Assoc. Details Sandy's Toll, from Utility Issues to Gas Prices & What the State's 50+ Think Needs to Be Done Next
NEW YORK, Jan. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the heels of Congress' approval of billions of dollars in relief for state's hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy, like New York, comes a new report from AARP New York taking a local look at the experiences of many of the state's 50+ in the fallout of the storm. From power outages and storm damage to how their utility companies and elected officials handled it all, the survey takes a deep dive into the lives of some of those most impacted by Sandy.
"New Yorkers were hit hard by Sandy, and we wanted to know what the experiences were of the 50+ to get a better idea of what issues, from housing to transportation, needed to be addressed in the state," said Beth Finkel, Sr. Manager for Community Outreach for AARP in New York.
According to the AARP survey of 50+ in New York City and Long Island areas, most New Yorkers gave high marks for storm responses to Governor Cuomo, with nearly 70% saying he did a good or excellent job and President Obama, 57.9%. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) didn't score so highly, with just 37.9% saying the agency did a good or excellent job, and 43% stating FEMA's response was poor to fair.Purchasing gas proved to be a major problem for just over 60% of the 50+ in the areas impacted by the storm in New York, with 66% reporting inflated gas prices. While 86.4% lost power, nearly three quarters (72.5%) reported being without power for 4 or more days – and their displeasure with the way electric utilities responded was apparent. 44% of New York's 50+ said their electric utility's response to Sandy was poor, with another 21% stating the response was fair. Electric utilities far outpaced all other utilities in the survey when it came to negative reviews: for internet, 10% said the response was poor; for telephone, 10.8%; and for gas, just 4%. The survey found 28.7% of respondents saw their homes damaged due to Sandy; with over half (52.5%) saying the damage was moderate to severe. Even though the 50+ age group saw some tough times due to the storm, on a positive note, the majority of those surveyed, 56.3%, volunteered to help others.