic status, all residents of Far Rockaway face a daunting bureaucratic nightmare.
They are juggling FEMA applications, insurance claims, and disaster unemployment assistance, just to name a few issues. Landlord/tenant problems are becoming more pervasive as slumlords drag their feet to make repairs to damaged homes, many of which still lack electricity, heat, and hot water. For the poorest, food is still not easily accessible. Even in the middle-class area I was in, the supermarket had only been open for a day or so. Folks that don’t have cars or money to shop or friends to give them rides are still dependent on the food pantries and hot food tables offered by volunteers.
A new phase of volunteering is gaining momentum: legal guidance.
There is free legal help available for residents to navigate the bureaucracy, but I worry that they don’t know about it. So I want to try and get the word out and I’m starting here, by listing a few resources I’ve found:
1) The definitive disaster legal assistance manual from Legal Services NYC (PDF): http://bit.ly/X1wETh
3) For law help including general information about disaster relief - Disaster relief for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations - Disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) and other work problems related to Hurricane Sandy - FEMA disaster assistance - Food stamp replacement - Homeowners: insurance and foreclosures - Immigrants affected by Hurricane Sandy - Tenants affected by Hurricane Sandy: http://bit.ly/UcLYc6
“There is no storm, no fire, no terrorist act that can destroy the spirit of our city, and keep us from looking forward envisioning a better tomorrow.”
Um, that’s right Bloomberg.
Only lack of government preparedness before the storm, neglect for the city’s poorest residents, and a lack of shelters with running water and heat can destroy the spirit of our city… And only in the outer boroughs where your friends don’t live… in places that the majority of New Yorkers will never see.
From the Back To Basics group: As you know, many people here on Staten Island lost everything in Super Storm Sandy. The outpouring of support has been overwhelming. People have donated so much time, money, gift cards, food, clothes, etc. This has been invaluable to those so terribly affected by the storm.
Many have expressed the desire to donate things such as furniture, appliances, kitchenware and other items to help families get started again with their lives. The problem today is that so many families who lost their homes or whose homes were severely damaged are currently living in shelters, hotels or with family or friends. They have no place to put these greatly needed items.
It is for this reason that we have initiated the Back to Basics project. We have located a warehouse here on Staten Island that has been generously donated to us for use for the next few months. It is our plan to collect as much new or very gently used furniture, kitchenware, appliances, etc. We will store this in our warehouse and as families enter back into more permanent locations, we will be there to provide them with much needed support in this area.
We will be accepting donations at our warehouse from 9am-3pm the following dates: December 2 & December 9
If you have donations but are unable to get them to us, we will be sending out trucks to pick the items up on these four dates as well. You can contact us in the following ways to make your donations:
Living room furniture Lamps TVs TV stands Dining room tables-chairs Dishes-glasses Pots Pans Silverware Coffee makers Toasters Toaster ovens Microwaves New linens New Comforters Pillows Towels
Please note that we will NOT be accepting beds or mattresses. In addition, we will not be accepting broken or damaged furniture. ANY USED FURNITURE MUST EMAIL PICTURE 1st . All checks or item Donations can be sent to : Where to Turn (MUST NOTE BACK TO BASICS on Check or any items you send in ) 150 –L Greaves Lane#312 , Staten Island , NY 10308
The Staten Island Giving Circle has collaborated with Robert Ciraola and his Pack and Troop 5 to provide a little extra holiday joy for our community. They have arranged to have the choir from St. Nicholas of Myra Church (Manhattan – Mike Kormanik’s choir), possibly some choir members from Christ…
NY AG to take action against 12 gas stations for price gouging after the hurricane
A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES 12 MORE ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS AGAINST GAS RETAILERS IN POST-SANDY PRICE GOUGING INVESTIGATION
New Action Against 12 Gas Station Operators In New York City, Long Island & Westchester
NYS Law Prohibits Excessive Increases In Costs Of Essential Goods Like Food, Water, Gas, Generators, Batteries & Flashlights
Schneiderman: Our Ongoing Enforcement Means 25 Gas Retailers Will Be Held Accountable For Dramatic Price Increases
NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his office has notified 12 gas station operators of his intent to commence enforcement proceedings against them for violations of the New York State Price Gouging statute in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. These are the latest actions in the Attorney General’s wide-ranging investigation of suspected gougers and it comes on the heels of hundreds of consumer complaints. Notification letters were sent to 13 gas stations earlier this month bringing the total number of targeted retailers so far to 25.
