Tag Archives: OEM

Tips for extreme cold during record-breaking temps


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

New Yorkers were bundling up as best they could to deal with a record-breaking day of bitter temperatures.

At 4 degrees, Central Park broke a 118-year record low for Jan. 7, according to NBC New York.

The National Weather Service (NWS) also reported record low temperatures at JFK airport (6 degrees), LaGuardia Airport (4 degrees), Newark Airport (3 degrees) and Islip, Long Island (7 degrees) for this date.

The wind is making the cold temperatures feel even colder. As of 9:00 a.m., wind chills were -17 in Central Park, -14 at JFK, -16 at LaGuardia, -16 at Newark and -14 in Islip, according to NWS.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is advising all New Yorkers that “prolonged exposure to extreme cold weather can be deadly.”

Populations, such as seniors and infants, are most at risk during extreme weather events, so it’s important to check on friends, family and neighbors if you think they need help getting to a warm place, said the OEM. The NYC Department of Health and Mental Health is encouraging everyone to stay inside as much as possible.

“I urge all New Yorkers to find a warm place to stay to avoid hypothermia, frostbite, and other life-threatening health conditions,” said Mayor de Blasio. “City agencies have taken a number of steps to prepare for this cold weather, including alerting vulnerable populations and doubling outreach efforts to homeless individuals. As we enter this cold period it’s also important to make sure you are heating your home safely. Never use gas stoves or portable gas heaters indoors to heat your home, as those can lead to fire or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.”

City agencies have been working ahead of the freezing weather to prepare New Yorkers for the cold:

Office of Emergency Management

  • Activated the City’s Winter Weather Emergency Plan in response to the forecasted low temperatures and wind chills.
  • Convened Winter Weather Call with more than 35 city agencies to coordinate city actions.
  • Activated the Advance Warning System (AWS) to alert vulnerable New Yorkers about the impending cold weather.

Department for the Aging

  • All senior centers will only be open Tuesday for lunch beginning at 11 a.m. Senior centers will close after lunch is served.
  • Case management agencies will make calls to check on homebound seniors and high-risk clients during the cold weather.

Department of Buildings

  • Issued a weather advisory alerting property owners and contractors to secure construction sites in advance of inclement weather and high winds. The advisory remains in effect for Monday, January 6 through Tuesday, January 7.
  • The Department will be performing random spot-check inspections of construction sites around the City. If sites are not safely secured, the Department will take immediate enforcement action with the issuance of violations and Stop Work Orders if necessary.
  • The Department has additional staff on standby as part of its Emergency Response Team, which performs emergency and after-hours emergency response in coordination with OEM, NYPD, FDNY, and other involved agencies.

Department of Homeless Services (DHS)

  • DHS continues to use its Cold Weather Emergency Procedure, called Code Blue, to protect unsheltered individuals, who are more at risk for exposure deaths during the cold winter months. During Code Blue conditions, DHS doubles its outreach efforts

Department of Transportation

  • Alternate side parking is suspended for Tuesday, January 7.
  • Bridge and Staten Island Ferry crews are ready with anti-icing crews and equipment.

Health & Hospitals Corporation

  • Emergency rooms are open.
  • All other patient care services are open.

Department of Housing Preservation and Developement

  • Code Inspectors are working extended hours to address heat complaints.

Human Resources Administration

  • HRA’s case management programs for vulnerable New Yorkers, including Adult Protective Services, Domestic Violence, HIV/AIDS Services and Homecare Services, are working with clients who have been identified as having insufficient heat. HRA’s Home Care Services Program has asked their vendors to report if there is any client who has no heat or electricity.

NYCHA

  • NYCHA has prepared a flyer that will be posted in all 2,600 public housing buildings and also translated into Spanish, Russian and Chinese, to warn residents of the coming cold temperatures and ask that they check in on vulnerable neighbors.
  • NYCHA will have additional teams of heating, plumbers and electricians to respond to any potential heat and hot water outages or any other weather related emergency.

PARKS

  • Parks will be inspected for homeless conditions. Parks and DHS will provide services for any individuals attempting to stay overnight in parks.
  • Lakes and water bodies are being monitored for ice formation.

Department of Education

Department of Design and Construction

  • Canceled all water shutdowns for DCC street infrastructure projects.
  • Ensuring that all public-buildings sites are secured and prepared for frigid temperatures.

