ALBANY, N.Y. -- Federal, state, local and voluntary agencies are working in partnership to help residents of Albany, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Schenectady, Ulster and Westchester counties in recovering from Tropical Storm Floyd. The following is a summary of ongoing response and recovery efforts as of Wednesday, October 13:
- Operating hours for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) toll free registration line have changed. The registration number is 1-800-462-9029. Persons with hearing- or speech-impairments can call TDD 1-800-462-7585. The registration line is now open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.
- As of October 13, 7,624 New Yorkers had applied for disaster assistance through FEMA's toll-free registration line.
- More than 2,200 Disaster Housing Assistance checks, totaling more than $4 million have been approved for payment to assist New York storm victims in making minimal home repairs and/or to pay for temporary housing until repairs can be made. Disaster housing checks generally are issued within a week after the property is inspected.
- FEMA inspectors have completed more than 3,900 of the requested 5,100 inspections of storm-damaged properties in New York. The inspections, required to verify damages to determine eligibility for disaster housing assistance, are generally being completed seven to ten days after applications are received through the toll-free registration line.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved more than $2.5 million in low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses who suffered losses due to the storm and subsequent flooding. So far, the SBA has approved $853,800 in loans to homeowners and renters, and $1,683,500 to businesses. To speed the recovery assistance process, loan applications should be completed and returned to the SBA as soon as possible. To check on the status of a loan application or for assistance in completing the application, call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955, Monday through Saturday between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
- FEMA/State Community Relations teams are going door-to-door in some affected areas, acquainting residents with available help and the application process. Community Relations officers are also meeting with public officials and community leaders to make sure all eligible victims of Tropical Storm Floyd are getting critical disaster assistance information.
- More than 450 New Yorkers who have already applied for assistance by calling the toll-free registration line have visited Disaster Recovery Centers to talk face-to-face with recovery specialists about their own specific situations.
- In registering for assistance at FEMA's toll-free line, 1-800-462-9029, applicants are asked if they want direct deposit of any grant they may receive. Direct deposit is faster and there is no chance of a check going astray or being stolen. However, the money may go into the bank before a follow-up letter arrives so applicants are urged to check their accounts to see if they have received money. People who have already applied for assistance can ask for direct deposit by calling FEMA's Helpline at 1-800-525-0321, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.