3 Important HOTLINE Numbers for Super Storm Sandy Survivors:
· Suffolk County Super Storm Sandy Emergency Shelter Hotline
· Sheltering & Temporary Essential Power (STEP)
· Federal Emergency Management Agency Hotline
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.
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.