"Our office will continue to take enforcement actions against price gougers because ripping off New Yorkers is against the law," Attorney General Schneiderman said. “We are actively investigating the hundreds of complaints we’ve received from consumers of businesses preying on victims of Hurricane Sandy. There must be no tolerance for unscrupulous individuals who take advantage of New Yorkers trying to rebuild their lives.”
The Attorney General said there will be other notifications coming as the investigation into consumer complaints continues.
Among the current batch of 12 enforcement targets is a Mobil station at 3424 East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx where a consumer waiting in line for over an hour was just three cars from the pump when she was told that she would be charged $50 for five gallons of gasoline – $10 per gallon. In contrast, stations nearby were charging $3.95 a gallon.
At a second station, the Coastal station at 1575 Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station, a consumer reported being charged $4.69 per gallon of gasoline while neighboring stations were charging between $3.69 and $4.05. One consumer waited in line for over an hour and did not see a sign detailing prices until after the attendant began pumping gas for the customer.
The stations receiving notices from Attorney General Schneiderman include the following twelve stations:
Consumer Complaints: ranging from $4.89-$7.90/gallon
18-84 Flushing Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385
Consumer Complaint: $7.25/gallon
3424 East Tremont Avenue
Bronx, NY 10465
Consumer Complaint: $10/gallon
80 Bedford Road
Katonah, NY 10536
Consumer Complaint: $4.79/gallon
189 Route 59
Spring Valley, NY 10977
Consumer Complaint: $4.65/gallon
The above prices are each for regular gasoline.
New York State’s Price Gouging Law (General Business Law § 396-r) prohibits merchants from taking unfair advantage of consumers by selling goods or services for an “unconscionably excessive price” during an “abnormal disruption of the market.” The price gouging law covers New York State vendors, retailers and suppliers, including but not limited to supermarkets, gas stations, hardware stores, bodegas, delis and taxi and livery cab drivers.
Today’s actions are based upon a review of both consumer complaints and independently-gathered pricing information.
New York’s price gouging law takes effect only upon the occurrence of triggering events that cause an “abnormal disruption of the market.” An “abnormal disruption of the market” is defined as “any change in the market, whether actual or imminently threatened,” that results from triggering events such as “weather events, power failures, strikes, civil disorder, war, military action, national or local emergency or other causes.” During an abnormal disruption of the market like Hurricane Sandy, all parties within the chain of distribution for any essential consumer goods or services are prohibited from charging unconscionably excessive prices. “Consumer goods” are defined by the statute as “those used, bought or rendered primarily for personal, family or household purposes.” For example, gasoline, which is vital to the health, safety and welfare of consumers, is a “consumer good” under the terms of the statute. Therefore, retailers may not charge unconscionably excessive prices for gasoline during an abnormal disruption of the market.
New York’s price gouging law does not specifically define what constitutes an “unconscionably excessive price.” However, the statute provides that a price may be “unconscionably excessive” if: the amount charged represents a gross disparity between the price of the goods or services which were the subject of the transaction and their value measured by the price at which such consumer goods or services were sold or offered for sale by the defendant in the usual course of business immediately prior to the onset of the abnormal disruption of the market.
In other words, a “before-and-after” price analysis can be used as evidence of price gouging. Evidence that a price is unconscionably excessive may also include proof that “the amount charged grossly exceeded the price at which the same or similar goods or services were readily obtainable by other consumers in the trade area.” However, a merchant may counter with evidence that additional costs not within its control were imposed for the goods or services. Notably, the price gouging law does not prohibit any disparity between the price charged before and after there is an abnormal disruption of the market. Rather, the statute prohibits a “gross disparity,” when it is clear that a business is taking unfair advantage of consumers by charging unconscionably excessive prices and increasing its profits under severe circumstances that call for shared sacrifices.
If you believe you are a victim of price gouging or a post-hurricane scam contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Helpline at 800-771-7755 or find a complaint form online at: www.ag.ny.gov
"The stories of heartbreak are unimaginable… We met with first responders whose job was to find two children… Some elderly couples just couldn’t leave… Folks are looking to Washington for how can you help us… Some still don’t have electricity…"
The application for the NYFA Emergency Relief Fund for artists in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York affected by Hurricane Sandy is now available. Visit www.nyfa.org or www.artspire.org for details. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and grants made every two weeks.
