City opens centers to help homeowners apply for hurricane relief

September 22, 2011 Editorial Staff
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The New York City Office of Emergency Management has notified usthat they will be opening five Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC), onein each borough, effective Monday.

Individuals, businesses, and non-profits affected by HurricaneIrene may be eligible for Federal Disaster Aid. The DRCs will bestaffed by FEMA disaster recovery specialists who can provideinformation and answer questions about hurricane-relatedassistance. The centers will be open Monday – Friday, 9 AM to 5 PMfrom September 26, 2011 through October 7, 2011 at the followinglocations:

Kings County

Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

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Bronx County

Bronx Borough Hall, 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY

Queens County

Dept. of Finance-Financial Business Center, 144-06 94th Street,Jamaica, NY

Richmond County

Staten Island Armory, 321 Manor Road, Staten Island, NY

FEMA and New York State strongly recommend New Yorkers registerwith FEMA before visiting a DRC:

• To register by phone, call the FEMA registration line at800-621-3362.

• To register online, visit, orregister by web-enabled mobile device or smartphone at www.fema.govand follow the link to apply online for federal assistance.

• For those with speech or hearing disabilities, use the TTYnumber, 800-462-7585.

Registrants should have the following information ready:

• the address of the damaged property

• names of those living in the household

• a general description of the damage

• the Social Security Account number of any family member livingin the home

• the extent of insurance coverage

• other information needed to expedite the process

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) specialists will alsobe present at the DRC to explain the low-interest loan packagesavailable to individuals, non-profits, and businesses of any size.These loans are for the repair or replacement of real estate and/orpersonal property damaged by the storm and related flooding. Peoplewho register with FEMA may be sent a loan application from the SBA.No one is obligated to take out a loan. Applicants have six monthsafter approval to decide whether to accept the loan.

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants fortransportation, medical and dental, and funeral expenses do notrequire individuals to apply for an SBA loan. Applicants whoreceive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA to beeligible for FEMA assistance that covers personal property, vehiclerepair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

New York State will also provide the following services at theDRCs:

• information about state disaster aid and help for people whoare unemployed or displaced from their job as a result of Irene

• information about state-funded programs for seniorcitizens

• access to forms and services pertaining to motor-vehicleissues

• coordination and assistance with any needs for daycareservices

• access to MyBenefits pre-screening tool

In addition, New York City will provide mental health servicesand assistance for individuals with long-term housing or othersocial service needs.

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