Volunteering in Rockaway, Queens after Hurricane Sandy

November 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have been a field nurse in nyc for many years, and have a lot of experience conducting assessments in both the MCD/MCR and private pay populations, but have never seen NYC like this before.  The main concerns post Sandy are the following: relocation assistance; providing temporary housing with heat and hot water, as some will be without power until after Christmas and until after every house in the neighborhood can be inspected, medication management (many have Diabetes, Hypertension and pacemakers) and need dry ice and a cooler to store insulin, the risk for respiratory illness from inhaling fiberglass particles and mold, heavy duty cleaning (the stench from the growth of mold in homes where the water rose waist to neck high on the first floors),  Tetanus, Pneumonia and Influenza vaccinations, care with appliances in the event there are any gas leaks, possible electrocution from downed power lines, trash removal (garbage, debris, and damaged belongings are piled sky high),  financial assistance with mortgages, insurance aide,  employment assistance (many unemployed as a result of their employer also being affected by storm damages), safety and security as we set our clocks back recently, therefore, it gets dark out earlier, increasing the potential chance for looting, and the need for flashlights and batteries.  Food, water and clothing don’t seem to be too much of a concern as there is a fairly strong military presence handing out aide. All things considered, there is a strong sense of community, faith and high spirits. Amazing and very impressive.

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Article by Sharon Abella

REMINDERS

*Never touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see one, report it immediately to National Grid or your local emergency-response organization.

* If you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to only operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could jeopardize crew safety.

* If you lose power, turn off any appliances that were on when the power went off, but leave one light on so you will know when power is restored.

* Power problems can sometimes interrupt public water supply systems or disable well pumps, so it’s an especially good idea to keep a supply of bottled drinking water handy, as well as some canned food.

* People who depend on electric-powered life-support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life-support customer, call the company’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-322-3223.

* Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period.

* Prepare an emergency supply kit, which includes items like nonperishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries, medications, and essential baby items. You may want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car in case you are told to evacuate.

* Turn your refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.

* Turn off propane tanks. Avoid using the phone except for serious emergencies.

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