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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is answering Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call for prompt assistance for New Yorkers whose homes were affected by Superstorm Sandy.

FEMA will bring in contractors to disaster-stricken areas to perform basic repairs so homes can once again become livable, and residents can return while longer term repairs are in progress. However, only residents in federally declared devastated counties that are registered with FEMA are eligible to participate. To register, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

“When Hurricane Sandy hit our state, New Yorkers saw their homes severely damaged or completely destroyed,” said Cuomo. “The FEMA assistance will make a big difference as we continue New York’s long term recovery.”

FEMA has developed a two-step approach to helping storm victims make these vital repairs. The Shelter and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program will be implemented in conjunction with the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) to get residents in their homes, and keep them there.

“The solution is to get people back into their homes safely,” said Michael Byrne, FEMA federal coordinating officer.

The STEP Program is a new program, intended to provide temporary electrical measures and exterior repairs, which includes patching windows or exterior doors, tarp on the roof and minor electrical work – all necessary inspections for habitability. Homeowners can then use FEMA’s Individual Assistance to make permanent repairs.

Regarding financial assistance for these repairs, the IHP Program enables individuals to address expenses that cannot be met through other forms of insurance. Forms for housing assistance under this program include the temporary housing repair, replacement and semi-permanent/permanent construction that homeowners receive through the STEP program.

“Now it is time to restore and rebuild these homes, and help people get back in their homes in time for winter,” said Cuomo.

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