PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.—Safavieh has been recognized by Robert Weitzner, mayor of Port Washington North in Nassau County, Long Island, for temporarily housing several Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-deployed workers in the initial aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Weitzner contacted Arash Yaraghi, principal of Safavieh, with an urgent request to help accommodate two crews of workers who would otherwise be housed in a makeshift tent city in a local park. In response, Safavieh converted a section of office space at the company’s 200,000-foot warehouse facility here.
“The FEMA workers who came to Port Washington had to sleep outside in tents in cold weather with no heat and insufficient toilet facilities,” said Yaraghi. “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.
Weitzner told Long Island newspaper Port Washington Patch: “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. On behalf of the community, thank you Arash and Michael.”