Disaster Zone

Hurricane Sandy Recovery Update

This is a long one, but I thought I'd repeat it here due to amount of good information.

by Eric Holdeman / December 25, 2012

I copied this from an email someone sent me.  Good information on a variety of topics related to the storm and the recovery.  It was from December 19th:



Hurricane Sandy Update





The following information is designed to keep you updated as we recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy.


Freezing temperatures are on the way. Don't risk the lives of your family by staying in a cold home. If you have no other place to go, New York City will arrange for a warm, private, and safe place for you to stay. Visit a NYC Restoration Center or call 311 for more information.     


As the situation is constantly changing, check our social media sites for the latest information. Twitter at @NYCOEM and Facebook.



Upcoming Deadlines 


Dec. 20- Hurricane Relief Grant for Volunteer Led Groups: Citizens Committee is awarding grants to volunteer-led groups providing relief to areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Applications from volunteer-led groups in all five boroughs are being accepted. Groups may be long-standing, newly established or in the process of forming, and are not required to have non-profit or 501(c)(3) status. Click here for more information.


Dec. 31- Last day for Hurricane Sandy Debris Collection: After December 31, 2012, New Yorkers are no longer permitted to place loose debris curbside for Department of Sanitation Collection, and will have to hire a private collection service to remove debris. Click here to read more.

Dec. 31- Rapid Repairs Registration Deadline: NYC Rapid Repairs is a free program to help residential property owners affected by Hurricane Sandy make emergency repairs. In order to participate in NYC Rapid Repairs, every registered homeowner must sign a "Right of Entry" form by December 31, 2012. Click here to read more.

Jan. 12- Last Day to Stay in Transitional Sheltering Assistance:
Governor Cuomo announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, at the request of the state of New York, has approved a four-week extension to the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program, which allows eligible survivors from Hurricane Sandy, who cannot return to their homes, to stay in participating hotels or motels. The new extension will allow applicants to remain in participating hotels during the holiday season. Click here to read more.


Jan. 28- Deadline for FEMA Disaster Assistance:

Anyone affected by Sandy (homeowners, renters, and businesses) should apply for federal disaster assistance as soon as possible. Register at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling FEMA at 800-621-3362 (FEMA). FEMA applications for Sandy relief must be in by Januray 28. Before you call, be sure to have the following information ready:

  • Address of affected property 
  • Insurance information
  • Social Security Number      

Jan. 28- Deadline for NYC Non-Profits to Apply for FEMA Assistance: FEMA's public assistance program provides supplemental financial assistance to certain non-profit organizations for response and recovery activities required as a result of a disaster. To be considered for this program, you must submit a Request for Public Assistance, along with all the forms listed on the PNP Checklist, to the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services via email to John Grubsick at jgrubsick3@dhses.ny.gov or by fax at 518-322-4984.  



Individual Recovery Assistance 


FEMA Disaster Recovery Center Holiday Hours: Disaster Recovery Centers throughout New York will continue to provide prompt one-on-one, face-to-face assistance for survivors of Hurricane Sandy during the holiday season. Click here for details.

Mediation Services for Sandy Related Disputes:
If you are in a conflict with a landlord, insurance adjuster, family member, or neighbor over a Sandy related issue, click here to find out information about free mediation services to resolve the dispute.

Benefits Plus: For information on some government benefit programs in response to Hurricane Sandy,  click here


NYC Restoration Centers: NYC Restore helps New Yorkers in the areas most affected by Hurricane Sandy get access to important information and services to help them recover. The types of assistance provided include NYC Rapid Repairs, food and nutrition assistance, temporary housing information, health and medical benefits, business restoration, counseling services, financial assistance, and personal records and information. Click here for more information.   


Locations Where Prepared Food is Available: To find a list of locations in Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island where prepared food is available, click here.  


Brooklyn Sandy Relief Legal Clinic: The Brooklyn Sandy Relief Legal Clinic will be staffed by disaster relief-trained law students and volunteer attorneys, who will offer storm-related legal and application assistance in regards to insurance claims, FEMA applications and appeals, public assistance, and housing.

Walk-ins are welcome.


