11/07/2012 10:59 am ET Updated Jan 07, 2013

CrisisMap Little Use If Aid Not There

It's cold in New York. Very cold. In Far Rockaway, temperatures will dip into the 30's today and feel like the 20's. Same in Staten Island -- two of the areas hardest hit by Sandy where residents continue to live without power, water, and in many cases, shelter. So why, according to Google's CrisisMap, are the city's warming centers overwhelmingly in Manhattan (and why are there none in Far Rockaway at all)?

Controversy over the Red Cross's response in particular began last week and continues as allegations that it's missing from the disaster zones are met with Red Cross insistence that it's not. But this reported distribution of aggregate relief across the City of New York implicates city resources as well.

CrisisMap is a tool to help users find ways of obtaining and contributing aid in the wake of disaster, but all that many of the area's most desperate residents will learn by viewing it is that they're out of luck. The aid isn't there.