WNYT.com

Capital District citizens step up to help out those downstate.

Posted at: 11/04/2012 11:41 AM
Updated at: 11/04/2012 12:32 PM
By: Cadence Acquaviva

Many people in the Capital Region are doing whatever they can to help the storm victims in the New York City area. One local fire safety consultant loaded his pickup truck with essentials today as he heads down to the Big Apple. Dan Bazile has the story.

His pickup truck overflowing with goodies at a parking lot on Central Avenue in Albany as Pete Lattanzio gets ready to head south.

“There are several of us leaving from the Albany area. We've been deployed. We're going down to Suffolk County. We've been sent to the town of Babylon,” Pete Lattanzio, Fire Safety Consultant.

Lattanzio was deployed as a fire safety consultant to head down to New York City and survey the damage. Homes and businesses in the Big Apple an on Long Island took a big hit from hurricane sandy. Lattanzio says there are about five thousand buildings that need to be inspected for structural damage. A program through the state is allowing code enforcement officials from other areas like Lattanzio, to go into the city and help with the inspections.

“We're going to look to see how badly damaged these buildings are, whether they can be rehabilitated, people can move back in, or if the buildings are so badly damaged they will have to come down,” Lattanzio

But the trip has taken a different turn. Lattanzio figured since he's going anyway, he didn't want to show up to a storm ravaged with an empty pickup truck. A quick post on facebook and family, friends and others showed with all kinds of merchandise, water, flashlights, hand sanitizer, paper towels -- things they say the storm victims desperately need.

“A lot of people have no gas. It's cold outside. They have no food. They have no fresh water. They have no shelter. We have to do something for these people. They're our neighbors,” Todd Leach, TJ’s Café.

“We'll drop it off to one of the shelters when we get down there. And hopefully we can make somebody's life a little bit better for the next couple of day,” Lattanzio

Then he'll get to work over the next few days to figure out if their homes are safe to live in. In Albany, Dan Bazile Newschannel 13.