Hurricane Recovery—CUSSW Community

October 31, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

Hurricane Sandy RecoveryUpdated—Monday, November 5, 11:00 a.m.

Are you willing and able to help out with hurricane relief efforts? Please see the latest inventory of scheduled recovery efforts for which volunteers are welcome.

Updated—Wednesday, October 31, 6:00 p.m.

**Message to Social Work School community from Dean Jeanette Takamura**

Dear All:

First of all, we hope that you, your family and loved ones, and your community are all regaining their footing in the aftermath of Sandy. Life has not yet returned to normal, but there are signs of recovery that are beginning to emerge.

Please be sure to read the following carefully before emailing questions to administrators or faculty. Answers to your questions may in the text below.


Thursday classes are, for the most part, proceeding as scheduled. Your instructor should have been in touch with you. If not, please email them and understand that your instructor may be without connectivity. In anticipation of the latter as a possibility, be sure to cc your advisor. If your advisor is not readily available, Moira Curtain of the Office of Advising is playing an overall triage and coordination role and can be contacted at Additionally, please check Courseworks for any updated course-related information.

Once again, we are uniformly resolute that students must not be penalized if they are unable to attend classes because of transportation challenges or if they are in hard-hit zones in NY, NJ, and Connecticut. Faculty have been asked to arrange alternative methods for students to access information presented in class.


Postponed roleplays are now being rescheduled. Dean Yoshioka advises that to reschedule your roleplay, you should contact Megan Patrick at


Just to remind you, practicumwork has been cancelled for the rest of the week. Dean Moultrie has heard that agencies have appreciated the informational updates she and her staff have shared with them. We have conveyed our concerns for and support of agency personnel as we know that they are contending with unanticipated disruptions and heightened demands caused by the storm.


Per Kathryn Lewis, Director of Human Resources, here is the latest information that we have on the MTA and bus schedules. Staff should check the University's Preparedness site for additional Columbia-related transportation information. Please should check the MTA site for accuracy of the information below, as there may be changes:

As of November 1, 2012:
1 Train from 242 to Times Sq – running local
2 241 ti Times Sq – express from 96 to 42nd
3 NO Service
4 Woodlaw to Grand Central – running local
4 Borough Hall to New Lots Ave – running local
5 Atlantic Av/Barclays Center – Flatbush – express
6 Pelham Bay Park to Grand Center – running local
7 NO service
S Times Sq to Grand Central
A 168th to 34th/Penn Station – running local
A Jay St/Metro Tech to Lefferts Blvd -running local
B NO service
C NO service
D 205th St to 34th/Herald Sq – running local
D Atlantic Ave/Barclays Center – Bay Pkwy – express Pacific to 36th St
E No Service
F 179th to 34th/Herald Sq – running local
G No service
J Jamaica Center to Hewes St – running local
l Broadway Junc to Rockaway Pkway – running local
M Myrtle Ave/BWY to Metropolitan Ave – shuttle
N Ditmars Blvd to 34th/Herald Sq – running local
Q No service
R Jay St/Metro Tech to 95th – running local
S Franklin Ave Shuttle and Rockaway Park Shuttle NO Service
Shuttle buses are running north on 3rd Avenue and south on Lexington Avenue.



Jenni Kurosman in Student Services has advised as follows:

1) Volunteer at a NYC Emergency/Evacuation hurricane shelter. SEE ALSO: Map of shelter locations. If you live nearby one of these shelters and would like to volunteer immediately, we suggest stopping by the shelter to inquire.

Further to the information listed above, if you would like to volunteer to specifically provide disaster mental health support in these shelters, please read the following, from Trish Marsik, Assistant Commissioner for NYC's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Dear Mental Health Providers,

As you are probably aware by now, the impact of Hurricane Sandy has driven a far greater number of New Yorkers into shelters than originally anticipated.

As a result, the City is asking for volunteers to support the City's efforts to staff these shelters. IF YOU ARE A MENTAL HEALTH CLINICIAN and are able to volunteer to provide disaster mental health support within the City's Evacuation Shelters which have been opened in response to Hurricane Sandy, please follow the  instructions below.

