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NYS Task Force Issues Sandy Recovery Report

New York State Senate

A New York State Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy Recovery has released its first report. The senators have come up with preliminary recommendations to help recovery efforts and assist in disaster planning.

Task force members say the ten preliminary recommendations will be finalized in the next several weeks. The report comes after senators wrapped up their tours of hard-hit areas last week. Following the tours, the senators held roundtables to hear from a number of local stakeholders. State Senator David Carlucci, an Independent Democrat, whose district includes a large part of Rockland County, is a task-force member, and held a roundtable in Rockland.

He says the recommendations arise from key findings from these roundtables, and act as a roadmap for how to guide recovery efforts and funding.

In fact, Carlucci introduced legislation a few days after Sandy hit, to require gas stations in New York State to have electric generators on site, ensuring that they are able to weather a storm in the event a power outage occurs. There were numerous gas stations in the storm-ravaged areas that either were out of gas, or could not pump gas because of power outages. Carlucci’s legislation is currently being amended, and does have a sponsor in the Assembly.

Chris Jensen is the program coordinator for the Rockland County Office of Fire and Emergency Services. He sat in on the roundtable in Rockland County, and says there is a need for Carlucci’s legislation, along with the following.

He says this situation is one example of the need for better coordination and planning ahead of another big storm.

President Barack Obama has signed a $50.5 billion emergency measure for Superstorm Sandy victims, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed $21 billion for disaster-related recovery, rebuilding, and mitigation from Sandy in his 2013-2014 budget. As for how such money will be appropriated, State Senator Carlucci replies:

Rockland’s Fire and Emergency Services Program Coordinator Chris Jensen says money is needed to help either level or elevate homes in the Stony Point and Piermont areas; and he would like to see funding go toward beefing up infrastructure, such as at pump stations and utility locations.

Carlucci says the task force will meet once a week, to address the key findings in the report, such as developing certification and licensing procedures for mold-remediation contractors.

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