MetroFocus: October 15, 2020

SPECIAL EDITION: AFTER SANDY

On October 24th Hurricane Sandy slammed New York and shocked the region- claiming lives, destroying homes and knocking out power. Tonight we examine the where its left us eight years later with a special report from Treasures Of New York featuring the people rebuilding Long Island’s Bay Houses to the City and State officials crafting a battle plan to protect us from the next superstorm to the activists shining a light on Sandy’s disproportionate impact on low-income and minority communities.

 

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS METROFOCUS WITH RAEF YELL P.ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

MADE POSSIBLE BY SUE AND EDGAR III, PROGRAMMING EVNDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA STONE FOUNDATION.

SUPPOSEDLY PER ACRE THERE IS MORE DIVERSITY AND MORE LIFE IN THIS TYPE OF ENVIRONMENT THAN ANY OTHER PLACE IN THE WORLD.

IT IS QUITE A NICE BACKYARD, RIGHT?

THE HAPPIEST TIMES OF MY LIFE WERE AND STILL ARE AT THE HOUSE.

PLAYING WITH JOY BOATS, FISHING, CLAMMING.

I CAN REMEMBER CLAMMING WHEN I WAS THREE.

> WELCOME TO METROFOCUS.

YOU KNOW, THAT WAS A PREVIEW FOR THE DOCUMENTARY 'A WORLD WITHIN A WORLD: THE BAY HOUSES OF LONG ISLAND,' THE LATEST INSTALLMENT IN WIW SERIES TREASURES OF NEW YORK.

THEY WILL TAKE US INSIDE A COMMUNITY THAT EXISTED ON THE MARSH LANDS OF THE SOUTH SHORE.

THE FASCINATING SMALL RUSS TIS SHACKS COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE BAY HOUSES.

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THESE HOUSES?

WHO OWNS THEM?

AND HOW HAVE THEY BEEN ABLE TO WITHSTAND MERCYLESS WEATHER EVENTS LIKE HURRICANE SANITY.

THE EXECUTOR AND PRODUCER OF THE DOCUMENTARY AND THE DIRECTOR, A LEADING EXPERT ON THE HISTORY OF THE BAY HOUSES AND THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK ABOUT THE HOUSES TITLED 'ON THE BAY.'

WELCOME BOTH OF YOU.

PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU HERE.

THANK YOU, RAFAEL.

GOOD TO BE HERE.

BY THE WAY, NANCY, YOUR BOOK WAS THE BASIS OF THIS DOCUMENTARY.

BUT LET ME START WITH YOU, BARBARA.

WHERE EXACTLY ARE THESE HOUSES?

WELL, THE BAY HOUSES EXIST ON THE SOUTH SHORE, AND THEY EXIST ON THE MARSH LANDS OF THE SOUTH SHORE, WHICH IS THE ONE THAT I HAVE FIRST SEEN.

BUT THERE ARE ALSO OTHER BAY HOUSES IN LONG ISLAND IN COUNTY AS WELL.

YOU ARE REALLY TAKEN BY THEM.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THESE HOUSES THAT SO ATTRACTS PEOPLE?

WELL, AS A FOLKLORE AND ARCHITECTURAL HISTORIAN, I HAVE ALSO BEEN FASCINATED BY STRUCTURES BEAT FOR THEMSELVES THAT THERE ARE NO CONTRACTORS, THERE ARE NO ARCHITECTS.

BECAUSE I KNEW UP ACROSS THE STREET FROM A BOAT YARD, I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FASCINATED WITH ANYTHING ON THE WATER.

AND THESE HOUSES ARE ALL OVER THE TOWN.

YOU HAVE GOT A FREE PORT OR BEACH OR, YOU KNOW, SEA FRONT, YOU CAN SEE THESE HOUSES.

AND, NANCY, WHERE DID THESE HOUSES FIRST COME TO BE?

WHAT IS THEIR ORIGINS?

THEY WERE FIRST BUILT BY BAY MEN TO HARVEST THE SALT THAT GROWS ON THE MARSH LANDS IN THE WINTERTIME.

BECAUSE FARMERS NEEDED SOMETHING FOR THEIR LIVESTOCK, THE ONLY PEOPLE THAT NEEDED BOATS TO GET OUT THERE FOR FISHERMEN AND BAY MEN.

GOING BACK IN THE WINTER WAS NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED.

THEY REALIZED, IF I HAD A SHACK, I COULD SAY THERE AND DO OTHER THINGS AND MAKE IT WORTHWHILE.

