Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Information

November 1, 2012
Due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, Assemblyman Simanowitz is providing the following information for use in procuring assistance and information. Of course, you can always contact our office directly at 718-969-1508.

Important Telephone Numbers:

  • 311 in NYC (call 911 for emergencies only)
  • Hurricane Sandy Helpline for NYS Residents 1-888-769-7243/1-518-485-1159
  • Outside of New York City, residents can call 211
  • Red Cross National Toll Free Number: 1-800-RED CROSS
  • Con Edison: 1-800-75-CONED to report loss of electricity

Sign up for information:

  • Visit NY-ALERT online at:
  • Many states along the Mid-Atlantic and the East Coast have shelters open in response to Hurricane Sandy. Search for an open shelter by texting SHELTER + a zip code to 43362 (4FEMA). Here’s an example text message you can send: Shelter 01234 (standard rates apply)
  • Latest breaking news via New York City’s Office of Emergency Management
  • NYC OEM provides a summary for access to shelter locations, power outage information, mass transit information and disaster assistance.
  • Report Damage from Sandy to Home or Business
    As featured on the City’s Severe Weather page, in order to qualify for disaster relief assistance, the City must estimate the storm's total effect on city residents and employees. This website form asks you to answer questions about the extent of damage to your property.
  • Interactive Map Feature
    Directs residents to nearby Red Cross shelters and City Evacuation centers based upon zip code information provided as well as power outage information
  • Disaster Recovery Centers
    This page allows the user to search for nearby disaster recovery centers and provides information for individuals and affected businesses to begin applying for assistance as soon as Wednesday, October 31, 2012 by registering online at, by web enabled mobile device at 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. EDT seven days a week until further notice.

Automobile and Property Damage:

If your car and/or property have sustained damage, you should contact your homeowners, auto, and renters insurance companies as soon as possible to file a claim.

For FEMA Individual Assistance Grants, please call 800-621-3362 or register online at

NYC is eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance Grants. The President declared a federal disaster area, freeing up federal funds in the counties of Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), Nassau, New York, Richmond (Staten Island), Suffolk and Queens.

The toll-free telephone numbers are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) Monday through Sunday until further notice. Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number, Social Security number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.

What do Individual Assistance Grants cover?

Disaster assistance is financial or direct assistance to individuals and families whose property has been damaged or destroyed as a result of a federally-declared disaster, and whose losses are not covered by insurance. It is meant to help with critical expenses that cannot be covered in other ways. This ssistance is not intended to restore damaged property to its condition before the disaster.

Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families can include:

  • Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.
  • Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.
  • Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.
  • Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.
  • Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.
  • Loans up to $2 million 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's adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million.
  • Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.
  • Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans benefits and social security matters.

Business Recovery Information:

  • New York City, including the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), is coordinating a set of services to assist small businesses in recovering from Hurricane Sandy. For more information, please call 311 and ask for NYC Business Solutions. Learn more.