Thiele: Deadline to Apply for FEMA Aid After Hurricane Sandy is March 29

Hurricane Sandy ravaged our community and left countless families struggling to rebuild. While the rest of the country has returned to business as usual, the East End is still living in the aftermath of this powerful storm.

The good news is, there is help out there, and it’s not too late to get it. The deadline to apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance for Hurricane Sandy victims is March 29. FEMA disaster assistance is financial or direct assistance to individuals and families whose property has been damaged or destroyed as a result of Hurricane Sandy, and whose losses are not covered by insurance.i

FEMA assistance is available to anybody affected by Hurricane Sandy – homeowners and renters alike. You can apply online at, via a smartphone at, or by phone at 800-621-3362. Hearing- or speech-impaired residents may call TTY 800-462-7585. Or, for more information, visit

Whether applying online from your computer or smartphone, or over the phone through a FEMA call center, you should have a pen and paper and the following information ready:

  • Your Social Security number;
  • Current and pre-disaster address;
  • A telephone number where you can be contacted;
  • Insurance information;
  • Total household annual income;
  • A routing and account number from your bank (only necessary if you want to have disaster assistance funds transferred directly into your bank account); and
  • A description of your losses that were caused by the disaster.ii

In light of the increasing frequency of natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy that have left many communities across New York State devastated, I am supporting new legislation that would create the Homeowners Bill of Rights to ensure insurance companies inform homeowners of their insurance policy’s specific details (A.2287) and a second measure that would create a more timely and thorough response from insurance companies in cases of disaster (A.1092).

Our community continues to rise in the face of this disaster, and together, we will become a brighter and better East End. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns regarding this or any other important community issue, don’t hesitate to contact my office at 537.2583 or via email at