NEW YORK – Federal disaster assistance for Hurricane Sandy survivors tops $1 billion in New York.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved grants of more than $802 million for rental assistance, home repairs and other needs. The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved low-interest disaster loans of more than $232 million to help homeowners and renters recover from uninsured property loss and other damages.
SBA has also issued loans totaling nearly $17 million to help business owners recover from damages caused by Hurricane Sandy.
“This billion dollar milestone follows President Obama’s words to me,” said Michael F. Byrne, FEMA federal coordinating officer. “He told me ‘stay on it’ after he saw the devastation first hand. As a New Yorker, I can speak for FEMA and all of our partners when I promise that we will stay on it right through recovery.”
Hurricane Sandy caused damage in 13 New York counties that were designated for Individual Assistance grants to help survivors repair homes, replace lost property and pay for other essential disaster-related needs.
The 13 counties designated for Individual Assistance include: Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester.
Disaster Recovery Centers are still open in most designated counties where FEMA and SBA specialists are on hand to answer questions. To find the nearest recovery center, the following options are available: Text DRC and a Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA), and a text message will be sent back with the address. Also, check out the Disaster Recovery Center locator at www.FEMA.gov/disaster-recovery-centers.
Individuals can also find a recovery center – and register for disaster assistance – online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone or tablet by going to m.fema.gov or by downloading the FEMA app. They may also call FEMA’s helpline at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. People who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services (VRS) should call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.
Hurricane Sandy survivors in New York have until Jan. 28, 2013 to register for federal disaster assistance.
President Barack Obama declared a major disaster on Oct. 30, 2012 following Hurricane Sandy’s impact on New York beginning Oct. 27.