Disaster Unemployment Assistance & Federal Disaster Assistance
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program provides unemployment benefits and re-employment services to individuals who have become unemployed because of major disasters. Benefits begin with the date the individual was unemployed due to the disaster incident and can extend up to 26 weeks after the Presidential declaration date.
These benefits are made available to individuals not covered by other unemployment compensation programs, such as self-employed, farmers, migrant and seasonal workers, and those who have insufficient quarters to qualify for other unemployment compensation.
Although most States have a provision that an individual must be able and available to accept employment opportunities comparable to the employment the individual held before the disaster, not all States require an individual to search for work.
All unemployed individuals must register with the State's employment services office before they can receive DUA benefits.
Residents who have sustained losses can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.
Federal Disaster Assistance
Anyone affected by Sandy (homeowners, renters, and businesses) can apply for federal disaster assistance. Register at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling FEMA at 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Before you call, be sure to have the following information ready:
- Address of affected property
- Insurance information
- Social Security number
Hurricane Sandy Business Recovery Information
New York City, including the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), is coordinating a set of services to assist small businesses in recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Below is an outline of available programs and relevant contact information. New York City Business Assistance Programs For small- to mid-sized businesses
that have experienced business interruption - An emergency loan for businesses will be available, patterned after similar programs deployed in past emergencies. Loans will be capped at $10,000. Please click this link
to contact an NYC Business Solutions Account Manager or call 311 and ask for NYC Business Emergency Loan. For mid- to large-sized businesses
that need to undertake rebuilding - An emergency sales tax letter from New York City Industrial Development Authority (IDA) will be available allowing businesses to avoid payment of New York City and New York State sales taxes on materials purchased for rebuilding. IDA will also waive all fees and, while following State law, look to streamline its normal procedure. This program is expected to offer economic benefits to reconstruction projects costing $500,000 or more. Please contact Shin Mitsugi at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on this program. For any business that is temporarily displaced
from its space - Short-term "swing" office space at Brooklyn Army Terminal available free of charge for the next 30 days. NYCEDC has approximately 40,000 square feet of warehouse space at the Terminal that can be used for this purpose. Please click this link
to contact an NYC Business Solutions Account Manager or call 311 and ask for NYC Business Solutions. For any business in need of other emergency assistance
- The SBS Business Outreach Team and Emergency Response Unit's Large Scale Response Team will be deployed after the storm to help all impacted small businesses. This team is currently on-call for any storm-related business inquiries and is closely coordinating with the NYC Office of Emergency Management. Please click this link
to contact an NYC Business Solutions Account Manager or call 311 and ask for NYC Business Solutions. Federal Aid Programs for Disaster Recovery
for information from the Federal Small Business Administration on disaster recovery assistance.
Please visit the NYC Business Solutions official website for full details and more information.
|Mayor Bloomberg Announcements - Nov 2, 2012|
Chinatown restaurant opens for business in candle light. (Photo Credit: LA Times)
: red means it is not safe to enter; yellow means inspection is required; green means it is safe to enter.Food distribution sites open around the city Saturday 1-5PM. For latest list, please click HERE.AT&T
has placed pods for cell service and Wifi near food distribution centers.
FEMA, National Guard, and Salvation Army have played integral role in food distribution
. Mayor's Fund to Advance New York has raised nearly $10M. Call 311 to donate or visit www.nyc.gov
Goldman Sachs will loan money to victims in Zone A, ranging from $5k-20k.
Please give blood to Blood Center - www.nybloodcenter.org
East River Ferry service resumed. Staten Island Ferry at partial service, full service tomorrow.
Holland Tunnel is open with restrictions - commercial vehicles and buses.
Gas supply chain has been bottlenecked. Buckeye Pipeline that feeds city gas supply is back online.
Health inspectors are visiting places where food could have been affected by storm water.
Currently 5,500 people are in 15 evacuation shelters. Most with special medical needs.
