While there is still work to be done, FEMA continues to support communities in New Jersey and New York as they rebuild to become stronger and more resilient. Recovery is just as much about building a stronger future as it is about repairing past damage. Progress is being made as Sandy recovery offices in Eatontown, N.J. and Forest Hills, N.Y. reflect on one year in operations.
These offices coordinate the efforts of multiple federal agencies to support state long-term Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. As of Jan. 6, 2015, FEMA programs have provided nearly $18.9 billion to homeowners, renters, state and local governments and eligible private nonprofits in New Jersey and New York.
Recent initiatives include:
More than $300 million to the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission to restore facility operations, elevate equipment and install flood barriers.
Nearly $74 million in Hazard Mitigation grants to the New York State Department of Transportation to upgrade and improve the resilience of bridges across the state.
More than $1 billion to NYU Langone Hospital to repair facilities and institute a campus-wide mitigation strategy to elevate critical infrastructure and equipment above the 500-year flood level.
Improved coordination among FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA), Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) and Hazard Mitigation programs has served to expedite projects, better inform applicants and leverage state, intra-agency and interagency relationships to make historical strides in recovery.
In disasters since FEMA’s fiscal year 1998, not including Hurricane Sandy, an average of 6 cents per dollar was spent on PA mitigation under Section 406 of the Stafford Act. Section 406 mitigation provides additional funding to Public Assistance projects to add further resiliency and protection measures to a structure or roadway.
Cents spent on 406 Mitigation
Average spent on 406 Mitigation (since 1998)
The increase in mitigation funding can be attributed to the effective coordination between state, local, federal partners and the coordinated efforts among FEMA program personnel.
Collaboration between Voluntary Agency Liaisons, Disability Integration, Equal Rights and Alternative Dispute Resolution along with other areas of FEMA’s Sandy Recovery Office operations provides a “whole community” approach to delivering services more effectively. This type of coordination also fosters innovation and provides alternative perspectives to problem-solving, paving the way to operating more efficiently.
Mission-wide, the SRO teams in New Jersey and New York remain committed to helping residents of the two most heavily-impacted states rebuild stronger and become more resilient. FEMA is confident the measures taken throughout this process will provide a template for future recovery efforts.