ALBANY, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the New York Emergency Management Office (SEMO) and voluntary agencies continue to help New Yorkers recover from the severe storms and floods that occurred between Aug. 13 and Sept. 16, 2004. More than $884,000 in disaster assistance has been approved for victims to help them meet their most basic disaster recovery needs.
The following serves as a summary of the joint disaster recovery operation.
- More than $696,000 has been disbursed to renters and homeowners whose primary residences were damaged or destroyed, or who were displaced from their homes. Victims can use the funds to make repairs to their disaster-damaged homes, and to pay rent for temporary housing or cover other lodging expenses if displaced from their homes as a result of the disaster.
- More than $184,000 has been approved for victims to repair or replace damaged and destroyed personal property not covered by insurance, and to repair or replace a primary means of transportation; for moving and storage expenses; and for medical and dental expenses incurred as a direct result of the disaster; and for other serious disaster-related needs.
- As of today, more than 4,300 individuals have applied for assistance. Disaster victims can register by calling: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired, from 6 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday. Individuals with Internet access can register anytime at www.fema.gov. The deadline to apply is Jan. 15, 2005.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued more than 1,690 applications to homeowners, renters and business owners for long-term, low-interest disaster loans. Filling out the application does not obligate the applicant to accept a loan. However, residents should complete and return the SBA loan application as soon as possible, because those who do not qualify for an SBA loan may be referred to other available disaster-aid programs. The SBA is the federal government’s primary resource for long-term disaster recovery financing.
- FEMA has conducted 1,993 inspections of disaster-damaged properties. Thirty-two FEMA inspectors are currently visiting homes in the 14 disaster-designated counties. FEMA contract inspectors work by appointment only. They record damages but do not determine eligibility, and they never charge a fee.
- After applying for assistance, hundreds of applicants have visited Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) to meet face-to-face with recovery specialists. At a DRC, representatives of local, state, federal and voluntary agencies provide program information and technical assistance on ways to reduce damages from future disasters as well information on flood insurance. Loan officers from the SBA are also available to assist those who need help with their disaster loan applications. Currently, three DRCs remain open, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, until further notice:
Ogden Community Center
269 Ogden Center Road
Spencerport, NY 14559
Deerpark Town Hall420 Rt. 209
Huguenot, NY 12746
Woodhull Town Hall1
585 Academy St.
Woodhull, NY 14898
- Voluntary agencies and organizations continue to work together to identify unmet needs and to build a long-term recovery process. The Salvation Army and Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing serve as the casework leads. Participating organizations include the American Red Cross, Mennonite Disaster Services, Methodist Volunteers in Mission, Foodlink and many others. Assistance is provided on a case-by-case basis and may include help with home repair, food, clothing, household goods and other disaster-related needs. To reach a casework...