School resumes Monday, but around 40 schools may not be able to resume until Wednesday because of damage. Check 311 for schools that are not ready to open.
Majority parks and playgrounds to open this weekend.
Beaches and waterways remain closed.
Sanitation collecting garbage where possible. Recycling is suspended.
More Hurricane Sandy Photos
|Tree Fallen in Chinatown, Photo: Lori Zimmer|
|Fallen Awning on Bowery, Photo: Lori Zimmer|
|Hydrants left open for residents without water. (Photo by opencitymag.com)|
|Free & fee-based "Charging Stations" pop up all over Chinatown (Photo by: opencitymag.com)|
|Chinatown residents forms long line for supplies. (Photo by: opencitymag.com)|
Chinatown BID assists with aid distribution in Chinatown. (Photo by: Chinatown BID)
Hurricane aid distribution site in Chinatown. (Photo by: Chinatown BID)
Chinatown BID's clean street team out in full force today cleaning up Chinatown after Hurricane Sandy.
To see more photos of the Chinatown hurricane cleanup, please go to:
Gas Stations Shortage Ending Soon, Manhattan In-Bound HOV Restrictions Lifted
Hours long lines form at gas stations. (Photo Credit LA Times)
|Bridge Restrictions: Mayor Bloomberg has announced that the 3 passenger requirement restriction on vehicles entering Manhattan will be lifted today. However, the HOV3 restriction will be re-instituted if subways are not up and running by Monday.
Gas Shortage: The city is experiencing a serious gas shortage. This shortage is caused by a lack of electricity in ports that come through Linden, NJ. Although a barge was sent to the city with 65,000 barrels of oil, it is currently stuck in the water. Federal, local, and state authorities, are working together to bring gas into New York City. With the help of these authorities and with an executive order signed by Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg has announced that this gas shortage should end by Monday. Public Transportation: The E train remains suspended. Most bus services are running. Subway services remain limited for certain lines and you can check the latest up-to-date status at: www.mta.info Please allow sufficient time for travel, as the subways could be very crowded.
- All PATH train service remain suspended until further notice.
- LaGuardia, JFK and Newark Airports are opened.
Beware of Scammers
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, storm victims should look out for potential scams. Please be aware that it is the perfect time for scammers to exploit victims during this time of disorder and confusion. If a tree crushed your car or fell on your home, or if your roof or siding blew off, fixing the damage will obviously be a priority. While it's important to make repairs as soon as you can and to help others who are in need, it's also important to keep your head. Council Member Peter Koo have gathered some of the ways to prevent future scams that might jeopardize our lives even more.
1) Home-Improvement Scams - Please makes sure you read all paperwork before you sign anything and check that whoever you work with holds a valid license. Get multiple, written estimates for the work. Check references for any contractor. In addition to verifying whether a contractor is registered under the attorney general's office, look for lawsuits, civil judgments, and complaints to the Better Business Bureau and Online Complaint boards. You can look up information about contracts at http://www.bbb.org/us. Be aware that you need to get approval from your insurer before you start repairing.
2) Charitable Donation Scams - If you want to make sure where your donation/money go, I'd advise you to go on to Better Business Bureau at http://www.bbb.org/us/Charity-Reviews/and look up reviews of charitable organization. This will prevent from your money funneling into administrative fees.
3) Fake Loan Scams - Please make informed decision before you sign anything. Do not get involved with anything if it does not sound right.
4) Used-car Selling Scams - Used-car buyer nationwide may also want to be on the lookout for flood damage in potential buys. Be suspicious of silt residue or a muddy smell, which are good indicators of flooded cars. You can also run a title search to check previous owner's address to see if it was in flooded area.
5) FEMA Assistance Scams - If someone tells you they can file a FEMA claim for you for a fee, it is a scam. If disaster aid becomes available, the application is free, so you should not be paying anyone to prepare paperwork. This scam has been reported following disasters in other parts of the country.
