The Storm After the Storm on CBS’s 60 Minutes Showcase

This is an excerpt from the CBS 60 Minutes article referenced below:

“When Hurricane Sandy made its way towards the East Coast in the fall of 2012, residents knew it could be devastating. What they didn’t expect was just how bad Sandy turned out to be: 117 deaths, and damage estimated at more than $60 billion, second only to Katrina.

Now two and a half years later, Sandy victims have been hit by something else they didn’t expect, the storm after the storm. Many of them say they have been cheated out of their insurance claims. Thousands of claims have still not been resolved and there is evidence that many homeowners were victims of what appears to be wide-scale fraud where original damage reports were later changed to make it look like the damage wasn’t as bad. Making matters worse, appeals to the federal agency in charge of all of this, FEMA, went nowhere.”

To read more of this 60 Minutes article and watch this video click here

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NYS CEDAR Program Serves as an Avenue for Design Professionals to Volunteer During Natural Disasters

The New York State Department of State, Division of Building Standards and Codes has announced the implementation of the Code Enforcement Disaster Assistance Response (CEDAR) orientation training program. This 6-hour training orientation will be scheduled based on the number of applicants and their locations.

For all individuals interested in participating in CEDAR, please complete the CEDAR application and employer release form, and fax both forms to the Division of Building Standards and Codes Educational Services Unit at (518) 474-5788 [Read more…]

Buffalo Storm Facilitates NYSSPE Participation in the NYS Code Enforcement Disaster Assistance Response (CEDAR) Program

After the recent snowstorm in Buffalo, many NYSSPE members volunteered their time to assist in engineering duties related to the storm.  Thanks to the very active participation of the NYSSPE Erie-Niagara Chapter Board members, NYSSPE has started conversations with the NYS Department of State Division of Building Standards and Codes Emergency Management Unit.

This department coordinates the NYS Code Enforcement Disaster Assistance Response (CEDAR) Program, which is a program that facilitates professionals volunteering to assist after natural disasters.  Click here to read more about the program.

NYSSPE will be in more discussions with the Emergency Management Unit over the coming weeks as to how to facilitate NYSSPE members in getting into their database and then distribute the information to all members so that they may enroll if interested in volunteering.

[Read more…]

Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill Receives Much Needed Adjustments: Mayor de Blasio Makes a Public Announcement

Hurricane Sandy was a late-season post-tropical cyclone that ravaged its way up the east coast in late October of 2012. The superstorm destroyed thousands of homes and left millions without power. Last weekend, Mayor de Blasio announced major changes to the Sandy Relief Plan. $100 million in federal funds has been reallocated in order to aid the victims of Sandy, with the major priority set to rebuild all destroyed homes.

Major changes made to relief plan were to boost the staff of the Housing Recovery Office (HRO), alleviate administrative bottlenecks that have kept the victims from much needed relief, and accelerate the Build it Back program to really rebuild the damaged  east coast. Senator Charles Schumer, who led the charge for the Sandy Relief Bill, also stood alongside Mayor de Blasio, along with other community leaders. [Read more…]

Information from FEMA and the City of New York for those Counties Affected by Hurricane Sandy

We received the following message from FEMA and wanted to share it with our members:

FEMA recognizes that communities affected by Hurricane Sandy have already started or will begin making critical recovery decisions – long before any new Flood Insurance Rate Maps can be finalized in the affected areas.  To that end, FEMA is working to prepare more up to date flood hazard information in the coming weeks to allow communities, residents, and business owners to make informed rebuilding decisions.  Use of this information will be required for certain FEMA funded recovery and mitigation activities after release and is highly encouraged for other rebuilding efforts. [Read more…]

About the Volunteer Protection Act

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we have received many questions from our members in regards to the liability professional engineers in New York State when volunteering.  The Volunteer Protection Act of 1997, signed into law on June 18th, 1997, was created to “provide certain protections to volunteers, non-profit organizations and governmental entities in lawsuits based on the activities of volunteers.”

The Act provides liability protection for volunteers under the following conditions: [Read more…]