Editor's Note: This post was updated on Monday, November 5, 2012.
Today, Administrator Fugate traveled to New York to meet with state and local officials and survey the ongoing response and recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy.
Administrator Fugate started the day at a Unified Command Meeting with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, county executives, and other state and local leaders to reiterate that FEMA and the entire federal family are committed to bringing all the needed resources to support New York in its continued response to this disaster. The group also discussed challenges ahead for the longer term recovery efforts.
The Administrator then traveled to the New York City Office of Emergency Management headquarters in Brooklyn to meet with their emergency management team, led by Commissioner Joe Bruno. While there, Administrator Fugate participated in a call with the President during which the President received the latest update from his team on ongoing efforts to support governors and local officials in impacted states and made clear that he expects his team to stay completely focused on meeting the needs of our state and local partners, and the families that have been impacted by the storm.
Administrator Fugate then traveled to Breezy Point, Queens to survey the ongoing response and recovery efforts in the borough. FEMA teams are on the ground there registering survivors for financial assistance from FEMA. It’s important to remember that the first step to receive financial assistance is to register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or visiting www.dissasterassistance.gov on a computer or mobile device.
As of this afternoon, more than 182,000 people have registered with FEMA and over $158 million has been approved.
The Administrator then drove to Rockaway, Queens to survey the response and recovery efforts. There, FEMA staff, the National Guard, New York Fire Department and New York Police Department, and private sector cell phone companies, were all working together to support disaster survivors. By far, the largest effort has been neighbors helping neighbors clean out homes and start down the road to recovery together.
Also in Rockaway, the Administrator stopped by a FEMA Mobile Disaster Recovery Center, where survivors can find out about the federal financial assistance programs that are available. The center was being manned by FEMA staff as well as FEMACorps members (you can find out more about FEMACorps here).
Finally, the Administrator stopped by the Community Church of Nazarene in Far Rockaway, where Rev. Dr. Les Mullings and Congressman Gregory Meeks showed the Administrator around the congregation which was working tirelessly taking in and distributing clothing, as well as serving hot meals to disaster survivors. Volunteer organizations play such a critical role in disaster response and recovery, not only large organizations like the Red Cross, but small congregations such as this one.
Rockaway, N.Y., Nov. 4, 2012 -- Craig Fugate, FEMA Administrator, speaks with Hurricane Sandy survivors at the Community Church of the Nazarene. Administrator Fugate visited several parts of New York that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
What was clear from this trip was that the impacted communities are moving forward, but this will be a long recovery, and FEMA will be there supporting states and locals through it all. Only by working together as a team, will we be successful. Right now, the first step is for individuals to register for assistance. Once again, you can call 1-800-621-FEMA, or visit www.disasterassistance.gov on your computer or m.fema.gov on a mobile phone. Working together, we will recover and we will rebuild.