Safavieh Assists Hurricane Sandy Work CrewsNovember 26, 2012
Rug and furniture vendor Safavieh converted part of its 200,000-square-foot Port Washington, N.Y., facility into housing for FEMA Hurrican Sandy workers.
Safavieh Principal Arash Yaraghi was contacted by Port Washington Mayor Robert Weitzner, who also is deputy commissioner of finance at the Town of North Hempstead and a former president of Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, with an urgent request for help in accommodating two crews of workers who would otherwise be housed in a makeshift tent city in a local park.
“The FEMA workers who came to Port Washington had to sleep outside in tents in cold weather with no heat and insufficient toilet facilities," Yaraghi said. "When the mayor called to ask if we could house 16 in our building at 2 Channel Drive, I offered a part of our office space with restrooms, and my brother Michael, who runs our Safavieh home furnishings retail stores, provided beds, mattresses and pillows. The workers were very happy to be out of the cold."
The work crews were from Oklahoma and from Aerial Contractors of British Columbia, an electric utility power line contractor that deployed bucket trucks and digger derrick units, along with service mechanics, to support the restoration efforts in progress on Long Island and in New Jersey in response to a call from FEMA, under the mutual aid agreement for electric utilities between the U.S. and Canada.
“Given the intolerable living conditions that LIPA (Long Island Power Authority) provided for our hard-working crews, including Aerial Contractors from British Columbia, we were most fortunate and gratified that our commercial neighbors from Safavieh came to their assistance by providing a warm place to sleep, bedding and restrooms," Weitzner said. "On behalf of the community, thank you Arash and Michael.”