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Posts Tagged ‘Sandy’

Senator Squadron to Host NY After Sandy Resource Fair

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Tomorrow, Sunday, December 9, State Senator Daniel Squadron will host “New York After Sandy,” a resource fair and community conversation that will serve as a one-stop shop for New Yorkers in need of assistance or who want to get involved with recovery efforts and long-term planning.

Brooklyn: 11AM-2PM, Galapagos Art Space, 16 Main St (DUMBO)

Manhattan: 3PM-6PM, Murry Bergtraum HS, 411 Pearl St

The resource fair will bring together representatives from government agencies, utility companies, social and legal service organizations, volunteer groups, and others who can help in Sandy’s aftermath. As disaster assistance deadlines near (December 31st in many cases) and utilities remain out in many buildings, this will provide New York residents and businesses with an opportunity to have their questions answered and get direct help or sign up to volunteer.

The event will also include a community conversation on New York City’s long-term recovery and how the city can prepare for future emergencies — allowing New Yorkers to make their voices heard on next steps.

Contractors Poised to Defraud Homeowners after Sandy

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Homeowners must be alert to storm-chasing contractors who try to exploit the confusion after superstorm Sandy to make shoddy repairs or steal down payments, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud warns.

Most contractors are honest, but shady contractors typically descend on disaster areas such as those inflicted by Sandy, whose total damages could reach $50 billion.

Storm chasers typically go door-to-door seeking business. They’re often from out of state, incompetent and unlicensed. They intend to cheat anxious homeowners who urgently need repairs after the storm. Local contractors also may be dishonest.

Homeowners could lose thousands of dollars to contractor scams. Shoddy repairs also can take months to correct, making it harder for homeowners to put their lives back together again.

Contractor inquiries have ranked No. 1 for five straight years by the Better Business Bureau. Contractor-related complaints were ranked 3rd by the Consumer Federation of America for 2011. Home-improvement contractors were the No. 1 source of consumer complaints in New Jersey last year, reveals the state Division of Consumer Affairs.

Five Scams to Avoid

Pre-pay. The contractor demands a large cash payment upfront, then disappears after doing little or no work. The contractor also may illicitly require you to pay for bids.

Shoddy work. The work is low quality, using cheap or substandard materials. Homeowners may have to redo the entire job, often at their expense.

Phantom damage. A contractor creates storm damage. Nicking undamaged sidewall or roof shingles with a screwdriver to mimic hail damage is one come-on.

Inflated damage. Contractors may enlarge holes in a roof to increase their billings. Simply inflating the bill to include more work than was done is another ruse.

Pay your deductible. Offering to pay your insurance deductible to get your business typically is a come-on to lure you into fraudulent work.

Six Ways to Prevent Fraud

Avoid door-to-door contractors. These usually are the storm chasers who canvass damaged neighborhoods for repair jobs. All too often these contractors have fraudulent repairs in mind.

Verify license. Contact your state and local licensing agencies to ensure the contractor is licensed.

Work with your insurance company. Contact your insurer right away to help screen out scam artists. Work closely with your insurer throughout the claim process to assess the damage, determine what repairs are covered, and the cost. Get the right repairs done, and done right.

Watch for red flags. No business cards or referrals…P.O. Box instead of a street address…van looks rundown and has no company name…poor personal appearance…can’t show proof of workers compensation insurance or surety/performance bond.

Insist on a contract. Have a signed contract specifying exactly what work will be done, plus the price and repair schedule. Never sign a contract with blanks.

Contact local Better Business Bureau. Does the contractor have a history of complaints? See if the contractor has a BBB review.

Jewish Toy Store Owner Donates $10,000 Worth of Toys to Sandy Victims

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Toys to Discover, a Jewish-owned toy store on 18th Avenue in Borough Park gave away over $10,000 worth of toys to children affected by hurricane Sandy.

On the weekend of November 18, owner Yonasan Schwartz handed out over 600 packages of toys to Brooklyn and Long Island children whose homes were heavily damaged or destroyed by the epic storm.

