Federal Relief Programs To Assist District Residents Impacted by Hurricane Ida, Says Harlem Espaillat

September 14, 2021

Representative Adriano Espaillat released the following statement and update on available federal resources to assist constituents of New York’s 13 congressional districts affected by Hurricane Ida.

“My office continues to work in collaboration with federal, state, and local community advocates to support the ongoing response for Ida and the storm’s impact to my district,” said Rep. Espaillat. “As clean-up efforts continue across the city and state, I encourage residents to utilize the following federal resources to apply for assistance and other storm-related programs. My office is available to help residents navigate the application process, and we stand ready to assist residents as needed.”

Rep. Espaillat joined New York Governor Hochul, New York City Councilmember Mark Levine, New York State Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa and others earlier this month to assess the impact of the storm across his district.

Additionally, Rep. Espaillat and Rep. Grace Meng spearheaded a bipartisan letter to the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee urging legislation to provide the highest amount of federal funds possible for New York.

Apply for Assistance:

  • Individuals affected by Hurricane Ida in New York can apply for assistance.
  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
  • Call 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Hours: 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. ET, 7 days a week.
  • If you use a relay service (a videophone, InnoCaption, CapTel, etc.), please provide your number assigned to that service. FEMA must be able to contact you. Be aware that phone calls from FEMA come from an unidentified number.

Due to current disaster activity, FEMA is experiencing heavy call volumes and applicants may also apply for relief online at DisasterAssistance.gov.

For additional resources, visit the New York Disasters Relief portal or the list of state and local resources accessible for residents and families throughout the region.

Beware of Fraud:

During this challenging time, we urge all residents to be mindful and aware of potential scams taking advantage of survivors by posing as official disaster-aid workers or even as relatives trying to help survivors complete their applications.

Common post-disaster fraud practices include:

Fake offers of state or federal aid: Federal and state workers do not solicit or accept money.

Phony housing inspectors: When a disaster occurs, applicants may be vulnerable to phony housing inspectors claiming to represent FEMA to inspect damage. Ask to see the inspector’s identification badge. All FEMA personnel and contractors will have official laminated photo identification.

There may be occasions when a FEMA representative must contact you to verify personal data. You should request a FEMA identification number (or FEMA registration number) from the caller.

Phony agents: Federal, state, and local disaster workers do not solicit or accept money. Nor will federal disaster employees promise a disaster grant.

Fraudulent charitable solicitations: A list of reputable charities that are approved by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance is available at Give.Org.

Rental listing scams: The Federal Trade Commission has information on how rental-listing scams work. For instance, scammers know that finding the right apartment or vacation rental can be hard work, and a seemingly good deal is hard to pass up. Learn more at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0079-rental-listing-scams.

Beware of unlicensed/uninsured contractors/phony contractors: Often after a disaster, individuals will represent themselves as legitimate contractors. Ask for references, be cautious about advanced payments, make sure they are licensed and obtain the proper permits.

If you have knowledge of fraud, waste, or abuse, you can report these tips – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – to the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or email disaster@leo.gov.

If you believe you or a loved one has become a victim of a scam or identity theft, report it immediately to your local police or sheriff’s department, or contact the office of the New York Attorney General:

Representative Espaillat is the first Dominican American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and his congressional district includes Harlem, East Harlem, West Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill and the northwest Bronx.

First elected to Congress in 2016, Representative Espaillat is serving his third term in Congress. Representative Espaillat currently serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Committee on Appropriations responsible for funding the federal government’s vital activities.

He is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), where he serves as the Second Vice Chair and is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, where he serves as Deputy Whip.

Representative Espaillat also currently serves as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.

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