In addition to the extraordinary generosity of the institutional funders cited above, we have been tremendously moved by the outpouring of support from artists and the arts community to support those in need. A number of groups have held or scheduled fundraisers or auctions, donated sale proceeds, or otherwise contributed to the fund. Any individuals, organizations or companies interested in making contributions or planning special events to benefit the fund can either
“Today the President signed the New York City Natural Gas Enhancement Act into law, which will finally make the construction and operation of a new natural gas pipeline in New York City a reality. Given the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, this law could not come at a more critical time for New York City. This pipeline will help us build a stable, clean-energy future for New Yorkers and will ensure the reliability of the City’s future energy needs. I would like to thank President Obama for signing this bill into law and all of the New York City delegation members who supported it, especially the sponsors – Congressman Grimm, Congressman Meeks and Senator Schumer – for their leadership in securing this victory for New York City.”—Mayor Bloomberg’s Statement on President Obama’s Signature on the New York City Natural Gas Enhancement Act (via nycgov)
1 thing you can do today (share some crisis counseling resources)
November 29, 2012
1. Find someone who listens, or pass along this info to someone in need
Right after the storm, a lot of people who lived and volunteered in totally ruined parts of the city went into a sort of survival-mode-meets-shock as they scrambled to make sure people could survive. Food. Water. Flashlights. Blankets. Absorbing and processing the actual trauma of the situation took a back seat to creating a support system that would keep everyone alive.
But weeks have passed and the mental and emotional weight of losing a home, living in totally inhumane conditions, seeing neighbors struggle… it can be overwhelming and scary.
Mayor Bloomberg today announced additional support for New York City’s nonprofit organizations affected by Hurricane Sandy. Along with NYC’s residents, nonprofits in hard hit areas are also absorbing significant losses. Building on a strong commitment to support and strengthen the nonprofit sector, the initiatives include:
the NYC Nonprofit Recovery Loan Program — a $26 million bridge loan program
pro-bono legal assistance offered by 1,400 volunteer attorneys from the Lawyers Alliance for New York City. For assistance, call (212) 219-1800 ext 224
briefings regarding federal reimbursements and filing procedures
updated nonprofit assistance information on NYC.gov
support for nonprofits at the NYC Restoration Centers
The program will provide interest-free loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 to NYC nonprofits impacted by Sandy and will cover losses from operation disruptions and property damage.
Priority will be given to organizations that have suffered the most severe losses or are operating in the worst affected areas, and will be made against expected claims to be filed with the nonprofit’s own insurance company and with FEMA, as well as against committed government, foundation and corporate contracts and grants.
The NYC Nonprofit Recovery Loan Program is supported by funders including the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, the Ford Foundation, Capital One Bank, the Robin Hood Foundation and The New York Community Trust. It will be administered by the Fund for the City of New York.
Please consider helping out this Thursday and Friday! Especially if you have a car.
A letter from Occupy:
Dear Occupy Sandy volunteers,
St. Jacobi (54th and 4th ave) and St. Luke and St. Matthews (520 Clinton ave) churches have generously hosted the Occupy Sandy effort for almost a month now and we couldn’t be more grateful to both communities!
However, on Friday, November 30th, we will start to adjust our operations as we streamline our efforts and prepare for the long haul. Please see important announcements about these changes below.
DONATIONS: St. Jacobi church will stop accepting donated goods as of close of business Wednesday, November 28th and 520 Clinton will stop accepting donated goods on Friday, November 30th. In the interim period, please take all donated goods to Beach 100 and Rockaway Beach Blvd in the Rockaways, 2828 Neptune Ave in Coney Island or 1128 Olympia Blvd in Staten Island. Keep your eyes and ears open for more information about future distribution centers.
VOLUNTEERS & VEHICLES: St. Jacobi will need extra volunteers and vehicles to help clean up the church on Thursday, November 29th and Friday, November 30th and will no longer intake volunteers starting Saturday Dec 1st. 520 Clinton will continue to intake volunteers and dispatch vehicles until further notice.
THANK YOU to all of the members of the Jacobi church and the St. Luke and St. Matthews churches for welcoming us into their community and THANK YOU to all of the volunteers who helped make the both spaces run. We look forward to working with all of you as we continue to do all of the important work ahead of us.
