On Monday, November 19, I am hosting information sessions in both Manhattan and Queens on disaster relief for small businesses with federal and city agencies. Click here for more information.
New York took an enormous hit Monday from Hurricane Sandy. The combination of the storm’s wind and flooding and the aftermath of lost power and snarled transit has dealt a blow to our city.
My district, which currently encompasses the East Side of Manhattan and parts of Western Queens, had its share of problems. Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village lost power, and vast swaths of the Lower East Side and Long Island City were hit with both floods and power losses. Hospitals along the East River, including NYU-Langone Medical Center and Bellevue Medical Center were flooded, lost power, and had to be evacuated.
Citywide, recovery efforts are now underway but it is going to take a significant period of time to repair this much damage. But ours is a city of grit and strength, and we will get through it together—as we have in the past, in situations far worse than this.
I and my staff will spare no effort in providing you with help and assistance. Contact us with any concerns you may have, either by phone at the numbers in the foot of this page, or using the “Contact Me” function on the tab above right or here: http://maloney.house.gov/contact-me
Below are resources that I hope you will find helpful in managing your own recovery efforts.
Federal disaster aid:
Federal disaster aid is available for individuals in the form of grants and for businesses as loans. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. IF YOUR BUSINESS OR HOME SUFFERED DAMAGE, REGISTER FOR FEMA SUPPORT.
Registration is not that complicated, but if you don't register you can't qualify. To register for federal assistance, go to: http://www.fema.gov/do-i-qualify-assistance or visit www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) for more information.
Reporting Storm Damage: In order to qualify for disaster relief assistance, New York City must estimate the storm’s total effect on city residents and employees. To report damage to your home or business sustained by Sandy go to: http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/nycsevereweather/damage_form.shtml
Subway service status reports are posted here: http://www.mta.info/nyct/maps/submap.htm
A map of post-storm subway service can be found here (pdf): http://www.mta.info/sites/default/files/pdf/SubwayRecoveryMap_0.pdf
Con Edison’s Storm Central page is here: http://www.coned.com/sm/default.asp
Their outage map is here: http://www.coned.com/sm/outageinfo.asp#
For the latest on public school closings go to http://schools.nyc.gov/default.htm
Hospitals and Health Care Facilities:
Bellevue Hospital and Emergency Room, New York Downtown Hospital, Manhattan VA Hospital, New York University Medical Center, and Coney Island Hospital and Emergency Room are closed.
Open and functioning hospitals (as of Friday 11/2) include Mount Sinai Medical Center, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, Beth Israel Medical Center, Lenox Hill Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, St. Luke’s Hospital Center
Heat and Hot Water problems should be directed to: http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/tenants/heat-and-hot-water.shtml
76 New York City shelters will continue to stay open until those displaced by the storm can return home or find alternative housing. Water bottles and containers may be filled up with water from any of these sites as no New York City water has been deemed contaminated. Those shelters can be found online at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hurricane_shelters.html
The American Red Cross has opened several shelters in the New York City area, providing bottled water and shelter. Those shelters can be found online at: http://www.redcross.org/find-help/shelter
Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance:
Anyone unemployed due to Hurricane Sandy is immediately eligible and can submit a claim to the Department of Labor. The criterion for collecting disaster assistance is broader than for collecting regular unemployment benefits.
Specifically, an individual can collect disaster assistance in any of the following cases:
- Injured in the disaster and unable to work, whether the person is an employee or self-employed.
- Workplace is damaged, or destroyed, or the person cannot work because of the disaster.
- Transportation to work is not available because of the disaster.
- Cannot get to work because must travel through the affected area, which is impossible due to disaster.
- Planned to begin working, but cannot because of the disaster.
- Derived most of income from areas affected by the disaster, and business is closed or inoperable because of the disaster.
Examples of self-employment include small business owners, independent taxi drivers, vendors, independent commercial fisherman, and farmers.