In an interview with JTA, Schwartz said he “decided… to do a little sharing” after witnessing the destruction, handing out gift packages including two types of building blocks, Jewish children’s books, colorful children’s bandages, Jewish figurine toys, and kitchen play sets.  The total value of each package was approximately $150.

Schwartz told JTA he had planned to hand out 500 packages, but quickly put together another 100 after requests from Seagate and Far Rockaway showed more children were in need of some cheer.

Schwartz said he would continue to offer deep discounts to anyone coming into his store and saying they were affected by the storm.  He expressed his hope that the new toys would fill the holes in the children’s hearts left by the loss of their old toys.

Hundreds of NY Homes to Be Torn Down After Sandy

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Hundreds of homes damaged beyond repair during Hurricane Sandy will be readied for demolition by New York City workers according to an article in the New York Times.

Over 200 homes in Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn either burned down or were washed out to sea.

Manhattan hospitals New York University Medical Center and Bellevue are still working to recover from damage and contamination caused by flooding.

According to the report, there are still thousands of families who have no electricity and are unable to live in their homes.

On Being Sandy

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

It was William Shakespeare who posed the question “What’s in a name?”

These days, if someone calls you “Shakespeare” it probably means he or she thinks you are pretty bright, or at least can write well.

But a name can take on a whole new meaning when you find yourself sharing an identity with the most destructive storm ever to strike the East Coast.

My first inkling of Hurricane Sandy came approximately six days before the actual winds blew into town, when a friend jokingly e-mailed me a weather map showing the storm’s track.

I admit I was intrigued. When the National Weather Service issues its annual list of hurricane names for the year, they are arranged alphabetically. Honestly, I never realized the list went all the way through the alphabet and had never heard of a hurricane with an S-name. Hurricane Sandy? It sounded pretty cool.

By Thursday I had changed my Facebook profile picture to a graphic of the impending hurricane and got plenty of “likes” on my new photo persona, as well as lots of teasing from my friends. With the projected forecast of Sandy colliding with two other weather systems and during a full moon, which meant really high tides, they were calling me “the perfect storm.”

By Sunday night, my father, who had already been experiencing Sandy’s rain and winds, called me from Florida.

“How could they name such a terrible storm after someone so special?” he asked me in a way that only a loving father could. I told him not to worry. He had always said that if I was going to do something I should do it with a full heart – and it sounded like Hurricane Sandy was going to give her all as well.

And indeed she did. But not in a good way.

Four days after Sandy wreaked destruction, havoc and unparalleled devastation on the Eastern Seaboard, I was ready to change my profile picture on Facebook. How could I, even jokingly, associate myself with something that claimed the lives of innocent victims, washed people’s houses out into the Atlantic, and caused so much heartache to so many?

For those who weathered the storm with minimal adverse effects, it will be just a memory of taking in the lawn furniture in advance of a rainy night accompanied by howling winds. For others, Sandy will go down in the record books as the mega-storm that took out the electricity, leaving us shivering in the dark as we waited for the power to go back on and prayed that our freezers wouldn’t defrost on us.

I consider myself one of the fortunate ones. But in far too many instances, Sandy turned out to be a life-altering experience resulting in catastrophic losses.

In some ways Sandy took me back to 9/11, when we walked around in a daze wondering how something like this could have happened here. We all looked at the pictures of Breezy Point, Sea Gate, and the Battery Tunnel in disbelief, unable to comprehend that this was no movie set, that this was in fact very real, and realizing how in an instant our lives can crumble before us.

Did anyone imagine that the New York City subway system could be brought to a grinding halt? That entire portions of midtown Manhattan could be without power or that lower Manhattan could be submerged? How crippled we would be if we no longer had access to cell phone service or the Internet?

As time goes by and the repairs and the healing take hold, perhaps we may be able to see Sandy not only for the epic catastrophe she turned out to be but also as an opportunity for people to show their true colors, as they turned out in force to do everything within their power, and then some, to help those who bore the full brunt of the storm’s wrath.

But of course it is way too early for those who are suffering to even contemplate looking for the silver lining in clouds that are undoubtedly darker than most of us have ever seen.

Ultimately, Sandy will come to represent many different things to many different people.

