The following message was sent to all FEMA employees on behalf of the Deputy Administrator.
We continue to make progress in New York and New Jersey, even as another serious storm approaches the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Yesterday, hundreds of our colleagues from other DHS components arrived in New York to help staff Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) across New York City and Long Island. This is the first time that we have used the DHS Surge Force, and we are all excited to be working side-by-side with them in support of the disaster survivors. As you all know, the DRCs are a critical part of our operation. Many survivors begin their recovery process at these centers, where they can learn about the various assistance programs that FEMA and other federal and state agencies provide. More of these centers are opening every day in New York and New Jersey, and we are all proud of the role they play in helping survivors. Thanks to these centers, our Community Relations Teams, and the staff at our National Processing Service Centers, nearly $300 million in assistance has been already approved for survivors.
We are also ramping-up our temporary housing program in support of the many survivors who will need temporary housing assistance as they begin the process of rebuilding after Sandy. Earlier today, our Individual Assistance team met with officials from New York City and New York State to discuss how we can help meet these housing needs. Our colleagues from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are also working with state and local officials to address the many long-term housing needs in New York and New Jersey.
For daily updates and more information on our response to Hurricane Sandy, log on to the FEMA Intranet Homepage or go to the Employee News & Announcements page, the FEMA blog, and the new Hurricane Sandy page.
Thank you, again, for all of your hard work in support of the survivors. More than 5,000 people have been deployed across 11 states and the NRCC in response to Hurricane Sandy, and hundreds more are currently being deployed. Whether you are in the field, at one of our National Processing Service Centers, or you work at a regional office or headquarters, you are contributing to the response and recovery effort.