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Door-To-Door Visits Determine Which New Yorkers Still Need Sandy Relief

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TWC News: Door-To-Door Visits Determine Which New Yorkers Still Need Sandy Relief
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Nearly two months after Hurricane Sandy, members of the National Guard are still helping the search for the thousands of New Yorkers in storm-damaged areas who still need help and have not yet been contacted. NY1's Vivian Lee filed the following report.

Residents in the Gerritsen Beach section of Brooklyn are being asked if they have heat, water, electricity and other basic utilities. These door-to-door "wellness checks" are conducted by about 100 members of the New York National Guard who have teamed up with numerous city, state and federal agencies.

The task force members are checking in on residents of the city's low-lying Zone A and Zone B, more than 50 days after Hurricane Sandy ravaged those areas.

"Makes me feel safe, that the government actually cares, even a little bit," said a Gerritsen Beach resident.

"It was a little bit surprising to me," said another. "They come around, knocking on doors like that."

It is important follow-up work, asking about seniors and young children, and seeing if anyone has started planning in case disaster strikes again.

The operation is overseen by the New York City Fire Department's Incident Management Team, set up after September 11th to deal with large-scale, long-term incidents.

"We've been training for this for five, six years," said FDNY Assistant Chief James Manahan. "Our team was deployed to New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina. Compared to that, this is a great effort to help our own citizens."

After weeks of jotting down information and days of analysis, the team uses the latest technology — iPads — to organize what Sandy victims need and where.

"It gets uploaded into the cloud in real time and we see that data immediately, and so different agencies are responsible for following up on different pieces of that," said Deputy Commissioner Kelly McKinney of the Office of Emergency Management.

Just the day before, the teams visited more than 3,000 homes in Brooklyn Queens and Staten Island and handed out hundreds of blankets, electric blankets, medical prescriptions, and dozens of cases of water.

"Worst case was a family with children and a basement, and they'd been there basically since the storm hit, living with no bathrooms, no heat, no running water," said Captain Jason Brandle of the New York National Guard.

Since November 26, teams have visited more than 87,000 homes. Some locations received two visit, since team members double back and hit homes where no one answered the door weeks ago.

Holiday Hours For NYC Disaster Recovery Centers

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced holiday hours of the New York City Disaster Recovery Centers.

The centers will be open until noon on Christmas Eve, closed on Christmas Day and then resume normal hours of operation from Wednesday, December 26 to Sunday, December 30.

On New Year's Eve, the centers will be open until noon and then they will be closed on New Year's Day. Normal hours will resume on Wednesday, January 2.

Queens Centers

- Fort Tilden Park (415 State Road, Breezy Point)
Normal hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mon.-Sat.
- Community Church of the Nazarene (1414 Central Avenue, Far Rockaway)
Normal hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sun.
- American Legion (209 Cross Bay Boulevard, Broad Channel)
Normal hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sun.
- Storefront at 1001 Beach 20th Street (Far Rockaway)
Normal hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mon.-Sat.,
- Arverne by the Sea (68-20 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Arverne)
Normal hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mon.-Sat.

Staten Island Centers

- Miller Field (600 New Dorp Lane)
Normal Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sun.
- Kia in Staten Island (1976 Hylan Boulevard)
Normal hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Sat.

Brooklyn Centers

- Holy Family R.C. Church (9719 Flatlands Avenue)
Normal hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sun.
- Coffey Park (85 Richards Street)
Normal hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Sat.
- Knights of Columbus Hall (2882 Gerritsen Avenue)
Normal hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sun.
- Social Security Building (10 Bouck Court, Gravesend)
Normal hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Sat.
- Jewish Community Center, YM-YWHA (3300 Coney Island Avenue)
Normal Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sun.
- MCU parking lot (1904 Surf Avenue)
Normal hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Sat.

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