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Paramedics’ Union: FDNY EMS Chief Failed During Sandy

In the union documents, Nahmod was also accused of enacting department policies that limit the ability of paramedics to respond to emergencies, ignoring federal standards and other directives, and cutting important supervisory positions.




Paramedics, EMTs Charge EMS Head With Reckless Decision Making During Sandy

Workers Tell CBS 2 Harrowing Stories Of Survival As Storm Hit New York City

They also charge that more than 100 EMS students were brought in to help and that experienced medics were told not to come in to avoid costly overtime.

A spokesman for FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano dismissed the charges as “whining about getting wet,”

The workers said tour changes were made on dangerous street corners, and orders were reportedly given that workers were not to go to fire houses on high ground.




  • October 27, 2012, 8:36 p.m. ET

Bloomberg: No Evacuations Ordered in NYC Yet

Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered no evacuations in New York City in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy as of Saturday night, but he warned of the storm’s potential danger and said there could be preemptive power shutdowns in Lower Manhattan.

“We are not ordering any evacuations as of this time for any parts of the city,” Mr. Bloomberg said at a news conference at the city’s Office of Emergency Management in Brooklyn.

The mayor warned there will be “a lot of water” and low-lying areas will experience flooding. Hospitals and chronic-care facilities in low-lying areas have already released patients who could be discharged safely, the mayor said.

[*My Note – leaving 40 adult care and nursing home facilities, among others not evacuated within the Zone A mandatory evacuation areas for the storm, storm surge AND several days.]

On Sunday, the mayor said, forecasters expect it to be windy for New York City, with possible rain. The storm is expected to get worse Sunday evening into Monday, he said.




New York City, which saw the most deaths directly linked to the surge, also faltered in its efforts to get residents to safety. City officials waited until the day before the storm hit to order a mandatory evacuation of flood zones, then told 40 city-run elderly and adult care facilities in mandatory evacuation zones to ignore the order and ride out the storm.

Some residents said the last-minute evacuation order and the decision not to evacuate the city’s nursing homes fed a belief that the storm would not be much more severe than Hurricane Irene, which caused only moderate flooding in the city.

“When the city didn’t come for the patients, I figured it must not be too bad,” said Diane Castiglone, who lives by Park Nursing Home, a 182-patient facility in the Rockaways, an ocean-facing neighborhood badly battered by the surge.


On Saturday night, two days before Sandy made landfall on the Jersey Shore, Bloomberg had told the city that no evacuations at all were planned, and that a “sudden surge” of ocean flooding was unlikely.

“Although we’re expecting a large surge of water, it is not expected to be a tropical storm or hurricane-type surge,” Bloomberg said. “With this storm, we’ll likely see a slow pileup of water rather than a sudden surge, which is what you would expect with a hurricane, and which we saw with Irene 14 months ago.”


Adding to the confusion was the decision by the city to waive the evacuation order for thousands of patients and staff at the 40 nursing and adult care homes located in mandatory evacuation zones. These facilities, which house the city’s most vulnerable population, were told by the city’s Office of Emergency Management to “shelter in place,” or stay put.




Amended FEMA declaration to provide help to Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, NYC and areas affected within the city by Hurricane Sandy – AFTER Mayor Bloomberg told FEMA that NO, NYC would NOT be needing their help. This Amendment was made on November 3, 2012 to correct the problem.



Oct. 29, 2012

When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the dramatic shut-down of New York’s transit system, he did so in Bethpage, Long Island — well outside New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s jurisdiction — and an hour before Mayor Bloomberg’s own briefing.

(etc. – from:)

News Analysis: For Cuomo and Christie, Sandy Offers Peril and Possibilities



Almost $88 billion of homes in seven states were at risk of damage, according to a report by CoreLogic Inc., a mortgage software and data firm in Irvine, California. New York had $35.1 billion of property in harm’s way, New Jersey had $22.6 billion, Virginia had $11.3 billion, and Massachusetts had $7.8 billion. Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania had a combined $11 billion of property at risk, CoreLogic said.


The storm may also adversely affect commercial properties and securities linked to their debt. New York accounts for 13.2 percent of property loans contained in commercial-mortgage bonds, according to Standard & Poor’s. Loans in Virginia make up 4 percent of deals, while mortgages in Pennsylvania account for 3.4 percent, S&P said yesterday in a note to clients. Debt on New Jersey properties are 3.1 percent of outstanding bonds.

