Tag Archives: Hurricane Sandy

Disaster Aid Deadline Extended

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Maryland Emergency Management Agency announced today the deadline to apply for disaster aid for damages resulting from Hurricane Sandy is being extended to February 26.

“There are still people registering every day,” said Mike Lapinski, Federal Coordinating Officer. “We don’t want people with uninsured damages to their homes or businesses to miss the opportunity to register. That is why we are extending the deadline.”

February 26 will be the last day for residents to apply for state and federal disaster assistance to help them recover from the Hurricane Sandy. Additionally, February 26 will be the deadline for homeowners and businesses to submit applications for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The fastest and easiest way to register is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov. You may also register on your smartphone atm.fema.gov. If you do not have access to the internet, you may call FEMA’s toll-free hotline at
1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the deaf or hard of hearing. Telephone lines are open from 7 am to 10 pm, seven days a week until further notice, and multilingual operators are also available to answer your call.).

After the application deadline, FEMA’s toll-free phone line still will be available to assist those who have already registered. Applicants who have questions about disaster assistance programs or questions about the status of their previously filed applications should continue to use FEMA’s toll-free number.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property.

Applicants who have been referred to SBA must complete and return the SBA disaster loan application to be eligible for additional assistance under the part of the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses. There are other ONA grants such as public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses that do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan to be eligible.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

 

Senator Surveys Sandy Recovery Progress in Crisfield

By ANGELA HARVEY
Capital News Service

CRISFIELD – It’s been nearly three months since superstorm Sandy battered Maryland’s southernmost city, but Dawn Carter’s sister is still living in a motel.

Carter’s Crisfield home sustained only minor wind damage, she said Thursday, but as for her sister, “They evacuated everyone from her apartment complex. She is still waiting to be permanently relocated.” Carter said.

Despite that setback, overall, she said, the city is improving quickly. Almost all of the business are reopened, and most of the people she knows either never left their homes, or have been able to return.

“It’s not completely back to where we were, but we are making a lot of progress,” Carter said.

That’s the Crisfield that U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., saw Thursday in his survey of the progress made since Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast in late October.

“Today I have had the opportunity to see first-hand how devastating superstorm Sandy was to the businesses and individuals of Somerset County,” Cardin said at the Disaster Recovery Center.

The center was set up three weeks ago in the Lower Somerset Ambulance and Rescue Squad with funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Federal funds were provided for the county after President Barack Obama declared Somerset County a major disaster area on Dec. 15.

But getting that money was not easy. The president denied the county’s initial request, and it was not reversed until after an appeal by Cardin, Maryland’s senior Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Gov. Martin O’Malley.

The declaration allowed the county to receive individual assistance, in addition to the public assistance FEMA was already providing.

“FEMA has been a godsend to us,” said Steve Marshall, director of the Somerset County Department of Emergency Services and a Crisfield resident. FEMA, he said, “may not be able to help everybody but they’ve gone a long way in helping people who wouldn’t have had help otherwise.”

He has his own theory about why the help was slow in coming.

“This is the only storm in modern history that only affected our county and didn’t affect the rest of the Eastern Shore,” he said. That made it more difficult to obtain federal aid. “I saw people that I’ve known all my life suffering, and that was difficult for me.”

But there was a bright side: “The good thing is we didn’t lose anybody. We had no deaths or serious injuries. That tells me that we did something right.”

The government wants to continue to keep the city on the right path, said Cardin.

“When people rebuild their homes, we want them to rebuild them in a way to mitigate damage in the future,” he said, using the barriers built in Ocean City as an example.

The state’s congressional delegation is going to continue to seek assistance for Somerset County, including the recently passed emergency supplemental bill that will help restore public services, coastal restoration, fishery fund and public safety. The Senate has also approved a $60 billion request from the Obama administration for all the states affected by the storm, Cardin said.

“Those funds have been approved by the Senate but have not been approved in the House. We should have done this well before now, but let’s get it done,” Cardin said.

 

“Lights for Sandy” Tribute

The GriefShare Ministry at KIUMC invites you to participate in our “Lights for Sandy” tribute on New Year’s Eve, between the hours of 7 pm to 11 pm. We have seen the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and the pain of the victims’ loss.  Now again as a nation in mourning over the loss of 26 precious lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  We ask that you take a minute or five to participate in a time of silence and prayer for the victims, the survivors, the families and the friends… of SANDY.

The GriefShare Ministry team will be assembling 1000 luminary lights kits, to include ‘sand’ . We will have them ready to be distributed on December 28th through the 30th. We will be giving them out to the community as well as the attendees at our Kent Island United Methodist Church Sunday services on December 30th. Our hope is that this will spark others to do the same, whether individually or collectively, whether a candle or an luminary.

The families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School are about to face a devastating period of grief, an extremely complicated period of mourning. Our ministry knows that there can be healing, that it is a process that requires a lot of prayer and a lot of support. Soon the media will be gone, others will resume their own routines and, yes, they will mourn together, but each separately and uniquely. The way we grieve the death of a loved one depends upon many factors.  A few of these factors include the type of relationship you had with your loved one – parents,siblings, spouse, or children; and the way in which your loved one died, in this case suddenly with tremendous violence.  As reality sets in the long, lonely dark journey through grief begins.  Another important factor will be the love and support they receive during their journey.

Let us unite to be a small light in their darkness, with a tribute of silence and continued prayers.

For more information about the “Lights for Sandy” project or about GriefShare, contact apotts2004@aol.com, or 410-643-540, Annette Potts, GriefShare Ministry at KIUMC.

