New temporary housing initiative for Sandy victims

November 19, 2012 by  

In a surprise move that could benefit Bohemia residents whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has announced a new initiative – one designed to allow displaced households to “shelter in place.”

The project would allow emergency agencies to make speedy repairs to homes rendered uninhabitable by the massive storm. This program is breaking new ground for FEMA. While innovative support options have been unveiled by state and local officials to accommodate small and mid-size businesses, from clothing boutiques to local printing companies, to rebuild, this is the first truly different program response from FEMA for dealing with damaged residential dwellings.

FEMA took this changed approach after it became clear that there were not nearly enough rental or hotel rooms available for temporary shelter. Additionally, there weren’t any reasonable locations for the placement of large numbers of trailers – another traditional FEMA option used in the past for emergency housing after a disaster.

Michael Byrne, federal coordinating officer for FEMA, said:

“This is not a nice-to-do thing – it is a must-to-do thing. It is getting cold and people’s lives are in jeopardy.”

Announced on Wednesday, November 14, at the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, the program will provide electricity meter repair, short-term essential power restoration, and quick, non-permanent exterior repairs on damaged and exposed walls and roofs.

Still in the development phase, the program will employ local electrical workers and contractors to provide the services, according to Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano.

Interested homeowners need to be FEMA registered to benefit from these offers. FEMA can be contacted at 800-621-FEMA (3362).