Rebuilding efforts made easier

November 12, 2012 by  

Near Forest Hills, in Far Rockaway, New York City officials made a significant announcement at the end of last week. New procedures will be implemented that will turn the home repair permitting process upside down. Beginning Tuesday, the ‘Rapid Repairs’ program will get underway in neighborhoods ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.

In addition to speeding up contracting for repairs, the newly announced program allows property owners to secure faster restoration of power. Starting Tuesday, November 13, government agencies will coordinate sending out teams of contractors, plumbers, and electricians to repair damaged houses in targeted neighborhoods.

Homeowners are not limited to having work done by the Rapid Repairs program, they are free to make their own arrangements if they wish, applying for reimbursement through the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). Concern that red tape is hampering efforts to get power re-established prompted this latest initiative.

Nick Lizanich of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) stated:

“A house, or an apartment complex or a commercial building where the electrical facilities were underwater, it is a safety problem. And I’m very proud that the City of New York has streamlined the process.”

In the days since Hurricane Sandy pounded the city and the counties of Long Island, working together cooperatively has become the hallmark of organizations charged with the massive cleanup tasks in the region. Not only are government agencies collaborating, volunteer organizations and local small businesses, from restaurants to print companies, are also synchronizing resources in support of their respective communities.