STORM RECOVERY UPDATE
Posted: November 26, 2012
IMPORTANT ELECTRICAL SAFETY NOTICE - PLEASE TAKE THIS VERY SERIOUSLY
Just because power has been restored and you have not experienced immediate electrical problems, your system may still be damaged creating an extremely serious fire hazard.
If your home has been affected by flooding, or if you’re uncertain whether your home has been affected by flooding, you should take immediate steps to have your electrical system checked by a licensed electrical contractor as soon as possible. Make any necessary repairs suggested by the contractor.
You should install battery-operated smoke alarms throughout your home.
New York State Small Business Emergency Loan Fund
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the New York Bankers Association (NYBA) and the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) have agreed to establish a $10 million small business emergency loan fund to provide immediate financial assistance for businesses impacted by Storm Sandy. Under the fund, businesses will be able to apply for loans of up to $25,000 immediately by going to www.esd.ny.gov  or calling 1-855-NYS-SANDY.
The emergency loan program will provide low-interest loans of up to $25,000 to small businesses in an expedited manner to help in the recovery efforts. Through the program, small businesses in affected communities will be eligible to receive loans of up to $25,000 that will be interest and payment-free for the first six months and then at one percent interest for the following two years. Eligible businesses can use the funding to cover the costs of replacement and repairs to facilities or equipment or as working capital needed to restart or continue business operations.
National Grid- $30 Million in Aid Will Help Gas Customers Rebuild After Hurricane Sandy
As the holidays rapidly approach, and as the massive effort to recover continues, the company is launching a $30 million aid program specifically to assist its hardest hit gas customers rebuild and reconnect to the gas network.
National Grid’s Hurricane Sandy Emergency Economic and Community Redevelopment Program is designed to provide assistance to communities and customers who need it now. The three-tier program is designed to complement funding allocated to communities and businesses through federal and state/city programs, insurance or other emergency sources.
Tier 1 credits will be applied automatically and do not require any action by our customers. The company has been and will continue to contact customers who might be eligible for Tier 2 and Tier 3, and additional information can be obtained through the company’s website at: www.nationalgrid.com 
Natural Gas Customers
As the recovery effort continues, safety remains a primary concern. If you do not smell natural gas but have no gas service please call: On Long Island and the Rockaways: 1-800-930-5003
If customers smell natural gas they should call National Grid as soon as possible at the following numbers: On Long Island and the Rockaways: 1-800-490-0045
Homeowner’s and Flood Insurance issues
Residents who need help dealing with their homeowners and flood insurance claims can call the NYS Department of Financial Services Storm Hotline at 1-800-339-1759.
Suffolk County Emergency Shelter Hotline is OPEN!
For those displaced by Super Storm Sandy, Suffolk County has established temporary emergency shelter accommodations in cooperation with New York Institute of Technology. For those who have been displaced by Sandy and have need of emergency shelter, Suffolk County has established a HOTLINE dedicated to assisting residents with these shelter needs.
Residents can call (631) 504 - 6853. 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. 7 Days a Week.
FEMA Sheltering & TEMPORARY Essential Power (STEP)
In addition to the County’s TEMPORARY emergency shelter program, FEMA has established the STEP program in conjunction with Suffolk County, which will help people get back into their homes more quickly and safely.
STEP assists in performing temporary repairs to restore power, heat and hot water to primary residences. STEP is intended to help residents to shelter ‘in place” in their homes pending more permanent repairs.
For STEP, Residents Can Call 2-1-1, between 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., 7 Days a Week.
In an effort to provide easy access to a variety of local and federal benefits and services, County Executive Bellone has established five fixed based emergency Disaster Recovery Centers and a mobile unit in collaboration with FEMA where residents can go for information about FEMA and other disaster assistance programs.
Hours of all fixed based FEMA Disaster Assistance Recovery Centers are 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. & run seven days a week.
FEMA representatives are on hand to assist residents in filling out FEMA applications, answer any questions and provide lists of resources. Additionally, there are also Small Business representatives, as well as County representatives from the offices of the Department of Health, Economic Development, Labor, Social Services, and Transitional Housing.
