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Visiting Red Cross Relief Sites and More Federal Help to End Gas Shortages

Congresswoman McCarthy visits Red Cross sites in Mineola and at Nassau Community College.

I met with emergency workers and displaced constituents at a Red Cross staging area and shelter in her district on Sunday and also announced new measures by the federal government to ease the gas crisis that has gripped Long Islanders since Hurricane Sandy disrupted supply chains this week.

The short-term and long-term problems created by Hurricane Sandy are bringing serious hardship to the lives of millions of New Yorkers. I’m glad that relief organizations and the federal government are taking action to help.

I met with relief workers at the Mineola chapter office of the Red Cross of Greater New York, meeting with chapter CEO John Miller and volunteers before helping them load water onto a relief truck.

I then visited the Red Cross shelter at Nassau Community College, touring the dormitory rooms and making a delivery of fresh fruit for the families currently displaced there. I met with the shelter director and learned of the shelter’s needs and how my office and the public can best help.

If anyone wishes to help the Red Cross help our communities here on Long Island, the best way is with a monetary donation. This is simple and efficient for the Red Cross and gives the organization the most flexibility in responding to rapidly changing needs.

My staff and I also kept up the pressure on LIPA officials, fighting for quicker action on many outstanding power outages across Nassau County.

We can’t stop until the last dark house is lit and the last gas station is pumping again. Tomorrow is a new week and people need to get to work and move on with their lives. This is public safety and economic crisis that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

I also announced a new federal task force and program charged with helping more gas stations get powered up and working again as quickly as possible.

Gas station owners and managers can now call a toll-free government hotline at 866-402-3775 if they need help from state and local officials in restoring power or securing supplies of gas.

The federal Energy Department will share the info with FEMA’s Energy Restoration Task Force and coordinate with state and local authorities to direct resources like generators and more fuel to affected stations.

Before calling, gas station owners and managers should have the following information on hand:

  • Does the gas station have power?
  • What is the gas station’s current inventory of unleaded and diesel fuel?
  • Does the station have backup generation capabilities?
  • Is there a generator and does it need additional fuel?
  • Is the station pre-wired for a backup generator? If so, information on the type of connection (voltage, amperage and plug type) would also be helpful.
  • Where is the gas station located and who is the primary contact for assistance? 

Without gas, we can’t power our generators, we can’t get to work, we can’t go to school, we can’t get to the doctor and we can’t get our lives and our economy moving again. This new task force and program by the Energy Department is going to help bring direct relief to our communities and I encourage the gas stations in my district to take advantage of it.

Carolyn McCarthy is the representative of New York’s Fourth Congressional District. She was first elected in 1996.

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