Sections

FEMA closes disaster recovery centers across Brooklyn

FEMA centers shut their doors

Brooklyn Daily
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

All but one of FEMA’s Brooklyn disaster recovery centers will close at 3 pm today, leaving the Coney Island location at MCU Park as the agency’s last outpost in the borough.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency cited dwindling numbers of disaster-victim drop-ins as the reason for shutting the three other recovery centers, two of which only opened their doors about five weeks ago.

The disaster recovery center at the Sheepshead Bay Yacht Club on Emmons Ave. between Brown and Batchelder streets, and the Gerritsen Beach location at the Volunteer Fire Department Training Hall on Seba Ave. between Frank and Eaton courts — which opened in early January after intense lobbying by local groups — will both close completely.

The Shorefront Y disaster recovery center on Coney Island Ave. near Brightwater Court in Brighton Beach will reopen on Feb. 19 as a Small Business Administration disaster loan outreach center, where that agency’s staff will remain to help both business owners and residents apply for low-interest disaster loans.

“The State of New York and the Federal Emergency Management Agency closely monitor visitor traffic at all New York recovery centers,” FEMA said in a Feb. 13 press release. “Traffic at the four centers has slowed, indicating the information needs of survivors in those areas have mostly been met.”

The Gerritsen Beach center saw an average of 24 visitors a day, and the Sheepshead Bay location helped about 22 Sandy victims each day, during the short time they were open, according to FEMA records. The Coney Island location at MCU Park, which will remain open until further notice, has severed 52 each day on average since it opened in early December.

Gerritsen Beach Cares president Michael Taylor complains that while foot traffic may be tapering off, victims living far from MCU Park — many of whom lost their cars to the storm surge — still need help centers the can get to on foot.

“Without a doubt, there needs to be a FEMA setup within walking distance of the affected homes,” said Taylor, whose group continues to operate a relief tent and supply depot on Gerritsen Avenue near Devon Avenue.

FEMA officials point out that Sandy victims can apply for assistance through the agency’s website, or by calling (800) 621–3362 to receive help in a variety of languages.

Folks have until Feb. 24 to apply for transitional shelter assistance, and until Feb. 27 to apply for disaster relief loans and grants to help pay for “rent, essential home repairs, personal property losses and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance,” according to FEMA’s website. The agency urges all Sandy victims to register for assistance before the deadlines, regardless of pending insurance claims.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: