Tropical Storm Irene put quite a hurting on the Albany area, especially our neighbors in Schoharie county.  This morning FEMA representative Nate Custer stopped by the studio to give me a little information on how you can get help from the Emergency Agency.

FEMA public information officer Nate Custer explained to me this morning that usually what FEMA does is go door to door to find out if people in disaster stricken areas need help.  The problem they are having right now is that some of the areas that are the most in need are very hard to get to.  It makes it hard to go door to door when people homes are gone.  So he was making the rounds today to let people know what they need to do in order to get help from them.

The first thing that you'll need to do is apply for assistance.  You can do so by calling 1-800-621-3362 or register online.   You will need the following things:

  • Social Security Number
  • Private Security Info (if available)
  • Flood insurance info (if available)
  • Address and Zip Code of the damaged property
  • Directions to said property
  • Day time phone number

By getting this assistance you will be able to receive such things as temporary housing, home repairs, and other disaster related necessary expenses and serious needs. At that point you'll receive your 9 digit FEMA registration number.  Make sure to keep it!

There is also Disaster Unemployment Assistance available as well, and that would help put people who are out of work as a direct result of Hurricane Irene.  The availability of this program is wide spread throughout the Capital Region, the following counties are eligible:

  • Albany
  • Clinton
  • Delaware
  • Dutchess
  • Essex
  • Greene
  • Montgomery
  • Nassau
  • Orange
  • Otsego
  • Rensselaer
  • Rockland
  • Saratoga
  • Schenectady
  • Schoharie
  • Suffolk
  • Sullivan
  • Ulster
  • Warren
  • Westchester

You can apply for this by calling 1-888-209-8124.  The due date to apply for unemployment is October 3, 2011 so don't wait around!

There are also several disaster recovery centers around our area as well.  You can get to the Social Services office in Rensselear County, Holiday Inn Express in Schoharie County, The Prattsville Town Hall in Greene County and Rotterdam Mall in Schenectady County.  The help is there, so seek it out before it's too late.