Hurricane Update & Recovery Info   
 
Chinatown on Road to Recovery Despite Lack of Power    
- Chinatown BID     

Some businesses in Chinatown re-opened yesterday and limited food selections are available in restaurants such
as Mee Sun Cafe above, power to most of lower Manhattan is still down.  (Photo Credit: EPA)

 

ConEd estimates that customers in Manhattan served by underground electric equipment should have power back in approximately 4 - 7 days (as of Oct 30th). Restoration to all customers in other areas served by overhead power lines will take longer.
 

ConEd Start Work On Restoring Power
Photo via Associated Press
Con Edison truck at Catherine Slip Tuesday. 
 
Con Edison is assessing damage and restoring service after Hurricane Sandy toppled trees and flooded underground equipment in the most devastating storm in company history.

The company estimates that customers in Manhattan served by underground electric equipment should have power back within four days. Restoration to all customers in other areas served by overhead power lines will take at least a week.

As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, the company reported approximately 780,000 customers without electrical service. That included about 250,000 customers in Manhattan, 180,000 in Westchester County, 108,000 in Queens, 109,000 in Staten Island, 87,000 in Brooklyn, and 45,000 in the Bronx.

The outages were roughly split between the company's underground and overhead systems. The company has already restored power to approximately 140,000 of the 930,000 customers impacted at some point by the storm. In overhead areas, many roads are blocked by fallen trees or flooded. Restoring electrical service to underground equipment demands cleaning all components of sea water, drying and testing to make it safe to restore power.

The previous record number of storm outages in Con Edison territory occurred last year, when Hurricane Irene caused about 203,000 customers to lose service.

Customers can report downed power lines, outages, and check service restoration status by computer or mobile device at conEd.com. They also can call 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). 
   

Hurricane Disaster Relief

   

 

Please visit www.nyc.gov/severeweather for the latest forecast, to report property damage or downed trees and to learn how to donate goods or volunteer. 

 

 

Anyone affected by Sandy (homeowners, renters, and businesses) can apply for federal disaster assistance. Register at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling FEMA at 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Before you call, be sure to have the following information ready: 


- Address of affected property
- Insurance information
- Social Security number  

  

Additional Emergency Contact Information

Federal Emergency Management Administration
: Residents and business owners who sustained losses can begin applying for assistance starting October 31st by registering online, or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY). FEMA funds a number of assistance programs including rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable; grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items; and unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster.

Small Business Administration: After residents and businesses are registered with FEMA, they may apply for a disaster loan. SBA, not FEMA, provides low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance and loans up to $2 million for small businesses and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered property damage or loss of cash flow. Residents can apply online, or in person at any Disaster Recovery Center. To find the nearest location, please call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail.
 
Red Cross: The Red Cross provides for thousands of displaced residents through a network of emergency shelters. If you need assistance, you can find the nearest shelter by clicking HERE or calling 1-877-733-2767.

New York State:  New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES): The New York State DHSES provides leadership and support for efforts to respond to, and recover from, natural disasters and other emergencies. Please contact the Hurricane Sandy Helpline for New York State Residents at 1-888-769-7243 or 1-518-485-1159 or go to
http://www.dhses.ny.gov/ for more information.

New York City: Office of Emergency Management: The New York City Office of Emergency Management coordinates emergency response and recovery, and collects and disseminates emergency information. For the latest updates on utility and transportation service restoration or to find an emergency shelter location, please click HERE or call 718-422-8700.
 
NYC Small Business Services (SBS): NYC SBS provides helpful information for small business owners on what to do during and after Hurricane Sandy. Please click HERE or call 311.

Notify NYC: Notify NYC is the City of New York's official source for information about emergency events and important city services such as schools, utilities, and transportation. Please click HERE or call 311 to register for updates.

Utility Information: ConEd: Customers can report downed power lines, outages, and check service restoration status by computer or mobile device at www.conEd.com. They also can call 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).

Private Insurances

Allstate: Allstate is prepared and ready to respond quickly to Hurricane Sandy with approximately 1,100 claim personnel ready to help. Allstate customers who suffered damage can call 1-800-54-STORM (800-457-8676), go online or contact their agent to file a claim or receive additional information about the claims process. Claims personnel are available 24/7.

Farmers: Farmers Insurance Group, including subsidiaries Foremost Insurance, 21st Century and Bristol West, are prepared to help customers in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Customers with damage should immediately contact their agent or call Farmers' 24-hour-claims hotline, 1- 800-435-7764 for immediate assistance.

Geico: Teams of GEICO claim adjusters have deployed to affected areas, and will remain there until they have resolved every hurricane-related claim. If you need to report a claim, please click HERE or call 1-800-841-3000.
  