Check on Neighbors, Friends, Relatives and Clients

  • Home visiting and social service agencies should activate their cold emergency plans, and reach out in advance to their clients to make sure they’re aware of the cold and snow.
  • If you are concerned about someone on the street who may be homeless and in need of assistance call 311 and ask for the Mobile Outreach Response Team. The Department of Homeless Services will send an outreach team to the location to assess the individual’s condition and take appropriate action.
  • If your building is cold, check on your neighbors. If you know someone who is vulnerable and lacking heat, help them get to warm places and notify the builing manager and/or call 311 to get heat restored. If you see someone with signs of hypothermia such as confusion, shivering, slurred speech, drowsiness call 911 for help and help the person get warm while waiting for help.
  • Landlords and building managers should check their building systems to ensure heat, and check on vulnerable people

Health problems resulting from prolonged exposure to cold include hypothermia, frostbite and exacerbation of chronic heart and lung conditions. Recognize the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite:

  • Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition where the body temperature is abnormally low. Symptoms may include shivering, slurred speech, sluggishness, drowsiness, unusual behavior, confusion, dizziness, and shallow breathing. Some people, such as infants, seniors, and those with chronic diseases and substance abuse problems can get sick quicker. Check on friends, relatives, and neighbors who may need assistance to ensure they are adequately protected from the cold.
  • Frostbite is a serious injury to a body part frozen from exposure to the cold. It most often affects extremities like fingers and toes or exposed areas such as ears or parts of the face. Redness and pain may be the first warning of frostbite. Other symptoms include numbness or skin that appears pale, firm, or waxy.

Provide first aid:

  • If you suspect a person is suffering from frostbite or hypothermia, call 911 to get medical help.
  • While waiting for assistance to arrive, help the person get warm by getting them to a warm place if possible, removing any damp clothing and covering them with warm blankets.

What to Do if You Lose Heat or Hot Water at Home

The heat season began on October 1, 2013, and continues through May 31, 2014. During heat season, residential owners with tenants are required by law to maintain an indoor temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit between 6 AM and 10 PM when the outdoor temperature falls below 55 degrees. Between 10 PM and 6 AM, building owners must maintain an indoor temperature of 55 degrees when the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees. Hot water is required to be maintained at 120 degrees.

Any New York City tenant without adequate heat or hot water should first speak with the building owner, manager, or superintendent. If the problem is not corrected, tenants should call 311. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will take measures to ensure that the building owner is complying with the law. This may include contacting the building’s owner and/or sending an inspector to verify the complaint and issue a violation directing the owner to restore heat and hot water if appropriate. If the owner fails to comply and does not restore service, HPD may initiate repairs through its Emergency Repair Program and bill the landlord for the cost of the work. HPD also may initiate legal action against properties that are issued heat violations, and owners who incur multiple heat violations are subject to litigation seeking maximum litigation penalties and to continued scrutiny on heat and other code deficiencies.

Take measures to trap existing warm air and safely stay warm until heat returns, including:

  • Insulate your home as much as possible. Hang blankets over windows and doorways and stay in a well-insulated room while the heat is out.
  • Dress warmly. Wear hats, scarves, gloves, and layered clothing.
  • If you have a well maintained working fireplace and use it for heat and light, but be sure to keep the damper open for ventilation. Never use a fireplace without a screen.
  • If the cold persists and your heat is not restored call family, neighbors, or friends to see if you can stay with them.
  • Do not use your oven or fuel-burning space heaters to heat your home. These can release carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that you cannot see or smell.
  • Open your faucets to a steady drip so pipes do not freeze.

Safe Home Heating Tips

Improper use of portable heating equipment can lead to fire or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Take precautions to ensure you are heating your home safely.

Fire safety tips:

  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm in every room. Test them at least once a month and change the batteries twice a year.
  • Use only portable heating equipment that is approved for indoor use. Space heaters are temporary heating devices and should only be used for a limited time each day.
  • Keep combustible materials, including furniture, drapes, and carpeting at least three feet away from the heat source. Never drape clothes over a space heater to dry them.
  • Never leave children alone in the room where a space heater is running. Always keep an eye on heating equipment. Turn it off when you are unable to closely monitor it.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord or power strip. Do not plug anything else into the same outlet when the space heater is in use. Do not use space heaters with frayed or damaged cords.
  • If you are going to use an electric blanket, only use one that is less than 10 years old from the date of purchase. Also avoid tucking the electric blanket in at the sides of the bed. Only purchase blankets with an automatic safety shut-off.