(. . .)

Freddie Mac said today in a statement that it has authorized servicers to suspend foreclosure proceedings for up to 12 months on mortgages it owns or guarantees in states affected by the storm. Also, the McLean, Virginia-based company said it will permit some on-time borrowers to defer mortgage payments for up to a year, will waive the assessment of late fees against borrowers with storm-damaged homes and will not report delinquencies caused by the disaster to credit bureaus.

Washington-based Fannie Mae issued a statement today urging its servicers to grant borrowers affected by the disaster a 90- day period of deferred or reduced mortgage payments under its existing disaster-relief guidelines.

(etc. – from:)

U.S. Real Estate Recovery Challenged by Hurricane Sandy



(Also from the above article – )

The storm’s central barometric pressure was lower than that of the 1938 hurricane that devastated homes in New York and New England. Flooding from Sandy was reported along the coast from Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts through New Jersey. The storm submerged Plymouth Rock, the landmark in Massachusetts traditionally represented as the place where Pilgrims first stepped onshore in the New World in 1620.




The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a statement Tuesday summarizing aid programs available to residents under a major disaster declaration that President Obama issue for New York State on Oct. 27.

This action by the commander-in-chief means federal disaster funding is available to affected individuals in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Bronx, Kings, New York and Richmond counties.FEMA said to begin the disaster application process, register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1-800-462-7585.

The agency said approved mitigation projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.”FEMA said assistance for affected individuals and families can include:

  • Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.
  • Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.
  • Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.   (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the state.)
  • Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.
  • Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance.  Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses.  Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.
  • Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster’s adverse economic impact.  This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million.
  • Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.
  • Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans benefits and social security matters.





NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sent letters to at least 75 nonprofits asking them to disclose their fundraising and relief efforts for Superstorm Sandy victims.

They also request information about services provided to victims, funds forwarded to other organizations and plans for any surplus.

The 75 organizations are:

  1. AARP Foundation
  2. Acupuncturists Without Borders
  3. Afya Foundation
  4. All Hands Volunteers
  5. American Humane Association
  6. American Red Cross
  7. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  8. AmeriCares Foundation, Inc.
  9. Best Friends Animal Society
  10. B’nai B’rith International
  11. Breezy Point Hurricane Sandy Relief
  12. Brooklyn Recovery Fund
  13. Brother’s Brother Foundation
  14. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York
  15. Catholic Charities Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, Inc.
  16. Center for Disaster Philanthropy
  17. Children’s Hunger Fund
  18. Church World Service
  19. City Harvest
  20. Citymeals-on-Wheels
  21. Convoy of Hope
  22. Direct Relief International
  23. Disaster Chaplaincy Services
  24. Emergency Children’s Help Organization
  25. Empire State Relief Fund
  26. Episcopal Relief & Development
  27. Feed the Children
  28. Food Bank for New York City
  29. Gleaning For The World
  30. Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc.
  31. Graybeards
  32. Habitat for Humanity International
  33. Heart to Heart International
  34. Hispanic Federation
  35. Hope for the Warriors
  36. Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation
  37. ICNA Relief
  38. International Rescue Committee
  39. Islamic Relief USA
  40. Jewish Disaster Response Corps
  41. Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc.
  42. Liberty Street Relief Fund
  43. MAP International
  44. Matthew 25 Ministries
  45. Modest Needs Foundation
  46. Movement for Peace
  47. National Firefighters Endowment
  48. National Urban League
  49. New York Cares
  50. New York Communities for Change
  51. Occupy Sandy
  52. Operation Blessing International
  53. Rebuilding Together
  54. Rebuilding Together NYC
  55. Red Hook Initiative
  56. Robert R. McCormick Foundation
  57. Robin Hood Foundation
  58. Samaritan’s Purse
  59. Save the Children Federation Inc.
  60. ShelterBox USA
  61. Staten Island Strong
  62. Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation
  63. Team Rubicon
  64. The Humane Society of the United States
  65. The Jewish Federations of North America, Inc.
  66. The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City
  67. The New York City Coalition Against Hunger
  68. The Salvation Army
  69. UJA-Federation of New York
  70. United Methodist Committee on Relief
  71. United Way of Long Island
  72. United Way of New York City
  73. Waves For Water
  74. We Care NYC
  75. World Vision International

A.G. Schneiderman Wants Nonprofits To Reveal Sandy Storm Aid

November 27, 2012 1:20 PM




View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.

