Watched you on CNN. NYC and Staten Island have bigger problems than the Hurricane damage. The insistence on saying, “Thank you but NO THANKYOU” to help offered from architects, structural engineers & their associations, among others including chemical engineers, chemistry associations and specialists capable of offering ways to clean up the chemical stew left by the hurricane, et al.
From the Mayor’s office telling FEMA to NOT come in the first place so they could prestage resources for the disaster, to leaving 40 adult care & nursing home facilities in the Zone A evacuation area UNEVACUATED, to insisting on NOT removing people from the evacuation areas by order two days ahead of the event as our officials were required to do, to down-playing the dangers posed by the storm and its surge on news broadcasts ahead of it, to untold stupid mismanagement of information, volunteers and resources – this situation and dangers in its aftermath are being compounded by humanly caused, bureaucratically created and thoroughly preventable errors in decision-making.
There are HAMP funds that can help homeowners that they will never know about, scientists and engineers who are being run off and turned away, academics who would help with their particular specialties being told “no thank you” and other international resources that are being used improperly to simply give out blankets and not for the greater programs that could be brought to bear on the situation and its recovery. There is a dangerous chemical / sewage stew covering every single item and structure in the affected areas that is NOT being mitigated that will cover every area of NYC and Staten Island with the dust of its chemical nightmare once dry and affect generations ahead of us as those structures and lands are not treated properly – and a ton of other details that are not being approached with any reasonable degree of common sense. I cannot emphasize enough, the amplification of future disasters and health impacts that will absolutely occur as a result. It doesn’t work doing it this way, to simply remove the damaged wallboard and wet household goods and then rebuild over it. That is truly more dangerous than people even begin to know.
Please fix this – the officials, borough presidents and their staffs, mayor and his staff members, as well as other NYC agencies and their decision-makers are not going to listen to me. They may not be listening to you either, but they must be convinced effectively in some manner. This is no small thing.
Diane C Phillips
Note to Rep. Grimm today, November 23, 2012
by Email on his official website
Now, in all honesty – the Staten Island Borough President’s office for days immediately after Hurricane Sandy’s winds stopped – and maybe still, turned away volunteers that were qualified executive assistants, computer specialists, secretaries, office assistants and others who could have answered phones about downed trees so that the Borough’s officials and staff members could have used their time to request and to send appropriate resources to the affected areas of Staten Island.
Then, on top of that I found out that architects, structural engineers and architectural engineers who contacted the NYC Mayor’s office and Department of Buildings for NYC (as volunteers) were turned away and told their knowledge and specialized efforts would not be needed by the city nor by its boroughs in the aftermath of this storm – despite the fact that there are structural problems created by this storm and its damaging storm surge that can be fixed in no other way except by their specialized knowledge.
Then, when I personally hand carried information to the NY City and NY State side of the Disaster Assistance Center in Staten Island to be copied and distributed which described place after place after place that is offering help to the survivors of Hurricane Sandy – I was handed back the information without even a copy being made of it and told that they didn’t need it. Now, I know damn good and well that every source on that list was NOT represented somewhere in the information being offered to the people coming to the disaster assistance center who need it. And it didn’t matter – “Thank you, but NO THANKYOU,” the people officially manning the NYC City, State and Borough side of the relief center said.
And, then – today on CNN, to hear that volunteers who came to help with the Thanksgiving meal being provided to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, came in such numbers that many were turned away – without even a thought about the thousands of other places in Staten Island yesterday where their help was and is, still needed – both for supporting those who have lost everything on the Island and elsewhere as well as to offer celebration of Thanksgiving – it continues to describe a kind of thinking about this disaster that is literally making things worse rather than better. That thinking must change immediately in order to manage resources effectively that need to be brought to bear on this situation.
One other note –
I looked at Japan’s efforts after the tsunami left its black waters of chemical, industrial waste, raw sewage and toxic petroleum chemical sludge across its path of devastation. They apparently razed the areas to the ground, dug deep enough to get the dangerous chemical stew from the ground where it was left and then disposed of the entire mess BEFORE rebuilding those areas. They are NOT going to do that in Long Island, the Rockaways, Brooklyn and particularly, in Staten Island where that toxic black sludge covers everything inside and out where the storm surge saturated those structures and things for many, many hours before receding. There are few of the thousands of homes, businesses and structures by percentage that are actually going to be demolished and absolutely no plan to remove, remediate, neutralize or resolve the chemical stew that covers everything in the area. That means, as it is partially removed, it creates a dust which is still filled with the same carcinogens and toxic chemistry that then becomes wind borne by surface wind currents to be carried across every other residential area of Staten Island and other communities beyond the damage zones.
It also means that since structures are not going to remediated properly – and quick rebuilding allowed to go forward – that future tenants, residents and businesses using those buildings with no knowledge of this event and its remnants being left in these structures – will buy them, live there, go to school there, conduct their businesses there, sleep there, prepare food there, hope to have healthy children there, raise babies there and generally go about their daily lives in the area still permanently polluted with this toxic sludge.
That would be a problem – and I don’t mean “an issue” – I mean a PROBLEM with a host of other PROBLEMS AND ISSUES to go along with it including respiratory damages, respiratory illnesses, cancers, brain and neurological damages, other soft tissue cancers and damages, liver and kidney damages, along with stomach ulcers, cancers and odd chemistries that create other gastric diseases and problems. It is in most cases, going to change people’s overall health and the health of their children – permanently rather than temporarily – obviously because of the amount of time spent conducting one’s life in those areas where they live, go to school and have their businesses (or workplaces). But, why listen to me? What could I possibly know about it? Thank you but NO THANKYOU – is the standard answer by NYC and Staten Island’s Borough President to everyone, even while begging for volunteers and help and resources and knowledge and information and educated specialized skill sets.
Even the WHO (World Health Organization) documents about Mold alone which is commonly found after storm surge flooding, would be enough to indicate the massive problems we are facing – but