FEMA opens disaster recovery center at Queens College for residents impacted by Hurricane Ida

FEMA Disaster Recovery Center Tour
United States Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visits the new FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in the Student Union at Queens College, where he was joined by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, Councilman James Gennaro, Queens College President Frank H. Wu, and with Congresswoman Grace Meng. (Courtesy of Queens College)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has opened a Disaster Recovery Center at Queens College in Flushing to assist residents who were impacted by storm damage and flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. 

Governor Kathy Hochul on Thursday, Sept. 9, announced the opening of six facilities in the city and Westchester County, where people can seek assistance from recovery specialists from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

“New Yorkers who were impacted by last week’s devastating floods and storm damage can now receive in-person, one-on-one assistance with professionals equipped to assist in the recovery process,” said Hochul, who thanked the federal government for working quickly to establish the facilities to get New Yorkers the help they need. 

Queens College President Frank Wu said they are working with the federal government and CUNY to provide secure and safe campus space in order to host a disaster recovery program accessible to the community. 

“It is vitally important to help our neighbors gain easy access to the federal assistance they need to mitigate the horrific impact of the recent weather,” Wu told QNS. 

The college’s Student Union, located at 152-45 Melbourne Ave., will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. where residents can meet with officials from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

Those officials will answer questions and provide information on the types of federal help available to homeowners, renters and business owners as a result of the major disaster declarations stemming from the hurricane. 

Residents who have been displaced, including uninsured families, will be eligible for funds for housing assistance, as well as crisis counseling, unemployment assistance, home repairs and legal services.

State agency personnel will be stationed within the facilities to connect impacted citizens with state programs or services that may be available to assist them in their recovery. 

After advocating for a recovery center to be located in her congressional district in Flushing, where many of her constituents have suffered from devastating losses, Congresswoman Grace Meng said the center will be a “vital resource to ensuring that they get the help they need and deserve.”

“I encourage those who have been impacted to take advantage of the assistance that the staff at this facility have to offer. Thank you to FEMA for opening this center and for working to assist Queens residents who have been devastated by the storm,” Meng said.

Survivors with internet or phone service may register with FEMA using the FEMA App, online at disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362. Individuals who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 800-462-7585 directly. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. 

The toll-free telephone numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. Operators are multilingual and those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service. 

If you need accommodations for language or a disability, let the operator know. With current connectivity issues, the recovery center also offers a place for survivors to register for assistance in person and get one-on-one help from recovery specialists.

For additional online resources, as well as FEMA downloadable pamphlets and other aids, visit disasterassistance.gov and click “information.”