President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in New York City, New Jersey and Long Island, which bore the brunt of the sea surge from the deadly superstorm that lashed the East Coast on Monday and left millions in the dark.
The declaration makes federal funding available to people in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York as well as New Jersey.
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.
Federal funding is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, for the the city and Long Island, as well as hazard mitigation measures statewide.
W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Michael F. Byrne as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed. Michael Byrne has been named FEMA's coordinating office for federal recovery operations in the area.
FEMA said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.
The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST seven days a week until further notice.