Carbon monoxide safety tips:

  • Carbon monoxide comes from the burning of fuel. Therefore, make sure all fuel-burning devices such as furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters, and clothes dryers are properly vented to the outdoors and operating properly. If you are not sure, contact a professional to inspect and make necessary repairs.
  • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Most homes and residential buildings in New York City are required by law to have carbon monoxide detectors installed near all sleeping areas. Owners are responsible for installing approved carbon monoxide detectors. Occupants are responsible for keeping and maintaining the carbon monoxide detectors in good repair.
  • If you have a working fireplace keep chimneys clean and clear of debris.
  • Never heat your home with a gas stove or oven, charcoal barbecue grill, or kerosene, propane, or oil-burning heaters.
  • The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are non-specific and include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sleepiness, trouble breathing, and loss of consciousness. Severe poisonings may result in permanent injury or death.

If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911, get the victim to fresh air immediately, and open windows.

If You Need Emergency Heating Assistance

The Human Resources Administration (HRA) administers the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), which provides low-income people with emergency heating assistance. Eligible residents will receive a payment for fuel delivery, or HRA will arrange for fuel delivery or boiler repair. Emergency assistance is given to those who qualify only once per heating season. Call 311 for more information.

Homeless Outreach

The Department of Homeless Services (DHS) continues to use its Cold Weather Emergency Procedure, called Code Blue, to protect unsheltered individuals, who are more at risk for exposure deaths during the cold winter months. During Code Blue conditions DHS doubles its outreach efforts. Community members that identify someone on the street they believe needs assistance should call 311 and ask for the Mobile Outreach Response Team; in any emergency community members should call 911. The Department of Homeless Services will send an outreach team to the location to assess the individual’s condition and take appropriate action.

Outreach workers are on the streets 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are trained to:

  • Identify and regularly monitor individuals who may be at risk during cold weather.
  • Engage at-risk individuals and persuade them to voluntarily come indoors.

During a Code Blue Cold Weather Emergency, housing options for the homeless include the following:

Shelters: During a Code Blue, homeless adults can access any shelter location for single individuals. Beds are available system-wide to accommodate anyone brought in by outreach teams or walk-ins.

Drop-in centers: All drop-in centers are open 24 hours a day when Code Blue procedures are in effect, taking in as many as people as possible for the duration of inclement weather. Drop-in staff also can make arrangements for homeless individuals at other citywide facilities.

Safe havens and stabilization beds: Chronically homeless individuals may be transported to these low-threshold housing options where they may go directly from the street to a bed.

For more information about cold weather safety and how you can prepare for emergencies call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/oem.

Staying in Touch with OEM
The Office of Emergency Management communicates directly with the public through a variety of tools, including Notify NYC. This is just one way the City of New York communicates urgent information to city residents. In addition to sending e-mails, text messages, and phone calls, the emergency notification office has the ability to activate NYC’s Emergency Alert System (EAS), which sends information immediately via television and radio. Residents can also visit Facebook, Twitter, and the agency’s website, nyc.gov/oem for more information. The public can sign up for Notify NYC by calling 311 or going to www.NYC.gov/notifynyc.

 

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Cooling centers in Queens and tips on beating the heat


| editorial@queenscourier.com

With a heat advisory in effect for the city until 8 p.m. on Friday, July 18, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is advising New Yorkers to take special precautions and help the vulnerable during the hot weather.

Here is a list of cooling centers in Queens, which will remain open through Sunday, July 21, and tips on how to beat the heat from the (OEM).

Cooling Centers:

Bayside, Fresh Meadows, Murray Hill

Bayside Library
214-20 Northern Boulevard
(718) 229-1834

East Flushing Library
196-36 Northern Boulevard
(718) 357-6643

Bay Terrace Library
18-36 Bell Boulevard
(718) 423-7004

Selfhelp Clearview Neighborhood Senior Center
208-11 26 Avenue
(718) 224-7888

Bayside Neighborhood Senior Center
221-15 Horace Harding Expressway
(718) 225-1144