BARBARA, THERE IS ALSO A VERY INTERESTING PART OF THE DOCUMENTARY WHERE YOU DOCUMENT THE HISTORY OF THESE SHACKS DURING PROHIBITION.

YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO GET INTO THAT NOW, BUT JUST FOR THAT STORY, IT IS WORTH WATCHING THE DOCUMENTARY.

IT HAD A LOT TO DO WITH THE REAL McCOY.

YOU'LL KNOW WHERE THAT CAME FROM.

AND THE RUM RUNNERS.

SO CHECK IT OUT.

BUT, BARBARA, IN 1991, IF I UNDERSTOOD RIGHT, IN 1991 A LAW WAS PASSED THEY WOULD HAVE TORN DOWN THESE SHACKS; IS THAT TRUE?

THAT IS TRUE.

AND ACTUALLY NANCY WOULD BE BETTER TO TALK ABOUT THAT BECAUSE SHE WAS VERY INSTRUMENTAL IN OBTAINING A LEASE AGREEMENT WHEREBY THE BAY HOUSE OWNERS WERE ABLE TO MAINTAIN THEIR PROPERTY AND KEEP THEM IN THE TOWN.

SO SHE IS A BETTER -- SHE WOULD BE ABLE TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION BETTER SINCE SHE WAS SO INSTRUMENTAL IN THAT.

ALL RIGHT.

NANCY, SO HOW DID THEY SAVE THE HOUSES?

WHAT ARE THE DEALS THEY HAD TO MAKE?

OKAY.

WELL, FIRST, WE HAD TO THREATEN THE TOWN WAS VIOLATING THE HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT BY NOT DOCUMENTING THEM.

AND I SAID I'LL DO A SCENARIO AND THAT'S WHY WE DID THE BOOK ON THE BAY WHEN IT FIRST CAME OUT.

AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT STARTED A LOT OF SERIOUS TALK, AND THEY AGREED THAT THEY COULD BE PRESERVED FOR THE FUTURE GENERATIONS.

SO, BARBARA, THESE HOUSES THEY LOOK VERY VULNERABLE TO STORMS AND STORM EVENTS LIKE SUPER STORMS.

SANDY, HOW DID THEY SURVIVE SUPER STORM SANDY?

IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT.

ORIGINALLY AT ONE POINT THERE WAS 300 OF THESE HOUSES.

SO AT THIS POINT IN TIME, THERE IS ONLY 28 REMAINING, WHICH TELLS YOU A LOT ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE EROSION OF THE MARSH LAND AND HOW DIFFICULT IT IS FOR THESE HOUSES TO WITHSTAND THE WEATHER CONDITIONS AND ELEMENTS THAT THEY HAVE TO GO THROUGH.

YOU KNOW, BUT I WAS TAKEN.

IN THE DOCUMENTARY SOMEBODY SAID THAT FEMA ACTUALLY WENT TO THE OWNERS OF THESE HOUSES TO FIND OUT HOW TO PRESERVE A STRUCTURE LIKE THOSE HOUSES WITHIN A STORM LIKE SUPER STORM SANDY.

WHAT DO THEY KNOW THAT WE DON'T KNOW?

WELL, ACTUALLY, IT WAS NANCY WHO SAID THAT IN THE FILM.

AH.

I GUESS HAVING GONE THROUGH ALL THESE STORMS, THEY ARE BETTER EQUIPPED TO BE ABLE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS TO, YOU KNOW, TO BE ABLE TO SUSTAIN THEM.

BUT THEY'RE BUILT IN SUCH A WAY THAT THEY ARE IMPLANTED WITH CERTAIN HELI COILS INTO THE MARSH LAND WHICH STABILIZES THEM SO THAT THEY DO NOT DRIFT AWAY.

I KEEP TALKING ABOUT THE OWNERS OF THESE HOUSES, BUT THAT'S AN INTERESTING PART OF THIS STORY, RIGHT?

WHO ARE THE OWNERS?

AND TELL US WHAT RIGHTS THEY HAVE WITH THEIR PROPERTY.

OKAY.

WELL, THEY'RE NOT OWNERS IN THE LEGAL SENSE.

THEY ACTUALLY LEASE THE LAND FROM THE TOWN.

BUT THESE ARE DESCENDENTS OF FISHERMEN AND BAY MEN FROM THE 1700s UP TO THE PRESENT TIME.

MANY CARRY ON THE TRADITIONS OF CLAMMING AND HARVESTING, YOU KNOW, FISH.

