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Hurricane Sandy Recovery Resources and Services

Dear Friends,

As our community is still struggling because of immigration status restrictions on disaster relief benefits, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) continues to call on the Mayor and Governor to make more relief assistance available to all New Yorkers.  Our colleagues at the New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) are working hard through their Unmet Needs Roundtable to make funds available to support immigrants who do not qualify because of these restrictions. In addition, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) has taken some steps to assist organizations working with immigrants.  But more needs to be done.  We will keep you posted on future developments.
Despite the limitations on existing benefits for Sandy victims, below is a list of resources that are currently available. 

 1. Disaster Relief Guides

·         Human Services Council (HSC) Resources for Nonprofits and Clients: http://bit.ly/10TIUGs
·         New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) recovery guide online: http://www.nydis.org/
·         The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) guide: http://www.nyc.gov/html/imm/downloads/Sandy%20Materials/Hurricane%20Sandy_MOIA%20Guide_120612_final.pdf

2.  FEMA
A.    Federal Disaster Assistance Registration:

     Qualified persons affected by Sandy (homeowners, renters, and businesses) can apply for federal disaster assistance. Register at www.disasterassistance.gov or www.fema.gov/Sandy by calling FEMA at 800-621-3362 (FEMA).
Before you call, be sure to have the following information ready:
• Address of affected property
• Insurance information
• Social Security Number


Click HERE to apply for FEMA disaster assistance.
B.   FEMA Assistance: Translation Hotline

     FEMA has established a dedicated line for language assistance “1-866-333-1796”. In addition to English and Spanish, a total of 18 languages have been identified in New York: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Haitian-Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Urdu, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog, Turkish, Vietnamese and Yiddish. The new number is dedicated to help disaster survivors who speak any of these 18 non-English languages obtain language assistance while communicating with FEMA’s National Processing Service Center.

C.   FEMA Documents in Multiple Languages

     FEMA has translated its English language booklet, “Your Guide to Disaster Assistance Programs,” into more than 12 languages. The document provides  information to help disaster assistance applicants understand eligibility requirements for federal disaster aid programs. FEMA teams are distributing the booklets in affected areas and at disaster recovery centers throughout the 13 designated counties in New York.

     Booklet is available in  Arabic, Chinese, French, Greek, Haitian-Creole, Hebrew,  Hindi, Italian,  http://www.fema.gov/japanese> Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Hmong, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog,  Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, and Yiddish. Please click here for more info.

3. NYIC Member Groups currently providing disaster relief services and information  
Catholic Charities
Immigration Hotline Now Also Provides Disaster Relief Referral: (800) 566-7636

While the Immigration Hotline continues to provide valuable immigration law information, you can also ask questions about various disaster relief services by calling the same number.  Their counselors speak 16 languages with the option for interpretation services in over 100 languages.

Council of Peoples Organization
Telephone: 718.434.3266
El Centro del Inmigrante
Telephone 718.420.6466
Emerald Isle Immigration Center (EIIC)

The EIIC (Emerald Isle Immigration Center) has been involved in many areas assisting existing clients with assistance since the aftermath of Sandy. A temporary staffer has been added to the team at EIIC and anyone with a Sandy related enquiry can reach out to Ultan Gallagher at 718/478-5502 Ext. 218 or via email at socialworktrainee@eiic.org.

Ultan is also coordinating efforts and referring Sandy victims who need assistance with Insurance claims and queries to FEMA to a consortium of qualified Irish and Irish American legal experts who are volunteering their time pro bono as members of the IABANY (Irish American Bar Association of NY) & Brehon Law Society groups.  For more information, go to the Emerald Isle Website: http://eiic.org/

Project Hospitality
Telephone: 718.448.1544
Queens Congregations United for Action
Telephone: 718.440.2992
New York Legal Assistance Group
Telephone: 212.613.5000
Shorefront YM-YWHA
Telephone: 718.646.1444
La Union
Telephone: 718.630.8903

4.  Mold Remediation

The ongoing effects of mold continue to be a major health concern for Sandy victims. Learn more about how to clean mold and health effects related to mold at:

·         CDC resources on the potential health risks of mold exposure go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mold/cleanup.htm
·         NYC Department of Health Tip Sheet: What to Do About Mold?:http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/ehs/major-flood-damage-mold.pdf
·         For important information about Mold in English, Spanish, and Chinese please see fact sheets here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/epi/mold.shtml
·         NYC Cleaning Up After a Flood: Using the Right Dust Mask: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/ehs/res-health.pdf
·         Safety Recommendations for Safer Home Cleanup from the Health Department: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/pr2012/pr034-12.shtml

5.   Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans:

SBA provides loans to homeowners, renters,  businesses, and private non-profit organizations  to repair or replace real estate, personal property, equipment and business assets that have been damaged in a disaster like Hurricane Sandy.

For more information about SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit www.sba.gov/disaster call our disaster assistance center at 1-800-659-2955, or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

6. Mental Health Resources

Great list of resources from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on dealing with Stress from Disasters and helpful resources to help keep your peace of mind: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/em/emergency-coping.shtml

7. Help with Accessing Government Benefits Like Medicare and Others:

For help with Government Benefit Access, there are some great resources available from the good folks at the Community Service Society: http://www.cssny.org/pages/hurricane-sandy-relief

And for help specifically with Medicaid and other health related concerns, there are some  resources from Community Health Advocates: http://www.communityhealthadvocates.org

Both of these organizations have put together a couple of PDF guides to services:

·         Government Benefit Programs Response to Hurricaine Sandy: http://www.communityhealthadvocates.org/sites/communityhealthadvocates.org/files/uploads/Government%20Benefits.pdf
·         Disaster Related Resources and Services After Hurricane Sandy: http://benefitsplus.cssny.org/system/files/uploads/Hurricane%20Sandy.pdf.

8.   Support from USCIS for Lawfully Present Immigrants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds customers affected by Hurricane Sandy of certain U.S. immigration benefits or relief that may be available to them.

For more info please click here: http://www.thenyic.org/disaster-relief/tempmeasures

9.   Day Laborers Are an Invaluable Support in Cleanup Efforts.

If you are working with day laborers helping in post-Sandy recovery, there are some excellent resources available to help your work.

If you know folks looking for workers to help out, this is a great resource for locating trusted and respected worker centers in your area: http://hireadaylaborer.org/hurricane-relief/

A great flyer on post-flood safety for workers from NDLON in Spanish: http://www.scribd.com/doc/113399368/Inundaciones

10.   American Bar Association Disaster Legal Services Program

Through the Disaster Legal Services Program, the ABA Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provide immediate temporary legal assistance to disaster survivors at no charge.

For more info please click here: http://www.thenyic.org/disaster-relief/ABA-YLD

If you have any questions about NYIC’s disaster relief work, please contact Jackie Vimo, Director of Advocacy, at (212) 627-2227x249 or jvimo@thenyic.org.



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