Suffolk County Update November 20, 2012 5:30 P.M.

Department: County Executive | Posted: 11/21/2012 | Views: 1996

Updated information included:  Suffolk County Department of Health Services NEW Drinking Water Update & New Contact Phone Number; SCWA Offering FREE Well Testing for Residents Impacted by Super Storm Sandy; FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in Lindenhurst OPENED on Thanksgiving Day along with All Four Other Disaster Recovery Centers; and link to NYESD Small Business Disaster Relief Info.  

HOTLINE: Suffolk's Office of Emergency Management Hotline staffed 8:00a.m. & 5:00p.m. (631) 852-4900 for information and assistance on disaster-related issues.

NEW

Suffolk County Department of Health Services Advisory

Drinking Water Update: 145 samples taken; New Contact Number

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) has collected and analyzed approximately 145 samples from various public water supply systems throughout Suffolk County to ensure the bacteriological quality of the county’s drinking water. All major public water supply systems, serving a population of approximately 1,364,000 on the mainland of Suffolk County, have not reported any service disruptions and the water has been safe for potable use throughout the duration of the storm and its aftermath.

Immediately following the storm, water supplied by 29 small water supply systems was deemed not safe for consumption due to potential water service disruption that increases risk from contaminants such as bacteria. Residents served by these systems, most of them on Fire Island, were advised to avoid using tap water directly for potable purposes until further notice. In the interim, recommended alternatives included certified bottled water or, where possible, bringing water to a rolling boil for at least one minute. To date 23 boil-water advisories have been lifted. There are currently four water systems that are still under boil water advisories. SCDHS is in the process of notifying system operators and attempting to collect follow-up samples. For additional information, residents should contact their water suppliers or SCDHS at:

(631) 852-5810. (Note: This is a NEW contact number for residents to call re: water supply questions.)

NEW

Suffolk County Water Authority Announcement

SCWA to Offer FREE Well Testing to Those Impacted by Sandy

The Suffolk County Water Authority announced today that it would provide free well testing in its service area to Suffolk County residents using private wells who want to make sure their water supply has not been compromised by Superstorm Sandy.

 

SCWA Chairman James F. Gaughran said the program will be extended for one month, from November 20 through December 20, to allow Suffolk homeowners in communities that suffered extensive storm damage sufficient time to take care of their other priorities.  In addition, tthe time period will be extended indefinitely for anyone who has not returned to their homes by December 20.  Tests would be conducted to make sure that private wells have not been contaminated by bacteria, fuels or chlorides via saltwater intrusion during the storm.

Suffolk residents interested in having their water tested free call (631) 698-9500.

Once water samples have been taken, results will be available as soon as possible. 

FEMA Disaster Recovery Assistance Centers

 

NEW: STEP PROGRAM / 211 Call Center Open 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) Program /Suffolk Residents

(See attached FACT SHEET for more info.)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in conjunction with state, local and tribal partners, is implementing a Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) Program to help people get back into their homes quickly and safely.

                                                                                                                         

STEP assists State, local and tribal governments in performing work and services essential to saving lives, protecting public health and safety, and protecting property. The program funds certain necessary and essential measures to help restore power, heat and hot water to primary residences that could regain power through necessary and essential repairs. STEP can help residents safely shelter-in-place in their homes pending more permanent repairs.

 

The FEMA Disaster Recovery Assistance Centers will be OPEN Thanksgiving, 900 a.m. Noon.  INCLUDING Lindenhurst Center. Regular Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Seven Days a Week, except for the shortened Thanksgiving Day schedule.

In an effort to provide easy access to a variety of local and federal benefits and services, County Executive Bellone has established five emergency Disaster Recovery Assistance Centers in collaboration with FEMA where residents can go for information about FEMA and other disaster assistance programs. FEMA representatives are on hand to assist residents in filling out FEMA applications, answer any questions and provide lists of resources. Additionally, there are also Small Business representatives, as well as representatives of other County and State departments providing services to disaster survivors, including County representatives from the offices of the Departments of Health, Economic Development, Labor, Social Services, and Transitional Housing. 

