Following his visit to see flood damage first-hand, today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will open a second disaster recovery center (DRC) in Ulster County. Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, and Congressman Hinchey applaud this decision, which came after Schumer personally called FEMA Administrator Fugate, and urged that the agency establish a second center to provide wider access to emergency services and federal resources. Currently, many residents are isolated from the Pine Hill Disaster Center and its services, due to washed out bridges and roads. Schumer stated that FEMA has worked with local officials to establish a second site in Ulster, at the Business Resource Center in Kingston, that will help expand FEMA’s reach to residents and businesses throughout the County. Early last week, Hinchey began working with FEMA to ensure that a DRC would be located in Kingston.
“The establishment of a second disaster center in Ulster County is an important step towards helping homeowners and businesses get back on track after the damage caused by Hurricane Irene,” said Senator Schumer. “On my visit yesterday, I saw tremendous devastation in Ulster County. That is why I pressed FEMA and Administrator Fugate to make federal support and emergency services widely available to all residents of this region through a second disaster center. This additional location at the Business Resource Center, will help ensure that no one is cut off from access to the services that they need in order to recover because of downed trees, washed out bridges, or broken roads.”
“I would like to thank our federal representatives and Governor Cuomo’s office for supporting Ulster County’s disaster recovery efforts by opening a second Disaster Recovery Center,” said County Executive Mike Hein. “Geographically, Ulster County is the size of Rhode Island. Hosting a Disaster Recovery Center at Belleayre proved very helpful to nearby residents, who were overwhelmed by the storm’s destruction and this second, more centrally located site will be extremely useful to many people needing help. This is the worst natural disaster in the history of Ulster County and I will continue to advocate tirelessly for assistance for County residents in every possible way. ”
“Families in Ulster County are losing their homes, businesses and livelihood in the wake of this devastating storm, and need relief,” Senator Gillibrand said. “A Disaster Recovery Center in Kingston will help provide a lifeline for families, and help put more of the resources we need on the ground. I will keep working with Senator Schumer, Congressman Hinchey and County Executive Hein to secure every federal resource we need here to recover.”
“Last Wednesday my office began working with FEMA, at the request of County Executive Mike Hein, to secure a second Disaster Recovery Center for Ulster County,” said Hinchey. “I’m pleased that FEMA acted on my request and will locate a second center in Kingston. This will allow families, farmers and small businesses to obtain the federal resources they need to recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. I’m glad we were able to get it done.”
After Schumer’s urging, FEMA Administrator Fugate will open a second disaster recovery center in Ulster County. In the days following Hurricane Irene, Senator Schumer called FEMA Administrator Fugate, urging him to establish a second center, in addition to the existing center at the Pine Hill Center, because downed trees and damaged roads were blocking many residents from critical resources. These centers are staffed with disaster-recovery specialists who provide information and answer questions about various types of storm-related assistance. Federal officials staff the centers from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm seven days a week, and help ensure that qualified residents and businesses get the assistance to which they’re entitled. FEMA has opened one center at the Bellearye Mountain Ski area, but washed out bridges and roads make accessing the center difficult for some Ulster County residents.
In Ulster County, the second facility will be located at:
Business Resource Center
1061 Development Court
Kingston, NY 12401
FEMA recommends that individuals seeking assistance from the center register before visiting. Registration is quick and simple, Parr said. By phone, call the FEMA Hotline at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For those with speech or hearing disabilities, use the TTY number, 800-462-7585. Applicants can also register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or with any PDA device at m.fema.gov.
Information needed when registering with FEMA includes the address of the damaged property, names of those living in the household, a general description of the damage, the Social Security Account number of any family member living in the home, the extent of insurance coverage and certain other information needed to expedite the process.
Also on hand at the Disaster Recovery Center will be representatives from the Small Business Administration who can explain the low-interest loan packages available to individuals, nonprofits and businesses of any size. These loans are for the repair or replacement of real estate and/or personal property damaged by the storm and related flooding, officials said. People who register with FEMA will be sent a loan application from the SBA. No one is obligated to take out a loan, according to the SBA. Applicants have six months after approval to decide whether to accept the loan.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation, medical and dental, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. But applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement and moving and storage expenses.