Category Archive: Recovery

After #Sandy: Preserving books, heirlooms and memories

Among the ruins left in #Sandy’s path are precious photographs and sacred books. The Library of Congress has a webpage here devoted to the immediate response actions that can be taken to save affected materials and prevent further damage, including:

After #Sandy: Rockland and Westchester included

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that #Westchester and #Rockland counties have been added to the Major Disaster declaration. Both counties have been designated for Individual Assistance and Public Assistance Category A and B, as well as DFA Direct Federal Assistance. #NYGov. Cuomo  Residents should follow the steps in After #Sandy: Recovery 101 to access assistance.


After Sandy: Recovery 101

For a good overview of all federal programs click to the Federal Disaster Relief Funding Assistance Hurricane Sandy Guidebook. This guide and the information below is NY-specific but the basic information and steps involved apply throughout the region.

General guidance

The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals and some organizations in Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Richmond, Suffolk, Queens, Westchester and Rockland counties. If your county is not listed, don’t give up hope. Sometimes the disaster declaration is expanded. As we receive more information we’ll send it out.

First step: Assessment and safety

As soon as floodwater levels have dropped, it’s time to start the recovery process. Here’s what you can do to begin restoring your personal or organizational home (from

  • If your home or organizational building has suffered damage, call your insurance agent to file a claim.
  • Check for structural damage before re-entering to avoid being trapped in a building collapse.
  • Take photos of any floodwater in your home or building and save any damaged personal property.
  • Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their purchase date and value with receipts, and place with the inventory you took prior to the flood. Some damaged items may require disposal, so keep photographs of these items.
  • Keep power off until an electrician has inspected your system for safety.
  • Use bottled water or boil water for drinking and food preparation until authorities tell you that your water supply is safe.
  • Prevent mold by removing wet contents immediately.
  • Wear gloves and boots to clean and disinfect. Wet items should be cleaned with a pine-oil cleanser and bleach, completely dried, and monitored for several days for any fungal growth and odors.
  • For more guidance, see the Recovering after an emergency or disaster from the Red Cross.

Second step: Filing an insurance claim

Your insurance policy is your first line of defense. Here’s a refresher on hurricane deductibles and flood coverage from the New York Times. Filing an insurance claim is usually a three-phase process:

Phase 1

After experiencing a flood, contact your agent or insurance company to file a claim. An adjuster should contact you within a few days of filing your claim. If you do not hear from an adjuster, you can contact your insurance agent or company again. Make sure you have the following information handy:

  • The name of your insurance company
  • Your policy number
  • A telephone and/or email address where you can be reached at all times

Phase 2

  • Separate damaged from undamaged property. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to your home and possessions to prepare your repair estimate.
  • Take photographs of all of the damaged property, including discarded objects, structural damage, and standing floodwater levels.
  • Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their date of purchase, value, and receipts, if possible.
  • Officials may require disposal of damaged items so, if possible. Follow the instructions provided by local officials.

Phase 3

  • Your adjuster will provide you a Proof of Loss form for your official claim for damages. You’ll need to file this claim with your insurance company within 60 days of the flood. This document substantiates the insurance claim and is required before the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or insurance company can make payment.
  • You’ll receive your claim payment after you and the insurer agree on the amount of damages and the insurer has your complete, accurate, and signed Proof of Loss form. If major catastrophic flooding occurs, it may take longer to process claims and make payments because of the sheer number of claims submitted.

Read more about insurance claims: How to file your claim now [PDF 78K].

Third step: applying for FEMA assistance

FEMA assistance will cover some uninsured or underinsured losses.

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Posted in Recovery, Sandy

A Refresher on Hurricane Deductibles and Flood Coverage

New York Times

Will your insurance cover damage from #Sandy? Here’s a refresher on hurricane deductibles and flood coverage.

Brooklyn and Rockland institutions now eligible for snow reimbursements

Posted on March 23, 2011
FEMA just added four new counties to their original disaster declaration resulting from the December 26th blizzard, including Columbia, Dutchess, Kings and Rockland counties. See their announcement here.Qualifying nonprofits may receive an 87.5% reimbursement of their direct and documented snow removal costs.

Although there may be an extension of the deadline, organizations should work under the assumption that initial paperwork must be submitted by April 6th. To start the process, download two short forms: a Request for Public Assistance (PDF) and a PNP Facility Questionnaire (PDF). Fill them out and submit them by post or fax.
  • Mail. Public Assistance Section, NY State Office of Emergency Management, 1220 Washington Ave, Bldg 22, Suite 101, Albany NY 12226-2251.
  • Fax. (518) 322-4984

See more information and details on our previous posting here. If you have further questions check out the Disaster Fact Sheet (PDF) and the Applicant Handbook (PDF). If you still have questions email Shannon Green at the NY State Office of Emergency Management (

Posted in Blizzard, FEMA, Recovery, Snow