Team Rubicon's Marvin Avilez talks lessons from the disaster, eyes tech start up opp
Team Rubicon’s Marvin Avilez is GI Joe meets tech entrepreneur. Avilez is a San Francisco native who lives in NYC and recently launched (then sold) a company called Social Amp. He joined the Marine Corps in 1989, was part of the first Iraq war, and went on to specialize in counter intelligence and interrogation. (Counter intel.. Scary right? And sort of intriguing in a Homeland sorta way…) As if those resume points aren’t impressive enough, Avilez and his Rubicon teammate Peter Meijer rescued a man and his dog who were trapped in an attic as Sandy ripped along the coastline. Real American Hero stuff.
This is how Avilez, 42, describes that rescue at Gerritsen Beah: “My partner and I had gone to the shelter at FDR High School to respond to a call, and while we were there a woman got word from her husband that water in their house was up to his ankles. She asked what to do, and I thought 9-1-1; but then he called back and said the water was up to his thighs. And then it was up to his waist. She started crying and said, ‘He’s in the attic with the dog. He has a new hip.” My partner said let’s go, but I wasn’t sure if we should deviate from our mission. Then he said, we have to. There was a NY1 reporter standing there because she was reporting on the shelter, and I thought, this is bad. I don’t want this to spiral out of control. So I agreed to check it out. We couldn’t even drive onto the street because the water was so high and we were still 15 blocks away. But we got lucky and ran into another vet who was out checking his dad’s house with a boat. We were able to get in and get our guy out.”
Avilez, a former sergeant in the Marines, was the first guy to show up at New York City’s Emergency Operations Center as representatives from different aid groups gathered to prepare for the storm. I got a chance to catch up with him and learn about the city’s response to the disaster, lessons that could be learned, and the tech company he wants to start before the next crisis.
How did you prep for Sandy?
The Saturday before the storm I got an email during lunch from Team Rubicon. It said, We need people. Get your gear ready.
Your gear should always be ready, right?
I was the first to arrive at the OEC from Rubicon, and the first to arrive from VOAD, which stands for Volunteers Organized for Action Disaster. It’s a group of 30 or so organizations that New York City has accepted as assistants during disaster, and it includes names you’ve probably heard like the Red Cross and New York Cares.
VOAD deals with all things human services, meaning mental and physical health, shelter, food, water, pets, all of those things that help humans deal with trauma. Among other things we focused on ensuring that the shelters were safe and secure.
I was there as the groups planned for the storm; and my mission was to coordinate what we call “jump teams,” meaning teams that respond to problems as they happen. If a shelter needed help, if people needed to be moved, if someone needed medical attention, a jump team would be called. The team would act as eyes and ears, try to fix problems, and send intel back to HQ so that smart decisions could be made.
As the hurricane swept into NYC, what was life like inside the EOC?
Well, there was a lot of hurry up and wait. We had no idea when we’d be called to act, or what we’d have to do. We had to be prepared for everything.
There was still debate over whether to shut down the subway. People were still debating just how bad it would be, since it is incredibly difficult and expensive in New York City to store and prepare emergency food and water. I determined that the jump teams would be relied upon heavily, and I called back to my chain of command and requested a lot of bodies.
The city planned for displaced people in Zone A only, and created a shelter system that would be adequate for a 92-hour period.
In the weeks that followed the storm, the housing situation moved from a short-term crisis situation to a long-term standard of living situation. There wasn’t preparation for that. Shelters are schools and schools need to more forward.
But in reality, no one was prepared for the unique pattern and structure of the storms that converged, the angle of the weather pattern swept over the coast, and the way it was timed with the tide. This is what made Sandy so destructive. No one knew how bad it would be.
Did you think the storm would be this destructive?
I was saying that this thing was going to be bad, that there needed to be more prep, that we had to start preparing for a disaster. But I always prepare for the absolute worst. I was calling friends in Zone B areas like Sheepshead Bay and Mill Basin and telling them to get out.
You’re also an entrepreneur, with businesses including a startup called SocialAmp, which was acquired by Merkle this year. Will you continue to work in tech? Or will the Sandy recovery take up most of your time?
I have a company called Visual Ops, which helps organize and bring together teams and tries to understand why teams fail. The work I want to do with the Sandy recovery is related to this interest, which means creating an information management system for the five boroughs that coordinates all of the NGOs — a system that helps people to work together and that systematically deals with issues. Successful teams, successful leaders, can gather information, share it, study it, and make good decisions.
Admittedly, I’m used to a different type of information management and communications system with the military, which has a standard for operations centers that few others can match on a day-to-day basis. People radio back information to a central command, that information can put into an action request that gets ticketed, and that ticket can be taken care of.
