Here are some important links about FEMA, Transitional Sheltering Assistance, Disaster Recovery Centers, and Points of Distribution sites.
* Here is the link to FEMA’s multilingual webpage: http://www.fema.gov/all-languages. Each language page contains flyers, brochures, tri-folds, press releases and public service announcements tailored to provide disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation information. Additionally, here is the link to the “Help After Disaster Guide” in a variety of languages: http://www.fema.gov/help-after-disaster.
* Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey can apply for assistance online at www.disasterassistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers is operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.
* Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) has been approved in New York and New Jersey for eligible disaster survivors who have a continuing need for shelter because they are unable to return to their homes for an extended period of time. This initiative is intended to provide short-term lodging for eligible disaster survivors whose communities are either uninhabitable or inaccessible due to disaster-related damages. For more information, disaster survivors should call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
* Disaster Recovery Centers will continue to open in the hardest hit areas to provide information to survivors. Currently, a total of 63 Disaster Recovery Centers are open in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. Of that amount, 32 Disaster Recovery Centers are open in New York, 24 in New Jersey and seven in Connecticut and more continue to open. Specialists from the state, FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be on hand to answer questions and provide information on the types of assistance available to survivors. Additionally, language services are available at these centers. To find a disaster recovery center location, check out the disaster recovery center locator at www.FEMA.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or by mobile phone at m.fema.gov. You may also text DRC and a Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA) For example, if you lived in Atlantic City, NJ you would text: DRC 08401. The content is updated constantly, so be sure to check for updates, changes and new locations.
* In support of New York and New Jersey, FEMA has transferred resources such as food, water, and fuel to the states to distribute to individuals at Points of Distribution (POD) sites. The sites are centralized points where supplies are delivered and the public travels to the site to pick up commodities following a disaster or emergency. The state, in coordination with local governments, identifies the location of the PODs which are currently operating in hard-hit disaster areas. Individuals should visit local emergency management websites or contact their local emergency management office for more information. Publicly available links, maintained by state and local governments, for areas affected by Sandy include: http://www.nyc.gov/html/index.html; www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/foodandwater.html; http://nj211.org/hurricane.cfm; http://statenislandusa.com/; http://www.governor.ct.gov and http://www.governor.wv.gov/Pages/StormUpdate.aspx
* The FEMA smartphone app provides further safety tips and displays open shelter information at www.fema.gov/smartphone-app. Sharing information using social media tools is also a good way for residents to stay informed. Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.
* Next Steps After Registration:
- Applicants who register with FEMA will be given a personal application number. It is important that they write this number down and keep it secure and handy for future use. Applicants will need to provide this number later to the FEMA Housing Inspector.
- The applicant will soon be contacted by a FEMA Housing Inspector who will make an appointment to come see their damaged property.
- The inspection generally takes 30-40 minutes but can be shorter and consists of a general inspection of damaged areas of your home and review of your records. – There is no fee for the inspection.
- FEMA always warns disaster survivors to be watchful for fraud. The disaster survivor applicant should make sure the inspector has proper identification, if they are concerned about anyone representing themselves as a FEMA employee, they can call the FEMA Hotline (1-800-621-3362) and confirm the inspector’s identity.
* What To Expect During a FEMA Housing Inspector Visit:
Someone 18 years of age who lived in the household prior to the disaster must be present for the scheduled appointment. The inspector will ask to see:
- Photo identification
- Proof of ownership/occupancy of damaged residence (structural insurance, tax bill, mortgage payment book/utility bill)
- Insurance documents: home and/or auto (structural insurance/auto declaration sheet)
- List of household occupants living in residence at time of disaster
- All disaster related damages to both real and personal property