THEY'RE AVID FISH MEN.

SOME ARE DUCK HUNTERS.

SO THAT'S THE ONLY PART OF THE BAY.

IT'S ABOUT OUR MARITIME CULTURE AND OUR CONNECTION TO OUR WATERFRONT.

AND THEY HAPPEN TO PRESERVE THOSE CULTURAL TRADITIONS, YOU KNOW, IN THEIR FAMILIES.

SO THEY CAN'T SELL THE PROPERTY, RIGHT?

NO.

THEY HAVE -- THE BAY HOUSES CAN ONLY BE TRANSFERRED TO SOMEBODY IN THEIR FAMILY OR TO SOMEBODY WHO IS ON THE LEASE WITH THEM FOR AT LEAST SEVERAL YEARS.

AND THAT PERSON, IF IT IS SOMEBODY WHO IS NOT A FAMILY MEMBER THAT'S ON THE LEASE, THERE IS A VERY STRONG CONNECTION BETWEEN THE BAY HOUSE OWNER AND THAT LEASEHOLDER.

AND, BARBARA, SO, YOU KNOW, YOU TOUCHED ON THIS, BUT WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF THE BAY HOUSES, DO YOU THINK?

AND WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF THE MARSH LANDS ON WHICH THEY REST?

WE HAVE 30 SECONDS LEFT.

THAT'S A VERY DIFFICULT QUESTION.

JUST LOOKING AT WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW WITH CLIMATE CHANGE, THAT'S SUCH A DIFFICULT QUESTION.

I'M HOPING THAT THE BAY HOUSES CAN SUSTAIN THEMSELVES AND FIND WAYS TO BETTER SOLIDIFY THEIR -- THEIR STRUCTURES INTO THE MARSH LAND SO THAT THEY DON'T -- THEY DON'T GET SWEPT AWAY.

ALL RIGHT.

BUT YOU'RE HOPEFUL, I THINK.

OKAY.

LISTEN, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO END IT THERE.

THANK YOU BOTH SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY.

> THE IMPACT OF SUPER STORM SANDY ON OUR REGION CAN STILL BE FELT TODAY.

ACCORDING TO THE CITY, THE STORM INFLICTED AN ESTIMATED $19 BILLION IN DAMAGES.

THE RECOVERY HAS BEEN LONG AND DIFFICULT, AND MANY CHOSE TO MOVE RATHER THAN TO ATTEMPT TO REBUILD.

IN THE AFTERMATH, OFFICIALS AT THE STATE AND CITY LEVELS HAVE BEEN WORKING ON RESILIENCY MEASURES TO MAKE SURE THAT WHEN THE NEXT BIG STORM HITS NEW YORK IS PREPARED.

NEW YORK CITY IN PARTICULAR IS HIGHLY EXPOSED TO THE IMPACT OF SUPER STORMS WITH OVER 520 MILES OF COASTLINE.

THE NEED TO IMPLEMENT MASSIVE PRECAUTIONS AGAINST COASTAL FLOODING IS INDEED URGENT.

SO NEW YORK STATE'S DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY SERVICES WORKS YEAR-ROUND TO MAKE SURE ITS CITIZENS KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TO DO WHEN THE NEXT MAJOR STORM HITS.

MATTIE HAS THE STORY.

Reporter: PAT MURPHY WAS SERVING AS A MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK NATIONAL GUARD DURING HURRICANE SANDY.

HE OVERSAW MEMBERS AS THEY DISTRAD DISTRIBUTED FOOD AND WATER.

WE HAD ALREADY GONE THROUGH A CLOSE CALL PREVIOUS TO THAT WITH LEE AND IRENE, WHICH HAD BEEN STORMS THAT HAD DROPPED A LOT OF WATER ON NEW YORK STATE.

AND, SO, FROM THAT SOME PEOPLE PICKED UP THE CUE AND BECAME MORE PREPARED.

OTHERS DID NOT SEE THE THREAT OF THE POTENTIAL DISASTER THAT IT COULD HAVE BEEN AND COULD HAVE BEEN MORE PREPARED.

MURPHY IS NOW THE COMMISSIONER OF NEW YORK STATE'S DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY SERVICES, AND HE AND HIS TEAM WORK HARD TO ENSURE THAT THE STATE GOVERNMENT IS PREPARED FOR THE NEXT NATURAL DISASTER AND THAT THE PUBLIC IS, TOO.

