Archive for the tag 'office of emergency management'

Some of the damage in Sea Gate, at the tip of Coney Island, left by Sandy. Photo by Erica Sherman

Some of the damage in Sea Gate, at the tip of Coney Island, left by Sandy. Photo by Erica Sherman

The following is a message from the offices of Councilman Chaim Deutsch:

As the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches, Council Member Chaim Deutsch is reuniting various first responders who were instrumental in assisting thousands of residents during Hurricane Sandy in affected neighborhoods throughout the 48th District.

Council Member Deutsch is organizing an event for his constituents that will offer training under the auspices of Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in crisis intervention, emergency response and disaster preparedness.

Participating in the kick off will be members of United Search & Rescue, Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol, Rockaway Safety Patrol, New York Rescue Response Team, East Flatbush Safety Patrol, volunteer establishments and community residents.

Council Member Deutsch is inviting members of the community who are interested in learning more about how to become a first responder for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training to join him. The event takes place on Thursday, September 18th, at 7pm at the Shorefront Y located at 3300 Coney Island Avenue.

For more information please call the Council Member’s District Office at 718-368-9176.

Photo by Randy Contello

Looks like it’s going to be a heck of a day, especially for anyone stuck working outside. Neighbors across Brooklyn are facing a double threat today, with the National Weather Service warning of both high temperatures and the threat of flooding.

With temperatures expected to hit the high 80s and the heat index pushing that further up into the mid-90s, the National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for all of New York City from noon today until 5:00 p.m. tonight. The conditions can be dangerous to health, and residents are advised to avoid strenuous activity. People without air conditioning, older adults and those with chronic health conditions are most at risk. Make sure to check on elderly or disabled neighbors. It does not appear that New York City has opened its cooling centers, and the Office of Emergency Management’s cooling center locator website is not currently activated. Libraries are always a safe bet for those in need of cooling off, though. The city also has these tips on staying cool.

And while we bake, we await the rain. All of New York City is under a Flash Flood Warning today through Friday morning. According to the National Weather Service:

A cold front will slowly move across the region today before departing late tonight through Friday morning. This front will interact with some tropical moisture streaming into the region from the south, resulting in periods of heavy rainfall. A total of one to three inches of rainfall is expected, with locally higher amounts. Thunderstorms will be possible, helping to enhance these rainfall totals.

Low-lying streets and roadways, and areas with poor drainage, could quickly fill with water. Residents are advised to clear out any drainage systems on their properties.

Remember, folks: check on your neighbors, and lend a hand where you can!

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for all of New York City, lasting through today and tomorrow morning, with eight inches of snow and 40 mile-per-hour wind gusts predicted.

It’s the first snowstorm of the year, and is forecast to have near-blizzard conditions and single-digit temperatures.

The snowstorm will deliver its biggest blow to New York City this evening, during the rush hour commute, when the heavier snow is expected to fall.

The Sanitation Department has already gone into snowstorm mode, loading salt spreaders at facilities across the facility.

Alternate side parking is suspended for today. Parking meters remain in effect.

Here are a few tips for weathering the storm and staying warm and safe:

  • Avoid unnecessary travel – Wet or icy roads are dangerous enough. But also avoid going out on foot or any other means. Strong winds could dislodge tree limbs or other debris, which can turn deadly.
  • Prepare for power outages – Charge all of your mobile devices and any other electronics you may need, and make sure you have fresh batteries in your radios and alarm clocks. Con Edison infrastructure is still vulnerable following Superstorm Sandy, and power lines can be knocked out.
  • We hate telling people to stock up on water, gasoline and other such supplies, but if you can, you should.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially if you live next to senior citizens or disabled people.
  • When shoveling, don’t overexert yourself, and be aware of utilities. Don’t cover up fire hydrants in mounds of snow.

The progress of snow plows can be monitored PlowNYC, set up after complaints from the 2010 blizzard.

Turn to Sheepshead Bites for the latest information from government authorities and utility companies, school, transit and road closures, as well as on-the-ground reports from readers around the neighborhood.

And remember to save our e-mail address (tips [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com), phone number (347-985-0633) and Twitter account (@sheepsheadbites) into your phone. If you see downed trees or power lines, flooding, or anything else, snap a photo with your cell phone and e-mail, text or Tweet it over.

