Red Cross Shelter Update
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services – working closely with the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army – is in the process of consolidating shelters put in place across the county over the last week.
Approximately 80% of those housed in temporary shelters required sheltering as a result of power outages. As outages are being addressed, and housing resources increasingly become available, the previously urgent need for multiple emergency shelters across the county is diminishing.
Therefore, all shelters in Suffolk County (except Walt Whitman High School) will be combined into one location at St. Joseph’s College, 155 West Roe Blvd, in Patchogue.
As of Wednesday, November 7, 2012, the Walt Whitman High School shelter will be moved to the Village Green Center, 423 Park Ave., Huntington.
Bringing together previously separated resources into fewer facilities will enhance the quality and quantity of shelter and comfort services provided within Suffolk County for those still in need.
Carbon Monoxide Dangers
Sandy has caused power outages that may prompt people to utilize devices which that produce carbon monoxide (CO), an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that is highly poisonous.
Take the following precautions to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
• Do not burn charcoal or gas grills inside a house, garage, vehicle, tent or fireplace.
• Portable generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) very quickly.
• ALWAYS locate the unit outdoors on a dry surface, away from doors, windows, vents and air conditioning equipment that could allow CO to come indoors.
• NEVER use a generator indoors, including in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.
• Follow instructions that come with the generator.
• If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air IMMEDIATELY. DO NOT DELAY. If you have a poisoning emergency, call 1-800-222-1222 and you will be directed to the nearest poison control center. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call 911 immediately.
FEMA UPDATE on DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROCESS
Residents who have suffered a loss due to Tropical Storm Sandy should register with FEMA as soon as possible. Before applying to FEMA, residents should contact their homeowners’ insurance, and then register with FEMA through their Website at www.disasterassistance.gov or call FEMA direct at 1 (800) 621 – 3362. Once an application has been completed, FEMA is contacting applicants within 48 hours. A FEMA agent will come to your home to assess the damage. FEMA is making decisions regarding grant awards within days. SEE ATTACHED FEMA APPLICATION.
Residents should NOT wait for insurance agents or FEMA to arrive before cleaning up areas that may be hazardous. Document the damage for insurance purposes with photographs of effected areas. Also keep receipts for services and goods.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE: In order to be eligible for FEMA Rental Assistance you must answer “yes” to wanting to relocate. Note, relocation can be many things, including placing a trailer on your own property for temporary housing.
WARNING: FEMA interviewers who come to assess damage will NOT ask personal questions, such as social security number or bank account number, or other questions applicants would have already answered when applying for assistance. If anyone asks these kinds of questions, the individual is NOT FEMA. FEMA agents will carry official credentials on badges.
Suffolk County Small Business Assistance
Small businesses needing recovery assistance should contact the Suffolk County Department of Labor (SCDOL) at (631) 853 – 6600. Through the SCDOL and Department of Economic Development & Planning, the County is hosting Small Business Assistance Recovery Centers at SCDOL offices in Hauppauge and Riverhead beginning on Wednesday, 11/7. Hours: North County Complex-9:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. & Riverhead SCDOL 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.