Archive for the tag 'hurricane sandy relief'

The Friends of Gerritsen Beach Library is assisting with the Secret Sandy Claus Project, by operating as a toy donation location. The Secret Sandy Claus Project is the brainchild of Gravesend resident Michael “Sandy Claus” Sciaraffo, who decided to don a Santa suit and distribute toys to children who lost their own in Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Rockaways, and parts of New Jersey, in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

If you can, please donate new, unwrapped toys at the Gerritsen Beach Library, 2808 Gerritsen Avenue, from now until December 20. Library hours are Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Tuesdays from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Wednesdays through Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The library is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

The following is from our friends at the Shorefront YM-YWHA:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

To learn more, go to or call 311.

Lew Fidler (Photo By Erica Sherman)

Lew Fidler (Photo By Erica Sherman)

If you lead or are a member of a Superstorm Sandy volunteer or relief group, Councilman Lew Fidler is urging you to apply for a Hurricane Relief Grant. Work towards recovering from Sandy is far from finished, and the Citizens Committee for New York City is doling out grants upwards of $2,000 to support volunteer relief efforts.

The Citizens Committee for New York City released the following statement on the purpose for the grants and information on how to apply for them:

We are offering this short-term, high-impact grant opportunity because we understand that Sandy relief efforts go beyond the immediate aftermath. The grants are to help increase the overall capacity of volunteer groups to provide relief to hurricane-impacted areas and to support specific projects that address hurricane-related damage to community spaces (for example: waterfronts, sidewalks, school grounds, community gardens, parks).

The grants are for existing or newly formed volunteer-led groups. Citizens Committee will not award grants to individuals or families.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, up to 11:59PM on Thursday August 1. We encourage groups to submit applications earlier.

Groups will be notified of our grant decision within 3 days of application submission. Grant checks will be distributed within 7 days of notification.

Approved projects must be completed by October 16, 2013.

You can download an online application for the grant by clicking here.

Also, for more information you can contact or call 212-822-9566.

Best of luck to all applicants.

Superstorm Sandy makes landfall on the East Coast. Source: US Office of Response and Restoration blog

Superstorm Sandy makes landfall on the East Coast. Source: US Office of Response and Restoration blog

The Brooklyn Long Term Recovery Group and New York Disaster Interfaith Services are holding a mayoral forum on “Hurricane Sandy Relief & the Future of NYC’s Flood Zone,” tomorrow, June 27 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Shorefront YM-YWHA, 3300 Coney Island Avenue near the Brighton Beach boardwalk.

With thousands still struggling to rebuild at an estimated cost of $20 billion after the October 2012 superstorm upended their lives, 37 percent of New York City residents — approximately three million people — now live in areas that could be affected by future storms and rising sea levels.

Tomorrow, mayoral candidates will address issues on current and future policies for Sandy relief, including the disbursement of recovery funds, disaster preparedness of New York City’s flood zone, NYCHA funding, mold remediation programs, new building regulations for the flood zone, flood protection, restoration of services, and future preparedness.

As of this writing, the candidates that have confirmed their attendance are Sal Albanese, Bill de Blasio, John Liu, Anthony Weiner, Erick Salgado, Adolfo Carrion and John Catsimatidis.

The mayoral hopefuls will speak before a large gathering of Sandy survivors from across the city. Also present will be relief agency workers, volunteers, representatives from the Long Term Recovery Groups of all five boroughs, national and international relief agencies, congregations, and community organizations active in recovery and rebuilding efforts. Candidates will address the host of issues facing New York City’s Hurricane Sandy recovery and future preparedness efforts.

To learn more, email

If you are a business owner or homeowner still struggling to get back on your feet after Superstorm Sandy, there is help available to you to ease the recovery process.

Asian Americans for Equality and the Kings Bay YM-YWHA will present a “Post-Sandy Recovery Resource Seminar” for business and homeowners, April 18, 7:00 p.m. at the Kings Bay Y’s Sheepshead Bay location, 2801 Emmons Avenue.

The seminar — sponsored by the Brooklyn Community Foundation — will address such topics as emergency repair loans for homeowners, financial assistance for small businesses, rehab cost consultation and how to qualify for a post-Sandy recovery grant of up to $15,000.

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

To learn more, call (718) 648-7703 extension 239 or email

Photo by Erica Sherman

State Senator Marty Golden has scheduled two visits of the New York State Department of Financial Services’ Insurance Response Unit to aid victims in his district who were affected by Superstorm Sandy.

  • Today, March 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the NYS Department of Financial Services Mobile Command Center will be in Sheepshead Bay, on the corner of Sheepshead Bay Road and Emmons Avenue.
  • Tomorrow, March 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Mobile Command Center will be outside the Gerritsen Beach Public Library, 2808 Gerritsen Avenue.