THAT'S REALLY WHERE IT STARTS IS WITH INDIVIDUAL PREPAREDNESS.

HOW DO YOU GET YOURSELF READY FOR A POTENTIAL NATURAL DISASTER THAT COULD LEAVE YOU WITHOUT POWER, THAT COULD LEAVE YOU ISOLATED FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.

AND THEN BEYOND THAT, HOW DO YOU PREPARE YOUR FAMILY FOR THE EMERGENCY?

MURPHY SAYS PREPARATIONS START WITH DEVELOPING AN EMERGENCY PLAN.

AN EMERGENCY PLAN FOR A FAMILY OR JUST A PLAN TO START WITH IS HAVING A DISCUSSION ABOUT WHERE YOU MIGHT MEET, WHAT KINDS OF THINGS MIGHT HAPPEN TO YOU, HOW DO YOU MAKE CONTACT WITH OTHERS SHOULD YOU BECOME ISOLATED AND JUST WHAT RESOURCES YOU MIGHT NEED IN THAT EMERGENCY.

MAKE SURE YOUR HOME IS STOCKED WITH EVERYTHING NEEDED TO GET THROUGH A PERIOD OF NO ELECTRICITY OR CLEAN WATER.

IT'S IMPORTANT TO HAVE A GO KIT, TOO.

MURPHY REMINDS THAT PEOPLE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO STAY IN THEIR HOMES TO RIDE OUT THE STORM IF THEY'RE IN A POTENTIALLY AFFECTED AREA.

DURING THE EMERGENCY NITSELF YOU WILL EITHER SHELTER IN PLACE OR SHELTER IN AN AREA THAT'S SAFE FROM WHATEVER THE NATURAL DISASTER MIGHT BE OR YOU'RE GOING TO EVACUATE.

SOMEONE IS GOING TO MAKE A DECISION, MOST LIKELY FOR YOU TO EVACUATE BASED ON A GREATER LEVEL OF INFORMATION, A GREATER LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE THAN YOU WOULD HAVE OF THE AREA AND WHAT POTENTIALLY COULD HAPPEN.

TO SPREAD AWARENESS ABOUT EMERGENCY PLANNING AFTER HURRICANE SANDY, GOVERNOR CUOMO LAUNCHED A STATEWIDE TRAINING PROGRAM CALLED THE CITIZENS PREPAREDNESS CORE.

IT'S THERE TO FURTHER DEVELOP INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY PREPAREDNESS FOR FUTURE NATURAL DISASTERS.

SO WE HAVE A REGULARLY SCHEDULED AND AN ON NEEDS SCHEDULED TRAINING EVENTS THAT WE DO FOR COMMUNITIES, FOR INDIVIDUALS THAT THEY CAN COME SIT THROUGH AND LEARN ABOUT HOW TO BE PREPARED THEMSELVES.

WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THESE GO KITS, EVERYONE IS GOING TO HAVE DIFFERENT NEEDS, OKAY?

SOME PEOPLE HAVE SMALL CHILDREN.

SOME PEOPLE ARE TAKING CARE OF GRA GRANDMA?

ALL RIGHT?

PEOPLES KIDS WILL ALWAYS BE A LITTLE DIFFERENT.

ERIC LEADS A FREE CITIZENS PREPAREDNESS CORE TRAINING SESSION FOR THE PUBLIC.

PARTICIPANTS ASK QUESTIONS, TAKE NOTES AND WALK AWAY WITH COMPLIMENTARY STARTER GO KITS.

IF YOU ARE STOCKING UP ON SUPPLIES, I WANT TO RECOMMEND YOU DO 7 TO 10 DAYS WORTH OF SUPPLIES, OKAY?

THAT'S FOOD, WATER, MEDICATION.

THE SEMINAR EXTENDS FAR BEYOND STOCKING UP FOR STORMS.

CALL ANYBODY OR REMEMBER PHONE NUMBERS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT AS WELL.

THE SERGEANT URGES ATTENDEES TO LEARN THE BASICS OF FIRST AID, THINK OF THEIR PETS NEEDS AND PUT ALL DOCUMENTS IN ONE FIRE RESISTANT CASE.

I LIKE TEACHING THAT KIND OF STUFF, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO THESE DISASTERS.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW WHAT TO DO.

SO IT IS VERY REWARDING FOR ME ON MY END FOR THAT.

GO THROUGH THESE KITS AT LEAST EVERY THREE TO SIX MONTHS TO MAKE SURE ALL THE STUFF THAT MIGHT BE EXPIRING GETS THROWN OUT, REPLENISHED.

