New York, NY --
On Sept. 11, terrorists crashed two commandeered jetliners into the twin towers of the World Trade Center on the southern tip of Manhattan, taking the lives of thousands of people and injuring thousands more. At the request of Gov. Pataki, President Bush immediately declared a major disaster for five New York counties to support emergency response efforts and aid victims of these attacks. On Sept. 27, ten additional counties were designated eligible for assistance by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Joe M. Allbaugh, bringing the total declared counties eligible for individual assistance to fifteen.
The declared counties for Individual Assistance are: Bronx, Delaware, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester.
Five of these counties were also declared for Public Assistance to state and local governments, to include: debris removal, emergency protective measures, public buildings and contents, and public utilities. The counties are: Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and Richmond.
All 62 counties in the state of New York were approved for emergency protective measures to reimburse the cost of search and rescue, fire, and police personnel who responded to the attack.
Response and Recovery efforts as of Oct. 20:
- To date 27,425 people affected by the attack have called FEMA's toll-free
registration number to apply for state and federal disaster assistance. More
than 800 new applications are being taken daily.
- The first and most important step in applying for help is calling FEMA's
registration number 1-800-462-9029. The TTY number for speech- or
hearing-impaired is 1-800-462-7585. Trained personnel are available to take
applications from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
- Operators at FEMA's toll-free registration number have handled calls in
more than 25 languages.
- The New York State Crime Victims Board has received 2,894 applications for
assistance to defray the cost of medical bills, counseling, funeral
expenses, or lost earnings due to injury or loss of life from the attacks.
The toll-free number is 1-800-247-8035. The TTY number for speech- or
hearing-impaired is 1-800-289-9747. The phones are answered 24 hours a day,
seven days a week.
- More than $65.5 million in Individual Assistance has been approved in the
form of temporary disaster housing assistance, disaster food stamps,
individual and family grants, and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
low-interest loans to homeowners and businesses.
- FEMA has approved $13 million in disaster housing assistance for
individuals and families to obtain alternate rental housing or to clean up
residences made uninhabitable by the attack.
- Persons left unemployed by the disaster have filed 4,694 claims for
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) with the New York State Department of
Labor Telephone Claims Line, 1-888-209-8124. This program provides
assistance to workers and business owners out of work because of the
disaster as well as self-employed persons not normally covered by
unemployment programs. The closing date for filing DUA claims has been
extended to Nov. 16.
- $1.8 million in disaster food stamps...