For many New Yorkers, Oct. 29, is a date that will forever be etched in memory. When Hurricane Sandy struck on that day in 2012, it brought heavy rain, strong winds, and record storm surges never seen before in the New York area. The immediate aftermath left tens of thousands without homes, millions without power and heavily damaged critical infrastructure.
With the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers know recovery is just as much about building a stronger future as it is about repairing past damage. The future of a more resilient New York seems brighter, thanks to a focus on mitigation, the cornerstone of emergency management. FEMA’s mitigation programs ensure that essential steps are taken to reduce the risk of loss of life and property from future disasters; it’s critical to the recovery process.
FEMA is funding projects across the state, including repairs and upgrades to bridges and community planning initiatives focused on improving sustainability and resiliency.
Under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, $84.7 million in funding has been granted for New York State priority hazard mitigation projects.
Key highlights of recovery through mitigation projects include:
• More than $33.4 million obligated to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) for 105 bridges throughout the state to protect from erosion and scour;
• 11 community planning projects throughout the state totaling nearly $2 million and
• Nearly $22 million has been obligated to the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs to fortify New York Aquarium facilities against future damage; mitigation measures include dry flood-proofing and elevating equipment.
FEMA hazard mitigation programs encourage local, state and tribal governments, as well as eligible nonprofit organizations, to take the necessary steps to minimize the potential for future losses such as death and injury to people and /or damage and destruction to property — before the next disaster.
For Hurricane Sandy, FEMA’s Public Assistance program reimburses local, state and tribal governments and eligible private nonprofit organizations 90 percent of eligible costs for emergency and permanent work. Through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, FEMA generally reimburses 75 percent of the cost of mitigation. States and municipalities usually split the remaining 25 percent. The ratio can vary, depending on circumstances.
To learn more about FEMA Public Assistance in New York, visit: fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit and dhses.ny.gov/oem/recovery.
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.