NEW YORK CITY FACES ITS OWN UNIQUE CHALLENGES DURING A NATURAL DISASTER.

SO DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF EXPEE EXTERNAL AFFAIRS WORKS TO PROMOTE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS ON THE CITY SIDE.

SHE SAID THE ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON IS LONG, JUNE 1st THROUGH NOVEMBER 30th AND THE NUMBER OF NEW YORK CITY RESIDENTS IN COASTAL EVACUATION ZONES ARE HIGH.

THERE ARE ABOUT THREE MILLION PEOPLE IN THE CITY THAT LIVE IN A HURRICANE EVACCASE ZONE.

IF YOU LIVE IN CONEY ISLAND, YOU PROBABLY HAVE A PRETTY GOOD SENSE.

THERE ARE OTHER LOCATIONS WHERE YOU MIGHT NOT BE AS CLOSE TO THE WATER, BUT THE WAY THE STORM SURGE HITS, THE TOPOGRAPHY, THE WAY YOU MIGHT BE CUTOFF DURING A STORM, SO YOU MIGHT BE IN A COASTAL EVACUATION ZONE AND NOT REALIZE IT.

NEW YORK CITY'S OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT WORKS TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT THESE FLOOD PRONE ZONES THROUGH HUNDREDS OF PRESENTATIONS EACH YEAR AS WELL AS SIGN J AND PSAs.

THE THREE STEPS WE SAVE FOR BEING PREPARED FOR HURRICANES IS KNOW IF YOU ARE IN A ZONE.

AFTERWARDS, IT WAS EXPANDED.

SO YOU CAN EITHER GO TO NYC.GOV NYC.GOV/KNOWYOURZONE.

YOU CAN ALSO CALL 311 AND THE OPERATORS WILL LOOK UP YOUR ADDRESS FOR YOU.

ONCE RESIDENTS KNOW IF THEY LIVE IN AN EVACUATION ZONE, THE NEXT STEP IS TO FORM AN EVACUATION PLAN.

MAKING A PLAN CAN SOUND SCARY OR OVERWHELMING, BUT IT'S NOT.

PEOPLE DON'T HAVE TO TRAVEL 90 MILES TO GET OUT OF A HURRICANE EVACUATION ZONE THE WAY THEY MIGHT HAVE TO IN THE SOUTHEAST.

YOU MAY JUST GO A FEW MILES.

IF YOU HAVE FRIENDS OR FAMILY YOU CAN BUILD A PLAN WITH AND STAY WITH, THAT'S PREFERABLE.

YOU WILL PROBABLY BE MORE COMFORTABLE.

IT WILL BE A LITTLE LESS UPROOTING.

BUT IF YOU DON'T HAVE FRIENDS OR FAMILY OR YOU NEED A PLACE TO STAY, THE CITY OPENS EVACUATION CENTERS.

WE CAN SHELTER 70,000 UP TO 70 DAYS, JUST THE CITY.

THE THIRD STEP IS TO STAY INFORMED.

THE SYSTEM IN THE CITY IS NOTIFY NYC.

IT HAS BEEN AROUND FOR TEN YEARS.

THERE ARE MANY WAYS YOU CAN ACCESS IT.

YOU CAN SIGN UP, GO TO NYC.COM.

IT'S FREE.

IT WILL GIVE YOU REAL-TIME EMERGENCY INFORMATION.

IT WILL GO TO LAND LINES FOR PEOPLE THAT STILL PREFER LAND LINES.

YOU CAN GET TEXT OR E-MAIL.

YOU CAN FOLLOW IT ON TWITTER OR WE HAVE AN APP.

SHE SAYS RESIDENTS SHOULD BE AWARE OF CITY-SPECIFIC CONCERNS, TOO, LIKE GETTING STUCK IN A HIGH RISE WHEN ELEVATORS CAN'T OPERATE OR BEING RELIANT ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION THAT STOPS RUNNING IN SEVERE WEATHER.

THAT'S WHY WHEN WE ASK PEOPLE TO EVACUATE, WE SET IT UP A COUPLE DAYS IN ADVANCE.

HOPEFULLY WHEN PEOPLE EVACUATE, THE STORM WON'T BE CLOSE TO US.

THE WEATHER SEEMS EVEN NICE, POSSIBLY, IF IT'S THE SUMMER.

BUT, YOU KNOW, THAT'S THE TIME TO LEAVE.