Auburndale Library
25-55 Francis Lewis Boulevard
(718) 352-2027

Fresh Meadows Library
193-20 Horace Harding Expressway
(718) 454-7272

Hillcrest Library
187-05 Union Turnpike
(718) 454-2786

McGoldrick Library
155-06 Roosevelt Avenue (off Northern Blvd)
(718) 461-1616

Windsor Park Library
79-50 Bell Boulevard
(718) 468-8300

Pomonok Library
158-21 Jewel Avenue
(718) 591-4343

Pomonok Neighborhood Senior Center
67-09 Kissena Boulevard
(718) 591-3377

Astoria

Steinway Library
21-45 31 Street
(718) 728-1965

Astoria Library
14-01 Astoria Boulevard
(718) 278-2220

Broadway Library
40-20 Broadway
(718) 721-2462

Hanac JVL Ditmosis Neighborhood Senior Center
27-40 Hoyt Avenue South
(212) 840-8005

Raices Astoria Neighborhood Senior Center
21-21 30 Drive
(718) 726-9642

Jefferson Houses Neighborhood Senior Center
2205 1 Avenue
(212)828-6104

Astoria Corps Community Center
45-18 Broadway
718-721-9046

CCNS Peter Dellamonica Senior Center
23-56 Broadway
(718) 626 – 1500

Long Island City

Long Island City Library
37-44 21 Street
(718) 752-3700

Queensbridge/Riis Senior Center
10-25 41 Avenue
718-784-7447

Court Square Library
25-01 Jackson Avenue
(718) 937-2790

Hanac Ravenswood Neighborhood Senior Center
34-35A 12 Street
(718) 786-1550

Elmhurst/Jackson Heights

Elmhurst Library
85-08 51 Avenue
(718) 271-1020

Jackson Heights Library
35-51 81 Street
(718) 899-2500

East Elmhurst Library
95-06 Astoria Boulevard
(718) 424-2619

Queens Temple Corps Community Center
86-07 35 Avenue
718-335-3693

Catherine Sheridan Neighborhood Senior Center
35-24 83 Street
(718) 458-4600

Elmcor Neighborhood Senior Center
98-19 Astoria Boulevard
(718) 457-9757

Corona Library
38-23 104 Street
(718) 426-2844

Langston Hughes Library
100-01 Northern Boulevard
(718) 651-1100

Florence E. Smith Neighborhood Senior Center
102-19 34 Avenue
(718) 899-0553

Sunnyside and Woodside

Sunnyside Library
43-06 Greenpoint Avenue
(718) 784-3033

Sunnyside Community Senior Center
43-31 39 Street
(718) 784 6173

Woodside Senior Center
50-37 Newtown Road
(718) 932-6916

Woodside Library
54-22 Skillman Avenue
(718) 429-4700

Maspeth

Selfhelp Maspeth Senior Center
69-61 Grand Avenue
(718) 429-3636

Maspeth Library
69-70 Grand Avenue
(718) 639-5228

Newtown Italian Neighborhood Senior Center
83-20 Queens Boulevard
(718) 335-7272

Jamaica, Queens Village and Richmond Hill

Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Senior Center
78-15 Jamaica Avenue
(718) 847-9200

Hillcrest Senior Center
168-01 B Hillside Avenue
(718) 297-7171

Baisley Park Library
117-11 Sutphin Boulevard
(718) 529-1590

Cambria Heights Library
218-13 Linden Boulevard
(718) 528-3535

Central Library
89-11 Merrick Boulevard
(718) 990-0700

Hollis Library
202-05 Hillside Avenue
(718) 465-7355

Laurelton Library
134-26 225 Street
(718) 528-2822

Queens Village Library
94-11 217 Street
(718) 776-6800

St. Albans Library
191-05 Linden Boulevard
(718) 528-8196

South Jamaica Library
108-41 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard
(718) 739-4088

South Hollis Library
204-01 Hollis Avenue
(718) 465-6779

Rosedale Library
144-20 243 Street
(718) 528 8490

Rochdale Village Library
169-09 137 Avenue
(718) 723-4440

Richmond Hill Library
118-14 Hillside Avenue
(718) 849-7150

Shelton SC
89-09 162 Street
(718) 657-7880

Brooks Memorial Neighborhood Senior Center
143-22 109 Avenue
(718) 291-3935

Woodhaven, Ozone Park and Howard Beach

Howard Beach Senior Center
83-09 157th Avenue
(718) 738-8100

Ozone Park Senior Center
103-02 101st Avenue
(718) 847-2100

Howard Beach Library
92-06 156 Avenue
(718) 641-7086

Lefferts Library
103-34 Lefferts Boulevard
(718) 843-5950

Ozone Park Library
92-24 Rockaway Boulevard
(718) 845-3127

Woodhaven Library
85-41 Forest Parkway
(718) 849-1010

South Ozone Park Library
128-16 Rockaway Boulevard
(718) 529-1660

Woodhaven Neighborhood Senior Center
78-15 Jamaica Avenue
(718) 847-9200

Teresa Moore Neighborhood Senior Center
2702 Linden Boulevard
(347) 663-7770

Cypress Hills Fulton St Neighborhood Senior Citizens Center
3208 Fulton Street
(718) 235-0064

