NEW YORK – Just over a month after Hurricane Sandy made landfall, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved more than $754 million in disaster assistance for New York State survivors under the agency’s Individuals and Households program.
As of Dec. 7, more than $754 million in grants was approved through FEMA’s Individuals and Households program. Of that, more than $689 million was for housing assistance and more than $65 million to cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as funeral expenses and lost personal possessions.
“In the impacted neighborhoods of New York, we concentrated our efforts to get money into the hands of survivors,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael F. Byrne. “We targeted the hardest hit areas and were able to expedite initial assistance to people who needed it most.”
Grant money goes directly to survivors in the 13 New York counties designated for federal individual assistance, helping them rebuild their homes and lives. FEMA is focusing on the hardest hit areas of New York State which includes the following counties:
- Bronx $1.9 million
- Kings $161.6 million
- Nassau $249.6 million
- New York $10.9 million
- Queens $193.1 million
- Richmond $78 million
- Suffolk $55.6 million
Those who have already registered for assistance should stay in close touch with FEMA throughout the recovery process. It is important that applicants keep FEMA updated with good contact information such as a current mailing address, cellphone or work number. The deadline for registration is Dec. 31, 2012.
Anyone with questions about correspondence from FEMA should visit one of the more than 30 disaster recovery centers open in New York or call the FEMA helpline 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services (VRS) can call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers operate 24 hours a day seven days a week until further notice.
To locate the nearest disaster recovery center, simply text “DRC” and your Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA), and a text message will be sent back with the address of the nearest center. Also, check out the disaster recovery center locator at www.FEMA.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or call the FEMA Helpline.
FEMA provides the following snapshot of the disaster-recovery effort as of Dec. 7th:
- More than 248,000 New Yorkers have contacted FEMA for information or registered for assistance with FEMA and more than $754 million has been approved. More than 125,000 people have applied through the online application site at www.disasterassistance.gov, or on their smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov.
- 33 Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are open in the affected areas. These include mobile sites as well as fixed sites, and to date more than 81,000 survivors have been assisted at DRCs in New York.
- 172 inspectors are in the field, and more than 155,000 home inspections have been completed.
- 745 Community Relations (CR) specialists are strategically positioned throughout the affected communities, going door-to-door explaining the types of disaster assistance available and how to register.
- 7 Points of Distribution (PODs) are open and providing supplies to the affected residents.
- 3 Prescription Medication Task Force Teams (PMTFT) and 1 National Veterinary Response Team (NVRT) from the Department of Health and Human Services remain deployed in New York.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has removed 263,498 cubic yards of debris from rights-of-way.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved nearly $102 million in disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses. The SBA has staff members at 19 Business Recovery Centers in the New York area to provide one-on-one help to business owners seeking disaster assistance.