COMMUTING AROUND THE CITY CAN BE CHALLENGING EVERY DAY.

YOU DON'T WANT EVERYONE TO WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE.

OF COURSE THERE WILL ALWAYS BE THOSE WHO WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE OR AREN'T PREPARED.

SO COMMISSIONER MURPHY SAYS AFTER TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY, HELPING NEIGHBORS IN THE COMMUNITY SHOULD ALSO BE A PART OF THE PLAN.

AND THE GOOD NEWS FOR NEW YORKERS IS WE'VE HAD TREMENDOUS SUCCESS WITH NEIGHBORS TAKING CARE OF NEIGHBORS AND MAKING SURE THAT THE MOST VULNERABLE ARE PROVIDED HELP.

IN NEW YORK CITY, I'M MATTIE FOR METROFOCUS.

> WE TURN NOW TO THE SUPER STORM SANDY EFFECT.

STUDIES SUGGEST THAT SANDY, LIKE OTHER RECENT STORMS SUCH AS MARIA AND HARVEY, HAD A DISPROPORTIONATE IMPACT ON LOW-INCOME NEIGHBORS AND COMMUNITIES OF COLOR.

THE QUESTION NOW ARISES ABOUT THE CAUSE OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND HOW TO ADDRESS IT.

ANDRES IS A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER.

AND ALSO WITH US JARED MURPHY, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF 'CITY LIMITS NEW YORK.'

WELCOME TO BOTH OF YOU.

THANK YOU.

LET ME START FIRST WITH YOU AND ASK YOU ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCES WITH SANDY.

HOW DID IT IMPACT YOU?

SO I LIVE IN A BUILDING.

SO IN TERMS OF LIKE LOSING A HOME, I DIDN'T EXPERIENCE THAT, BUT WE DID LOSE POWER FOR ABOUT A MONTH.

AND I JUST REMEMBER LIKE I COULDN'T GO TO SCHOOL.

EVERYTHING WAS JUST CLOSED DOWN.

WHATEVER WE HAD TO EAT BEFORE THE STORM WAS WHAT WE HAD TO STICK WITH FOR ABOUT AN ENTIRE MONTH, AND IT WAS DIFFICULT JUST SEEING MY COMMUNITY IN A STATE OF -- IN THE STATE THAT I HAD NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

AND WHERE WAS THIS?

WHERE IN NEW YORK SPECIFICALLY?

IN BARACKWAY.

WE GOT HIT PRETTY HARD BY THE STORM.

I LUCKILY LIVED IN AN AREA THAT WAS LIKE -- IT IS ABOUT AN EIGHT MINUTE WALK TO THE BEACH, SO THERE WASN'T AS MUCH FLOODING OR LIKE HOMES BEING IMPACTED AS MUCH AS THOSE WHO LIVE RIGHT BY THE SHORE OR BY THE WAY BECAUSE THE BAY AND THE OCEAN LITERALLY MIX.

THEY BECAME ONE, WHICH WAS THE PROBLEM.

HOW ABOUT -- HOW ABOUT IN THE FIRST, LET'S SAY, WEEKS AFTERWARDS?

WHAT DID YOU SEE IN TERMS OF EFFORTS TO GET PEOPLE BACK ON THEIR FEET, POWER TO REMEDY THE STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS?

I DIDN'T REALLY SEE THAT IN MY COMMUNITY.

BUT WHAT I DID SEE, BECAUSE I WAS TAKING A CLASS IN BROOKLYN, A SATURDAY CLASS, AND SO I WENT TO THE WEST SIDE OF THE PENINSULA LIKE TO TAKE THE BUS, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, AND I SAW LIKE RED CROSS LIKE RVs KIND OF THAT CAME WITH RESOURCES AND FOOD.

LIKE PEOPLE JUST HANDING OUT A LOT OF LIKE MATERIALS AND FOOD THAT WAS NEEDED IN THAT COMMUNITY.

AND IT JUST BECAME LIKE CLEAR TO ME THE RACIAL DISPARITY.

SO YOU DIDN'T SEE THAT IN YOUR COMMUNITY.

NO, I DIDN'T SEE THAT.

AND IT WAS, YEAH, JUST VERY APPARENT TO ME AT THE AGE OF LIKE 12 THAT THERE WAS A DISPARITY HAPPENING.

JARED, YOU FOLKS HAVE BEEN DOING A LOT OF REPORTING ON THIS.