Information management is what allows you to effectively prepare for and during an emergency. Take the shelters for example. We had no idea who would show up, so we had no way to adequately prepare.
One possible solution would be to create a way for people to sign up before they arrive, and have that information centralized and accessible to all the aid groups. That would help alleviate the strain on the logistics chain and help determine the right amount of food and water to have on hand. It would give an idea of how many people were staying at home who might need help later.
That said, I think that an effective communications system is centralized; and I believe that one lesson for the city is to incorporate the idea of a single point of command during a crisis.
That point of command shouldn’t necessarily come from the top. It should come from the bottom, from the ground where the action is happening, because emergency management happens from the bottom up.
EaterNY took a tour of Brighton Beach to see what was up post-Sandy. Definitely click on the story for photos and details. The short version: By the water, not so good. A few blocks inland, much better.
The big problem, it seems, is lack of customers. If you have an uncontrollable, or even just strong-ish, desire for some vareniki, get on the Q train and head to Café Glechik.
Andrew Cuomo claims that Hurricane Sandy has wrought more destruction (measured, apparently, in business dollars and square miles) than Hurricane Katrina, setting off a collective slapping of foreheads. Oh my god, is that where he had to go to get money out of John Boehner? Blech. Politics.
Anyway, the good people at the NYTimes Cityroom created a side by side comparison of the two storms that you should check out by clicking right here.
By the numbers, Sandy is bigger and badder. But remember that New Orleans had a much smaller, poorer, population. The city had fewer politicians like Andrew Cuomo and Mike Bloomberg and Chris Christie who have the influence and visibility to effectively freak out and make life hell for people until they get justice in the form of federal dollars.
Going into Katrina New Orleans was a city that had long flirted with some sort combo of social/infrastructure collapse.
And practically no one got out of Katrina unscathed, while, let’s be perfectly honest, much of NYC is only dimly aware of just how bad things are for their fellow New Yorkers hidden out by the coast in the outer boroughs.
3 things you can do today (a serious talk with the boss, party with Occupy Sandy)
November 28, 2012
1. Talk to your boss about a day off
Holiday time… Office parties and social parties and family parties and friend parties. Shopping and other holiday prep. Eating too much and being a glutton. Not much work is happening at the office. It’s the perfect time for you and your coworkers to take a day during the week to volunteer. The number of volunteers drops precipitously Monday through Thursday, and volunteers are still desperately needed to help with mold remediation, clean up, demolition/construction, distribution of heaters, and distribution of information on legal aid/small business resources.
It’s just one day. Maybe the boss will okay it. Maybe the boss will want to come, too! Bring your own lunch. Fan out in teams of 10 and head to Coney Island or the Rockaways or Staten Island or Sheepshead Bay. You’ll be so happy you did.
There aren’t many volunteer groups that will actually stick around after everyone forgets Hurricane Sandy happened. That’s the nature of disaster relief. But the process of rebuilding a community takes months and years. So it’s great to see local businesses transform into relief centers and local residents turn into community organizers.
Lava Girl Surf and the Rockaway Beach Surf Club have been running of the best organized relief hubs in the Rockaways. Their stated mission “is to keep the Rockaway community intact and get our displaced residents back as soon as possible.”
Since Lava Girl Surf will be at the beach for lots of summers to come, they’re also strengthening ties between year-round residents and day-trippers, wealthier and poorer parts of the community, between so-called gentrifiers and the so-called gentrified.
If you want to support them or volunteer with them, head to the Surf Club at Beach 87th Street. They’re open daily from 10-5. More info here.
Today, Mayor Bloomberg announced that landlords and owners of multi-family residential buildings impacted by Hurricane Sandy must make the necessary repairs to provide electricity, heat and hot water to their tenants. Building owners have two options: owners may correct conditions…
New York State has received $27.7 million in federal Disaster National Emergency Grant (NEG) funds.
The grant will be used to hire workers to help clean up communities affected by Hurricane Sandy in Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties.
Workers who lost their jobs as a direct result of Hurricane Sandy or workers who were unemployed prior to the storm are eligible to apply for temporary positions.
By Phone: Contact the Department of Labor at: 1-888-4-NYSDOL (1-888-469-7365).
- There will be legal clinics for small business owners in the Rockaways beginning today, November 27, and ongoing every Tuesday and Friday through December.
Meet at Irish Circle, Beach 102nd and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Open from 10am-4pm.
