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The purpose of this page is to provide the latest information on New York Sandy recovery efforts. The intended audience includes Sandy survivors, elected officials, media and anyone who is interested in learning more about New York recovery programs. This page includes links to other content.
About Us: The New York Sandy Recovery Office
The New York Sandy Recovery Office was established to support long-term recovery efforts in New York following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. In the days following the storm, FEMA established a Joint Field Office in Forest Hills, Queens. In January 2014 the Joint Field Office became the Sandy Recovery Office.
The Sandy Recovery Office coordinates the efforts of multiple federal agencies providing support to communities as they rebuild to make New York stronger and more resilient. The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy, issued in August 2013 by the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, mandated that federal agencies “work collaboratively with partners across all levels of governance … and the private sector to promote a regional and cross-jurisdictional approach to resilience.”
Sandy made landfall Oct. 29, 2012, impacting a metropolitan area with 13 million inhabitants, killing dozens of people and damaging more than 100,000 homes. Ten thousand people took refuge in shelters; many more were displaced. One quarter of all telecommunications capacity was knocked out.
Sandy brought major coastal flooding to the New York coastline, along the entire south shore from Staten Island to Montauk Point and in bays and rivers. Liberty and Ellis islands were flooded and had to be closed for repairs. The tourism industry estimates it lost 400,000 visitors because of Sandy. The storm caused billions of dollars in damage to vital infrastructure systems including power transmission, transportation and water and sewage treatment facilities.
FEMA and its state and federal partners deployed nearly 8,000 personnel at the beginning of the disaster. More than 40 federal agencies participated in the response. The Air Force flew power company trucks from California. The Army Corps of Engineers installed 211 generators at vital facilities and pumped out subways and tunnels. Nearly 1,200 FEMA specialists went door-to-door in affected neighborhoods. These efforts supported the robust response of city, county and state officials, along with numerous volunteer organizations.
In the weeks and months after Sandy hit, more than $8.8 billion in federal assistance was approved in Individual Assistance grants, Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loans, flood insurance payments and Public Assistance grants to support New York’s ongoing recovery from Hurricane Sandy.
FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provides grants to state, local and tribal governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to assist with disaster response and recovery, including debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent restoration of public facilities and critical infrastructure. In New York, approximately $6.7 billion has been awarded to date for Public Assistance projects.
FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides grants to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. The purpose of the HMGP is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster. The program is administered by the state and funded by FEMA. To date, over $369 million has been awarded for projects in New York.
Assistance to Households
FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program has assisted more than 117,662 New York households that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Approximately $1 billion in assistance has been provided for temporary housing, repair or replacement of eligible damaged property and other disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance.
Access additional resources: Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of the Interior