WHAT ABOUT THIS NOTION OF THE DISPARITY BETWEEN THE LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES, THE DAMAGE THAT WAS DONE, THE REMEDIES FOR IT AND OTHER MORE WELL-TO-DO COMMUNITIES.

SO THE STORM ITSELF OBVIOUSLY DOESN'T DISCRIMINATE.

BUT VULNERABILITY ISN'T ACROSS THE POPULATION.

IN WHAT WAY?

EVERYTHING FROM THE ACTUAL GEOGRAPHY.

PLACES THAT ARE MORE VULNERABLE ARE WHERE PEOPLE ARE MORE LIKELY TO LIVE.

IT'S PRICEY TO GET A HOTEL ROOM.

LESS LIKELY TO HAVE A ROOM OR MONEY TO STASH SUPPLIES.

IN SOME STORES YOU CAN SEE THE FACT THAT THERE IS SADLY AND FRIGHTENINGLY A DISPARINGLY IN WHO KNOWS HOW TO SWIM.

FOR A PERSON THAT DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO SWIM, FIVE INCHES OF WATER IS POTENTIALLY A DEATH SENTENCE.

AND THEN AFTERWARDS, YOU HAVE THE FACT THAT LESS LIKELY TO HAVE FLOOD INSURANCE, LESS LIKELY TO BE ABLE TO KIND OF FILL THE VOID BETWEEN WHEN BENEFIT PAYMENTS COME IN AND REPAIRS YOU NEED TO MAKE ON YOUR HOUSE TO MAKE IT MORE LIVABLE.

AFTER SANDY THERE WERE PROGRAMS TO BUY OUT SOME PROPERTIES IN VULNERABLE AREAS.

IF YOUR MORTGAGE IS UNDERWATER, IF YOU HAVE SPLIT DEEDS, SOME OF THE PROBLEMS THAT AFFECT LOW-INCOME HOMEOWNERS, THOSE ARE MUCH LESS ACCESSIBLE.

YOU CAN'T CASH OUT.

FROM PREVIEW TO AFTERMATH, THERE IS AN ELEVATED DEGREE OF RISK.

LET ME TALK ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION.

HOW DID IT GET STARTED?

AND WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?

SO THE ORGANIZATION WAS AN IDEA TO BEFORE SANDY, 2011, OF YOUNG PEOPLE HAVING A VOICE IN, SAY, LOCAL POLITICS AND JUST A VOICE IN GENERAL BEING THAT YOUNG PEOPLE DON'T USUALLY GET THAT PLATFORM OR A SEAT AT THE TABLE WHEN IT COPS TO IMPORTANT CONVERSATIONS.

AND IT WASN'T UNTIL AFTER SANDY THAT WE STEPPED IN AND SAID, LIKE, IF WE'RE NOT GETTING THE RESOURCES AND THE HELP THAT WE NEED POST SANDY, THEN WE HAVE TO DO IT OURSELVES.

PROVIDED WATER, FOOD, LIKE MEDICAL ATTENTION TO FOLKS WHO LIVED IN LIKE HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS AND WAS REALLY THE HELP THAT OUR COMMUNITY NEEDED.

AND TODAY WE HAVE SHIFTED OUR FOCUS AND WORKED MORE THAN SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES SUCH AS PIPELINES, FOOD JUSTICE.

WE HAVE A HALF ACRE URBAN FARM WHICH TIES INTO IF ANOTHER HURRICANE -- WHEN ANOTHER HURRICANE.

YEAH, WHEN.

OUR FARM HELPS TO PREVENT DAMAGE IN TERMS OF LIKE WATER AND EVERYTHING.

THERE HAS BEEN, LIKE, STUDIED.

THE COMMUNITY YOU WERE IN AT THE TIME, HOW HAS IT RECOVERED?

WELL, OUR BOARD WALK IS BACK.

IT TOOK A WHILE.

BUT IN TERMS OF HOMES, THERE IS STILL ACTUALLY SOME PEOPLE WHO HAVEN'T MOVED INTO THEIR HOMES.

I ACTUALLY HAD A FRIEND WHO IT TOOK HER THREE YEARS TO MOVE BACK INTO HER HOME AFTER SANDY.

AND IT JUST CAUSES LIKE DISPLACEMENT REALLY.

IN LOOKING AT GOVERNMENT POLICIES, GOVERNMENT ACTIONS, WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND IN TERMS OF ANY PROPOSALS AND CONCRETE THINGS THAT HAD BEEN DONE SINCE SANDY THAT MIGHT HELP TO E MEAL RATE THIS -- WE WERE SAYING IF, BUT WE SHOULD SAY WHEN THE NEXT HURRICANE HITS.