Sandy Cough Plagues Homeowners Cleaning Up
“Every morning I wake up coughing,” says one Staten Island homeowner

And doctors say it’s not just mold that could irritate residents, but also dust and insulation.


My comment added to the article is below –

This World Health Organization document on mold and dampness health dangers explains what Ardolic apparently doesn’t know – it isn’t the flu. It can’t be treated as if it is flu. To suggest it is the flu is moronic and suggests a thorough lack of information appropriate to this situational nightmare from Hurricane Sandy.
There is also enough toxic sludge in Staten Island’s areas affected by the storm surge to made the entire area a completely certified superfund site – for petroleum, crude and industrial chemicals along with sewage that was sitting for many hours saturating each and every structure in the storm surge zones, as well as sidewalks, streets, light posts, and every single item located in those areas.

Please explain to me and the public why the Richmond University Medical Teams and their supervisory members would NOT know that. What kind of lack of awareness and information does that really give us about NYC, Staten Island, our medical “professionals” and our decision-makers in this dangerous disaster situation?

Enough is enough. People in affected areas have been given face masks and other protective gear which they are obviously NOT WEARING and our medical professionals are acting like the storm and its real chemical, sewage and mold damages have not even occurred as part of the facts involved in making a diagnostic choice with any degree of intelligence. Are they kidding – this is no small event! It won’t be the “flu” – it will be the onset of pneumonia and other respiratory and soft tissue damages that they are seeing from this event in hospitals. Surely they can read the same information that I can find online about the health damages from benzene and its compounds, from mold and mildew, from exposure to raw sewage and other industrial waste chemicals which were in the storm surge along with its salt and ocean chemistry. It isn’t rocket science.

Please fix this.
– cricketdiane

Diane C Phillips
Staten Island, NYC

November 28, 11.28 amET


My Note –

I should look up benzene and the other industrial chemicals, petroleum products, diesel fuel, big equipment exhaust fumes, raw sewage and other hazardous waste chemicals that ARE IN that black sludge that covers Staten Island homes, businesses, churches, grounds, properties, streets, and every other thing where the storm surge saturated and stood for hours upon hours in those affected areas.


And this – AFTER the Mayor Bloomberg Team told structural engineers, architects and architectural engineers that volunteered to help – that their help was NOT NEEDED –

Post-Sandy Sinkhole Endangers BK Homes

Families in Coney Island who thought they had escaped the worst of Sandy’s wrath found out their homes are in peril because of a sinkhole. John Noel has the story.



Another guide to the known health dangers of mold and mildew from flooding – (found on the EPA site from University of Connecticut) –

Clinicians Guidance

Clinician's Guide on Mold and Moisture

The “Guidance for Clinicians on the Recognition and Management of Health Effects Related to Mold Exposure and Moisture Indoors” was designed to help the healthcare provider address patients with illnesses related to mold in the indoor environment by providing background understanding of how mold may be affecting patients.
Go to CIEH http://oehc.uchc.edu/CIEH.asp.exiting EPA Download the Clinician’s Guide on Mold and Moisture (PDF)


Journal Paper

A Fatal Case of Benzene Poisoning

Chronic effects following repeated exposure to low doses of benzene have been well assessed, whereas few data are available about acute exposure to benzene. We report a case of fatal acute intoxication which occurred aboard a chemical cargo ship.

Autopsy findings included blood clots inside the heart and main vessels, multi-organ congestion, pulmonary edema and the presence of many vibices in the hypostatic areas.

Toxicological analysis of blood and urine showed a benzene concentration of 31.67 and 2.26 μg/mL, respectively; high concentrations of benzene (μg/g) were also found in the lungs (22.23), liver (378.60), brain (178.66), heart (182.57) and kidneys (75.15). The above data provide evidence for benzene distribution in various organs.
Paper ID: JFS14396J
DOI: 10.1520/JFS14396J

SEDL / Journals / Journal of Forensic Sciences (JOFS) / Citation Page

Volume 43, Issue 6 (November 1998)

ISSN: 0022-1198





When a substance is released either from a large area, such as an industrial plant, or from a container, such as a drum or bottle, it enters the environment. Such a release does not always lead to exposure. You can be exposed to a substance only when you come in contact with it. You may be exposed by breathing, eating, or drinking the substance, or by skin contact.


