Archive for February, 2009

From NY Times:

Families from 22 James Street and nearby buildings had to be moved to a temporary shelter at a nearby community center.

Families from 22 James Street and nearby buildings had to be moved to a temporary shelter at a nearby community center.

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Video News Reports:  CBS, ABC

From the NY Daily News:

Survivors of the apartment fire are helped by a memeber of the NYPD.

Survivors of the apartment fire are helped by a memeber of the NYPD.

More than 60 families from three buildings on the block were taken to a nearby shelter. The Red Cross was trying to find Mandarin interpreters since many of the displaced residents spoke only Chinese, officials said.

From NY Newsday:

Sixty families, totaling nearly 250 people, were evacuated and took shelter at Hamilton-Madison House, a nearby charity, said Rosemary Mackey, a Red Cross spokeswoman.

One neighbor, a third-floor resident of a building adjacent to 22 James St., said she looked out the window of her apartment and saw a man in the burning building.

“The guy was breaking the window and calling for help,” said the woman, who gave only her last name, Xian. “He looked like he was about to jump.”

Xian said that when her 24 James St. building was evacuated because of the fire she got dressed and left with her 9-month-old baby and 3-year-old child. She took refuge at Hamilton-Madison House where residents of 22, 24 and 47 St. James St. were being helped by the Red Cross.

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The American Red Cross has teamed up with St. John’s University’s Staten Island Campus to make sure the Island is better prepared for a disaster.


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January 30 through February 1 might have been Super Bowl weekend for most people, but for the American Red Cross in Greater New York (ARC/GNY) it was an unusually busy three days of disaster response. Between Friday morning and Sunday evening, the Chapter responded to 31 incidents, the majority of them house fires. Chapter relief workers provided beverages and snacks for more than 500 residents, firefighters and police, as well as for repair crews restoring services. They also registered 122 adults and 55 children for Red Cross assistance.


A brief rundown of the weekend’s major responses:


Friday, January 30

When a 3-alarm fire broke out at 4:46 a.m. at 815 Gerard Avenue, a six-story apartment building in the Bronx, ARC/GNY was on the scene within 30 minutes. Thus began a response that didn’t end until after midnight. Over the course of the day, 13 ARC/GNY relief workers—9 employees and 3 volunteers, including one mental health worker and one disaster health service worker—assisted 39 people (33 adults and 6 children) who registered for Red Cross relief.       


By day’s end the Chapter had distributed hot meals, beverages and snacks to 350 people including building residents, first responders and Con Ed and other workers, provided emergency housing for two adults and arranged for an  MTA bus to be brought to Gerard Avenue to give displaced residents a warm, dry place to wait. The Chapter also handed out 140 blankets and 24 sweat suits to those who had evacuated the building without adequate clothing for the mid-winter temperature.


ARC/GNY responders were supported by five disaster response vehicles. Additionally, 24 employees at the Chapter’s Manhattan Headquarters provided technical support and guidance, and arranged for additional supplies, equipment and meals as needed. The Chapter also placed a shelter management team of 29 volunteers and 1 employee on standby, and prepared to deploy a shelter support truck with cots and blankets to open a shelter if electricity, gas and water were not restored to the building that night.


While the Chapter was aiding residents and responders at Gerard Avenue, a second 3-alarm fire blaze broke out a little after 6:30 p.m. at 207-24 Jordan Drive in Queens. ARC/GNY immediately sent an Emergency Response Vehicle to the site. Although Chapter responders were unable to gain access to the affected apartments in order to conduct damage assessments, they registered four people for Red Cross assistance.  


Saturday, January 31

Six ARC/GNY relief workers arrived at 52-12 103rd Street in Queens just minutes after a two-alarm blaze began at 9:14 p.m. The Chapter assisted 34 people (20 adults and 14 children), providing temporary housing at a local hotel for 30 people, arranging MTA MetroCards for those lacking transportation to alternative accommodations, and helping secure replacement medicines for a resident who’d lost hers in the fire.  



Sunday, February 1

At 9:18 a.m., a 3-alarm fire swept through 138 Division Avenue in Brooklyn. Three ARC/GNY workers responded and provided beverages and snacks for 3 residents and 30 firefighters. None of those affected needed Red Cross-arranged housing.


At 6:10 p.m. the Chapter arrived at the scene of an unstable building being vacated at 8 E. 110th Street in Manhattan. ARC/GNY responders provided snacks, drinks and blankets to several dozen residents forced out of the building. They also researched hotel accommodations in case the building was declared unsafe for occupation. At approximately 9:00 p.m. inspectors declared the building habitable and allowed tenants to return. All told, the Chapter aided 100 people during the three-hour incident.



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Learn how to plan and prepare for an emergency.

Take a CPR and First Aid class.

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