‘Rock the Recovery’ held in East Rockaway

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FEMA representative and voluntary liaison Craig Charles explained how his agency works, and its eligibility requirements.

“The sequence of delivery allows for us to provide assistance, and to minimize any duplication of benefits,” he said. “We don’t just show up — we have to be invited by the state, and the President has to declare it a major disaster, which he has here.” He explained about some of FEMA’s programs, including the IHP (Individuals and Households Program), designed to help people get back to their primary place of residence. “Depending on your eligibility, you could get up to $31,900 in assistance.” Charles urged people to look into the many disaster-assistance programs, HUD, USDA, and the Veteran Administration. “There are many disaster programs out there,” he said. Assitance, he added, is on a case-by-case basis. “It’s not a cookie-cutter program.”

Greg Dawson, with SBA (Small Business Association) said that his job it to “leave no stone unturned.” The SBA partners with FEMA on all residentially-declared areas, and the SBA offers low interest loans to homeowners renters, businesses, and non-profits organizations.

“Think of it as a three-legged stool,” Dawson said. “FEMA, SBA, and your insurance company, three components that should get you back up to where you were before the storm.” He said that homeowners can get up to $200,000 for loss and damaged property, and renters, $40,000 for loss contents. A business can borrow up to $2 million, and economical injury disaster loan, even, he said, “if your business did not sustain and physical damage, but economic damage.”

“I have not worked a disaster wherer rumors did not run rampant,” he said. “If you are not speaking to one of us, or your officials, you are probably not getting correct information.”
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