Far Rockaway

Arverne Library
312 Beach 54 Street
(718) 634-4784

Broad Channel Library
16-26 Cross Bay Boulevard
(718) 318-4943

Far Rockaway Library
1637 Central Avenue
(718) 327-2549

Peninsula Library
92-25 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
(718) 990-8502

Young Israel Wavecrest/Bayswater Senior Center
27-16 Healy Avenue
(718) 327-0297

JASA Brookdale Neighborhood Senior Center
131 Beach 19 Street
(718) 471-3200

Sorrentino Recreation Center
18-48 Cornaga Avenue
(718) 471-4818

Rockaway Park Neighborhood Senior Center
106-20 Shorefront Parkway, Suite 300
(718) 634-3044

JASA Roy Reuther Senior Center
711 Seagirt Avenue
(718) 471-3110

Douglaston/Little Neck/Floral Park

Bellerose Library
250-06 Hillside Avenue
(718) 831-8644

Douglaston/Little Neck Library
249-01 Northern Boulevard
(718) 225-8414

Glen Oaks Library
256-04 Union Turnpike
(718) 831-8636

North Hills Library
57-04 Marathon Parkway
(718) 225-3550

SNAP Innovative Senior Center
80-45 Winchester Boulevard
(718) 831-8644

Samuel Field Neighborhood Senior Center
58-20 Little Neck Parkway
(718) 225-6750

Rego Park/Forest Hills

Briarwood Library
85-12 Main Street
(718) 658-1680

Forest Hills Library
108-19 71 Avenue
(718) 268-7934

Kew Garden Hills Library
71-34 Main Street
(718) 261-6654

Lefrak City Library
98-30 57 Avenue
(718) 592-7677

North Forest Park Library
98-27 Metropolitan Avenue
(718) 261-5512

Rego Park Library
91-41 63 Drive
(718) 459-5140

Queens Valley Neighborhood Senior Center
141-55 77 Avenue
(718) 263-6995

Selfhelp Austin Street Neighborhood Senior Center
106-06 Queens Boulevard
(718) 520-8197

Forest Hills Neighborhood Senior Center/Young Israel, Inc.
68-07 Burns Street
(718) 520-2305

Forest Hills Neighborhood Senior Center/Queens Community House, Inc.
108-25 62 Drive
(718) 699-1010

Ridgewood and Middle Village

Glendale Library
78-60 73 Place
(718) 821-4980

Middle Village Library
72-31 Metropolitan Avenue
(718) 326-1390

Ridgewood Library
20-12 Madison Street
(718) 821-4770

Middle Village Neighborhood Senior Center
69-10 75 Street
(718) 894-3441

Ridgewood Older Adult Neighborhood Senior Center
59-14 70 Avenue
(718) 456-2000

Peter Cardella Senior Citizen Center
68-52 Fresh Pond Road
(718) 497-2908

Ridgewood Citadel Corps Community Center
69-23 Cypress Hills Street
(718) 497-4356

Flushing, College Point and Whitestone

Flushing Library
41-17 Main Street
(718) 661-1200

Poppenhusen Library
121-23 14 Avenue
(718) 359-1102

Whitestone Library
151-10 14 Road
(718) 767-8010

CPC Nan Shan Neighborhood Senior Center
136-18 39 Avenue
(718) 358-3030

Selfhelp Latimer Neighborhood Senior Center
34-30 137 Street
(718) 961-3660

Selfhelp Innovative Senior Center
45-25 Kissena Boulevard
(718) 454-2100

Flushing Corps Community Center
142-50 32 Avenue
(718) 762-9613

Hanac Angelo Petromelis Neighborhood Senior Center
13-28 123 Street
(718) 961-0344

 

To help beat the beat, here are some tips from the New York City Office of Emergency Management:

