Submitted by ub on Mon, 04/29/2013 - 09:53

Why are Crowley, Vacca and FEMA coming to City Island for a Town Hall Meeting on May 2?

It has now been over six months after Hurricane Sandy took the lives of 100 people, ravaged the tri-state area by uprooting thousands of trees, decimating homes and submerging cities.

While the number of lives claimed in New York alone from the super storm was 48, some individuals are asking why has it taken so long for US Congressman Bill Crowley, NYC Councilman Vacca and FEMA officials to hold a City Island Town Hall Meeting?

For City Islanders, housing, business, tourism and coastal protection all remain major issues with the quickly approaching summer vacation, not to mention that hurricane seasons is right around the corner once again.

Given that many communities in New York's 14th District are on or close to the water, Crowley asked FEMA and the New York City Department of Buildings to join him and Councilman Jimmy Vacca for a town hall meeting. At the meeting, agencies will explain how the new flood maps may affect residents and business owners. The officials will explain the timeline for the new maps and outline changes to the National Flood Insurance Program. They will also take any questions you have about the flood maps, flood insurance and any changes to building requirements.

The town hall meeting will be held on Thursday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the City Island Civic Center, located at 190 Fordham Street in the Bronx. I invite you to come learn about the program and have your questions answered. Please RSVP to with your name and phone number, or call 718.779.1400.

However, the application deadline for disaster assistance was March 29, 2013. Please find information below on recovery assistance programs for homeowners and businesses as well as instructions on how to apply.

Disaster Assistance

President Obama and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared New York City, including Queens and the Bronx, a major disaster area. This declaration makes residents and businesses eligible for vital disaster assistance, including home and property loans, help with finding and paying for temporary housing, and business loans.

Individuals can register with FEMA online at or via smartphone or tablet by going to or by downloading the FEMA app.

Survivors can also register by calling the FEMA Helpline: 800-621-3362 (Voice, 7-1-1/Relay) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. The line is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST, seven days a week until further notice.

Anyone with questions regarding the FEMA registration process, the status of their application and available disaster assistance programs is encouraged to visit a Disaster Recovery Center or contact FEMA.

To find the nearest Disaster Recovery Center, the following options are available: Text DRC and a Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA), and a text message will be sent back with the address. Also, the Disaster Recovery Center locator is available online at

Before you call, be sure to have the following information ready:

Address of affected property

Insurance information

Social Security number

Support to Businesses

The City has put together information for businesses affected by the storm. For information, please contact NYC Business Solutions by calling 3-1-1 or click here.

A simple and fast way to complete the disaster loan application is online, using the Small Business Administration's electronic loan application. Go to

SBA customer service representatives are available to issue or accept low-interest disaster loan applications and answer questions at all New York State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers and

SBA business recovery centers and Disaster Loan Outreach Centers. To locate the nearest center, visit or call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339).

More information is available by calling the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center toll-free number, 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339). Assistance is also available by sending an email to or by visiting

For more information on New York’s disaster recovery, visit,, and

The Politicians who represent City Islanders are NYC Councilman James Vacca, NY Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, NY State Senator Jeff Klein and US Representative Joseph Crowley. They are all Democrats and voters should be clearly saying - Do Your Job, Or Else!