Weather Alert  

*TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS MOVING NORTHWARD ALONG THE EAST COAST* This product covers Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut ***TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS MOVING NORTHWARD ALONG THE EAST COAST*** NEW INFORMATION --------------- * CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Orange and Putnam - The Tropical Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning for Bronx, Eastern Bergen, Eastern Essex, Eastern Passaic, Eastern Union, Hudson, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Northeastern Suffolk, Northern Nassau, Northern Queens, Northwestern Suffolk, Richmond (Staten Island), Southeastern Suffolk, Southern Fairfield, Southern Middlesex, Southern Nassau, Southern New Haven, Southern New London, Southern Queens, Southern Westchester, Southwestern Suffolk, Western Bergen, Western Essex, and Western Union * CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Bronx, Eastern Bergen, Eastern Essex, Eastern Passaic, Eastern Union, Hudson, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Northeastern Suffolk, Northern Nassau, Northern Queens, Northwestern Suffolk, Richmond (Staten Island), Southeastern Suffolk, Southern Fairfield, Southern Middlesex, Southern Nassau, Southern New Haven, Southern New London, Southern Queens, Southern Westchester, Southwestern Suffolk, Western Bergen, Western Essex, and Western Union - A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Northern Fairfield, Northern Middlesex, Northern New Haven, Northern New London, Northern Westchester, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Western Passaic * STORM INFORMATION: - About 830 miles south-southwest of New York City NY or about 900 miles south-southwest of Montauk Point NY - 29.7N 79.9W - Storm Intensity 70 mph - Movement North or 355 degrees at 9 mph SITUATION OVERVIEW ------------------ Tropical Storm Isaias, located off the north Florida coast, will continue to move to the north this morning, turning north-northeast this afternoon along the southeast coast. Isaias will continue moving northeast tonight over Eastern North Carolina. Isaias will slowly weaken as it accelerates northeast on Tuesday, likely moving over our area Tuesday afternoon and evening. There is still some timing and intensity uncertainty with this storm. However, confidence continues to increase with respect to the magnitude of local hazards and impacts. The main threats with this system involve heavy rainfall, strong winds, minor to moderate coastal flooding, along with high surf and dangerous rip currents. Locally heavy rain is expected with a widespread 2 to 4 inches, with localized amounts up to 6 inches possible. The heaviest rain is most likely to occur across New York City, Northeast New Jersey and the Lower Hudson Valley early Tuesday morning through Tuesday evening, and eastern sections Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. The strongest winds are likely to occur across Long Island, coastal Connecticut, and the New York City Metro. Dangerous marine conditions are likely across all of the coastal waters Tuesday and Tuesday night. High surf and dangerous rip currents are expected along the ocean beaches Monday through Wednesday. The effects from Tropical Storm Isaias are expected to diminish quickly from southwest to northeast across the area Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. POTENTIAL IMPACTS ----------------- * FLOODING RAIN: Protect against life-threatening rainfall flooding having possible extensive impacts across northeastern New Jersey, New York City, and the Lower Hudson Valley. Potential impacts include: - Major rainfall flooding may prompt many evacuations and rescues. - Rivers and streams may rapidly overflow their banks in multiple places. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may become dangerous rivers. Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed. - In hilly terrain, destructive runoff may run quickly down valleys, and increase susceptibility to rockslides and mudslides. - Flood waters can enter many structures within multiple communities, some structures becoming uninhabitable or washed away. Many places where flood waters may cover escape routes. Streets and parking lots become rivers of moving water with underpasses submerged. Driving conditions become dangerous. Many road and bridge closures with some weakened or washed out. * WIND: Protect against dangerous wind having possible significant impacts across Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: - Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds. A few buildings experiencing window, door, and garage door failures. Mobile homes damaged, especially if unanchored. Unsecured lightweight objects become dangerous projectiles. - Several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Several fences and roadway signs blown over. - Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. A few bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable. - Scattered power and communications outages, but more prevalent in areas with above ground lines. * SURGE: Protect against locally hazardous surge having possible limited impacts across shoreline communities. Potential impacts in this area include: - There is potential for widespread minor to locally moderate coastal flooding across the Lower New York Harbor and South Shore Back Bays, with localized minor flooding impacts elsewhere. - Localized inundation with storm surge flooding mainly along immediate shorelines and in low lying spots. - Sections of near shore roads and parking lots become overspread with surge water. Driving conditions dangerous in places where surge water covers the road. - Moderate beach erosion. Heavy surf also breaching dunes, mainly in usually vulnerable locations. Strong and frequent rip currents. - Minor to locally moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. A few small craft broken away from moorings. * TORNADOES: Protect against a tornado event having possible limited impacts across Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: - The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events. - A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions. - Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings.

Hurricane Sandy Scammers Try to Profit From Disaster

LongIsland.com

Whenever a disaster strikes, profiteering scammers are sure to pop up shortly after. Here's what you need to know to avoid any of the Post Sandy Scams & Rumors being spread online.

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One of the major benefits of the technological age is the ability to share information more quickly and efficiently than ever before. The price we pay for this advance of information is the relative ease of spreading misinformation passed off as news – something that has become quite common on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Many of these rumors start as harmless gags such as edited photos, however there are some more vicious rumors including one promising aid to Sandy victims, and illegitimate pleas for help from scam artists who are looking to profit from this disaster. Well-intended social media users repost and retweet this so-called News in an effort to share information that they believe to be helpful – causing a chain reaction of sharing, perpetuating the belief that this false information and scams is fact.

