NEW YORK – FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration have disbursed nearly $16.9 billion for New York’s recovery since Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the East Coast three years ago. This amount includes more than $1 billion paid directly to survivors for housing and other essential needs through the Individuals and Households Program which ended April 30, 2014.
“As we continue to work with our state, local and tribal partners, as well as other federal agencies, our focus is to build back safer and stronger than before,” said New York Sandy Recovery Office Director John Covell.
FEMA leverages its resilience efforts through its Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation programs. FEMA’s Public Assistance Program has obligated nearly $9.8 billion in grants to state and local governments and eligible nonprofit organizations to cover the costs of emergency response, debris removal and the repair, restoration, replacement and mitigation of damaged public facilities. Of this amount, a total of $3 billion has been dedicated for mitigation measures. Under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, approximately $512 million has been provided.
Covell stressed that 39 cents of every Public Assistance dollar spent in New York funded mitigation measures. In previous disasters, from 1998 until Hurricane Sandy, the average amount was 5 cents. This over 700 percent increase is meeting FEMA’s commitment to rebuild New York’s infrastructure in ways that will make it more resilient and better able to withstand storms.
A majority of the 4,127 Public Assistance grants for facilities damaged by the storm include parks, beaches, marinas, water treatment plants, hospitals, schools, public housing and other public buildings. In New York, FEMA reimburses 90 percent of eligible costs. The state is responsible for covering the remaining 10 percent.
In addition to FEMA’s housing and infrastructure programs, the National Flood Insurance Program has paid nearly $4 billion in claims to flood insurance policyholders and the Small Business Administration has approved over 23,000 SBA disaster loan applicants totaling more than $1.57 billion.