  • If possible, stay out of the sun. When in the sun, wear sunscreen (at least SPF 15) and a hat to protect your face and head.
  • Use an air conditioner if you have one. Set the thermostat no lower than 78 degrees.
  • If you do not have an air conditioner, keep rooms well-ventilated with open windows and fans. Consider going to a public pool, air-conditioned store, mall, movie theater, or cooling center.
  • Fans work best at night, when they can bring in cooler air from outside.
  • Make a special effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are seniors, young children, and people with special needs. Many older New Yorkers live alone and could suffer unnecessarily in the heat because they are isolated from friends and family.
  • Seniors and others who may be sensitive to extreme heat should contact friends, neighbors, or relatives at least twice a day during a heat wave.
  • Drink fluids – particularly water – even if you do not feel thirsty.* Avoid beverages containing alcohol, caffeine, or high amounts of sugar.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible.
  • Never leave children, pets, or those who require special care in a parked car during periods of intense summer heat.
  • Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours – 11 AM to 4 PM. If you must engage in strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, usually in the morning between 4 AM and 7 AM.
  • Cool showers or baths may be helpful, but avoid extreme temperature changes. Never take a shower immediately after becoming overheated – extreme temperature changes may make you ill, nauseated, or dizzy.
  • During heat emergencies, the City may open cooling centers. If cooling centers are open, call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115) or locate a center online.

*People with heart, kidney or liver disease, or on fluid restricted diets should check with their doctors before increasing fluid intake.

 

Agencies give Sandy testimony before City Council


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Nearly three months after the storm devastated the tri-state area, and with residents still trying to recover, the City Council has begun investigating how various agencies handled Sandy.

Testimony has been given by representatives of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the New York City Housing Authority, Con Edison and the Long Island Power Authority, among other agencies.

Councilmember Eric Ulrich, when addressing OEM, inquired why the West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department had been denied a request for a rescue boat, despite the anticipated flooding in the hamlet. Ulrich also asked why OEM had not looked at the Breezy Point Cooperative’s evacuation plan, or had better communication with the several volunteer fire departments of southern Queens.

OEM Commissioner Joseph Bruno said commissioners had been on the ground working with volunteer fire departments on plans during the lead up to the storm and had always maintained communications between the volunteers and the FDNY. It was not the office’s policy to approve of other entities’ evacuation plans, he said, but OEM could give input for both cooperatives and volunteer fire departments in the future, he said.

Ulrich suggested to Bruno that once recovery is completely over, and some stability is back in the area, OEM officials begin to work with these waterside communities to better prepare for future storms.

“I think in the next year it might be a good time, when everything settles and the rebuilding starts and life gets somewhat back to normal, that OEM try to engage these communities and these fire departments.”

 

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Rockaway preps for Hurricane Sandy


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Rockaway residents are siding with caution and getting the necessities to weather out threats from Hurricane Sandy.

In order to prevent flooding, sand walls are currently being assembled at certain spots along the beaches. Con Edison announced it will also have extra crews available to deal with anticipated power outages.

Many people living near the beach have been heading to stores for supplies to prevent damage or flooding in their homes. Noni Signoretti, the co-owner of a Beach 116th Street hardware store, said the shop had sold out of sandbags and were selling a high number of tape and batteries.

UPDATE:

The city is not planning to evacuate any areas at this time, Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the public at a 6 p.m. briefing. Bloomberg recommended city residents living within flood zones should move to homes of friends and families, or at an evacuation center. The city is not expected to shut down on Monday, Bloomberg said, and all city employees are expected to be in work. Mass transit schedules will run on schedule tomorrow, he said. All events in city parks scheduled for after 2 p.m. have been canceled, he said, and parks will be closed after 5 p.m.

The mayor also advised surfers stay out of the water — despite temptations from high waves that are expected as the Hurricane nears the city. 

“Please, the beaches are dangerous and surfing is extremely dangerous,” Bloomberg said. “You may want to run the risk, but we have to send our emergency workers into the ocean to save you. Their lives are at risk, [and] you just don’t have a right to do that to anyone else.

Disaster Recovery Center to close


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Homeowners in Queens have only one more day to visit their local Disaster Recovery Center (DRC).

The center – located at 144-06 94th Street in Jamaica – will close on Wednesday, October 5 at 5 p.m., according to the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

The DRC in Queens opened on Monday, September 26 after Hurricane Irene in order to provide residents seeking help with FEMA disaster recovery specialists. The specialists were able to provide residents with more information about state disaster aid and disaster unemployment programs.

But although the center will close, residents can still apply for federal funding with FEMA until October 28.

To register, call 800-621-3362 or visitwww.disasterassitance.gov. Be sure to provide your social security number and insurance information.