On Friday, November 2, 2012, New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that all New Yorkesr --and of course, this includes those here on Long Island in Nassau and Suffolk Counties-- may now call or go online to immediately register for the disaster assistance that is provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA.) The governor urges those who are in need to register for assistance as soon as possible.
President Barack Obama has signed a major federal disaster declaration and this offers individual assistance in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, as well as in the counties of the Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), Richmond (Staten Island), Rockland, Queens and Westchester.
Disaster assistance from FEMA is either financial or direct help to individuals or families whose property was damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, and where these losses are not covered by insurance.
FEMA has two types of assistance for those in need: Housing Needs and Other Than Housing Needs.
Housing Needs disaster assistance includes Temporary Housing, where an individual or family needs a place to live for a limited period of time. There may be financial assistance for hurricane victims to temporarily rent a place to live, or there may be a government-provided housing unit when rental properties are not available.
Repair assistance may also be available to homeowners to help repair the damage to their primary residence.
Home replacement. There may also be available financial assistance for homeowners to replace their home that was destroyed by the hurricane, but which is not covered by insurance.
Permanent or Semi-Permanent Housing Construction. Direct assistance or money for the construction of a home may be available.
Other Than Housing Needs financial aid is available from FEMA for serious expenses to cover needs caused by the hurricane. This may include:
- Medical and dental expenses that are disaster-related
- Funeral and burial expenses that are disaster-related
- Fuel such as heating oil or gas for primary heat sources
- Items for clean-up after the hurricane, such as a dehumidifier or a wet/dry vacuum
- Disaster-related damage to vehicles.
- Expenses related to moving and storage necessitated by the hurricane
- And other necessary expenses authorized by law or determined by FEMA.
Note: If you have insurance, you must also file a claim with your insurance company in addition to registering for federal disaster assistance.
If you and yours have been hard hit by Hurricane Sandy and you need to apply for federal disaster assistance, you can do this in any of three ways:
- You may call (800) 621-FEMA (3362) or TTY (800) 462-7585 for the speech and hearing-impaired.
- If you use 711-Relay or if you use Video Relay Services (VRS), you may call (800) 621-3362.
- You may also register online by going to www.disasterassistance.gov. Or via web-enabled phone or tablet, you may go to m.fema.gov.
Note: The toll free telephone numbers listed above are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT, seven days a week (until further notice from the office of the governor.)
For more detailed information about disaster survivor assistance, please visit FEMA's website at http://www.fema.gov/disaster-survivor-assistance.