News on WTC/Pentagon Disasters for Week of 10/28

The following are news items compiled by the Fire Engineering staff during the week of 10/28. Check our home page and Web Exclusives categories for other industry news.

October 31, 2001

October 29, 2001

October 31, 2001

WE THANK THE MANY –

A tremendous amount of thanks should go to every volley house (Volunteer FD) at this time. Last week the UFA thanked the many organizations & volunteers in the newspapers. Each and every Memorial or Funeral I attended personally was handled professionally by the volleys from Upstate and Long Island. I know every affected family member was overwhelmed by the turnouts and detail shown. Also a sincere thanks should go to the many retirees who came every day and supported us.

Hundreds traveled and attended 2 or 3 Services a day. Thank a Retiree and Volley when you see them! I would like to thank, your wives, children and families who have also endured through this difficult time.

Let’s do our best in letting them know how much they’ve helped by being there and understanding.

We will not and cannot rest until every “Brother” has been properly honored and memorialized.

Tom DaParma

Queens Trustee of the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA), Local 94 of the FDNY

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October 29, 2001

FEMA/State Disaster Update

Response and Recovery efforts as of Oct. 25 include the following:

* To date 31,120 people affected by the attack have called FEMA’s toll-free registration number to apply for state and federal disaster assistance. More than 800 new applications are being taken daily.

* The first and most important step in applying for help is calling FEMA’s registration number 1-800-462-9029. The TTY number for speech- or hearing-impaired is 1-800-462-7585. Trained personnel are available to take applications from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

* The New York State Crime Victims Board has received 3,347 applications for assistance to defray the cost of medical bills, counseling, funeral expenses, or lost earnings due to injury or loss of life from the attacks. The toll-free number is 1-800-247-8035. The TTY number for speech- or hearing-impaired is 1-888-289-9747. The phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

* More than $82.5 million in Individual Assistance has been approved in the form of temporary disaster housing assistance, disaster food stamps, individual and family grants, and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans to homeowners and businesses.

* FEMA has approved more than $14 million in disaster housing assistance for individuals and families to obtain alternate rental housing or to clean up residences made uninhabitable by the attack.

* Persons left unemployed by the disaster have filed 4,458 claims for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) with the New York State Department of Labor Telephone Claims Line, 1-888-209-8124. This program provides assistance to workers and business owners out of work because of the disaster as well as self-employed persons not normally covered by unemployment programs. The closing date for filing DUA claims has been extended to Nov. 16.

* $2.75 million in disaster food stamps has been distributed to individuals and families who lost food, income, or resources because of the attacks.

* The state of New York has approved more than $310,506 for individual and family grants for disaster victims to meet serious disaster-related needs not covered by other disaster assistance programs or insurance.

* Crisis counseling grants in excess of $22.7 million have been committed to the state’s mental health services network to provide counseling to victims of the attack and their families.

* The SBA has approved more than $65 million in low-interest loans to 668 applicants for home repairs, business loans, and loans to assist small business suffering economic injury as a result of losses caused by the disaster.

* More than 11,000 people have visited the Disaster Assistance Service Center at 141 Worth St. in Lower Manhattan to consult with representatives from state, federal, city, and voluntary agencies on disaster aid programs and to have questions answered about their applications. Representatives have disseminated information in 17 different languages. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

* FEMA’s toll-free Helpline has received 14,591 calls from persons applying for additional assistance, inquiring about the status of their application, or seeking information about recovery programs. The Helpline number is 1-800-525-0321. The speech- or hearing-impaired TTY number is 1-800-462-7585.

* Nearly 580 FEMA personnel are currently working at the Disaster Field Office in New York.

* There are 30 Community Relations teams conducting outreach throughout the five New York City boroughs, visiting the 59 Community Boards in the city, and supporting the Disaster Assistance Services Center to provide information about disaster assistance.

* FEMA’s Speakers Bureau coordinated speakers for more than 60 meetings with an estimated attendance of at least 10,215 people. More than 30 additional meetings are scheduled. Attendees are community members, economic development organizations, local political groups, and building owners and managers.

PUBLIC ASSISTANCE

*$273 million in federal public assistance has been approved to help state and local governments rebuild. FEMA will provide financial aid and technical assistance in the rebuilding of infrastructure damaged in the attack. Applicant briefings have been completed for all New York City agencies.

FEMA-FUNDED MISSION ASSIGNMENTS

* FEMA has assigned more than $136 million in mission assignments to other federal agencies including the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE), Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Defense to assist in the response effort. These include the following:

* USACE continues to provide technical assistance to the debris removal operation. More than 430 thousand tons of debris have been removed to the Staten Island landfill. The USACE dredging mission that removed almost 60,000 cubic yards of material from around Pier 6 has been completed.

* The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is completing its use of pressure washers and truck-mounted, filtered vacuum cleaners to clean streets, parking areas, parks and playgrounds in the impacted area. The EPA has established a number of wash stations to ensure people and vehicles leaving the work zone do not track dust into clean areas. The EPA continues to monitor air quality and reports no excessive dust outside the immediate debris pile.

* Health and Medical Services (specifically the Center for Disease Control) will be monitoring a health assessment project for the New York Fire Department. This project will include the analysis of 11,000 blood samples from firefighters and 4,000 blood samples from employees of the state of New York who were involved in ground zero operations.

Voluntary Agencies

* More than 200 voluntary agencies from community- and faith-based organizations, labor unions, national organizations, and government agencies are working to identify issues, concerns, and long-term recovery needs and develop solutions to address these issues.

* The American Red Cross is meeting emergency disaster-related needs for people who lost loved ones, those who have housing needs, and those whose jobs were affected in the area south of Canal Street. Red Cross workers at five service centers have assisted 17,000 families to date. Assistance includes funds for temporary housing, cleaning services, day-to-day living expenses, mental health support, and more.

* The more than 10,000 Salvation Army volunteers to date have operated mobile canteens around the clock at the four corners of ground zero to accommodate relief workers, and have served more than 1.5 million meals to victims and disaster recovery personnel.

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