The first thing you need to do is register with the Medical Reserve Corp's (MRC). The "log in now" button will take you to a registration page where you follow the instructions to register for an account. (This takes approximately five minutes.)

Once you have completed the enrollment process with MRC, please call the DOHMH Call Center at 1-347-396-7950 to schedule your shift.

Thank you for your willingness to assist.

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

2) Volunteer to help local relief efforts via NYC Services. The site also lists NYC Department of Parks & Recreation locations that are organizing cleanup and need volunteers.

3) Volunteer through New York Cares.

4) Volunteer outside NYC through the Red Cross. NOTE: You can also call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word "Redcross" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The CU News site lists a number of other volunteer opportunities:

  • Donate to AmeriCares, which is providing water, family emergency kits, medicine and other relief supplies to communities across the East Coast.
  • Join in efforts led by Caped Columbians—Organizing Sandy Relief! NOTE: In addition to a Facebook page announcing a variety of Sandy relief efforts, including an effort on Saturday morning to clean up debris from Morningside Park, the group offers a comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities throughout the city.
  • Volunteer for Food Bank New York City, which is delivering food throughout the city to those in need.
  • Host a Columbia student who has lost power in evacuation zones, downtown, and throughout areas of Brooklyn and Queens, organized by the School of General Studies Student Council.
  • Donate blood to New York Blood Center, which has lost 4,500 units of blood due to cancellations so far. They are urging people to donate for those in the New York/New Jersey area.
  • Donate to Salvation Army USA, which has mobile food units and shelters along the East Coast that are working to supply thousands in the most heavily hit areas with food, clean-up kits and emotional care. NOTE: You can also donate by texting the word STORM to 80888 and giving $10. Confirm your donation with the word “Yes.”
  • Volunteer with Citymeals-on-Wheels to ensure that the city's homebound elderly have access to food in Sandy's aftermath, by calling 212-687-1234 or e-mailing

PLEASE NOTE: There may be a lag time between registering to volunteer and receiving an assignment, given the City is still assessing the situation, the difficulties of getting around the City, and the time it takes for organizations to coordinate volunteer efforts. For those who wish to volunteer immediately, your best bet will be to drop by a shelter to inquire if they could use your help now. If you would like to volunteer in the days to come, we suggest registering with one of the organizations listed above.

Of course, be sure that you and your loved ones are safe and able to return to life as usual first before offering to volunteer.

Above all else, take care and be safe.


Updated—Wednesday, October 31, 11:30 a.m.

The following is a message sent out to the CUSSW community by Dean Takamura on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 30th. Since the message went out, practicum has been canceled for the week, and there have been a number of class and event cancellations. READ MORE.

**Message to Social Work School community from Dean Jeanette Takamura**

The School of Social Work and Columbia University have reopened.

Faculty who have electricity and transportation into the city will hold their classes as scheduled for the remainder of the week, unless they inform their students otherwise.

Students who are not able to receive email messages and/or who do not have safe transportation options to get to the School will not be penalized. If you are unable to come into the School, at a minimum, we encourage you to stay up-to-date on your readings and other assignments.

We should all expect a period of confusion in the city and in communities in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut that we hope to help minimize through advisories as information becomes available to us.

Students may wish to register your inability to get into the School because transportation systems are down. If so, please EMAIL YOUR ADVISORS, who will funnel information to Moira Curtain and her Office of Advising staff, simply so that we have a sense of who is impacted. We understand that those without electricity will not receive this message.

If faculty who have electricity and are unable to get to the School can email Allen Zweben, we will attempt to figure out as best we can which classes will need to be suspended. Meanwhile, we will continue to formulate contingency plans.

Some of you have asked about volunteering to help out with disaster relief efforts. At this point, officials are trying to assess the extent of damage and what interventions are necessary. If there is need for volunteer assistance, you will hear from Jenni Kurosman.

Thank you all for being real troupers and for weathering the storm. Our hearts and our thoughts of concern and support go to those communities that have sustained extensive damage. We must do our best at this point to be sure that we do not add to rescue needs by being calm, thoughtful — and erring on the side of safety.

Take good care.

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img: Courtesy of Dorothy Robinson