Update on New York City Recovery: Gas Purchases Regulated

Below is an update from the city regarding recovery from Hurricane Sandy. First and foremost, gas rationing will be in effect.

This means odd-even days for buying gas in the five boroughs. Other highlights–alternate side parking rules still suspended through Saturday, Nov. 10, but you still need to feed the meter.

The ped-bike path on the George Washington Bridge is CLOSED, as per cyclists who have tried to use it. You can try and use a bus on the NJ Transit (not the Spanish buses,) at the 177th Street Bus Station on Fort Washington Ave. by asking nicely if they will allow the bike on. Those buses run until 1 am, but are less frequent after 7 pm.

The following is an update of City Government’s Storm Response as of 5:00 PM on Thursday, November 8, 2012

Odd-Even Gasoline Purchasing System

Mayor Bloomberg signed an emergency executive order today establishing an odd-even license plate system for gasoline purchases to reduce wait times and lines at gas stations. The temporary system will remain in effect from 6:00 AM on Friday until further notice and will operate as follows:

  • Vehicles with license plates ending in an even number 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 use of legal walk-up fuel containers by individuals is not affected by the executive order.

Response to Nor’easter

Outdoor construction work has resumed.

New York City parks, playgrounds and beaches remain closed and expect to open tomorrow after they have been inspected for safety.

Food, Water & Supply Distribution at City-Run Resource Sites

These City-run food and water distribution sites are open in the hardest hit areas and 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 7, the following have been distributed:

  • More than 1.7 million meals
  • Nearly 426,000 bottles of water
  •  110,000 blankets
  • 1,198 cases of diapers
  • 127 cases of baby wipes
  • 670 cases of baby formula
  • 8,212 units of new underwear (kids and adults)
  • 3,840 thermal blankets
  • 1,552 winter hats
  • 389 scarves
  • 2,486 socks
  • 4,550 blankets
  • 4,000 hand-warmers
  • 3,564 D batteries
  • 7,380 C batteries
  • 285 cases of garbage bags
  • 3,399 flashlights/lanterns
  • 476 cases of toilet paper
  • 837 cases of bleach
  • 20,000 cases of Ziploc bags
  • 6,000 masks
  • 10,000 boxes of cleaning wipes
  • 1,500 work gloves
  • 878 bars of soap
  • 140 cases of toothbrushes
  • 750 units of toothpaste
  • 584 bath towels

NYCHA Facilities

The City has assessed all NYCHA housing in Zone A and found no major long-term structural issues. All NYCHA buildings flooded in the storm have been pumped dry.

  • Yesterday, City-led action restored power for 1,174 residents in eight buildings, and heat and hot water restored for 1,658 residents in nine buildings.
  • Power: 402 buildings housing 79,200 lost power because of the storm; the City has restored power to 331 buildings housing 66,874.
  • Heat/Hot Water: 386 NYCHA buildings housing 77,000 people lost heat and hot water because of the storm; the City has restored heat and hot water to 272 buildings housing more than 55,000.
  • NYCHA has set up warming centers in Red Hook and additional warming centers are being established. NYCHA staff and volunteers have been providing blankets to residents who have not had heat or hot water restored.

Sanitation 24-Hour Debris Cleanup Continues

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.

Areas normally receiving three times a week collection may only receive two collections per week, while areas that receive two times per week collection may only receive one collection while the emergency debris removal work continues.

  • 728 pieces of sanitation equipment are working on debris removal, including 270 trucks, 234 mechanical broom, 114 front end loaders and 110 cut down dump trucks.
  • Sanitation crews have collected more than 225,000 tons of trash, debris and tree as a part of storm cleanup operations.

The heavily-impacted areas will continue to receive collection and debris removal around the clock. Curbside recycling is suspended until further notice.

Trees and Debris

  • The City has received 23,464 tree requests to date.
  • Of those requests, 14,551 were for trees down.
  • The City has addressed 7,369 of these emergency tree conditions and crews continue to work around the clock to address conditions.

More City Schools Open 

All City schools are open to students, and those students and staff who have been reassigned from buildings that sustained structural damage went to other school sites. Parents should continue to check the status of their schools by:

    • Clicking here for the school locator search or by going to www.nyc.gov/schools.
    • Call 311 or texting “nycschools” or ‘escuela’ to 877-877.

The Department of Education has coordinated transportation options for families with children who have been reassigned to other school sites:

    1. Full reimbursement for any family of a K-8 student at a relocated school taking MTA/cab service to and from school.
    1. 55 cents per mile reimbursement for any family of a student at a relocated school who uses their own vehicles.
    1. Free metro-cards will be distributed to all high school students at relocated schools who do not already have one.

The City has conducted extensive outreach to families, making 1.2 million robo-calls to parents; direct messages were sent from principals and parent coordinators to parents; full page advisories ran in three of New York City’s newspapers; text messages were sent to parents and families enrolled in the Department of Education’s texting program; and information was provided to television and radio outlets.

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.

Partnership with Local Food Trucks

            The Mayors Fund to Advance New York City has partnered with the NYC Food Truck Association, NYC Food Film Festival and local food trucks to coordinate hot food distribution at 21 sites in areas severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The locations and hours are available here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hot_food.html.

Shelter for Those without Heat

Cold weather in the city continues, increasing risk of hypothermia. Anyone who needs heat should find warm shelter, whether at City facilities or with a friend or relative.

Evacuation shelters remain open and as of Thursday morning, they were 2,743 evacuees and 812 staff.

  • 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.

Disaster Assistance Service Centers

            The City’s Human Resources Administration in cooperation with FEMA, operates six sites to provide information about applying for emergency social and economic benefits and to connect residents with recovery resources. They will be open from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM, seven days a week. The list of sites can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/dasc.html.

Mobile Medical Vans with Prescription Services 

The City has deployed vans staffed with primary care providers will be able to provide medical care and distribute commonly prescribed drugs at several of the City’s Disaster Assistance Service Centers, as well as two additional high-need areas. 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.

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:

    • Haeda Mihaltses, Staten Island
    • Matt Mahoney, Manhattan and the Bronx
    • Nazli Parvizi and Diane Billings-Buford, Brooklyn and Queens

Brad Gair Appointed Director of Housing Recovery Operations

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.

Alternate Side Parking

  • Alternate Side Parking regulations will be suspended citywide through Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, to facilitate storm recovery efforts.
  • Alternate Side Parking regulations are not in effect on Sunday, November 11, and will also be suspended for Veterans Day, Monday, November 12, as previously scheduled.
  • All other parking regulations remain in effect.

Volunteering, Donating and Giving Blood 

  • To date, more than $32 million supporting Hurricane Sandy relief has come into the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City frommore than 10,000 donors from around the country.
  • 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.
  • Giving blood is incredibly helpful right now. For more information visit: nybloodcenter.org.
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