Three weeks after hurricane floodwaters destroyed homes and livelihoods, the aftermath of superstorm Sandy continues to unfold. In Brooklyn, Floyd Bennett Field in Marine Park continues to serve as a lifeline for residents in the hardest-hit areas and a distribution point for vital supplies.
Numerous accounts already confirmed that conditions in the public-housing developments in Coney Island in the wake of hurricane Sandy were dismal and dangerous.
Local residents and grassroots organizing have taken control of Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in several Coney Island public-housing complexes. In Red Hook, many elderly and disabled residents are still recovering after being trapped in their buildings without medication or care.
As Brooklyn residents and business owners grapple with the cost of Sandy’s damage, they are taking on the task of saving themselves–and each other–with a community-focused approach.
“I know Brooklyn. We are tough. We will rebound. We will recover,” Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz told representatives from Brooklyn businesses at the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (CACCI) power breakfast last week. The borough president joined CACCI and partners, which included the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Citibank and the Small Business Association, to discuss critical information, resources, post-storm recovery efforts and opportunities available to small businesses in the wake of hurricane Sandy. Markowitz said that he would ask legislators to extend repayment of FEMA loans for an extra two years.
New York state Sen. Kevin Parker and Council Member Jumaane Williams were some of the many elected officials on hand to show their support as the CACCI made plans to distribute thousands of blankets, hats, gloves and other badly needed supplies to those in need.
“We feel that it is time to collaborate with the Chamber of Commerce, the borough president and other community organizations in a coordinated effort that is going so well here in New York City,” said Dr. Roy A Hastick Sr., chairman of the board at CACCI. “We are also bringing our members the resources that are available to them through the federal, state and city governments.”
Members from the Brooklyn Law School and the Brooklyn Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project passed out flyers and informed participants at the breakfast to spread the word about the Brooklyn Sandy Relief Legal Clinic at Brooklyn Borough Hall. The clinic, staffed by disaster relief-trained law students and volunteer attorneys, will offer storm-related legal assistance. They will answer questions regarding insurance claims, FEMA applications, appeals, public assistance and housing. The hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to noon on Thursdays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays. For more information, contact the Legal Clinic at 718-802-3890 or email email@example.com.