Direct Relief is sending shipments of essential medical supplies to a number of groups who are directing their efforts at both clinical and outreach services in areas without heat after Sandy.
With the arrival of the nor’easter storm on Wednesday and Thursday, which many residents of New York likened to the sequel of the horror film that was Hurricane Sandy, some of the most serious health risks shifted from flooding to loss of heat.
On Thursday, temperatures dropped to the freezing point and wet snow covered much of the New York area. Homes still experiencing power outages struggled to bring their heating systems back online. Others who lost homes due to flooding remained huddled in the shelter system or doubled up with friends and family.
Cold coupled with loss of home heating exacerbates chronic health conditions like asthma as well as severe threats from exposure, particularly for children and the elderly.
Citizen reports to New York’s 311 system of loss of home heating have been analyzed using Palantir technology through this heat map of over 3,000 reports filed since October 30 from some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods of New York such as Red Hook and the Rockaways. The map shows serious problems over the past three days in coastal areas around the boroughs, and inland primarily along the Flatbush and Crown Heights corridors.
Direct Relief health center partners working in these areas and receiving additional support include the Brooklyn Free Medical Clinic, who will be directing its outreach efforts by medical students from the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate to the Red Hook area of Brooklyn; the badly damaged Joseph Addabbo Family Health Center which continues to operate in Arverne near the Rockaways; and the Floating Hospital, who will be also conducting their routine medical outreach to homeless families in several of these areas as well.