Finally, a response, as Guard Trucks Rations into Downtown
By TheVillager.com (Nov 2, 2012)
In a shaky yet mainly successful start to the National Guard presence in Downtown Manhattan following the impact of Hurricane Sandy, on Thursday night hundreds of desperate residents welcomed a massive delivery of food and water outside a Lower East Side public housing complex.
The Guardsmen were originally scheduled to arrive to deliver the rations at 1 p.m. that day outside Smith Houses on Catherine St., near Cherry St. - but the people lined up waiting for hours for the drop-off became increasingly agitated until the trucks finally arrived around 6:15 p.m.
Despite many harsh words over the lateness of that arrival, the residents certainly appreciated the vital supplies, as their neighborhood continues to sit in darkness.
They were especially trying times for the many Chinatown residents who were left disappointed, and perhaps still hungry, by the National Guard's late arrival on Thursday. A drop-off similar to the one at Smith Houses was scheduled to take place outside Confucius Plaza, on Bowery between Canal and Division Sts., at 1 p.m. that day. But the arrival was reportedly rescheduled to 3 p.m., and then, after hours of miscommunication and speculation, the Guard did not arrive in time to actually hand out rations.
The delivery was in fact made to Confucius Plaza after the Guard finished its work at Smith Houses, but since it was already dark at that point - past 7:30 p.m. - the food and water was reportedly put into storage at the Chinatown building, so it could be handed out the following day.
As people waited for the National Guard to arrive between 3 p.m. and around 5:30 p.m., Silver was joined outside Confucius Plaza by a host of other local politicians and community leaders who have been active in recovery efforts ever since Hurricane Sandy struck on Monday night. Along with Squadron, they included Councilmembers Margaret Chin, Jessica Lappin and Robert Jackson; Community Board 3 Chairperson Gigi Li; and staff members of Asian Americans for Equality, the Chinatown Business Improvement District and the Chinatown Partnership.
While waiting there before he and Silver headed over to Smith Houses, Squadron asserted that the real test of the storm's impact is beginning now. "It's really important to remember that the crisis didn't end when the wind died down, or even when the waters receded," Squadron said, adding that he and his colleagues "pushed the city very hard" to implement in the FEMA ration deliveries via the National Guard.
"It was clear that we needed to be more proactive in dealing with the challenges posed by a long-term blackout in high rises with low-income or senior residents, or people with other needs," he explained. As for future National Guard deliveries to the Downtown area - whether through Sunday or, if Con Edison fails to restore power by then, perhaps longer - it's clear that better communication will be key to reaching residents more swiftly.
The Salvation Army member who was at Confucius Plaza on Thursday - and who was supposed to be the main point of contact between the National Guard and the people at the drop-off site - was at a loss each time the politicians asked him for an update on the status of the delivery. He explained to this newspaper that he could only communicate with Guardsmen at headquarters, rather than those in the actual delivery trucks, thus there was no way for him to reach the Guardsmen driving to the site in order to give them directions or get an accurate estimate for their arrival.
Fifth Precinct police officers who were controlling the crowd outside Confucius Plaza were equally confused. Throughout the evening, they repeated that they were receiving conflicting or false information about the whereabouts of the delivery trucks.
As she stood waiting in vain for the trucks to arrive, assuming that the drivers didn't know the best route to take, Chin vented her frustration.
"People have been waiting a long time for this, and [the National Guard] should have somebody driving with them who knows the city," she said. "At a time like this, how could they send drivers who don't know our streets?
To read the complete version of this article, please click HERE.
Chinatown residents wait in line for National Guard aid distribution in front of Confucius Plaza. (Photo by: Chinatown BID / CPLDC)
After a week without power, first signs of electricity returns to Chinatown on Nov 2, 2012. (Photo by: Chinatown BID / CPLDC)
Chinatown Cleanup After Storm
Chinatown BID clean street team gathers in Chinatown office without electricity or phone service, coordinating and planning immediate cleanup efforts for the community using flashlights and candles on Oct 31, 2012.