Staff will be available to assist homeowners and business owners with the following:

  • City, state and federal relief programs and how to get help
  • Questions about the insurance claims process in New York
  • Seeking resolution on your claims with your insurer or bank
  • Filing an official complaint against an insurer or bank

Anyone who can’t visit the Mobile Command Center in person can file complaints through the New York State Disaster Relief website, or by calling the Disaster Relief Hotline, (800) 339-1759, Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm.

Photo by Erica Sherman.

The New York State Department of Financial Services mobile unit is stationed in Manhattan Beach until 7:00 p.m. tonight, assisting residents and business owners with bank and insurance issues. And they’ve got company: representatives from several local banks who will hopefully help ease lending and the release of tied-up insurance funds.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz writes:

On Monday, March 4th, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., representatives of five of New York’s largest banks and mortgage servicers will be stationed in the Department of Financial Services’ Mobile Command Center outside P.S. 195, 131 Irwin Street (between Shore and Oriental Boulevards) offer one-on-one help to homeowners.

JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, CitiMortgage and Ocwen Loan Servicing will be on hand. Other institutions sending representatives include OneWest Bank and Assurant, which will represent dozens of smaller banks and mortgage servicers.

… As a member of the Assembly’s Committee on Insurance, I heard testimony at a hearing last week which shed light into policyholders’ experiences with insurance companies in the four months since Sandy struck. Thousands of residents and store owners are still struggling to rebuild their homes and reopen their businesses, and for many of them, difficulties with banks and insurance claims are the primary reason why this process is taking so long.

Insurers typically issue checks jointly to a homeowner and the homeowner’s mortgage bank or servicer following the settlement of a large insurance claim. That means the bank needs to endorse the check before the homeowner may access the funds. Dual endorsement is a standard requirement of mortgage notes and insurance contracts to protect the lender’s interest. Banks may also require proof that repairs have been made before endorsing checks.

Last month, the Department of Financial Services found that banks were holding more than $200 million in insurance funds from Storm Sandy victims; the Department urged the banks to use maximum discretion and effort to speed the release of funds and asked Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to announce emergency reforms to their rules to provide banks and mortgage servicers with even more discretion to release funds.

The five participating banks and servicers will be immediately releasing an estimated $70-80 million to current borrowers as a result of these rule changes.

The Department of Financial Services is also available to anyone who has questions or concerns about general insurance-related issues.

If you can’t attend, you can still get help by calling the department at (800) 339-1759. Insurance information is also available on the department’s website.

Source: NYS DFS

If you need help with an insurance issue, the New York State Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Insurance Response Unit is coming to Sheepshead Bay.

Staff from DFS will be providing insurance assistance from its Mobile Command Center (MCC) on the corner of Sheepshead Bay Road and Emmons Avenue (in front of El Greco Diner), March 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

They will be helping homeowners and business owners with:

  • City, state and federal relief programs and how to get help
  • Questions about the insurance claims process in New York
  • Seeking resolution on your claims with your insurer or bank
  • Filing an official complaint against an insurer or bank.

Bring all relevant documents with you when you visit the MCC, such as correspondence with your insurer or bank.

If you can’t visit the MCC in person you can always get help with insurance issues or file complaints via the NYS Disaster Relief site or by calling the Disaster Relief Hotline at (800) 339-1759 Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Author Paul Moses. Source: Random House, Inc.

As part of the Turkish Cultural Center Brooklyn’s (TCC Brooklyn) “Media Talks” series, the Amity School will host Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Marine Park resident Paul Moses, who will discuss “How to Build a Career in Media,” Monday, February 4 at 3:00 p.m. The discussion will be held inside the Amity School, 3867 Shore Parkway between Brigham Street and Knapp Street, right off the Belt Parkway.

If Moses’ name rings a bell, that’s because, in the days following Superstorm Sandy, the teacher of journalism at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism submitted to us his first local reporting piece in decades, about hard-hit Gerritsen Beach being virtually ignored both in their recovery efforts and by much of the mainstream media.

To learn more about Moses and the event, click here. RSVP by emailing

Photo by Erica Sherman

If your business was affected by Superstorm Sandy, you are eligible to receive pro-bono legal advice from volunteer attorneys who are with the Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project and accounting guidance from CPAs with the New York State Society of CPAs, during a free clinic today, January 31, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at El Greco Diner, 1821 Emmons Avenue at Sheepshead Bay Road.

Attorneys and CPAs will be available to answer questions related to:

  • FEMA and SBA issues
  • Commercial landlord/tenant issues
  • Employer responsibilities
  • Insurance issues
  • Contract issues
  • Filing amended returns
  • Calculating business loss
  • Applying for tax relief

You should also bring all documents related to your primary question, including:

  • Your lease and all riders
  • Any contracts (including amendments and relevant communications)
  • Insurance policies, riders and any communications with your insurers

Assistance will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. RSVP by going to or by calling/emailing Rodrigo Camarena at (212) 513-9211/ For more information, visit

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