FEMA Assistance Available

East Hampton Town Highway Superintendent Stephen Lynch and Supervisor Bill Wilkinson visited beaches in Montauk on Sunday directing equipment operators to pile sand to block potential entrance points for the anticipated surge of water. Morgan McGivern

    President Obama declared New York State a major disaster area this week, making municipalities and individuals in Suffolk and other metropolitan-area counties eligible for federal funding. Requests will be prioritized by federal agencies, with health and safety and infrastructure needs placed first.
    Assistance to residents can include grants for temporary housing for those whose residences are unlivable, funds for home repairs and to replace essential household items not covered by insurance, or to help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation, and other needs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and unemployment payments for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the hurricane and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as those who are self-employed. 
    State and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations may be eligible for federal funds to assist with the costs of debris removal and emergency measures to protect health and safety.
    Residents and business owners who sustained losses can apply for assistance by registering online at disasterassistance.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA.
    East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson said yesterday that costs to the town for emergency response, including road rebuilding efforts, would be significant. “I would not hesitate to say it would be, minimally, hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said. The efforts were necessary regardless of whether the town will be reimbursed with federal money, he noted. Mr. Wilkinson said he had appointed Charlene Kagel, an accountant for the town, to compile photographs, receipts, and other data for submission to FEMA.
    The supervisor said he wished to give “accolades to the entire municipal management” for their pre- and post-hurricane efforts.