- CAAAV is also holding legal clinics for Mandarin, Cantonese, and Fujianese speakers. Call the CAAAV office at (212) 473-6485 if you have any questions, or email Esther at email@example.com.
- NYLAG has a hurricane legal aid unit to help with the sea of paperwork and claims.
To volunteer to provide pro bono legal assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org and check the calendar below for updates.
For immediate assistance, call 212-584-3365 or email StormHelp@nylag.org. Click here for more info and dates/locations for mobile legal aid clinics.
2. Fight for your rights, and those of your neighbors(via Occupy Sandy)
Today from 9am-11am people will gather at NYCHA HQ, 250 Broadway, NY NY 10007, to make the following demands:
* Immediately: 2 month rent credit for November and December (which speeds up and extends NYCHA’s promised rent credit for January).
*Long-term: Put a moratorium on evictions. Increase and ensure sufficient federal disaster relief funding to NYCHA. Replace NYCHA board with a community-led board. Employ NYCHA residents for intensive building repairs instead of outsourcing jobs. Implement long-term alternative power and weather-prepared solutions. Enact general accountability and transparency to residents.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working with the City of New York to collect common household hazardous waste from flood-damaged homes in the New York City area.
The primary focus of this effort is now in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Residents of flood-impacted areas in these boroughs are encouraged to put waste products on their curbs for pickup, including: solvents, paints, cleaners, oil, propane tanks, batteries, petroleum products, weed/bug killers, car batteries, bleach and ammonia.
Through Sunday, December 2, 2012, the EPA and its contractors will drive the streets of impacted areas to pick up the household hazardous waste on the curb at each residence.
Please segregate household hazardous waste from other garbage and stack items in cardboard boxes or clear plastic tote bins for easy identification and separation.
The New York City Department of Sanitation will be picking up white goods, such as refrigerators and other appliances, and will remove the refrigerants from refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners. Refrigerants include chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons, which are greenhouse gases. These refrigerants will be removed from appliances by the city using EPA certified recovery systems before the items are crushed or taken apart for recycling.
Staten Island town hall meeting w.Borough Prez Molinaro/FEMA
With so many people in Staten Island still without heat and feeling un-helped by FEMA, things could get shout-y this Thursday, if nothing else. Don’t miss the town hall meeting at New Dorp High School at 7pm.
"You hear him saying the Red Cross is dogshit, and then you see Chuck Schumer standing behind him, wanting to put his hand on his face, thinking ‘I’m a Senator, I can’t deal with this.’ I love the people out here."
Read the benefit recap here. Read about Chris Rock’s opening act here.
Watch a movie about surfing/raise money for the recovery
Tonight at 7:30pm, Anthology Film Archives is hosting NY Surf Stories, an evening of locally produced movies about New York’s surfing community.
All proceeds will go to Waves for Water, a non-profit where 100% of the fund go to those effected by Hurricane Sandy. Raffle prizes include a free stay at Casa de Olas in Nicaragua, camera equipment, and surfing gear.
The event will be co-hosted by local professional surfer Mikey DeTemple and Waves for Water’s Jon Rose. More info can be found here.
4 things you can do today (donate heaters! show off your Russian language skills!)
November 26, 2012
1. Save the Fire Station in Broad Channel
The Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Corp. has protected the life and property of local residents since 1905. Departments across the country have helped replace the fire trucks and ambulances destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, but the fire station was flooded with six feet of water and is in desperate need of repair.
The group is trying to raise $55,000 so that it can replace damaged siding/sheetrock/insulation, conduct mold remediation, repair the engine room, replace the boiler and electric wiring that was submerged in salt water. Please help the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department to serve Broad Channel in a safe building.
If you’d like to donate, or for more information, click here.
Today, November 24th, Mayor Bloomberg announced a new program that will make $5.5 million available in matching grants for New York City businesses most impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The grant program which is funded by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the Partnership for New York City will be administered by the New York Business Development Corporation and was developed with the Department of Small Business Services and the City’s Economic Development Corporation.
The grants will provide additional financial assistance for local businesses already seeking low-interest loans through the City’s Emergency Loan Fund. The total amount of loans, grants and other financial assistance available to businesses most affected is more than $45 million.
The new matching grants of up to $10,000 will be available to NYC businesses in all five boroughs that have been displaced from their workplace for 3 weeks and are already seeking emergency loans. The grants will provide critical supplemental assistance to what is being provided through the low-interest loans and will be capped at no more than the amount the business receives in the loans.