On his show AC 360°, host Anderson Cooper interviewed Sophie Delaunay, the executive Director of Doctors Without Borders, on the organizations efforts to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy, especially in the Rockaways.
“We learned our lessons from Katrina when we thought the medical needs would be covered, and when we realized there were gaps it was too late for us to react,” says Sophie Delaunay.
She tells Anderson the most challenging place right now is the Rockaways in Queens where people who need help are homebound in high-rise apartment buildings and have had little contact with the outside world since they lost their electricity. The group is helping with a variety of needs, but 60% of the consultations are to assist with prescription refills.
by Greg B. Smith at New York Daily News
Calls it a ‘nice little Christmas present’ but has no answers for residents still struggling two weeks after Hurricane Sandy
Public tenants without heat, hot water and power for weeks will still have cough up their full rent before getting a credit in January – a refund that NYCHA Chairman John Rhea called “a nice little Christmas present.”
Rhea made the Scrooge-esque comment Monday when he showed up at the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn, where tenants have lived in deplorable conditions since Hurricane Sandy hit Oct. 29.
He told one tenant, “Hang in there.” [..]
When Rhea showed up in Red Hook Monday, 4,015 residents there were still without heat and hot water and 2,125 were without power. Twenty-two of the project’s 32 buildings were either without heat and hot water or power. [..]
As of Monday, 4,400 NYCHA tenants in Red Hook, Coney Island and Far Rockaway, Queens, were still without power, while 18,000 residents in 14 developments in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan still had no hot water or heat.
NYCHA turned off elevators, hot water and heat two days before the storm hit in 26 low-lying developments near waterfronts and ordered tenants to evacuate.
by Daniel Marans at Huffington Post
The situation in public housing projects in Coney Island, Brooklyn remains a “humanitarian crisis” in which the government and the Red Cross have been nearly completely absent, according to Eric Moed, a volunteer aid worker with Occupy Sandy. [..]
The projects in Coney Island remain without power, and often without water and necessities in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Accounts of these conditions have been corroborated in the New York Daily News.
Moed says all of the supermarkets on Coney Island have been flooded or looted.
The result is what Moed describes as a “humanitarian crisis.” Sick or older people may be vulnerable to death without heat, or food and water.
Moed routinely meets elderly residents who have been trapped alone in their dark, cold apartments since the storm hit. The elevators often do not work, and residents willing to brave the stairwells face darkness, human waste, and even crime. [..]
Whatever response there has been from the government — city, state, or federal — or the Red Cross, Moed says their presence in and around the Coney Island projects is non-existent, inadequate, or counterproductive. FEMA has set up a solitary aid trailer on what Moed calls the “sexy area” of Coney Island — near the famous amusement park and Nathan’s — which was not hit very hard. It awaits people seeking help, when those who most need it are stranded in high-rise buildings a few blocks away.
Moed insists that he does not assume anything about the government and Red Cross’s lack of a response, but says their absence is indisputable. “They’re literally not there. It’s not a criticism, it’s literally a fact,” he said. “I’ve been on the ground here for four days. I’ve seen zero FEMA people. Occasionally a Red Cross truck will come through with hot meals. But there’ll be one truck for 15-20 buildings.” [..]
The absence of government or Red Cross presence has left a vacuum of authority and accountability at a time when stranded residents are seeking it most. “The projects have had nobody to talk to,” Moed says. “People literally have no power, no food, no water, no bathrooms–they’re defecating in buckets. And there is no one to answer to for it.” For lack of a higher-level city government presence, presidents of public housing blocks with few resources have been left to address residents’ grievances. [..]