Oh, and send all your pretty snow photos over to photos [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Following yesterday’s dramatic rescue of a construction worker who had been buried up to his chest in dirt and debris, the Department of Buildings has slapped the contractor with a slew of violations.

The FDNY rescued the 33-year-old construction worker, who has not been identified, after a trench he was excavating in the rear yard of 2407 East 23rd Street collapsed on him, burying him up to his chest and making it difficult for him to breathe. After a 30-minute multi-agency rescue operation, the man was freed from the dirt and taken to Kings County Hospital with minor injuries.

The Department of Buildings told Sheepshead Bites that they have issued a stop work order at the location, and have also ordered the contractor, Mike Mermelshtayn of Alex and Tom Construction (2537 East 65th Street) to fill and secure the two 8-foot-long, 10-foot-deep trenches they’ve dug.

The Department also issued violations for failure to provide protection at an excavation site, failure to safeguard persons or property, failure to file plans for excavation work, and failure to provide proper fencing at the job site. The department did not answer an inquiry about the penalties imposed as part of the violations.

Department of Buildings records indicate that the landlord was converting the ground level unit of the multi-family home into a commercial location, with plans to extend the first and second floors towards the rear. There were no complaints registered against the construction until the collapse.


The FDNY rescued a construction worker buried up to his chest in debris after a trench he was digging in the backyard of an East 23rd Street home collapsed on him.

For details, photos and video, keep reading.


It’s no small secret that a large amount, perhaps even the majority, of Brooklynites living in Zone A failed to heed the city’s call for a mandatory evacuation during Superstorm Sandy. Some felt the storm would not be as devastating as it proved to be, and reflected on the city’s pointless mandatory evacuation during Hurricane Irene the previous year. The failure to evacuate left many in terror as the waters crashed through the streets, and some, including Manhattan Beach resident Cy Schoenfeld, perished when they could not escape the flood.

City Council candidate Igor Oberman told Sheepshead Bites that mandatory evacuations must truly be mandatory if authorities aim to keep residents safe, and is proposing repercussions for those residents who refuse to leave ahead of future storms.

“If you’re going to say it’s a mandatory evacuation, it’s mandatory,” Oberman said of the evacuation orders. “A rule has to have a kind of duel sided charge, that if you don’t follow something ithis is what happens to you. Otherwise, it’s not a rule.”

In advance of Superstorm Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Office of Emergency Management issued a mandatory evacuation order. However, the mayor made clear that the city would not force people from their homes, instead warning residents that they would be cut off from emergency services during the most perilous hours of the storm – a promise that was kept as police and firefighters largely stayed out of Zone A until the water receded.

But Oberman, who is running to replace term-limited Councilman Michael Nelson, who himself failed to evacuate during the storm, said that’s not good enough, and the city ought to do more. He suggests a series of penalties if one fails to vacate.

Find out what sort of penalties Oberman recommends if you fail to evacuate during a storm.

Temperatures are expected to float around the 100-degree mark throughout the current work week, with temperatures hitting as high as 102 degrees today. While rain is forecast to hit Friday, the temperatures won’t really begin to drop until Sunday, when it finally goes below 90 degrees.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for the entire city. It currently lasts until midnight tonight, but will likely be extended throughout the week. These conditions are dangerous to health, and you should avoid strenuous activity. People without air conditioning, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions are most at risk.

Be a good neighbor; if you live next door to an elderly or disabled person, or even just a family – particularly one with young children – who do not own an air conditioner, be sure to check in on them.

Additionally, the city has opened cooling centers. Most local centers are open until 4:00 p.m. today. Here are the five closest centers to the Sheepshead Bay Road area.

  • Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Senior Center – 60 West End Avenue
  • Senior Alliance Neighborhood Senior Center – 161 Corbin Place
  • Jay-Harama Neighborhood Senior Center – 2600 Ocean Avenue
  • Shorefront Neighborhood Senior Center – 3300 Coney Island Avenue
  • The Bay Neighborhood Senior Center – 3643 Nostrand Avenue

More centers can be found using this Office of Emergency Management web tool.

Don’t forget the libraries are air conditioned, or you can always sit back with a glass of iced coffee or compote at one of our local restaurants, check out the movie theater, or just meander around Loehmann’s to keep cool.

And if you plan on opening up the fire hydrants to let your kids cool down, make sure to do it legally by requesting a free spray cap from the FDNY.