For me, Sandy is a sobering reminder that while our lives are, thankfully, so rich and so full of advances and comforts, we haven’t earned them or created them on our own. All that we have we have only through the benevolence and kindness of Heaven, and we must appreciate and value them every single day of our lives.

Israeli Aid Missions Providing Relief to Hurricane Sandy Victims

Friday, November 9th, 2012

An Israeli delegation of trained rescue volunteers is departing to New York today, Friday, November 9, to assist victims devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The delegation is headed by Shahar Zahavi, CEO of IsraAID, the Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid, an Israeli non-governmental organization (NGO) that has facilitated aid and relief program across the world, including in Haiti, Japan, Turkey, Kenya and South Sudan.

The 12-person delegation will be offering rescue, rehabilitation, and communal resource services to New York residents of Far Rockaway and Long Beach, as well as the Atlantic City-Margate area along the Jersey Shore. They will also be identifying areas with vulnerable populations and allocating resources to older people and families with young children who have suffered significant damages to their homes and have no power.

Financing for the mission comes from young Israelis and from Israeli businesses, alongside partner companies in the United States, which are supplying the Israeli crew with water, food, gasoline, clothing, blankets and storage facilities to distribute to people who have been evacuated from their homes.

According to spokesperson Tova Hametz the IsraAid delegation’s mission is to “rehabilitate, rescue, bolster morale and bring physical resources in the most effective, organized and expedient way.” She added that Zahavi has much experience in relief work following his mission in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

According to Israel’s foreign office, a number of Israeli NGOs are working to bring relief and supplies including food, fuel and generators to both victims and emergency workers in New York and New Jersey. Among those NGOs are Israel Flying Aid and Israeli Humanitarian Aid-LATET. Those efforts have been coordinated with local police departments, the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Jewish communities in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.

One of the Israeli volunteers, Joel Leyden, helped organize an aid convoy from Connecticut to Long Island, bringing food and generators to first responders, fire departments, police, and to homes. He and other Israeli volunteers also passed out Dunkin’ Donuts to people waiting at gas stations.

“We wore our blue-and-white-Israeli hats to make sure they knew this aid was coming from the people of Israel,” said Leyden, according to the foreign office website.

Hurricane Sandy was the largest Atlantic hurricanes and the second-costliest after Hurricane Katrina. The October hurricane killed more than 110 people in 10 states, left more than 8 million homes and businesses in the Northeast without electricity, and tens of thousands of Americans homeless.

His Brooklyn Home Destroyed by Sandy, Singer Mordechai Ben David Is Making Aliyah (Video)

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Only three days ago, popular singer and songwriter Mordechai Werdyger, known by his thousands of Orthodox Jewish fans as Mordechai Ben David, or just MBD, shot and distributed a video clip depicting the destruction of his neighborhood, Sea Gate, at the southwestern tip of Brooklyn, NY, in an effort to raise awareness—and donations—to rebuild this once thriving Jewish community.

The video starts at MBD’s basement recording studio, which has been totaled by the flood of ocean water—noting that the water only reached up to the level where pictures of famous rebbes were hanging. MBD then goes out to the beach, walking over the broken slabs of asphalt and concrete, surveying the astonishing damage.

Now rumor has it that MBD has decided to move to Israel, where he has purchased an apartment in a 330-unit residential complex being built at the T’nuva Compound, in the neighborhood of Romema, Jerusalem.

In what appears in hindsight as nothing short of a stroke of prophecy, Jewish Press Online blogger Tzvi Fishman, a devoted advocate of Jewish immigration to Israel, has called on MBD and others just this week to turn the misfortune of Sandy into an opportunity:

“Brothers and sisters of New York and New Jersey– rebuild your washed-out communities in Israel! Mordechai Ben David, Avraham Fried, and Shwekey – we have beautiful recording studios in Israel, as dry as can be! Instead of coming here for concerts on Chol HaMoed Sukkot and Pesach, come here to live, and give your holiday concerts in Brooklyn instead! It’s a lot safer living in Israel!”

And Fishman complains no one is listening to him…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/his-brooklyn-home-destroyed-by-sandy-singer-mordechai-ben-david-is-making-aliyah-video/2012/11/08/

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