To apply for unemployment benefits or disaster unemployment assistance, those affected by the storm and have lost their job or income should call the Telephone Claims Center (TCC) at 1-888-209-8124, or 1-877-358-5306 if they live out of state. Applicants should answer the questions to indicate they lost their job due to Hurricane Sandy. Deadline to apply is December 3, 2012.
Resources for Seniors:
Seniors affected by Hurricane Sandy, like citizens of all ages, can apply for grants to cover temporary housing and home repairs, medical, dental, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.
Individuals can also apply for low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses. Support is also available for income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans benefits and social security matters.
For Updates or Assistance from NYC Government, call 311 or text questions to 311-692. For FEMA Disaster Assistance, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or go to http://www.disasterassistance.gov
Meals and Drinking Water. Free packaged meals and drinking water are being made available at Distribution Centers listed below until electricity is restored. The Centers are currently open: Thursday from 3-6 pm, Friday from 7:30am-12:30pm, Saturday and Sunday from 9am-1pm. Bring your own bag to carry food and water; supplies are limited
- Astoria: Hallets Cove – Vernon Blvd. and 30th Rd
- Chelsea: Chelsea Park – West 27th St. between 9th and 10th Aves
- Chinatown: Confucious Plaza – Central Plaza on Division St.
- Lower East Side: Vladic Playground – East 10th St. between C & D Aves
- Al Smith Playground – Catherine St. between Cherry and Monroe Sts
- Hamilton Fish – Pitt St. and East Houston St
- Grand Street Settlement – corner of Stanton and Pitt St. (drinking water only)
Refilling Medications: If you are having difficulty obtaining full refills of needed prescriptions, go to the nearest open pharmacy with your prescription bottles and request a 5-day supply.
Hospitals Open for Emergency Care: Manhattan Beth Israel Medical Group at Senior Health at 24th and Eighth Avenue; Westpark Practice temporarily moved to 580 Eighth Avenue.
Visiting Nurse Service of New York: Call: 800-675-0391 or go to www.vsny.org
Hurricane Sandy Helpline for NYS residents: Call: 1-888-769-7243; 1-518-485-1159
American Red Cross: Call: 1-800-RED-CROSS/1-800-733-2767; and go to www.redcross.org
Assistance for Small Businesses:
The following Federal Aid Programs for State of New York Disaster Recovery are available:
1. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides loans for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance, and for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster. To learn more, contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.disasterassistance.gov/ or by calling (800) 621-3362.
2. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides loans to individuals, families and businesses in an area whose property has been damaged or destroyed following a Presidential-declared disaster (such as Hurricane Sandy), and whose losses are not covered by insurance. Loans are available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully covered by insurance. And loans up to $2 million are available for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster's adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million.
To learn more, contact the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955. To apply for aid go to http://www.disasterassistance.gov/ or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)
Here are some additional sources of assistance that are coordinated by the New York City Department of Small Business Services and the New York City Economic Development Corporation:
1. For small to mid-sized businesses that are facing business interruption, NYC Business Emergency Loans will be available, with loans capped at $10,000. For information, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/nycbiz/html/contact/manager.shtml or call 311.
2. For businesses facing displacement, the City is making short-term “swing” office space available at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, free of charge for 30 days. EDC has about 40,000 square feet of space at the Terminal that is now available for this use. Contact them at this link: http://www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/nycbiz/html/contact/manager.shtml
3. For businesses requiring other emergency assistance the SBS Business Outreach Team and Emergency Response Unit is available to help impacted small businesses. Contact them at this link: http://www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/nycbiz/html/contact/manager.shtml
4. For mid-to-large-sized businesses that need to undertake rebuilding, an emergency sales tax letter from New York City Industrial Development Authority (IDA) is available to allow businesses to waive payment of New York City and New York State sales taxes on materials purchased for rebuilding. Please contact Shin Mitsugi at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
For questions that are unanswered here, New Yorkers can call 311 or text 311 at 311-692 to have any questions answered.
311 can respond to any queries via text message.