NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY OFFICE OF ASSEMBLYMEMBER ARAVELLA SIMOTAS For Immediate Release November 2, 2012 Contact: Samantha

Darche, 718-545-3889 My thoughts and prayers go out to the families that have lost their homes and loved ones. I am working closely with other elected officials to bring our community the relief it needs to return to a state of normalcy. There have been many disruptions in the neighborhood including downed trees and power lines, power outages and gas shortages. Thankfully, I have not yet received news of any loss of life in our area. As we recover from this storm we should all lend a helping hand to our community and those in need. Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful: Food and Water Distribution Centers: • There will be distribution sites in the Astoria Houses. The information about exact locations and hours of operation can be found at http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/foodandwater.html . • Each person will be able to take three meals and five bottles of water. • Please bring your own bag to carry food and water. • AT&T will bring pods that provide cell service and charging stations to the areas around the food distribution sites. • Any food, including packaged food, which was touched by flood water should be thrown away. The flood water may contain sewage or other contamination. Water: • Our tap water is safe to drink. Schools: • The NYC public schools are planned to reopen on Monday November 5th, 2012. Health: • Please call 911 for emergencies and 311 for downed trees and sewer backups. • Mount Sinai Hospital here in Astoria is open and fully functional. • Anyone affected by Hurricane Sandy on Pfizer medications that needs assistance can contact the Pfizer Connection to Care program at 1-866-706-2400 and follow the prompts for an operator.

Gas Station Information: • Price Gouging: Please be aware that at this time many gas stations that have some gas left might take advantage of you when it comes to the price. No one should take advantage of this devastating storm. Please report any price gouging at the Attorney General’s Office online at www.ag.ny.gov/questions-comments-attorneygeneral-eric-t-schneiderman . • We are working closely with federal, state and city officials to bring in more gas shipments. Be mindful that the first to receive gas will be emergency services and vehicles in order to better serve our community in time of emergencies. Power: • Con Edison is distributing Dry Ice for those who are without power due to Hurricane Sandy, on Friday November 2nd at Francis Lewis playground PS 130 at Francis Lewis Blvd and 42nd Avenue until 6pm. • Be extremely careful when using candles for light, do not leave them burning thought the night and keep them away from flammable objects (i.e. drapes, curtains etc.). • Use extreme caution when going into a flooded basement because there may be electrified services or unsanitary conditions. Wear high rubber boots and use a wooden stick to gauge the depth of the flooding. Please keep children away from flooded basements. • Do not go near downed electrical wires or attempt to touch them with any object. Also, keep in mind that downed wires can be hidden from view by tree limbs, leaves or water. Property Cleanup and Repair: • Please visit http://www.ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-provides-guideproperty-owners-they-recover-and-rebuild-hurricane-0 for information on clearing downed trees and repairing buildings and driveways which may require professional assistance. • For all other inquiries, please contact 311. Support for Businesses: • The city has emergency loans for businesses, along with temporary City and State sales tax deferment on materials needed for rebuilding. • The Brooklyn Army Terminal is offering temporary office space for those businesses that were displaced from their locations. To get information contact NYC Business Solutions by calling 311 or going to nyc.gov. • Businesses can also find out if they are eligible and can apply for federal aid by visiting http://www.disasterassistance.gov/ . Airports: • LaGuardia Airport is open and carriers are continuing to ramp up operations throughout the day.

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JFK International Airport is open and airlines are continuing to restore flight service. Please confirm flight times with your airline before you begin your trip to the airport. AirTrain JFK is operational with limited service between Jamaica Terminal and Federal Circle, and from Federal Circle to Howard Beach Station. Port Authority buses will provide shuttle service between Federal Circle and the passenger terminals. AirTran fares are suspended today, Friday November 2nd.

Tunnels and Bridges: • The George Washington Bridge, and Lincoln Tunnel are open. Motorists using the Lincoln Tunnel, the East River Bridges and the RFK Triborough Bridge to travel to Manhattan are advised that the City of New York is not allowing vehicles with fewer than three passengers to enter Manhattan below 96th Street between the hours of 6AM and midnight. • One lane of the south tube of the Holland Tunnel opened this morning to bus commuters traveling from New Jersey to Manhattan. One lane will also be open for bus commuters making their way back to New Jersey during the evening rush hour. Federal Disaster Assistance: • The Federal Disaster Assistance program is available for homeowners, renters and businesses that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. You can register at disasterassistance.gov or by calling the Federal Emergency management agency at 1-800-621-3362. • Be advised that most assistance will require your social security number, insurance information and household income information. Parks: • All parks and playgrounds will remain closed because falling branches remain a serious threat. • For your safety and your family’s safety I advise you to remain away from Astoria Park since there have been a lot of downed trees and many branches are not yet secured. • Details about which parks will be open Saturday November 3rd, can be found on nyc.gov/parks. Sanitation: • Please be advised that at this time the Department of Sanitation is collecting garbage on its regular schedule but not collecting recycling. Volunteer and Donations: • Please visit nyc.gov/service if you are interested in volunteering and nyc.gov/fund if you would like to donate.

Please let me know how I can help you in this crucial time. I will be updating you as information becomes available. Feel free to contact my office at 718-545- 3889 with any questions or concerns you may have.

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