 Suffolk Department of Health Services Offering FREE Vaccination Clinics at FEMA DRCs this week. See most updated schedule below. Please see NEW hours for this week (11/19 - 11/25) for the SCDHS Free Adult Vaccination Clinics at the Disaster Recovery Assistance Centers.

FREE Tetanus and Influenza immunizations will be provided for first responders, volunteers and personnel responding to storm aftermath, and residents who have been affected by Super Storm Sandy. This week's immunization schedule at the DRCs for adults only is listed below. Please check the schedule as days and hours vary by site.

 In addition, later in this update, please see schedule for "Shots for Tots" Program providing immunization for children. The DHS will also offer tetanus and influenza immunizations for adults at the "Shots for Tots" sites.

 H. Lee Dennison – 100 Vet’s Highway, Hauppauge

SC Vaccine Hours

Friday / 5:30-7:00 p.m.

 Islip Town Annex – 400 Main Street, Islip

SC Vaccine Hours

Tuesday / 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Friday / 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Sunday / 2:00 - 6:00 p.m.

 Lindenhurst Public Library – 1 Lee Street, Lindenhurst

SC Vaccine Hours

Tuesday / 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Wednesday / 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Friday / 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Saturday / 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Sunday / 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

 

Mastic Recreation Center – 15 Herkimer St, Mastic 

SC Vaccine Hours

Tuesday / 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday / 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Saturday / 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

 Suffolk County Center – 300 Center Drive, Riverhead

SC Vaccine Hours

Wednesday / 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Sunday / 9:00 - 3:00 p.m.

 Suffolk Department of Health Services (DHS)"Shots for Tots"

Immunization Clinics for Children are available FREE of charge through the Suffolk County Department of Health Services "Shots for Tots" progam.  This program provides all CDC recommended immunizations to children. Please bring your child’s immunization record with you. SCDHS is also offering tetanus and influenza immunizations at these venues to adults affected by Super Storm Sandy.

 Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Longwood Public Library

3:00 - 6:15 p.m.

800 Middle Country Road

Middle Island, New York 11953

 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sachem Library

3:00 - 6:15 p.m.

150 Holbrook Road

Holbrook, New York 11741

 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church

9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

9 Clinton Ave. & Main St.

Bay Shore, NY 11706

 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Middle Country Library

3:00 - 6:15 p.m

575 Middle Country Road

Selden, NY 11784

 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pronto of Long Island

9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

128 Pine Aire Drive

Bay Shore, New York 11706

 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Longwood Public Library

3:00 - 6:15 p.m.

800 Middle Country Road

Middle Island, New York 11953

  

A Recap of Other Important FEMA Information

 

Super Storm  Sandy Survivors Should Return SBA Disaster Loan Applications to Keep Options Open

NEW YORK — Federal Emergency Management Agency grants are not the only disaster assistance option for Hurricane Sandy survivors. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s low-interest disaster loan program is another important source of assistance for homeowners, renters and businesses.

While some people prefer to avoid borrowing money to cover disaster-related expenses, additional unforeseen costs can arise down the road, leaving them without enough money to cover all expenses.

Additional financial gaps that may occur include:

•Insurance not covering all repair or rebuilding costs;

•Discovering disaster-related damage costs are more than the initial estimate; and

•Finding additional damages.

For additional information please visit http://www.fema.gov/news-release/hurricane-sandy-survivors-should-return-sba-disaster-loan-applications-keep-options

 

What To Expect During FEMA Housing Inspection

After you register, one of the more than 2,000 FEMA Housing Inspectors on the ground will contact you to schedule an appointment to come see the damaged property if it is accessible. The inspection generally takes 30-40 minutes but can be shorter, and consists of a general inspection of damaged areas of your home and a review of your records. This is important: there is no fee for the inspection.

When a FEMA housing inspector comes to visit your home, be sure they show you proper identification. If they do not show you photo identification, then do not proceed with the inspection. Unfortunately, disasters often bring out criminals who prey on the needs of disaster survivors – so beware of scams and scam artists.

