November 5, 2012
Dear Fellow Cooperators,
Hurricane Sandy presented new and unforeseen challenges to all of us. We are thankful to have weathered this storm of unprecedented magnitude with minor damage to our property. We endured physical hardships but are returning to our daily life with new insight.
At the Board’s emergency meeting this evening we discussed and assessed the events of this past week. We are actively pursuing the purchase of natural gas generators, specifically to maintain the buildings’ water supply, while keeping in mind the need to protect new investments from future natural disasters. This is now possible because of our decision to go forward with the improvements to our power plant.
We would like to acknowledge the tireless, devoted, and caring service our maintenance staff and security guards provided during and after the storm. In addition to keeping up with garbage disposal, our maintenance staff and porters went through buildings to check on residents and bring them water, food, batteries, and flashlights. Maintenance worked around the clock to deal with any emergency issues. Heshey Jacob, Sol Wenig, Bob Westcott, and James Ritchie were on‐site throughout the week.
In the Lower East Side tradition of community service, Assembly Speaker Silver and Council Speaker Quinn provided huge amounts of meals and water to sustain us during this emergency. We helped Seward Park with their downed trees and they assisted us with getting glow sticks for our hallways. Hatzalah heroically evacuated 80 residents from Hillman and East River and a baby was born by candlelight on Tuesday morning in Hillman.
Maintenance and the Boiler room phone lines were down due to flooding. However, they are now back to normal. Our regular phone numbers are: Management, 212‐677‐5858; Maintenance, 212-677-5744.
WHAT TO EXPECT
• Late fees for carrying charges will be delayed by two weeks after the bills are distributed.
• Recyclables are currently not being picked up the City. Until further notice, please keep your recyclables in your apartment. The compactors are up and running. But there may be residual backup of garbage in the chutes now that residents are returning and emptying spoiled food from their refrigerators. When City garbage service is back to normal the chutes will be cleaned and disinfected. With the help of our maintenance staff, we were able to clear out our garbage chutes by hand during the emergency, and secure garbage trucks to pick it up while others around the City could not.
• Our elevators are in service. Our General Manager Heshey Jacob was able to get round the clock elevator repair coverage during the week and our elevators were up and running as soon as power was restored.
Many residents in lower Manhattan are still without heat and hot water. We all know about the devastation and continued suffering throughout our region. We are extremely lucky to be relatively unscathed. The most important thing is every one of our cooperators is safe. However, the City’s need is great and if you are able to help there are many options. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, email address, and borough to volunteer in the coming days, or visit www.nycservice.org.
In preparation for future storms, we urge you to be prepared with water, food, a flashlight, and batteries; a battery‐operated or crank‐operated radio is also essential.
Again, if you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
East River Board of Directors