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Author: Michael Byrne
At FEMA we’re in the business of customer service and my boss, Administrator Fugate, often refers to our Community Relations teams as the face of FEMA. And rightfully so, because they are the team who literally pound the pavement and talk with survivors at their homes, apartments or at shelters. Community Relations teams also do what we call AIR, which stands for Assess, Inform and Report. They report back what they’re seeing in the field, allowing those in the disaster field office to be alerted to specific issues. This information is critical for us to set priorities.Community...
Posted On: December 4, 2012
Author: Mike Hall
It’s hard to believe I have been working alongside our disaster relief team in New Jersey for more than a month.  Thirty-five days have passed since Hurricane Sandy first made landfall on the New Jersey coast on October 29th.  This marked one of the most damaging disasters in state history – battering the coastline with greater than 14-foot waves and wind gusts up to 88 mph.  Even more unsettling were the 122,000 structures affected across 21 New Jersey counties – many of them damaged or destroyed.  I’ve traveled to these hardest hit neighborhoods, met with the heartbroken...
Posted On: December 3, 2012
Author: Michael Byrne
I am a native New Yorker. I was born in New York City.  I grew up in the city’s Public Housing developments in East Harlem and my Mom and Dad, brothers and sisters still live here.  I worked for the New York Fire Department for 20 years, eventually serving as a Captain.  I worked at the New York Office of Emergency Management and then I joined FEMA. I’m a proud New Yorker and today, I’m honored to be part of the federal team that is working hard to assist my home city and state. Coney Island, N.Y., Nov. 12, 2012 -- Aerial view of damage and debris on Coney Island...
Posted On: November 30, 2012
Author: Olga Alvarez
Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Official Blog.A month after Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, hundreds of families continue their daily struggle to put their lives back together. Many of their homes destroyed, these families face living in temporary dwellings like area hotels and relatives’ homes. Their children are staying far away from their schools and some families are facing a decision whether they can move back to their old neighborhoods or whether they may have to relocate permanently.Here at the Disaster Recovery...
Posted On: November 29, 2012
Author: Thomas McCool
It’s been one month since President Obama issued an emergency declaration on Oct. 29 for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to support those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  Here’s an update on FEMA and the state’s efforts in Pennsylvania thus far:Assessing damagesDuring the damage assessment process, 11 teams conducted boots-on-the-ground assessments in eight counties. In Franklin County, the Civil Air Patrol provided officials with a bird’s eye view of damages, flying over Hurricane Sandy-impacted homes and businesses there.CAPTION: FEMA Individual Assistance Specialist Cynthia Lavigne and...
Posted On: November 29, 2012
Author: Lars Anderson
CAPTION: Lincroft, N.J., Nov. 16, 2012 -- Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan speaks at a press conference concerning Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano and Senator stand in the background.As we often say at FEMA, successful emergency management requires a team effort.  Without question, the importance of teamwork has never been more evident as the recovery to Hurricane Sandy continues.  At the direction of President Obama, FEMA continues to coordinate the federal government’s efforts in a...
Posted On: November 21, 2012
Author: Lars Anderson
Hoboken, N.J., Nov. 1, 2012 -- FEMA Inspector Richard Martin inspects a basement apartment in Hoboken two days after the residents applied for FEMA assistance. FEMA is working with many partners and organizations to provide assistance to residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.So far, more than 444,100 Hurricane Sandy survivors from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island have applied for federal disaster assistance and more than $782 million in assistance has been approved.  As Sandy survivors continue to apply for assistance, many may find themselves asking what’s next after...
Posted On: November 19, 2012
Author: Lars Anderson
As Sandy survivors continue to register for disaster assistance with FEMA and many others begin the process of cleaning and repairing their homes, we wanted to remind everyone that as you look for contractors and companies to assist you with your recovery process, be mindful of scams and scam artists. Although many businesses, voluntary, faith-based, and community-based organizations, government agencies and committed citizens come together to try and meet the needs of the affected individuals and communities, disasters  can also bring out criminals looking to prey on survivors by...
Posted On: November 15, 2012
Author: Lars Anderson
Since Hurricane Sandy made landfall, FEMA has been working hard to make sure disaster survivors receive the information and help they need to apply for disaster assistance with us and our partners, as well as other organizations that provide assistance.One of the ways we’re reaching out to survivors is through our Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs). At these centers, disaster survivors can meet one-on-one with officials from voluntary and non-profit agencies, local communities, and state and federal agencies such as FEMA and the Small Business Administration.  Personnel staffing the DRCs...
Posted On: November 12, 2012
Author: Michael Byrne
With so many New Yorkers facing the overwhelming and exhausting task of cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy, a group of former veterans known as Team Rubicon have become very popular. And rightly so.“We were exhausted after the first few days,” said Rockaway homeowner Barbara Millet, “but they just showed up. My mother-in-law calls them angels.”Founded by two former Marines following the Haitian earthquake in 2010, members of Team Rubicon use skills acquired in the military to assist people affected by disasters.  In the past 10 days, the team has deployed hundreds of volunteers to the...
Posted On: November 11, 2012

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