It’s important to note that throughout the recovery process, applicants may receive a visit from more than one inspector. In addition to FEMA housing inspectors, representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as state and local officials could also visit neighborhoods in affected areas, so don’t be alarmed if you receive a visit from more than one inspector.

If you suspect someone of posing as a FEMA inspector, call our toll-free Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721, or your local law enforcement officials.

When a FEMA Housing Inspector visits your home, someone 18 years of age or older who lived in the household prior to the disaster must be present for the scheduled appointment. The inspector will ask to see:

•Photo Identification.

•Proof of Ownership/Occupancy of damaged residence (Structural Insurance, Tax Bill, Mortgage Payment Book/Utility Bill).

•Insurance documents: Home and/or Auto (Structural Insurance/Auto Declaration Sheet).

•List of household occupants living in residence at time of disaster.

•All disaster related damages to both real and personal property.

Once the inspection process is complete, your case will be reviewed by FEMA and you will receive a letter, or email if you signed up for E-Correspondence, outlining the decision:

•If you qualify for a FEMA grant, FEMA will send you a check by mail or deposit it directly into your bank account. You will also receive a letter describing how you are to use the money. You should only use the money given to you as explained in the letter and save receipts on how you spent the money.

•If you do not qualify for a FEMA grant, you will receive a letter explaining why you were turned down and will be given a chance to appeal the decision. Your appeal rights will be described in this letter. Appeals must be in writing and mailed within 60 days of FEMA’s decision.

•If you’re referred to the Small Business Administration, you will receive a SBA application. The application must be completed and returned in order to be considered for a loan as well as certain types of grant assistance. SBA representatives are available to help you with the application at local Disaster Recovery Centers. Completing and returning the loan application does not mean that you must accept the loan.

Again, the first step in receiving assistance is registering for assistance with FEMA. So if you’re a Hurricane Sandy survivor and you haven’t registered yet, we encourage you to take advantage of our many ways to register for assistance:

 

 

FEMA Denials

Residents who applied for assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA) may have received letters from FEMA stating their application has been denied.

 

The denial letters are based on information given at the time of application or inspection and may not be the final decision. The main reasons why residents may receive a denial letter are either the home sustained insufficient damage or the home had insurance.

 

Applicants may not be eligible for housing assistance simply because, at the time of inspection, more information was needed. Applicants need not be discouraged. The denial letter is not the final word. Also, more than one form of housing assistance may still be available.

 

In any case, if the applicant does not agree with the decision, they have the right to appeal within 60 days of the denial letter, explain in writing why they disagree with FEMA’s decision and provide any new or additional information and documents supporting their appeal.

 

The Helpline is the same number you used to register: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). If you were denied assistance, because you were insured, consider calling FEMA after your insurance claim is settled.

 

By law, FEMA cannot duplicate what insurance already covers, or pay deductibles. However, in some cases, they may be able to help, up to the extent of program limits. The only way to know is to register at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). If you receive a letter from FEMA stating that a claim for federal assistance has been deemed ineligible because of insurance you should contact your insurance agent and request a settlement letter.

 

Questions regarding flood insurance policies are handled through the National Flood Insurance Program Helpline at 1-800-638-6620.

 

Regardless of the status of the denial letter for Housing Assistance, applicants may still be eligible for low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and other state and federal programs including disaster unemployment assistance, legal aid, crisis counseling, USDA food stamp assistance, USDA rural housing and veteran assistance.  

 EPA, State & County:  Household Hazardous Waste Pickup & Drop-Off in Suffolk

 

Contact: John Martin (646) 592 – 1425, martin.johnj@epa.gov

Elias Rodriguez (732) 672 – 5520, rodriguez.elias@epa.gov

 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Suffolk County will collect and properly dispose of potentially hazardous common household products from flood-damaged homes in Suffolk County. Beginning on Nov. 12, people in affected homes may bring household products, including solvents, paints, cleaners, oil, propane tanks, batteries, petroleum products, weed/bug killers, car batteries, bleach and ammonia, to one of four drop-off locations. In addition, starting on Nov. 12, residents of surrounding towns can put waste products on the curb for pickup. The drop-off and pickup locations are listed below:

