Tips: – Disaster Assistance: Helping Yourself and Helping Others logoFEMA logo

Coalition members:

Our update this week is all about helping ourselves and helping others. There are still so many working toward recovery in the aftermath of Sandy. Please read on to learn helpful ways to assist and get assistance.

We also ask you to continue to share information in the following ways:

  1. Like and share FEMA’s Facebook page posts;
  2. Follow and retweet @ReadyDotGov tweets; and
  3. Download and share these useful apps: FEMA – AndroidApple, and Blackberry
  4. Forward this email to your friends and neighbors
INVITE friend


The SBA, in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is offering low-interest loans to help small businesses rebuild. Information is available on the SBA website.


Families and individuals in declared counties within New York and New Jersey, who are registered for federal disaster assistance and seeking rental resources, can search through hundreds of listings on the FEMA Housing Portal. The FEMA Housing Portal consolidates rental resources identified and provided by a variety of federal agencies and also lists rental properties provided by private organizations and property owners willing to help their neighbors during these difficult times.

Other ways that FEMA is helping include:

  • Transitional Housing Assistance
  • Housing Rental Assistance

FEMA is also bringing in contractors to perform basic repairs to thousands of storm-damaged homes in New York. These repairs will include patching holes in walls and roofs, replacing doors, running temporary electrical lines, fixing electrical meters and even repairing plumbing. Only residents in federally-declared counties, who have registered for FEMA assistance, are eligible to participate.

The first step to receive housing assistance is by registering for disaster assistance. To register for assistance by phone, please call toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA, or 1-800-621-3362. An easy, online registration process also remains available anytime, or by using your web-enabled mobile device at


As of earlier this week, 30 Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) are open in New York, 23 in New Jersey and seven in Connecticut and more continue to open.  FEMA is working closely with state and local officials in the hardest hit areas to identify future DRC sites that are accessible to those who need help and are large enough to handle the full suite of services. Do you or someone you know need a disaster recovery center location?

Here are four easy ways to find one:

  1. Search on your computer
  2. Search on your mobile phone at
  3. Text DRC and your Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA) For example, if you live in Atlantic City, NJ you would text: DRC 08401 (standard data rates apply)
  4. Use the FEMA smartphone app and locate a DRC on the map


What do you do if you receive a letter from FEMA denying your request for disaster assistance? First of all, it does not necessarily mean your case is closed. Your letter tells you how to appeal the decision and what additional information you need to provide to FEMA, in order for your case to be reviewed again. It is important to note that survivors must submit an appeal within 60 days of the date on the determination letter they received.

To speak with someone directly about your particular situation, you may also call the helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 or visit a Disaster Recovery Center. Either way, you can get more information about what to do next and give FEMA information that might change the determination about your eligibility to receive federal assistance. Learn more here.


Finally, with Thanksgiving less than a week away, we wanted to share a story about veterans helping survivors on the road to recovery.

With so many New Yorkers facing the overwhelming and exhausting task of cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy, a group of former veterans known as Team Rubicon have become very popular. And rightly so.

“We were exhausted after the first few days,” said Rockaway homeowner Barbara Millet, “but they just showed up. My mother-in-law calls them angels.”

Read the whole story and watch the video here.


Editor’s note: in the newsletter that was sent last week titled: “Are You Prepared for Winter Weather Storms?” it should be noted that FEMA does not name storms. FEMA uses only the National Weather Service as its official source for storm names.

Updated: November 16, 2012 — 1:53 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 24th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural southern Wyoming, just below the continental divide (long story, that...). Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, many social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

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