Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved a 15-day extension, for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, to apply for federal disaster assistance. Applications must be submitted by April 13.
Individuals can register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov. They may also call the FEMA helpline 800-621-3362 (Voice, 7-1-1/Relay) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. The helpline is available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT, seven days a week.
"I applaud FEMA for extending the deadline and allowing for more families to apply for aid. People lost their homes, some lost family members. Businesses are on the edge of bankruptcy and local governments are buckling under the massive burden of rebuilding towns and cities on credit. There have been so many challenges for people victimized by this storm that a few extra days could go a long way for them. The amount of damage was so widespread and deep, there is still much work to be done. Now more people will be able to recover and get their lives back in order," said Rep. Engel.
Registering with FEMA opens the possibility of disaster assistance provided by FEMA and its federal partner, the Small Business Administration (SBA). Registration with FEMA might lead to eligibility for future grants or assistance.
According to information supplied by FEMA, federal assistance can include:
Rental assistance: Temporary rental assistance is provided by FEMA to assist homeowners until damaged homes can be repaired or rebuilt and to help renters until they can return to former rentals or relocate to a new residence.
Home Repair: Grants are available to homeowners to repair disaster-related damage that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to make the home safe, sanitary and functional.
Other Needs: Grants are available for necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster. This includes medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation, moving and storage and other expenses authorized by law.