  • Venetian Shores Park, 801 Granada Parkway, Lindenhurst, NY
  • Islip Multipurpose Recycling Facility, 1155 Lincoln Avenue, Holbrook, NY
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant, 1 Hammond Street, Patchogue, NY
  • Highway Barn, 1177 Osborn Road, Riverhead, NY

   Suffolk County Business Resources & Disaster Relief Programs

 NEW LINK

New York State Empire State Development Disaster Relief Programs

NEW YORK EMPIRE STATE DEVELOPMENT (NYESD) has been reaching out to businesses to identify their most immediate needs and help ensure access to every tool possible for a full and speedy recovery.  Several ESD business assistance programs are still in development.  If you would like NYSESD to contact you once programs are on-line, please go to: http://www.esd.ny.gov/StormRecovery.asp and complete the Business Information Form. ESD will follow-up with you.  In the meantime, as a first step, remember to register with FEMA for federal disaster assistance and to receive a FEMA ID. (See contact information in FEMA section of this update.)

Provide Emergency Sales Tax Relief to Small Businesses for Super Storm Sandy Reconstruction Efforts

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Suffolk County IDA announced an emergency sales tax relief program to ease the costs of reconstructing Suffolk County's small businesses.

 The program provides relief from state and local sales tax on building materials such as windows, sheet rock, flooring and electrical as well as on equipment a business needs to replace that was damaged by the storm.

 The program will provide sales tax relief for purchase of building materials and for the repurchase of equipment of up to $100,000 in purchase costs. There will be 200 businesses eligible for the program. A business must have 25 or fewer full-time employees to participate.

 When a small business owner takes advantage of the IDA's relief program, the agency will facilitate discussions between them and the Town they operate in. The Town will be able to communicate directly with the business to determine if there are any issues they can develop solutions for.

 Small business owners who have had their place of business damaged by Super Storm Sandy are urged to fill out a relief form at www.SuffolkIDA.org. Questions are asked to be directed to 631-853-4802 or email them to: info@suffolkida.org.

 Suffolk County Small Business Assistance Resource Centers

Suffolk County, through its Departments of Economic Development/Planning and Labor, is offering access to computers, printers and fax machines for businesses that need access to office equipment in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy.

 Locations:

SC Labor Department, 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, NY Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30am – 4:00pm

SC Labor Department, 300 Center Drive, Riverhead, NY Hours: Monday-Friday-8:30am – 4:00pm

  

Previous Health Advisories from Suffolk Department of Health Services

 Guidance for Homeowners with Private Wells Affected by Floodwaters

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services has updated it’s guidance to homeowners whose private wells were affected by floodwaters as a result of the storm. Health officials advise that homeowners test for bacteriological contaminants (total coliform and E.Coli), and inorganic compounds (e.g. nitrates, nitrites, chlorides) at minimum. Additional testing may be required depending upon site specific conditions (e.g. stored solvents, pesticides, gas cans, etc.).

 

Prior to having their water tested, homeowners are advised to have their wells assessed, repaired (if necessary), and disinfected by a licensed well driller or other competent professional. The New York State Department of Health advises that if fuel oil contamination is suspected (e.g. notable petroleum odor or evidence of petroleum product in close proximity to the well) then an analysis for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) should initially be performed to rule out potential impacts prior to disinfection and sampling. This analysis is also suggested for private wells in communities which were flooded and are known to have been heavily impacted by fuel spills. If residents are in doubt they should seek advice from a qualified professional. In addition, if you believe your well may be contaminated by petroleum, please report this to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Spill Hotline at 1-800-457-7362. More detailed information can be found in the attachment.

 

Mental Health Needs

Those residents who are feeling undue stress or anxiety as a result of Super Storm Sandy should be aware that there are resources available to them. They are encouraged to seek out personnel representing the Suffolk County Department of Health Services and/or the New York State Office of Mental Health at the FEMA centers. These personnel will direct them to the appropriate resources. Alternatively, they can call (631) 853-8500.

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