Rumors about Hurricane Sandy began spreading like wildfire online before she even hit, and even more so in her aftermath. As the storm approached and made landfall in the tri-state area, there were countless hoax photos – including a shot of the infamous Statue of Liberty with ominous storm clouds behind her. According to Yahoo News, the now well-known picture is actually photoshopped – the storm clouds behind the Statue are real, but they are from a storm that hit Nebraska in 2004. With the amount of destruction and devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy throughout the entire tri-state area, including the boroughs of New York City, it is perplexing that anyone would create such a false image. This is the least harmful type of hoax – although it is presenting a false image as real, there is no scheme to obtain donations or monies under false pretenses, nor is the photo intentionally providing misinformation to Hurricane Victims who are in desperate need of relief.

On November 5th, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more commonly known as FEMA, created a new page on their website specifically to deal with the rumors pertaining to the assistance they are able to provide to victims of Hurricane Sandy and job openings working in NY and NJ. This was a necessary action on FEMA’s part – because the widespread use of social media, there have been countless rumors about relief efforts spreading lightning-fast – a problem that is only exacerbated by the massive cable and internet outages throughout New York and New Jersey. Access to reliable news sources has been sporadic or non-existent for many of those who are in the hardest hit areas, since so many now get their news updates online through computers or wireless devices,

Here are some of the biggest myths affecting Long Islanders that FEMA has debunked on its website to date:

  • FEMA is hiring cleanup crews for New York and New Jersey, paying a rate of $1,000 per week to workers. This is completely untrue – FEMA is asking for volunteers to assist in their Hurricane Sandy Recovery Efforts.
  • There has been an increase in traffic in New York & New Jersey because of the cleanup crews FEMA has hired, and brought to the state. According to FEMA, this is untrue.
  • FEMA will be providing “cash” debit cards to Hurricane Sandy victims. FEMA has said that this is untrue – and urges anyone who has had losses other than food items (including damage to your home, vehicle, or personal property) to apply online or call 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) for assistance.
  • Food Stamps (or alternatively a $300 food voucher) will be distributed to Hurricane Sandy victims in New York and New Jersey. FEMA has said that this statement is untrue, and directs those who are in urgent need of food to find the nearest feeding station or food distribution center.
  • FEMA has run out of bottled water for distribution to Hurricane Sandy Victims. FEMA has stated that this is untrue, and that they are providing water to be distributed at food & water distribution centers and warming centers throughout New York & New Jersey.
     

In addition to these false claims spreading, there are also numerous scams circulating the internet filled with please from hurricane victims in need of assistance, so called “Storm Chaser” Contractors offering shoddy repairs to damaged homes, and numerous other fraudulent cries for help and offers of assistance. This is not uncommon after such a large disaster – you only need to think back to Hurricane Katrina or 9/11 for examples of con-artists taking advantage of catastrophe. These types of scams are often successful because they pull on our heart strings at an emotional time, and in addition to making contributions in a sincere effort to help, many empathetic individuals also pass this information along to friends and family via email, text, and social media. Because the issue is so rampant, the Better Business Bureau has created a page on their website solely dedicated to exposing the biggest scams circulating post-Sandy.

Here are some of the biggest Sandy Scams the BBB is warning Long Islanders to watch out for:

  • Charity  Scams – Hurricane Sandy caused billions of dollars of damage to the tri-state area, and although there are numerous legitimate charities on both the local and national level, there are also countless con-artists scamming do-gooders into making a donation under false pretenses. The BBB recommends that you are cautious before making a donation to a not for profit organization, and to confirm that the Charity is legitimate before making a donation. There are numerous pages on Facebook & Twitter allegedly set up by storm victims or “unofficial” charities that are asking for monetary donations – the BBB advises that you are cautious before donating to these non-registered groups and individuals, and recommends making a donation to a charity with an “on the ground” presence in your area. Here are some of the Relief Efforts here on Long Island that are legitimate, and in need of volunteers & contributions.
  • Social Media Scams – The BBB warns social media users to be wary of Individuals & Not for Profits asking for monetary donations (see above), but also warns to be cautious of clicking on links promising shocking video of the storm – this is usually a ploy, and you could end up with malware or spyware on your computer by clicking the link. If you’re looking for footage of Hurricane Sandy, turn to a reliable TV news source. You can also view pictures of the storm’s destruction around Long Island in our Hurricane Sandy Photo Gallery. Never install software on your computer from an unknown source.
  • “Storm Chaser” Contractors – The BBB advises you to be wary of any contractor going door to door to sell home repair to those effected by Hurricane Sandy. Often times, these scammers will offer you a price that is “too good to be true” because they have left over materials from a previous job. If you’ve had damage to your home, try and remain calm, and be sure to shop around for repair quotes. Visit LongIsland.com’s Home Improvement Section for a guide to reputable local contractors who can renovate and repair your home.
  • Phony Investment Opportunities – The BBB Reports that illegitimate investment opportunities often pop up after disaster strikes – and the case is no different with Sandy. Be cautious of any investment offers that claim to have profited from the disaster – these are often scams run by con-artists trying to profit off of the catastrophe.
     

Whenever disaster strikes, there is always going to be someone looking to turn a crisis situation into profitability, and unfortunately con-artists, false information, and rumors take away from those who truly need assistance the most – the real victims of Hurricane Sandy. So before you “Like” or Share a Page on Facebook, or Re-Tweet a post, be sure to verify that the source of the information is credible, and don’t help scammers perpetuate their false statements. Misinformation and Cons during a time of crisis only add to the frustration and confusion of those who are in the midst of it, and the best thing we can do to combat this problem of the digital age is to ensure that we take a critical look at any and all information that we pass along. 

 

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