6 Months Report: Superstorm Sandy from Pre-Disaster to Recovery

Release Date


6 month recovery update

Timeline, milestones in response and recovery, before-and-after photos and videos plus data on disaster assistance, debris removal and other aspects of disaster operations.


Oct. 22    Tropical Storm Sandy forms.

Oct. 24    Storm strengthens to Category 1 Hurricane.

Oct. 27    Sandy weakens to Tropical Storm.

Oct. 28     Re-intensifies to Category 1 Hurricane.

Oct. 28     The President declares an emergency for the state of New Jersey.

Oct. 29     Sandy briefly strengthens to Category 2 hurricane. From Oct. 30 to Nov. 5, twenty-four states from Florida to Maine and as far west as Michigan and Wisconsin are impacted.

Oct. 29     Sandy makes landfall as a tropical storm near Brigantine, New Jersey.


Mantoloking, N.J., Feb. 5, 2013 -- While some things have improved here, this house is virtually the same as it was three months ago, following Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Liz Roll/FEMA

  • New Jersey and New York take the brunt of Sandy’s assault.
  • There are 2.7 million power outages in New Jersey alone.
  • There is widespread damage to the transportation infrastructure.
  • Phone, cable and other communication lines are disrupted.
  • Operations at  2 oil refineries, 11 petroleum terminals and 2 petroleum pipelines are disrupted.
  • 8.5 million cubic yards of mixed debris which includes 2.5 million cubic yards of sand and silt deposited on road and waterways, impeding travel.
  • Houses along miles of New Jersey coastline are severely damaged or destroyed by wind and flooding.
  • More than 37,000 primary residences and approximately 9,300 rental units receive major damage.
  • Businesses in 113 of 565 New Jersey municipalities experience a combined $382 million in commercial property loss.
  • Natural gas supply lines on barrier islands are completely destroyed, sustaining an estimated $97 million in damage.
  • Within days, mold becomes a problem in unoccupied houses without electricity, creating a health hazard.


Holgate, N.J., Feb. 22, 2013 -- Construction workers clear debris off mobile home parking lot in Holgate. Debris in this location is expected to be cleared soon. Rosanna Arias/FEMA

  • 2 FEMA National Incident Management Assistant Teams (IMAT) and 1 regional IMAT team report to the disaster pre-landfall.
  • 14 Emergency Support Functions, Federal Disaster Response Coordination activated.
  • 16 FEMA Mobile Communications Office Vehicles are deployed.
  • Mobile Emergency Response Support sends 34 personnel and vehicles.
  • 650 personnel from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers respond to the disaster to conduct draining of sewage treatment facilities, mobilization of 100 strike teams for debris clearance, transport and installation of generators. Team receives 335 requests for generators; 106 are installed at the peak of the emergency.
  • On Nov. 1, 2012, in the immediate response to the New Jersey disaster, FEMA’s Community Relations specialists start circulating through storm-ravaged neighborhoods to offer assistance and informational materials in nine languages. On Nov. 5, 432 specialists and 222 FEMA Corps members are in some of the most heavily impacted areas of the state.
  • Debris clearance crews remove debris from roadways and make repairs to restore power to traffic signals.
  • 520 personnel assist with tree removal, clearing 728 miles of roads and access routes.
  • 113 emergency shelters open, serving 6,477 storm survivors at the peak of the disaster.



Brick, N.J., Feb. 22, 2013 -- Worker replaces roof tiles on a home damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Rosanna Arias/FEMA

As of April 23, 2013:

  • Total federal allocations for Superstorm Sandy Response and Recovery in New Jersey: 

$1.1 billion

  • Total amount approved for Housing and Other Needs Assistance: $388 million
  • Total Federal Share Obligated for Public Assistance: $262.9 million

Housing Assistance:

  • FEMA has approved more than $334 million in housing assistance grants to help repair or replace housing damaged or destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, with an average housing assistance award of $6,088 per applicant.
  • FEMA issued a mission assignment through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct/renovate 114 temporary housing units at Fort Monmouth, a former military base, at an estimated cost of $3.3 million.

Individual Assistance:

  • 89,025 New Jersey residents have visited FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers.
  • More than 60,500 registrations have been approved for assistance.
  • More than 480 volunteer agencies were active in the disaster recovery effort, reporting a total of 866,400 volunteer hours which equaled nearly $24 million in work value.
  • 14 Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster are now working on long-term recovery projects in New Jersey, including the American Red Cross, the Community Food Bank of New Jersey and Church World Service.

Other Needs Assistance:

  • FEMA approved more than $53.4 million dollars in Other Needs Assistance to 18,433 Sandy survivors.

Transitional Sheltering Assistance:

  • FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance program has provided transitional shelter to more

            than 5,500 Sandy Survivors.

  • FEMA has provided a total of 195,000 room nights in 435 hotels and motels at a cost of more than $23 million, while displaced survivors developed permanent housing solutions.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

  • 3,365 applications for disaster unemployment assistance were approved.
  • More than $4 million in disaster unemployment assistance has been provided to Sandy survivors who became unemployed as a result of the storm.

