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Many NYC Residents Still Counting on FEMA

By Zachary Stieber
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 28, 2012 Last Updated: December 1, 2012
Related articles: United States » New York City
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Hurricane Sandy victims get free food and supplies at a makeshift tent run by volunteers in a parking lot in the Rockaways, Queens, on Nov. 28, almost one month after the hurricane hit the area. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hurricane Sandy victims get free food and supplies at a makeshift tent run by volunteers in a parking lot in the Rockaways, Queens, on Nov. 28, almost one month after the hurricane hit the area. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

NEW YORK—More than 236,000 homeowners have contacted the Federal Emergency Management Agency as of Tuesday, either officially requesting storm recovery assistance or inquiring about it.

Meanwhile, $703 million in federal money was approved for New York Tuesday, mostly for temporary housing.

A FEMA spokesperson said the agency’s first goal is to get grants to people instead of helping with housing, as people have a range of circumstances they’re going through right now. The agency also has a program that pays for short-term hotel stays, but there are not many available hotels at the moment.

Relief centers run by private company Whitsons, through the city’s Human Resources Administration, are still supplying hundreds of residents on the Rockaway Peninsula and Coney Island but will close down soon.

Eight volunteers gave out animal crackers, apple juice, milk, bottles of water, and roasted chicken and cheese sandwiches under a tent in Rockaway Beach on a rainy Tuesday.

Robert Bailey, 33, a former security guard who is looking for work and a father of a 7-month-old son, walked away from the tent pushing a shopping cart full of goods.

He stopped under a large Key Food supermarket awning. He motioned to the closed supermarket, which appears abandoned, and said before Sandy hit he could get everything he needed at the store.

“Now I’m going to be out here for another hour or two to find these things,” said Bailey. The relief tent did not have formula or diapers.

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