A multi-purpose Hurricane Sandy recovery center is now open at the County Center located at 198 Central Avenue, White Plains. The recovery center will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week until further notice. Parking fees at the County Center have been waived. The FEMA center will handle as one storm Hurricane Sandy and the nor'easter.
The center will be staffed with representatives from:
- Con Edison to answer customer questions about outages and restorations; engineers and customer representatives will be there to answer specific questions.
- FEMA to help individuals, households apply for financial aid for losses and damages caused by the storm.
- The Small Business Administration, which will help businesses apply for low-interest loans for storm-related damages.
- A variety of social services agencies to provide residents with recovery assistance.
- The Department of Health will be giving free tetanus shots to anyone involved with cleanup, at the County Center. People who removed debris from homes, parks, roads, treatment plant and other critical facilities could be vulnerable to tetanus; an infection caused by bacteria present in dust, soil and manure, and can benefit from this vaccine.
With Westchester being declared a disaster area by President Obama, residents are eligible to apply for disaster aid, along with local governments and nonprofit agencies. The first step is to register either by calling FEMA's registration number 1-800-621-3362; or logging into www.disasterassistance.
For those with speech or hearing disabilities, use the TTY number at 800-462-7585.FEMA strongly advises that people register in advance of visiting the disaster center.
Residents can apply for FEMA aid without coming to the County Center. The FEMA representatives are simply there to help residents with the process.
In addition to state and federal partners at the center, staff from the Department of Social Services and other county departments will be on hand to help residents. There will also be representatives from the Small Business Administration, who can explain 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 may 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 advised that all persons applying for assistance at the center should be prepared to provide:
- Social Security number (including your spouse's if applicable);
- Private insurance information, if available;
- Address and zip code of the damaged property;
- Directions to the damaged home or property;
- Daytime telephone number, and
- An address where you can receive mail.