Public Assistance:

  • 1,707 requests for Public Assistance were received from the public sector and private nonprofit organizations.
  • FEMA and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management held 1,420 kickoff meetings with eligible applicants. A kickoff meeting includes a one-on-one session that establishes the partnership among FEMA, the state and the applicant.
  • More than $262.9 million in federal share dollars has been obligated to the state of New Jersey primarily for Category A (debris removal) and Category B (emergency protective measures) assistance.
  • Ninety-nine percent of Right-of-Way debris totaling more than 8.5 million cubic yards has been removed, with the remaining 1 percent slated for removal by early May.
  • Out of 2,879 Subgrant applications, 2,051 have been obligated so far. Eligible subgrantees include state and local governments and private nonprofits such as medical, educational, utility, emergency and custodial care facilities that apply to the state for reimbursement of eligible disaster related expenditures.
  • FEMA has assisted applicants with 84 projects totaling $79 million for boardwalk and beach repair including boardwalks, emergency protective measures, marinas, bulkheads and sea walls.
  • A few projects currently under construction expected to be open to the public by Memorial Day include:
  • $19 million for the Atlantic Highlands harbor reconstruction of the marina
  • $12 million for reconstruction of the Belmar boardwalk, and
  • $7.6 million for the reconstruction of the Seaside Heights boardwalk.


  • FEMA Operations has activated 430 Mission Assignments in support of the State in response to Superstorm Sandy and obligated $100 million in direct federal assistance and $40 million in federal operating support and technical assistance.


  • Disaster Recovery Centers counseled 23,465 applicants on Mitigation techniques.
  • Mitigation conducted outreach in 28 building supply stores along the coastal area.
  • Mitigation technical assistance was provided to 406 Federal, State and local stakeholders to identify mitigation opportunities with 1,300 site visits completed to date.
  • New Jersey property owners have received $3.2 billion in National Flood Insurance Program payments for damages caused by flooding from Superstorm Sandy.


FEMA Corps:

  • In addition to extensive work with Community Relations in the recovery, thirteen FEMA Corps teams with 114 members currently are working at the New Jersey JFO.
  • Most Corps Members are working in a Public Assistance capacity. Other Corps Members are working at the JFO in External Affairs, Logistics, Planning, Individual Assistance and Federal Disaster Recovery Coordination.

External Affairs:

  • In addition to the massive neighborhood-by-neighborhood outreach effort in response to Superstorm Sandy, FEMA’s CR specialists have contacted more than 100,000 individuals, 25,000 businesses and 10,000 Faith and Community-based organizations.
  • Private Sector specialists have engaged with 555 Private Sector stakeholders, disseminating electronic disaster assistance information to 5.8 million New Jerseyans, focusing on business continuity and preparedness. The New Jersey Business and Industry Association disseminated FEMA information via utility bills to more than 21,000 members and 1.3 million employees.
  • FEMA’s Intergovernmental Affairs specialists have connected with more than 900 community leaders, handled 215 questions and referrals from mayors and other city officials, has assisted the governor’s staff in establishing a state IGA department and has worked closely with public officials on key issues such as Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps, NFIP, Repetitive Loss Inspections and other community concerns.
  • Congressional Affairs staff continues outreach activity to the New Jersey Congressional delegation and has responded to more than 775 inquiries regarding constituent issues related to Superstorm Sandy.                                 
  • Planning and Products section has produced more than 500 individual communications including 140 news releases, 70 public service announcements, 10 recovery bulletins, 12 flyers, 5 brochures and 40 Congressional updates. FEMA Speakers Bureau has hosted 229 community events reaching 33,227 individuals with recovery information.
  • The Joint Information Center has fielded more than 9,000 media inquiries and currently averages about 28 media interviews per week. The NJ FEMA twitter handle has 3, 237 followers, has produced 780 tweets, and averages six tweets and seven re-tweets per tweet.

Small Business Administration

  • SBA has approved more than $731 million in low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses. 
  • $606 million of that figure was loaned to residential applicants.

Then and Now

Mantoloking, N.J., Jan. 30, 2013 -- This home was knocked off its foundation during Hurricane Sandy. The owner intends to elevate and save the house. FEMA is working with state and local officials to assist residents who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Liz Roll/FEMA

A Mantoloking home after elevation.

This Mantoloking home was knocked off its foundation by Superstorm Sandy. The homeowners chose to elevate their home to mitigate against future disasters.

Seaside Heights, N.J., Nov. 5, 2012 -- When Hurricane Sandy came ashore, it broke up the boardwalk here and left the roller coaster in the ocean. Cleanup continues, but residents are not allowed over to the barrier islands until conditions are safe. FEMA is working with many partners including federal, state, local and tribal governments, voluntary, faith-based and community-based organizations, and the private sector to assist residents impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Liz Roll/FEMA

Debris removal in Seaside Heights

In Seaside Heights, the historic boardwalk was severely damaged and debris lined the beach after Superstorm Sandy. While the iconic roller coaster remains until a contractor can remove it, the boardwalk is being rebuilt and debris has been removed from the beach.

Beach Haven inlet

Beach inlet after

Superstorm Sandy left debris strewn across this area in Beach Haven Inlet. Six month later, the area is largely free of debris.

Avon by the Sea before

Avon by the Sea after

After Superstorm Sandy, the south end of the bridge in Avon by the Sea was closed. Now, the bridge is open and structures have returned to normal.

Sandy Hook Lifeguards before

Lifeguards Sandy Hook after

The Lifeguard Station in Sandy Hook was surrounded by piles of sand after Superstorm Sandy. These piles of sand have been removed and relocated six months later.

Sea Bright, N.J., Nov. 24, 2012 -- Debris from Hurricane Sandy still awaits removal nearly a month after the storm hit. FEMA is working with state and local officials to assist residents who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Liz Roll/FEMA

We Love Sea Bright after

After Superstorm Sandy, the lawn of a Sea Bright home was completely covered in debris. With the help of FEMA in collaboration with state and local partners, homes like this one have had debris removed from their yards.



Sandy Superstorm 6 Month Video

Link to Jersey Strong video

Link to Union Beach Video


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