Senator Fuschillo Informs Residents About Fema’s New Step Program to Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

     Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) is informing Nassau and Suffolk County residents about a new program available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help residents whose homes were affected by Hurricane Sandy.

     Through the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program, FEMA and the counties will be working together to bring in contractors in order to perform basic repairs so that eligible residents can safely return to their homes while more long-term repairs are in progress. Under the program, residents will have the damage to their homes assessed and, where safe and practicable, have basic repairs made so they can move back into their homes. These repairs include patching windows or exterior doors, covering damaged roofs with tarps, and doing minor electrical meter repairs to have power restored.

     Residents can also pursue major repairs through FEMA’s traditional Individuals and Households Program (IHP), which provides assistance to eligible residents for home repairs, replacements, and construction. Both the STEP and IHP programs can be accessed at the same time; participation in one does not preclude individuals from participating in the other. However, participation in the STEP program will make IHP applicants ineligible for further Temporary Sheltering Assistance, if authorized, or subsequent lodging expense reimbursement once work performed under STEP is completed.

     Nassau County residents interested in participating in the STEP program should call Nassau County’s STEP hotline at 1-888-684-4267. Suffolk County residents should call 211.