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Editorial January 31, 2013  RSS feed

Clock’s Ticking On Hurricane Relief

Dear Editor:

Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our community; nearly 85 percent of my district in Southern Queens and the Rockaways were damaged or destroyed by Sandy. This left an innumerable amount of families struggling to pick up the pieces of their lives and begin the daunting rebuilding process.

While the rest of the country has returned to business as usual, we are still living with the harsh realities and affects that come with the results of this catastrophic storm.

Fortunately, 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 January 28. 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.

FEMA assistance is available to anybody affected by Hurricane Sandy—homeowners and renters alike. You can apply online at DisasterAssistance. gov, via a smartphone at m.fema.gov, or by phone at 1-800- 621-3362. Hearing- or speech-impaired residents may call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Or, for more information, visit www.fema.gov/applyassistance.

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.

In light of the calamitous and unprecedented damage, and the increasing frequency of natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, that has left our community and others devastated, I have sponsored new legislation such as, the New York City Hurricane Sandy Storm Assessment Relief Act (A.39) which would provide property tax relief to homeowners. I have also sponsored 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).

Southern Queens and the Rockaways continue to rise above Sandy’s destruction, and together we will move forward as a community, we will rebuild stronger and better than before.

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 1-718-641-8755 or 1-718-945-9550 or via email at goldfederp@assembly.state.ny.us.

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder
23rd Assembly District

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