Finally, review this list of symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion to make sure you know the signs and don’t overwork yourself.

Stay cool, readers. It’s going to be a long week!

Sheepshead Bay's cooling centers.

Sheepshead Bay’s cooling centers.

The National Weather Service this morning issued a heat advisory for New York City until 6 p.m. tomorrow, cautioning vulnerable populations to stay cool if they can.

With temperatures expected to hit the low-90s today and tomorrow, with high humidity and possible thunderstorms in the afternoons and evenings, people without air conditioning, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions are at risk. The city is urging these populations to avoid strenuous activity and stay indoors, with air conditioning if possible. Wear light weight and loose-fitting clothing and keep hydrated with water.

Additionally, the city has opened cooling centers will be open. Most local centers are open until 4:00 p.m. today. Here are the five closest centers to the Sheepshead Bay Road area.

  • Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Senior Center – 60 West End Avenue
  • Senior Alliance Neighborhood Senior Center – 161 Corbin Place
  • Jay-Harama Neighborhood Senior Center – 2600 Ocean Avenue
  • Shorefront Neighborhood Senior Center – 3300 Coney Island Avenue
  • The Bay Neighborhood Senior Center – 3643 Nostrand Avenue

More centers can be found using this Office of Emergency Management web tool.

Since this weather is certain to continue over the next few months, be sure to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be fatal. Here are some of the signs:

  • Heat exhaustion
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea
    • Headaches
    • Excessive thirst
    • Muscle aches and cramps
    • Fainting
  • Heat stroke
    • Hot, flushed, dry skin
    • Rapid heart rate
    • Decreased sweating
    • Shortness of breath
    • Confusion or delirium

You can find more about the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion at WebMD.

Of course, you can always take the day off and spend it in one of our local, air conditioned libraries, or take in a movie at the UA, or, heck, just ride the subway all day long.

Stay cool!

With Hurricane Sandy relief efforts well underway, the largest challenge now is getting people – especially seniors and the disabled – out of homes lacking heat and hot water as temperatures continue to drop.

To help with that, the city has expanded the number of daytime warming centers available, including many in Southern Brooklyn. The complete list can be found here.

Unfortunately, most of those centers close at 4:00 p.m., leaving residents with few options for the coldest night time hours.

Currently, there are only four overnight shelters available, which you can find here.

Need help getting to any of these shelters? The city is operating shuttle buses in select locations. For all of Brooklyn’s thousands of residents across the borough, they have just one: MCU Park (Cyclones Stadium) Parking Lot at 1904 Surf Avenue at West 17th Street, which will take you to John Jay High School at 237 Seventh Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets.

However, during a press conference at P.S. 195 in Manhattan Beach yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg said getting residents to those shelters is a top priority, and residents can get transportation from the Office of Emergency Management by calling 311. They also say if you begin to feel the effects of hypothermia – beginning with uncontrollable shivering – you should call 911 or flag down a police car, which will get you to a heating center immediately.

Please, don’t take another risk. The cold is poised to be more deadly that Sandy itself. If you have no heat or hot water, find a place to stay that does. Whether it’s the home of family or friends, a welcoming neighbor, or a city shelter – get out, and get to a warm place.

Source: niznoz/Flickr

Councilman Michael Nelson’s office needs your help to get power back to areas still blacked out from Hurricane Sandy.

According to representatives for the councilman, his office is working closely with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the Office of Emergency Management and Con Edison to expedite restoration of power to the neighborhood.

But amid the confusion of Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, identifying priorities remains in the hands of residents.

The councilman’s office is asking that those without power or know of large buildings or blocks without power to email, or to call Mary Scarfogliero at (917) 494-6208.

They ask that you include the address of the property without power, and, if you have it, the following information:

  • Approximate number of tenants or apartments if a large building or block
  • Management company contact information, including name and number, or
  • The superintendent’s name and number, or
  • If a private property, the name and phone number of the owner.

Residents should also call (800) 75-CONED and file an individual complaint. The office reminds residents not to assume the company knows about it or someone else has lodged a complaint. Areas that receive the most complaints are prioritized by the company.

Additionally, Nelson’s office was flooded during the storm, and so calling his district office or trying to walk in won’t work. Use the contact information about for any requests to his office you may have.

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