NEW YORK – After a disaster, there are many sources of support for survivors as they begin their recovery. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is only one part of a team that includes federal, state, tribal and local government agencies, voluntary organizations, the private sector and faith-based organizations.
FEMA helps survivors of a disaster with critical expenses that cannot be covered in any other way. This grant assistance may be used to help cover items or services that prevent or overcome a hardship due to a disaster. Such items or services include temporary housing, essential home repairs, personal property losses and other disaster-related needs not covered by insurance. Survivors registered with FEMA may be eligible for up to $31,900, the maximum grant.
The assistance FEMA provides may not restore damaged property to its condition before the disaster and may not cover all losses from property damage. Money to repair a home is limited to making it safe, sanitary and functional.
One of the most significant sources of long-term recovery is the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which offers low-interest disaster loans for homeowners and renters. Homeowners may be eligible for loans up to $200,000 to repair or replace their storm-damaged home. Homeowners and renters may be eligible for up to $40,000 for replacement of personal property.
Additionally, more than 500 national, state and local community and faith-based organizations are involved in helping Sandy survivors with their recovery. They are providing a range of services including home repair, child care, counseling services, muck-outs and mold suppression in disaster-damaged homes.
People who sustained losses due to Hurricane Sandy have until Wednesday, Feb. 27, to register with FEMA for potential grant assistance. They should register even if they have insurance. Applying by the deadline may help survivors avoid a funding shortfall if they later find that they are underinsured or have additional damages.
Counties in New York designated for individual assistance include: Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester.
Eligible applicants may register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov. People can also call the FEMA helpline 800-621-3362 (711 Relay or Video Relay Services are available) or TTY 800-462-7585. Helpline call centers are available 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. EST, seven days a week.
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.
Recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.