Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Deputy Administrator Richard Serino and Red Cross President Gail McGovern today traveled to Staten Island, N.Y. where they met with state and local officials, first responders and volunteers, and surveyed ongoing response and recovery efforts to Hurricane Sandy. Secretary Napolitano reiterated the ongoing support of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FEMA, and the rest of the federal family as local communities continue to respond to and recover from the storm.
"Our hearts go out to the individuals, families, and communities who have lost lives or suffered injury, lost homes or businesses because of this very destructive storm," said Secretary Napolitano. "The federal government, including FEMA and all of DHS, is here to support the needs of local communities in their recovery -- and we will be here for the duration."
Secretary Napolitano, Deputy Administrator Serino and Red Cross President McGovern visited the disaster recovery center at Susan Wagner High School, the Red Cross/National Guard point of distribution at Miller Field, and met with U.S. Representative Michael Grimm, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, state and local officials, first responders and volunteers to discuss coordination among federal, state and local partners on response and recovery efforts throughout the region.
Earlier today, as a result of impacts caused by Hurricane Sandy, Secretary Napolitano issued a temporary, blanket waiver of the Jones Act to immediately allow additional oil tankers coming from the Gulf of Mexico to enter Northeastern ports, to provide additional fuel resources to the region. Secretary Napolitano's action immediately allows additional ships, that would otherwise be barred, to begin shipping petroleum products from the Gulf of Mexico to Northeastern ports, increasing the access to fuel in the storm damaged region. The waiver will remain in effect through November 13th.
President Obama declared a major disaster for New York on Oct. 30. This makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Staten Island in Richmond County, as well as Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Suffolk, Queens, Westchester and Rockland counties.
This federal assistance includes 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. Those in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov, by mobile device at m.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA). The number is toll free and will operate from 7 am to 10 pm seven days a week.
For more information, visit www.fema.gov.