More Hurricane Sandy Photos

 

Wooden debris on Pike Street, Chinatown.
Flooded garage at downtown's financial district.
Vehicles are submerged on 14th Street near the ConEd power plant, Oct. 29, 2012. (Credit: John Minchillo/AP Photo)
MTA Employees worked to restore the South Ferry subway station after it was flooded by seawater.
MTA Transit Update

MTA Update: Local, Limited-Stop and Express Bus service will operate as close to a normal weekday schedule as possible today, as NYC Transit and MTA Bus continue efforts to restore service following Hurricane Sandy. As was the case yesterday, bus service will operate on a fare-free basis.  Subway service remains suspended on all lines, as clean up and water remediation efforts continue, especially in underwater tunnels linking Brooklyn and Manhattan that were flooded during the storm.

Staten Island Ferry:
Service suspended both directions

Alternate Side Parking:
Alternate Side Parking rules and parking meters are suspended
 

General Updates From NYC.gov

 

A worker picks up fallen plywood from a scaffolding site on Catherine Street, Chinatown (Credit: Reuters)

 

- All NYC schools will be closed Oct 31st.

 

- There are more than 6,100 people in emergency shelters. Shelters will remain open until New Yorkers can safely return to their homes. List of shelters can be found HERE.

 

- Call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/severeweather 
to report property damage.   

 

- The most recent report has nearly 900,000+ New Yorkers without power.  "Our two biggest challenges going forward will be getting our transit system and power grid up and running," said Mayor Bloomberg in a briefing yesterday. He estimated that it could take 3 or 4 days or 4 or 5 days, indicating the current uncertainty of when power would be restored.

 

- To help people get around, the city is now encouraging ride sharing in cabs and livery cars. Make sure you see TLC plates.
  
First Steps For Your Business

Recovering from damage / disruption to businesses due to Hurricane Sandy:

-  If you have insurance that will cover your damages, contact your agent immediately

-  Survey any damage; enter a severely damaged building ONLY after local authorities have deemed it safe to do so

-  Photograph any damage to your business and save receipts for replacement items or repair work

-  Look for safety hazards such as live wires, leaking gas or flammable liquids, poisonous gases, and damage to foundations or underground piping and notify the appropriate utility companies or emergency responders of any such safety hazards

-  Dry all areas and items quickly and thoroughly to prevent mold growth; food establishments especially should examine all surfaces, including sheet rock, for evidence of mold and take appropriate action immediately

-  Begin salvage as soon as possible to prevent further damage; cover broken windows and torn roof coverings immediately to protect merchandise / business from further damage

-  Separate damaged goods from undamaged goods, but beware of accumulating too much combustible debris inside of a building

-  Call in key business personnel and notify contractors to start repairs - after ensuring that safety systems are fully implemented before any work is allowed to begin

 

NYC Small Business Services - Business FAQ
 

Grand Street, Chinatown

Here's what to know if your business has been hurt by Sandy:

Q: What's the first thing to do to get my business open again?
For most small businesses, it is the employees who are the most important assets and who can most help get things back to normal. So if you haven't done so already, call them and find out what they, personally, are up against, and offer any assistance you can. The quicker they can get their affairs settled, the quicker they can get back to work.

Q: I have physical damage to my building. Should I try to repair it myself or hold out for my insurance company?
Do what is possible to make the business safe, sanitary and secure, even if you are planning to file an insurance claim. But make sure to document anything that you throw away or repair. Take photographs and hold on to receipts from service companies that are helping you repair the damage. So, for instance, if your restaurant's freezers died, don't let the food go moldy. If your basement flooded, pump it out.

Q: I have damage that isn't covered by my insurance policy. What do I do?
In many cases, business and homeowners may find that certain occurrences-a flood or sewage backup for instance-aren't included in their business or home-insurance policy. Also, some owners don't have business-interruption insurance.

For those in a declared disaster area, certain government programs can step in to help. The best way for business owners and residents to get the attention of the appropriate government agency is to register through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, by visiting disasterassistance.gov or calling 1-800-621-3362. Once your information is recorded there, it will also be automatically recorded at other agencies, such as the Small Business Administration, or SBA, which provide additional disaster-help services.

Q: What if I need capital to pay my bills while the business is still being rebuilt?
One option for business owners is to apply for a disaster loan, with interest rates as low as 4%, through the SBA. The SBA's disaster-loan program is available to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes for physical damage. Small businesses and private nonprofit organizations may be eligible for economic injury disaster loans to provide working capital. Such loans can help ease pain of paying for uninsured damage, and help manage cash flow until the business is back to normal.

Q: Will I qualify, and how do I apply, for a disaster loan?
The SBA mails applications to those individuals and business owners who register through FEMA. But the applications are also available online and at disaster centers. An applicant needs to be in a designated disaster area, have satisfactory credit and be able to demonstrate repayment ability. It takes 10 days to be approved or declined.  Please click
for more info.

Q: When should I apply for a disaster loan?
Applicants need to file within 60 days of the disaster-area declaration. The government recommends applying for a loan that accounts for all damage, including whatever may be insured. Once the insurance claim is settled, that money can go toward paying down the loan.

Business Civic Leadership Center's disaster-assistance service, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce operates a
small-business disaster helpline: 888-MY BIZ HELP / 888-692-4943.
 
This email was sent to james@haipower.com by info@chinatownpartnership.org |  
Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation | Executive Director - Wellington Chen | 60 St. James Place | New York | NY | 10038