- H. Lee Dennison – 100 Vet’s Highway, Hauppauge
- Islip Town Annex – 400 Main Street, Islip
- Lindenhurst Public Library – 1 Lee Street, Lindenhurst
- Mastic Rec Center – 15 Herkimer St, Mastic
- Suffolk County Center – 300 Center Drive, Riverhead
Process to Follow to Appeal FEMA Denial Letters
Meanwhile, residents who have applied for assistance to FEMA may have received letters from FEMA stating their application has been denied. The denial letters are based on information given at the time of application or inspection and may not be the final decision. The main reasons residents may receive a denial letter are two – either the home sustained insufficient damage or the home had insurance.
Applicants may not be eligible for housing assistance simply because, at the time of inspection, more information was needed. Applicants need not be discouraged. The denial letter is NOT the final word.
If an applicant does not agree with the decision, they have the right to appeal within 60 days of the denial letter, explain in writing why they disagree with FEMA’s decision and provide any new or additional information and documents supporting their appeal.
If you were denied assistance, because you were insured, consider calling FEMA after your insurance claim is settled. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate what insurance already covers, or pay deductibles. However, in some cases, they may be able to help, up to the extent of program limits. The only way to know is to register at the 800 number. In addition, if a resident has received a letter from FEMA stating that a claim for federal assistance has been deemed ineligible because of insurance they should contact their insurance agent and request a settlement letter.
Residents should contact the FEMA HELPLINE: 1 (800) 621 – FEMA (3362). Have registration number handy. Questions regarding flood insurance policies are handled through the National Flood Insurance Program Helpline at 1-800-638-6620.
Regardless of the status of the denial letter for Housing Assistance, applicants may still be eligible for low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and other state and federal programs including disaster unemployment assistance, legal aid, crisis counseling, USDA food stamp assistance, USDA rural housing and veteran assistance.
Town of Babylon Fire Chiefs Hurricane Relief Fund
Councilwoman Ellen McVeety is co-chairing a relief fund for Town of Babylon residents, along with Jim Harrington Jr., President for the Fire Chiefs Association. A fundraiser is being organized and details will follow. In the meantime, residents can donate to/contact “Town of Babylon Chiefs Association, PO Box 682, Babylon NY, 11702” or contact Jim Harrington at 631-872-5504 or Ben Lamberson at 631-831-3908.
Tree Debris Pick-up Progress
The Town has completed a “first pass” of tree debris at 95% of homes. The second pass will be completed by the end of December.
Household Hazardous Waste
The Town of Babylon, in cooperation with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), will be conducting a special curbside collection of household hazardous waste starting Monday, November 12, 2012 in the Hurricane Sandy affected flood areas of the Town of Babylon which for the most part are all those areas of the Town south of Montauk Highway. The program will run until all materials have been picked up or dropped off.
Beginning on Nov. 12, people in affected homes may also bring household products, including solvents, paints, cleaners, oil, propane tanks, batteries, petroleum products, weed/bug killers, car batteries, bleach and ammonia, to one of four drop-off locations. The drop-off and pickup locations are listed below:
- Venetian Shores Park, 801 Granada Parkway, Lindenhurst, NY
- Islip Multipurpose Recycling Facility, 1155 Lincoln Avenue, Holbrook, NY
- Wastewater Treatment Plant, 1 Hammond Street, Patchogue, NY
- Highway Barn, 1177 Osborn Road, Riverhead, NY (*begins Tues., Nov. 13*)
Regular Household Waste Pickup
Encon, the Town's residential garbage collection contractor, will be continuing regular garbage pickup. They will also be collecting as much storm debris as they can. Please be aware that they may not be able to take ALL of your debris at once, since all debris may not fit in their trucks. Larger items will be taken throughout the coming days and weeks. We ask for your patience during this period while Encon works as quickly as they can to collect all debris.
Public Contact Numbers
- LIPA 1-800-490-0075
- National Grid 1-800-490-0045
- Red Cross (631) 423-0307
- FEMA 1-800-621-3362
- NYS DEC (To report an oil spill) 1-800-457-7362
- Town of Babylon - 311