The Federal Emergency Management Agency is here to help you in the event of a natural or man-made disaster as long as it isn't raining or snowing or too windy out. DNAinfo snapped this photo at a closed FEMA assistance center on Staten Island today, and on a conference call with reporters hours later, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate confirmed that some Hurricane Sandy-related FEMA operations "had to be secured or postponed during the storm."
FEMA and the Red Cross are both curtailing operations on Staten Island, Coney Island, and the Rockways at the moment because of the Nor'Easter now blowing through town. Fugate told reporters, "We are going to resume when weather permits. We are really concerned with people who are still displaced and have damaged homes, and if this [new storm] will make it worse." Officials say operations are being limited for the safety of FEMA and Red Cross workers.
The current storm is expected to result in water surges in "the exact same places that were impacted," Fugate said. In preparation, the Red Cross has sent in tens of thousands of blankets, foot warmers, and gloves to region, and is opening warming centers. "But for the duration of this storm we will need to limit our operations for the safety of our volunteers," says Red Cross Senior Vice President of Disaster Services Charley Shimanski. "We encourage people to hunker down and take care of their neighbors and themselves during this storm."
Repeated calls to confirm the locations of Red Cross shelters in NYC proved fruitless, and according to the current
Red Cross Shelter map, there is only one shelter in NYC, on Staten Island. Red Cross recommends calling 311 to find out the location of warming centers. Shimanksi also told reporters the Red Cross handed out thousands of MREs in advance of the storm. And Fugate added that as of today, FEMA has disbursed $286 million in Hurricane Sandy funds, most of it going to renters' assistance.
The city is operating emergency shelters at these locations, and here is information about buses running to them.