Federal Emergency Management Agency sets up shop in Coney Island

Thousands flock to Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Coney Island

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Brooklynites suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy are flocking to the neighborhood hardest hit by the storm — Coney Island.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration have set up a center at MCU Park on Surf Avenue and is recommending that anyone who sustained damage in the storm come by to see if they qualify for assistance.

“It’s important for people register with us,” said Ken Higginbotham, an agency spokesman, who’s been deployed to 83 disasters over the years. “We don’t want people to pre-disqualify themselves.” But some say the agency’s help fell far short of what they needed.

Surf Avenue deli owner George Fox said his store suffered tens of thousands of dollars in damage, but all the government offered him was a few high-interest loans.

“If I needed a loan I can go to a bank,” Fox said. “It seems like they’re running a business.”

A Small Business Administration spokeswoman confirmed that the agency only provides loans, not grants — but said that states had found a way to offer grants to businesses in the past.

More than 25 federal employees are providing hurricane victims with information about emergency relief and federal assistance programs, said Higginbotham, who is predicting a lengthy recovery effort for those in Sandy-scarred low lying neighborhoods, which include Seagate, Manhattan Beach, Red Hook, and Brighton Beach.

Many residents will be able to apply for taxpayer-funded financial assistance so they can get temporary housing, repair their homes, or purchase a new home.

Small businesses can borrow up to $2 million from the government through Small Business Administration disaster loans.

So far, the lines of people needing assistance hasn’t ebbed, Higginbotham says.

“There have been literally hundreds of people that have stopped by here since we opened on Friday,” he said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has a lot of company in Coney Island these days. The National Guard is currently doing door-to-door sweeps of the area and are bringing food and other staples to neighborhoods where supermarkets remain closed.

Con Edison has also begun a program that will reimburse residents who lost a refrigerator’s worth of food when the power went out and refused to come back on for more than 12 hours.

—with Will Bredderman

Updated 5:36 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

marilyn from prospect hts says:
The Federal government poured more than $700 Billion in interest free loans into Wall Street to save the banking industry. Real people don't get saved. They get turned into revenue streams. Here is an explicit example of how our government is stacked against us.
Nov. 5, 2012, 8:26 am
ty from pps says:
Why am I not surprised with the Brooklyn Paper? Once again... here's an article that is 90% positive. It's even opened with a photo of the National Guard distributing food and water. But lo and behold, the headline -- interestingly on the homepage only -- is along the lines "The Government is Killing Us"
Nov. 5, 2012, 9:55 am
ty from pps says:
Based on the NY Post-type reader (i.e., irrational right-wing nut jobs) that also frequent this paper, utter devastation can just be magically fixed in a matter of hours and any discomfort is unacceptable! I mean, you have no heat, electricity or water... and you depend on a medical device to survive? Yes, you should (a) not evacuate during the storm and (b) say it's Bloomberg's fault that you're dying because you refuse to relocate to a shelter temporary housing until the power is restored.

FEMA is providing funds for 2-week at a hotel if you can't live in your home. But it's better to say the gov't is evil right? Why? Because they aren't delivering your dinner to you house where you shouldn't even be in the first place?

Oh, and George Fox should go to a bank. If he can get a loan, he'll be able to pay back the FEMA loan and he won't have to worry about the "high interest"
Nov. 5, 2012, 10:09 am
judahspechal from bedstuy says:
Well said Ty! Just notice in NYPOST, most story are negative.
some how the lazy transit workers got the subway moving again. Not one praise for them.

Instead let's find the people that needs a foot rub for every two step taken. And splash that across the news.

There are lots of people doing good things right now.

Con ED, LIPA, PSEG they re humpting 16-18hrs day & their houses are probably flooded too.

Our culture, seemed to be base on movies & TV. Everything should be fixed already.
Nov. 5, 2012, 10:29 am
JAY from NYC says:
well how about this, the military responders who are the same people in this article, have been staying at the Lex Ave armory in Manhattan are being kicked out so Victoria Secret can do their underwear show.
NOT making this up, being reported in NY Post among others today!!!
This is BEYOND insane. Suggest you call VS at 1-800- 888-8200 and complain about this or go on face book and complain.
Nov. 5, 2012, 12:12 pm
K. from ArKady says:
Who knew decades of tax cuts could result in sub-par government services?
Nov. 5, 2012, 12:29 pm
Ahab from Bay Rij says:
Ty from PPS makes a good point about this and other papers' coverage of the efforts made by many agencies (government and non-government) with incredibly few resources and a huge demand for assistance. The amount of help that was rapidly provided to many people is of course small comfort to those who are still without power, heat, or shelter. Unfortunately, if we wanted enough FEMA employees on standby at all times to be ready for a disaster of this magnitude we wouldn't have spent eight years giving out huge tax breaks and then four years complaining about the resulting debt.
Nov. 5, 2012, 2:03 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
"sub-par government services" is redundant.
Nov. 5, 2012, 2:21 pm

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