Tag Archives: The Federal Emergency Management Agency

Bloomberg suspends height restrictions on buildings following new flood elevation standards


| editorial@queenscourier.com

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has signed an executive order ordering to suspend height restrictions on buildings so they can meet new flood elevation standards following Sandy.

“We are beginning the process of updating our building code and zoning regulations so that new construction meets standards that reflect the best available data about flood and climate risks,” said Bloomberg.

The city also increased the required minimum flood proofing elevation in order for buildings to be able to withstand further damage in the future.

“This limited and targeted suspension of zoning regulations in the flood zones shown on the newly issued FEMA flood-risk maps will help ensure that new and rebuilt homes and businesses and other buildings will be safeguarded from coastal flood waters,” said City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden.

The city recently released data from FEMA about coastal flood risk and giving residents advice on how to rebuild in the case of damage. The updated maps were the first significant change in more than 25 years.

The city plans to work with the federal government to put in assistance programs for those affected by Sandy, helping them to meet the new elevation standards.

 

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FEMA approves $2 million to aid Queens


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Federal aid is on the way for more than a thousand Queens homeowners who applied for help.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved more than $2 million for Queens residents since the county qualified for federal aid last month. Queens was declared a disaster area, allowing individual residents, business owners and non-profits to apply for reimbursement from necessary expenses and compensation from repairs.

The amount approved for individual assistance totaled to $2,051,421, according to FEMA.

The funds may be used to assist residents in finding temporary housing, repairing their damaged homes and vehicles not covered by insurance and replacing personal property — including household items like room furnishings and appliances. The federal aid also covered disaster-related medical and dental costs.

FEMA has received 1,497 applications in Queens so far.

Statewide, FEMA has approved $68,397,939 and has received 35,000 applications.

To register for housing assistance or for more information, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or visit www.disasterassistance.gov. Be sure to have your social security number and insurance information. Queens homeowners have until October 31 to register.

FEMA to help homeowners after hurricane


| mchan@queenscourier.com

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Queens homeowners who suffered damages as a direct result of last month’s Hurricane Irene may now qualify for federal assistance.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared the county a disaster area, allowing individual residents, business owners and non-profits to apply for reimbursement from necessary expenses and compensation from repairs.

“We went out and performed what we call a preliminarily damage assessment, where we go and look at neighborhoods that were affected based on 3-1-1 [calls],” said FEMA spokesperson Gary Weidner. “Queens warranted enough damages to qualify for federal assistance.”

For those who qualify, FEMA aids in temporary housing, vehicle repairs, home renovations not covered by insurance — including household items like room furnishings and appliances — and other disaster-related medical and dental costs.

Before a determination on eligibility can be made, FEMA will first send an inspector to investigate damage claims. The inspector will then file a report.

“It may not make them whole again, but what it will do is help make the house safe and secure,” Weidner said.

As of September 15, FEMA announced that it will also provide assistance to residents who have become unemployed because of the hurricane. Under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program — among a few eligibilities — those who were injured in the disaster and are unable to work, or those whose workplace or mode of transportation were destroyed, can apply for weekly benefit payments.

The deadline for the DUA program is October 12. Benefits are payable through March 4, 2012. To apply, first file for regular employment insurance with the New York State Department of Labor at 1-888-209-8124.

To register for housing assistance or for more information, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or visit www.disasterassistance.gov. Be sure to have your social security number and insurance information.