THE CITY HAS ENGAGED IN A MULTIBILLION EFFORT TO SHORE UP THE FENCES IN MORE VULNERABLE NEIGHBORHOODS.

THAT IS LAGGING IN A LOT OF PLACES.

IT'S NOT GOTTEN NEARLY HALF ENOUGH.

THE THING THAT COMES OUT IN A LOT OF SITUATIONS THAT PEOPLE HAVE LOOKED AT IS THAT PLANNING IS REALLY KEY.

IT'S WHEN PEOPLE ARE IN AN EMERGENCY IN CHAOS MAKING DECISIONS ON THE FLY, THAT'S WHEN MORE VULNERABLE PEOPLE TEND TO GET HURT WORSE.

SO TO THE EXTENT THE CITY WANTS TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE, ABOUT REALLY, REALLY SERIOUS RESILIENCY MEASURES, DOING THAT AHEAD OF TIME AND HAVING THOSE PLANS WELL IN PLACE FOR THE INEVITABILITY OF MORE SEVERE STORMS, THAT'S REALLY KEY.

NOT JUST AFFECTING EVERYBODY BUT MORE VULNERABLE PEOPLE.

WE OFTENTIMES HEAR THE NOTION OF GENTRIFICATION AROUND THE CITY.

THERE WAS SOME SUGGESTIONS THAT THIS MIGHT BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR DEVELOPERS TO KIND OF SWOOP IN TO AREAS WHERE LOW-INCOME FOLKS WERE LIVING AND BASICALLY FOR THE REASONS YOU MENTIONED BEFORE CANNOT AFFORD NOW TO REBUILD AND SAY, OKAY, THIS CLOSE TO THE WAERT, WE CAN MAKE THIS MUCH MORE ATTRACTIVE PROPERTY WHICH WILL CHANGE THE NATURE, THE COMPLEXION, LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY.

ARE YOU SEEING THAT?

SHE TALKED ABOUT THE BAY AND THE OCEAN MEETING.

WE SEE AN EXISTING WAY OF GENTRIFICATION MEETING WITH WHATEVER PROCESS HAS BEEN TRIGGERED BY ITSELF.

WE HAVE SEEN IT IN LOTS OF PLACES.

NEW ORLEANS, PEOPLE SUDDENLY WERE ALERTED TO THIS GREAT CITY BY ALL THE COVERAGE OF THE HORRIBLE STORM.

THERE IS SOME EVIDENCE OF THAT.

DISEVEN TANGLING FROM IT IS HARD TO DO.

PEOPLE WHO ARE VULNERABLE NEED HELP FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND FINANCIAL INDUSTRY TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT TAKEN CARE OF, WHETHER IT'S FROM THE STORM, LOSS OF INCOME, WHATEVER.

ARE YOU SEEING THOSE CHANGES AT ALL TAKING PLACE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD AND OTHERS?

YEAH.

I WOULD DEFINITELY SAY I THINK IT HAS TO DO WITH THE -- I THINK THE BIGGEST FACTOR IS THAT ATTENTION THAT THE COMMUNITY GETS AFTER LIKE A DISASTER LIKE THAT.

SO I DEFINITELY DID SEE THAT.

THEY GOT A LOT OF ATTENTION AND IT COULD BE GOOD AND IT COULD BE BAD IN THE WAY THAT, OH, IT'S NEAR THE WATER.

IT CAN BE MADE MORE BEAUTIFUL.

AND WITH ALL THE DEVELOPMENT THAT'S HAPPENING IN ROCKAWAY, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO BE CAUTIOUS OF LIKE THE POTENTIAL HARMS OF THAT IN DISPLACING FAMILIES AND CAUSING GENTRIFICATION.

I HAVE SEEN SOME CHANGES.

IT IS SCARY OR JUST SOMETHING DIFFERENT IN THAT I'M NOT USED TO.

BUT, YEAH, WE'LL SEE HOW IT PLAYS OUT.

I HOPE THE CITY DOES TAKE AN ACTIVE ROLE IN TAKING ANTI-GENTRIFICATION MEASURES IN HOUSING DEVELOPMENT.

METROFOCUS IS MADE POSSIBLE BY SUE AND ED WAR WATTEN HIEM, III, PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, JODY AND JOHN ARN HOLD, SHERYL AND PHILLIP MILL STEEN FAMILY, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA STONE FOUNDATION.

Funders

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