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Author: Lars Anderson
A year after Hurricane Sandy, we’ve seen countless stories of communities coming together and neighbors helping neighbors to recover from this storm.  While we still have a long way to go, the signs of recovery can be seen across the region.  We remain committed to standing with those impacted as they continue to build back, and will continue to provide all eligible aid as this effort goes on. Visit the New York and New Jersey disaster pages for more recovery updates.
Posted On: October 29, 2013
Author: LT Stephanie Young
Editor's Note: This blog originally appeared on the U.S. Coast Guard Blog.With contributions from Susanna Marking, Office of External Affairs, Federal Emergency Management Agency.As Hurricane Isaac inched towards the Gulf Coast in August 2012, Petty Officer 2nd Class James Hockenberry was assigned to an aircrew tasked with relocating a Coast Guard helicopter outside of the storm’s path. Left behind were his wife and two boys.A flight mechanic at Air Station Orleans, Hockenberry’s duty to respond doesn’t stop when there is a storm on its way and he ensures his family is prepared well in...
Posted On: June 6, 2013
Author: Lars Anderson
We’re kicking off National Hurricane Preparedness Week! Once again, we’ve teamed up with our partners at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to encourage all Americans to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, which officially starts this Saturday, June 1 and lasts until November 30. Above all, hurricanes are powerful forces of nature that not only cause damage to coastlines, but also hundreds of miles inland as well because of flooding.  The impact of Hurricane Sandy was felt in Puerto Rico, Florida and other parts of the East Coast, and this video shows just...
Posted On: May 27, 2013
Author: Samantha Shokin
Three months ago, if someone had told me I’d spend my first job out of college being interviewed by a Russian news channel in Manhattan, I’d probably think they were confusing me with somebody else.  But now, as a local hire supporting Hurricane Sandy recovery in New York, I’m fully engaged with media and spreading information about disaster assistance.CAPTION: Samantha Shokin being interviewed by Russian Television International at the Sheepshead Bay disaster recovery center.When Sandy struck Brighton Beach, New York’s Russian enclave where I live with my family, it felt like fate was...
Posted On: March 19, 2013
Author: Craig Fugate
Ceiling panels missing. Wires dangling. Layers of dust. Floor tiles removed and concrete exposed. Five feet sections of walls cut from the ground up, and in some cases, completely removed. Flood lights and construction lights strung along corridors. The constant hum of fans.  Hard work. And determination.These were all things that Mike Byrne and I witnessed on Friday after spending a few hours visiting with employees at Bellevue Hospital and Coney Island Hospital.  A few weeks ago I also visited NYU Hospital, and the reason for the visits – because I believe it’s important to get a...
Posted On: December 17, 2012
Author: Hannah Vick
When Jack Zenkel, 10, was in the hospital with a serious head injury six years ago, his mother, Michele, stood vigil. She was worried, but determined to remain hopeful. While Jack was resting in his hospital bed, a woman with a small, furry therapy dog entered his room. Upon seeing the dog, Jack’s face immediately lit up.  For the next few minutes, Jack petted and snuggled with the dog.  “I was amazed at the wonderful effect the dog had on my son. The dog made a huge difference,” says Michele.As Jack’s condition began to improve in the hospital, Michele started thinking about the...
Posted On: December 11, 2012
Author: Hannah Vick
As we hit the one month mark after Hurricane Sandy, Mike Byrne, the Federal Coordinating Officer here in New York and my boss, reflected on the work that has been done and the work that remains.  In his blog, he made a note that we would be sharing stories and updates, and I wanted to share this story from Rita M., a disaster survivor in Rockaway, Queens:A lot of us in Rockaway evacuated during Hurricane Irene last year. And then nothing happened. So of course when we heard about Sandy, we stayed home.Never again. We learned that each storm is different – with a different outcome.At...
Posted On: December 7, 2012
Author: Michael Byrne
Because of the magnitude of the population affected by Hurricane Sandy, the Department of Homeland Security activated its Surge Capacity Force for the first time on Nov. 1. Created by the Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform act, this surge includes employees from every agency throughout DHS, from the Transportation Security Administration to the Coast Guard to Secret Service, who are willing to take time out of their normal jobs to help survivors. They are out pounding the pavement with our Community Relations teams and working in disaster recovery centers, assisting survivors with...
Posted On: December 6, 2012
Author: Michael Byrne
Driving toward the old Navy pier in the Stapleton area of Staten Island, you would never know that past the warehouses, graffiti and lonely steel fence are hundreds of disaster workers in a hub of activity, a prime example of how government agencies come together. It is also the home of New York City’s only marine unit on Staten Island, the guys who handle all emergency incidents in New York Harbor.After 9/11, there was no water pressure in lower Manhattan, compromising the city’s ability to put out the fires. FDNY’s marine units came to the rescue, able to pump enough water to extinguish the...
Posted On: December 5, 2012
Author: Michael Byrne
At FEMA we’re in the business of customer service and my boss, Administrator Fugate, often refers to our Community Relations teams as the face of FEMA. And rightfully so, because they are the team who literally pound the pavement and talk with survivors at their homes, apartments or at shelters. Community Relations teams also do what we call AIR, which stands for Assess, Inform and Report. They report back what they’re seeing in the field, allowing those in the disaster field office to be alerted to specific issues. This information is critical for us to set priorities.Community...
Posted On: December 4, 2012

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