More than $327 million in Individual Assistance Approved for Disaster Survivors
WASHINGTON -- At the direction of President Barack Obama, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to lead the federal government's effort to provide assistance and support to states affected by Hurricane Sandy, ensuring the federal family and its public and private partners continue to provide all available resources to support state, local, and tribal communities in affected areas.
As FEMA and its federal partners continue to work with the states in support of their recovery efforts, the top priority is providing access to shelter for residents whose homes were severely damaged or destroyed by the storm. At the requests of New York and New Jersey, FEMA continues to deliver commodities including food, water, blankets, generators and others resources to distribution points across the region impacted by Sandy, and FEMA continues to pre-position additional resources and supplies to ensure they are in place if needed by our state and local partners to respond to the coastal low.
Many voluntary agencies also continue to provide services to Hurricane Sandy survivors, including providing shelter, meals, and clean up supplies. Due to the cold weather conditions, state and local governments continue to operate warming stations. For more information, contact your local officials or further information can be found on websites including: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/ ; http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/warming_ctr.html; http://nj.gov/nj/home/features/spotlight/hurricane_sandy.shtml; http://nj211.org/hurricane.cfm and www.ct.gov/sandy .
"We continue to support our state, local and federal partners to help the survivors of Hurricane Sandy,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “FEMA has provided more than $327 million in housing and other assistance needs to impacted residents and business owners in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. Survivors and small businesses can register for federal assistance by phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), via mobile devices at m.fema.gov or online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.”
FEMA is one part of a large team that is working together to support the states in meeting the housing needs of disaster survivors. This joint effort is comprised of housing and technical experts from the states, FEMA, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Small Business Administration (SBA), voluntary agencies and others. Working together, the team will work closely with state-led Housing Task Forces as they establish housing priorities; seek ways to make the greatest use of existing housing resources, such as apartments and rental units; enlist voluntary agencies to make minor repairs so survivors can remain in their homes and investigate other temporary housing options suitable for the area. As extensive work continues to restore power, open roadways and remove debris so that homes can begin to be repaired or rebuilt, our federal partners are:
HUD is working to identify the areas of greatest need for housing and identify available rental resources in impacted areas to assist families displaced by these storms find longer-term housing solutions;
USACE will providing technical assistance to local communities who identify areas where temporary home repairs, such as covering broken windows or holes in roofs, can help residents move back or stay in their home until more extensive repairs can be made;
SBA is working to help individuals and businesses apply for low interest loans so that they can more quickly rebuild or repair their damaged homes and replace lost property;
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are waiving low-income housing tax credit rules that would prohibit owners of low-income housing from providing housing to survivors of Hurricane Sandy who do not qualify as low-income. This means that there will be an increased availability of housing for disaster survivors and their families
As part of the team, FEMA has more than 5,300 FEMA personnel deployed to support response and recovery operations and is actively taking registration information through our 24 hour call centers. As of 3 p.m., more than 324,811 individuals in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey have registered for assistance, and more than $327 million has been approved in FEMA Assistance. 13 Disaster Recovery Centers are open in New York, seven in New Jersey and seven in Connecticut and more continue to open. 15 Mobile DRCs are also open and serving disaster survivors in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Additional disaster recovery centers are being planned. Specialists from the state, FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are on hand to answer questions and provide information on the types of assistance available to survivors. To find a disaster recovery center location, check out the disaster recovery center locator at FEMA.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or by mobile phone at m.fema.gov. You may also text DRC and a Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA).
FEMA has more than 1,900 housing inspectors on the ground assessing disaster damages and continues to approve assistance for Transitional Shelter Assistance (hotel/motel assistance), rental and home repair assistance, and financial assistance for other essential needs (such as disaster-related medical needs, replacement of lost clothing, furniture and other necessary items).
To date, the President has declared that major disasters exist in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island and emergency declarations have been made in Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.
Federal and state personnel are on the ground to conduct joint preliminary damage assessments in several states. These assessments are designed to give the governor of each state a better picture of damages, and to determine if a request for further federal support is needed. Other assessments may be scheduled as needed and requested.
In addition, the following federal activities are also being coordinated:
The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) electronic loan application (ELA) is the way for homeowners, renters and businesses to apply for a disaster loan for Hurricane Sandy damages in New Jersey and New York. The ELA provides a convenient alternative to visiting a Disaster Recovery Center or mailing in a paper loan application. The online program checks for errors, prompts for more information when needed and provides a quicker decision than the hand-written applications. Visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela to apply online. As of November 6, the SBA has issued 207,752 disaster loan applications to residents and businesses in NY, NJ and CT. That includes 165,371 home disaster loan applications, and 42,381 business disaster loan applications. SBA continues to operate Business Recovery Centers in New York and New Jersey. For more information, call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or go to www.sba.gov.
The United State Postal Service (USPS) wants to remind customers who have evacuated or relocated due to hurricane Sandy to submit a change of address, place mail on hold or request that mail be temporarily forwarded to their new location. For the latest service updates regarding hurricane Sandy, call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has distributed an initial $5.3 million to 11 states affected by Hurricane Sandy. NRCS provides this funding through its Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program.
