Local folks looking for help returning to normalcy after Hurricane Sandy now have the opportunity to apply for assistance from the federal government.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that Putnam—along with Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties—has been added to the major federal disaster declaration for the storm.
"This designation will allow residents to seek assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for losses they may have sustained during Hurricane Sandy," Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. "The county is now working with local municipalities and New York State to secure Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC)."
Several sections of the surrounding area received disaster status Oct. 30. Officials added Rockland and Westchester counties to the list Nov. 2.
Many of the counties named on the list are eligible for individual and public assistance. Officials said Monday that Putnam and the three other counties are eligible for individual aid only.
"I thank President Obama for adding these four counties to the major disaster declaration," Cuomo said. "The destructive effects of Hurricane Sandy are far-reaching and will require the maximum amount of federal assistance so these communities can rebuild and recover."
Cuomo's office says disaster survivors have three options when it comes to applying for assistance. Here are the steps they outlined:
- Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing-impaired. Toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice.
- If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
- Register online at www.disasterassistance.gov. You can also do so via web-enabled phone or tablet at m.fema.gov.
“While we are truly grateful that no lives were lost during this historic storm, we are seeing that many of our residents have sustained tremendous personal property damage," Odell said. "Having this designation will allow individual homeowners to apply for the federal assistance dollars to begin their recovery.”