Brooklyn Borough Hall

209 Joralemon Street

Room 320

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone:  718-802-3890

Email:   sandyrelief@brooklynbp.nyc.gov 

Hours of Operation:

Tuesdays: 1- 4PM

Thursdays: 9AM-12PM


Health Department: As the recovery from Hurricane Sandy continues, the Health Department urges New Yorkers to protect themselves from health and injury risks during cleanup.


 Housing Recovery Resources  


Prepare Your Homes for the Winter: Hurricane Sandy has left many homes without heat just as temperatures are dipping below freezing. If your home will be without heat for an extended period of time you should consider hiring a qualified plumber who can safely "winterize" the home by shutting off water and draining the pipes until the heating system can be restored. Failure to do this could result in burst pipes and thousands of dollars in additional water damage.


SBA Disaster Loan Available for Homeowners: The SBA is offering disaster loans for individual unit owners of Homeowner Associations (HOAs), Planned Unit Developments (PUDs), condominiums, and other common-interest developments. Click here for more information.

NY State Housing Choice Vouchers:
NY State's Housing

choice vouchers are available to assist very low income residents who have been permanently displaced. For more information, click here.  


NYC Housing Recovery will make a pool of vacant apartments available exclusively for New Yorkers that have been displaced from their homes because of Hurricane Sandy. Displaced households can register with the City for assistance in finding short or long-term housing. After completing a profile on the NYC Housing Recovery portal, people who want help finding an apartment will be contacted by a representative from the City to help match them with one of the approximately 2,500 available apartments which include income-restricted and market rate units. Learn more  


Property Tax Relief Initiative: New property tax relief initiatives to assist New Yorkers whose homes were severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy have been announced . To provide immediate relief, the Finance Department, with the authorization of the City Council, will issue an interest-free extension on the next property tax bill for residential properties damaged beyond repair or in need of extensive structural repairs before they can be re-inhabited. The grace period will postpone payments due on Jan. 1, 2013 to Apr. 1, 2013. For more information, click here.


Water Bills Suspended for Properties Severely Damaged by Sandy: Mayor Bloomberg and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter H. Strickland Jr., announced that the City will temporarily suspend water bills for customers whose properties were severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Residential and commercial properties that the Department of Buildings has tagged red or yellow will not have to make a monthly water bill payment until June 1, 2013. Click here to read more.  


Insurance Information Institute:

For answers to questions regarding insurance policies and claims, check out www.iii.org, a great resource for improving the public's understanding of insurance.  


Recovery Resources for Non-Profits and Businesses  


NYC Nonprofit Recovery Loan Program: The City has introduced a new recovery program that will provide at least $26 million of interest-free loans to help nonprofit organizations rebuild after Sandy. Additionally, pro-bono lawyers will provide legal service to impacted nonprofits. Click here to read more.


$5.5 million Matching Grant Program for Small Businesses: The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City and the Partnership for New York City is providing $5.5 million in grant money for small businesses. The matching grants are designed to provide additional financial assistance for local businesses already seeking low-interest loans through the city's existing Emergency Loan Fund. Click here for more information.    


Hurricane Sandy Business Recovery Information: New York City, including the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYEDC) is coordinating a set of services to help New York businesses in recovering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. For an outline of available assistance, click here.


Volunteer and Donations


Below are resources that you can use to support local relief efforts:  

Cash Donations: Cash donations are the best way to support relief efforts.  To give cash donations visit the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.You can also text NYCFUND to 50555 to give $10 to the Mayor's Fund that will help provide essential aid and supplies to New Yorkers in need. 


Volunteer: Visit the NYC Service website for the most up-to-date volunteer opportunities throughout the five boroughs.


AidMatrix: If you are a company or organization with access to a large volume of items and would like to donate them to the disaster relief effort, visit the AidMatrix portal.  At this site you can match a posted need or make a general offer of supplies. 


Other Resources 


Hurricane Sandy FEMA Related Jobs: For a listing of FEMA jobs in New York that have come about after Hurricane Sandy, click here

Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge:
Payphone availability remains critical in times of emergency, as seen by an increase in their usage after Hurricane Sandy. Reinvent Payphones is an opportunity to shape the future design and functionality of payphones and their surrounding enclosures.This challenge launched by Mayor Bloomberg has the goal of rallying urban designers, planners, technologists, and policy experts to create physical and virtual prototypes that imagine the future of New York City's public pay telephones. Click here to read more.