Deadlines Approaching for Sandy Relief Programs

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano warns residents that deadlines for the county's STEP program and FEMA's ongoing rental assistance are approaching.

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As Nassau County continues to oversee debris removal a month Superstorm Sandy swept through the area, County Exec. Edward Mangano warns residents not to miss deadlines for various relief programs.

Residents have until December 19th to apply for the FEMA Shelter and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program.  The program offers emergency temporary electricity, heat and hot water to homes that are stable enough to accommodate families while long term repairs are conducted.  To date, the program has assessed over 5,400 homes.  
To access assistance through the STEP program, Nassau County residents are directed to call 1-888-684-4267 to initiate an assessment, after which necessary work permits can be obtained and repairs can begin.  The program guarantees that the temporary repair be completed within 60 days of the assessment.  Residents in Suffolk County can dial 2-1-1 for more information.
Residents are also reminded that they must complete a FEMA  “Declaration for Continuing Need for Rental Assistance” form in order to reaffirm an ongoing need for temporary housing.  FEMA requests these declarations be mailed within 15 days after applicants receive the initial housing grant.  Residents with any questions regarding temporary housing assistance can call FEMA’s 24-hour toll-free hotline at 800-621-FEMA (3362).
“While I am encouraged by the progress that has been made to date, the goal is to return everyone who is still living in temporary housing to a permanent residence,” said County Executive Mangano said in a statement.
There is no deadline, however, for debris removal.  So far, Nassau County has overseen the removal of 5,000 down trees, compared to 3,000 cause by Tropical Storm Irene last year.  Mangano said the debris removal will be ongoing until every community has been cleaned.  
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