Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield

Letter to the Editor

January 4, 2013
By Olivia Leirer

Dear Neal,

Nearly two months ago, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast, causing destruction of unbelievable proportions in New York City, Long Island and New Jersey. Today, as the weather turns colder, 11,000 Far Rockaway residents still lack heat, hot water and electricity. Homes and businesses have been destroyed and the ones left standing are infested with mold that can cause serious health problems for residents.

On January 2, 2012 NYCC released a report detailing the failures of the city's response to the growing crisis in the Rockaways. Nearly 30% of  Rockaway Residents surveyed had no heat and 80% still have wet sheetrock in their homes, or paid out of pocket to remove it.

Arlene Phipps – an NYCC member and daycare provider, is just one of the thousands still reeling from the damage caused by the historic storm. Her home was badly flooded and her daycare was completely destroyed. After going weeks without power and heat -- and losing thousands of dollars from lost income and damage to her business -- Arlene was forced to pay out of pocket for costly remediation of the mold in her home.

Mold caused by flood damage may contain mycotoxins, spores thatcan trigger asthma and cause infections in children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. If left unaddressed, mold can spread beyond the flood line, causing even more damage that’s often not covered by insurance. New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy literally cannot afford to wait for the mold to be removed.

Stand with residents of the Rockaways and other communities affected by Hurricane Sandy, and demand that Mayor Bloomberg remediates mold and reimburses homeowners to pay out of pocket for mold removal. Click here to take action

Olivia Leirer
Commications and Social Media Director for New York Communities for Change

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