This morning, DNAinfo reported that a Staten Island FEMA relief center had shut its doors, posting a sign saying that it was closed due to today’s storm, and that two mobile warming centers had evacuated as well. FEMA spokesperson Debra White confirmed to ANIMAL that the mobile units were indeed gone, but said that their stationery encampment at 6581 Hylan Boulevard was still open–though it’s closing at 6PM, along with the two other FEMA centers on the island. “We decided to close our mobile recovery centers today, so that people and workers would not be out trying to travel during the storm,” she said. “Part of the problem is that our mobile recovery centers are run from big RV buses, which are in danger of being damaged by high winds.”
White also defended the hours of the agency’s relief centers in the storm affected areas, including one in a Waldbaum’s parking lot in the Rockaways, which is open from 8AM to 8PM –shorter hours than most IHOPs. When asked why the center isn’t open 24 hours, she said “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a disaster recovery area open all day. Those are actually pretty long hours–a 12 hour day.”
“Our main focus is getting people into housing,” the spokeswoman added. “We have lots of people in shelters, and we need to get them somewhere safe, secure, and warm.”
White urged that anyone who needs assistance request it from FEMA, by calling 1-800-621-3362 or visiting disasterassistance.gov. We’d recommend getting in touch with the folks at Occupy Sandy, at least they’re keeping 7-Eleven hours.
(Photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)