My Note –

People in the areas of Staten Island, Brooklyn, Long Island, Queens and New Jersey – plus those in Manhattan where waters came from the storm surge during Hurricane Sandy, but especially those people in Staten Island’s areas affected by the storm surge – have spent the last three weeks exposed to the chemical toxins of that black sewage filled toxic industrial sludge that covered and saturated everything. Once heavy equipment was used to scoop a percentage of it from streets, those remnants dried then were kicked up into the air by the vehicles, heavy equipment, construction efforts and people’s activities attempting to rebuild their homes before allowing a thorough cleanup of the area (or any real assessment of these dangers.) Air currents, surface winds and the normal flow of particulate matter by air flows on Staten Island, have then taken those harmful chemical toxins into surrounding residential areas of the Island as well as further filling the lungs and bodies of those insisting on staying in the affected areas to rebuild without using protective face masks and the other appropriate protective gear that has been provided to them. It is a chemical nightmare of our time which is in desperate need of real, viable and robust solutions.

The fact that Mayor Bloomberg’s office refused to issue the evacuation orders in a timely manner (at least a full day before he did so), despite a federal and state declaration of the emergency having been registered and publicly announced and the fact that both the mayor and his staff down-played the dangers of the storm, and certainly of the storm surge which was evidenced on every national weather service directive coming to them, along with being expressed in its seriousness on every station from the Weather Channel to CNN – means that every death from the storm was absolutely preventable. It also means that these individuals in authority in New York City and its Boroughs are exactly and specifically responsible for every single preventable death and physical harm that resulted from NOT efficiently and systematically evacuating those in harm’s way as is mandatory in this degree of national disaster response and absolutely known to be required for a storm of this magnitude. There were no questionable factors in this storm – there were known facts about the New York Bight which forms a triangle and forces ocean water from any significant storm surge into a higher proportion of low-lying areas covered in residences, businesses and high-density population centers – there were known facts about the storm which was at one point – over a thousand miles across (officially over 900 miles across as of this day) – AND – there were known facts about the storm surge accompanying the storm. There was not one of these facts in doubt at any time during the forecasting period and everyone (including me and every other person in New York City and Staten Island along with the Mayor, the borough Presidents and their staffs) had access to the information from the National Weather Service about the storm’s potential. Down-playing the seriousness of the storm and leaving those in harm’s way who could not in any way do for themselves, in over 40 adult care and nursing home facilities as well as entire neighborhoods with elderly and disabled people, families, young children, school children, grandmothers, grandfathers and business owners – infants as well as our hard-working New York citizens – is nothing short of genocide, ineptitude, arrogance and egregious contempt for the value of human lives.

There is no excuse for it. And, neither is there any excuse for continuing to leave people in harm’s way with the massive toxic stew of industrial chemicals, household and industrial waste, petroleum spill contents, raw sewage, benzene and other carcinogenic hydro-carbons commonly found en masse along surrounding waterways – all of which contaminated and saturated the entire area of the storm surge’s massive waters AND everything it touched. Right now, people are there knocking out walls, rebuilding and spending hour after hour over the course of the last three weeks, in those areas – breathing those toxins, being permanently affected and harmed by those toxins and insisting on doing so without any protection whatsoever. It is a nightmare that will affect future residents of those areas as well – since it is not being done with any respect for the seriousness of these chemicals and sewage remnants, molds, mildew spores and other carcinogenic petroleum and industrial waste effluents. And, it is a nightmare that will affect every person being exposed to these things in the storm surge areas where they are currently spending their time attempting to deal with the damage and to rebuild. And, it is a nightmare of permanent impacts to the communities beyond the storm surge damage zones where the winds are literally carrying those chemicals as particulate matter and fumes across wide swaths of Staten Island and other boroughs where people live, work, go to school, walk, have children, and are hoping to have healthy, productive lives with a reasonable degree of quality of life as they do so.

It is not only irresponsible to have handled the storm and its aftermath as the New York City and Borough officials have done – it is beyond inhumane to continue in the manner they seem to insist on doing – where in every case, from doctors and medical professionals to the mayor’s own staff making decisions affecting all New Yorkers, 90% of the dangers are being either ignored or discredited as a problem in need of immediate, viable solutions.

Enough is enough.

– cricketdiane