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is allowing flexibility to New York City Public School District to serve all meals free through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program for the month of November. FNS has also approved New Jersey's request to allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP- formerly Food Stamps) recipients that reside in Atlantic County, Bergen County, Cape May County, Essex County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Somerset County and Union County,( all of which have received individual assistance declarations from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to be allowed to purchase hot foods and hot food products with SNAP benefits through the end of the month.
The Department of Defense (DoD) remains fully engaged and focused on providing unique capabilities to support civilian efforts to restore power to vital facilities and to assist with the resumption of mass transit services in the New York and New Jersey area. The U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) has delivered 354 power restoration vehicles and 449 technical personnel on 64 missions from California, Arizona, Nevada, and Washington to Stewart Air National Guard Base, N.Y., Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL,) N.J., and JFK International Airport, N.Y. This includes 78 missions, transporting 626 passengers and 3087.3 tons (includes 200 vehicles, 4 pumps, and 30,258 blankets) and remains ready to support any future mission assignments. Also, Since Hurricane Sandy struck, the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster IIIs, C-5 Galaxys, C-27J Spartans and C-130 Hercules have flown nearly 200 sorties, moving more than 700 passengers and approximately 3,000 tons of cargo.
The Defense Logistics Agency continues to supply FEMA with much needed emergency supplies, medical equipment, fuel and now cold and wet weather clothing to help those working toward recovery after Hurricane Sandy. Over the past 24 hours, DLA delivered one million meals to federal staging areas and 850,000 gallons of fuel at the request of FEMA, throughout the affected region. DLA is providing 600,000 meals, 600,000 bottles of water, propane, and diesel fuel to support 11 American Red Cross sites in New York and New Jersey. Contracts continue to be worked through DLA for trash/debris removal, wastewater capabilities, and garbage barge and overland trash hauling. DLA is working mission assignments to supply power to 41 apartment buildings in New York City (the first being in Queens, NY), and also fuel for up to 220 buses. Additionally, DLA has 14 million gallons of home heating oil available for distribution as directed by FEMA and state emergency coordinators.
The Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has over 720 employees engaged in the Hurricane Sandy efforts in support of FEMA and state requirements, with 38 Mission Assignments exceeding a total of $150 million. The primary unwatering focus remains on Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (56% drained) and the Passaic Waste Water Treatment Plant (70% drained). USACE is responsible for removing 86 million gallons from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel which is the equivalent of the contents of more than of 135 Olympic-sized pools. As of this morning, 14 unwatering missions have been received (seven complete; seven still pumping).
The U.S. Fleet Forces (Navy & Marine Corps) are assisting the Army Corps of Engineers in their power restoration, cleaning and dewatering efforts in NY and NJ.
The National Guard continues to work around-the-clock to expedite recovery efforts. More than 7,100 Army and Air National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from 15 states are conducting fuel distribution, communications, security, sheltering, debris removal and transportation missions in support of recovery efforts. There are 45 National Guard chaplains providing comfort and support to military personnel, residents, and first responders. The Guard has distributed more than 38,100 blankets, 4,698 tarps, 62,200 cases of water and 115,000 cases of Meals-Ready-to-Eat. Additionally, the National Guard is assisting emergency responders in distributing over 170,200 gallons of fuel.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has 975 national service members who have been deployed to seven states. AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia are assisting with shelter operations, call centers, debris removal, and mass care. About 435 members of FEMA Corps, an innovative partnership between FEMA and AmeriCorps, are working directly with disaster survivors in New York and New Jersey.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has more than 1,200 HHS personnel deployed to provide public health and medical assistance to New York and New Jersey. This includes 50 mental health officers from the U.S. Public Health Service to shelters at the request of the states to assist displaced residents with stress and coping after the storm. These mental health professionals are making sure shelter residents, patients and local, state and federal responders are connected with mental health resources they may need, including the 24 hour Disaster Distress Help Line.
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) mobilized resources to speed storm recovery on Federal and tribal lands in the impacted region and to support FEMA in its efforts to assist states and local governments in the disaster area, including nearly 700 DOI employees conducting response and recovery missions and at least an equal number are committed to disaster recovery work in at their home locations. More than 1,200 wildland firefighters from all agencies, including about 260 wildland firefighters from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park service are responding with fellow wildland firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service and State Forestry Divisions to support FEMA staging areas, assist in emergency operations centers, and provide crews to clear trees for emergency access and power crews. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is leading a Tribal Assistance Coordination Group, enhancing communications and coordination between Native American Tribes in the disaster area, other Federal agencies including FEMA, and non-profit relief organizations. The National Park Service (NPS) has deployed more than 300 incident management personnel, technical experts and work crews to assist almost 650 personnel at parks throughout the region in recovery operations. Working with interagency partners, NPS has also established a debris transfer site at Jacob Riis Park in New York to support local clean-up activities and is providing feeding for emergency workers in the vicinity of its logistics base at Fort Wadsworth in the Gateway National Recreation Area.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.