Flood Deadline Extended Until October 2

James L. Seward

August 28, 2006

Senator James L. Seward announced today that the deadlines have been extended to register for assistance to help aid recovery from uninsured or under-insured losses stemming from the late-June flooding. Registrations for the New York State Individual and Family Grant Program and federal aid, as well as programs administered by Empire State Development Corporation will now be accepted until Monday, October 2.

"I urge people to apply as soon as possible," Senator Seward said. "The deadlines are being extended to give everyone the maximum time to apply for aid that is available."

"We’ve seen a steady stream of applications continue to come in," said Marianne C. Jackson, federal coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "The decision to extend the federal deadline was made to ensure that all those affected by this disaster have had every opportunity to apply for assistance."

John R. Gibb, director of the New York State Emergency Management Office said, "If anyone incurred any type of damage from the severe storms and flooding that occurred in late June, it’s important that they apply for assistance as soon as possible. They need to make two calls for assistance – one for the state program and another for the federal programs."

· For the New York State Individual and Family Grant Program, call 1-888-7-NYS-AID (1-888-769-7243) or TTY: NYS Relay 711. Lines are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Flood victims can also register online at www.labor.state.ny.us. New York State’s helpline number is 1-888-329-7540 (open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Saturday). For more information on flood recovery assistance programs managed by the Empire State Development Corporation, call 1-800-STATE-NY or go online at www.empire.state.ny.us/flood_grant.

· For federal programs, contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY: 1-800-462-7585. Lines are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Flood victims can also register online at www.fema.gov. The FEMA Helpline number is the same as the registration number: 1-800-621 FEMA.

The registration period and the deadline apply to the major federal disaster declaration on July 1 that enabled residents and business owners in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Orange, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan, Tioga and Ulster counties to register for state and federal recovery aid.

Disaster assistance service centers at the Sidney Civic Center, 21 Liberty Street in Sidney (Delaware County) and the Susquehanna Valley High School, 1040 Conklin Road in Conklin (Broome County) will remain open to assist flood victims. Hours of operations for the two centers are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. State and federal personnel at these centers will be on hand to answer program questions, assist individuals in determining the status of their applications, and help resolve application issues.

To date, FEMA has received 12,558 applications for assistance and more than $92 million in aid has been approved.

New York State reports that, to date, $8 million has been paid out to 1,970 victims who have applied for the state’s Individual and Family Grant program.

Seward said that victims fail to register because they have home insurance and assume they are not eligible, only to later learn that assistance may have been available but the registration period has already closed.

Applicants may qualify for help under a wide range of federal and state programs such as temporary housing assistance, a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), or assistance for disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.