Feds Deny Storm Assistance to Eastern Shore

By MARIA-PIA NEGRO
Capital News Service

COLLEGE PARK – The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied Maryland’s request for financial help for lower Eastern Shore residents affected by Superstorm Sandy.

“This decision will make it more difficult for hard hit residents of the Eastern Shore to recover from the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said in a statement.

Maryland Emergency Management Agency officials said they would appeal the decision. The state had sought assistance for residents in Dorchester, Somerset and Worcester counties.

“It’s going to be very tough on the community and the county and the residents. It is what it is,” said P.J. Purnell, the mayor of Crisfield in Somerset County, which was hit hard by the storm.

The state has 30 days to appeal the denial. FEMA officials said that the agency determined that state and local volunteer agencies were able to handle the damage without federal help for individual residents.

“It was determined that is not beyond the capability of the state and local volunteers agencies to give assistance at this time,” said Mike Wade, a FEMA spokesman.

To successfully appeal the denial, Maryland needs to show that the state and local governments exceeded their capacity to help citizens.

“We need to get more documentation about the damage. We are doing that now,” said Ed McDonough, a public information officer for MEMA. He asked people with damage from Sandy who have not yet reported it to the state to do so.

“That’s the information that we need,” to appeal the decision, McDonough said.

FEMA is helping to pay for part of the cost of rebuilding public property damaged by the storm like government buildings and roads in 17 Maryland counties and Baltimore city that were affected by the storm.

Capital News Service reporter Aisha Azhar contributed to this report.

Crisfield Rebuilds After Storm While Waiting for Federal Help

By MARIA-PIA NEGRO
Capital News Service

CRISFIELD – Nearly a month ago, Superstorm Sandy sent flood waters washing through Teresa Shallcross’ home in this little city on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay. Her home of 20 years is uninhabitable because her furnace is slowly falling through her water-damaged floor.

She’s watched her neighbors and out-of-town volunteers band together to rebuild the hundreds of homes like hers damaged by 100 mph winds and rising flood water. But she’s still waiting for the federal government to join in the effort.

“What, because we are a town of only 25,000 people, we don’t matter?” Shallcross asked.

In Crisfield, hundreds of residents were displaced after the storm ravaged the East Coast and covered the city in five feet of water. But they’re still waiting to hear whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency will help them rebuild their flooded homes and businesses.

“It has been a nightmare. 300 houses were flooded. Another 200 houses…had water in their houses, garages, basements,” said Crisfield Mayor P.J. Purnell.

Immediately after Sandy hit, federal emergency personnel and Maryland National Guard troops went door-to-door to help Crisfield residents who were trapped by the waters. They left within 72 hours.

Since then, the citizens of Crisfield and the state government have tried to get the federal government’s attention to help volunteers and state agencies to repair the damage.

Last week, FEMA declared that Somerset County (home of Crisfield) and 17 other Maryland jurisdictions will receive public assistance to rebuild public property damaged by the storm. The declaration will cover about 75 percent of the cost to rebuild things like roads and government buildings.

But Crisfield residents are still waiting for President Obama to expand the disaster declaration to help families rebuild damaged homes and business. Gov. Martin O’Malley and other state officials have petitioned the White House to take that step.

Mike Wade, a FEMA spokesperson, said he did not know when — or even if — Obama would expand the disaster declaration to cover individual damages.

“The government should have this set up,” said Billie Jo Chandler, a Crisfield pizzeria owner. “We need three paid workers to help us with relief efforts. We need 10 but I’ll be happy with three.”

Instead of sitting around waiting for help, scores of volunteers are helping residents who have been displaced by the water damage.

The volunteers crews are going house to house, tearing up floors, ripping wet insulation from the walls and trying to remove the mold that is spreading through at least 200 houses. From a trailer at Somers Cove Marina—the volunteers’ headquarters– residents are putting in fewer hours at work to help out. Families help in every way they can.

“You put the children into bed and then you make more phone calls,” said Charlotte Wilson, the volunteer operation coordinator. “There is a lot to do. It would take us at least a year to get back to normal.”

The houses look normal on the outside, but the problem is inside. The salty water from the storm surge damaged heating systems and destroyed people’s personal belongings. The volunteers’ biggest concern is getting rid of the mold.

“It’s going to make them sick. A lot of people don’t want to leave their houses (for the crews to clean up),” Wilson said. “They say they would do it themselves but the mold is behind the walls. It’s just going to rise.”

Most of the displaced residents are living with relatives in Salisbury and other parts of Somerset County. For children, commuting to school takes hours. Some families were set up in motels or transitional housing provided by the state’s housing department.

Purnell worried that the storm’s destruction would affect the future of the city. Residents who lost their houses may never come back, he said. The flood also hurt small businesses that were already struggling to keep up, he said.

Crisfield, the southernmost city in Maryland, is known for its blue crabs, oysters and a quiet community life centered on the water. They are used to the tides. The old houses resting on top of concrete blocks have endured hurricanes before, but Sandy’s destruction caught them by surprise.

Many faith-based organizations have joined the volunteers’ recovery efforts. After the disaster, nearly all of the city’s 17 churches organized to provide for the displaced.

Emmanuel Church runs a food pantry and provides hot meals every day. If residents need to replace their clothes, they can go to the Church of God where piles of clothes donated from Baltimore, Delaware and other surrounding areas are neatly organized.

When the federal government left after the initial rescue efforts, volunteers from several states came in to help Crisfield’s residents to rebuild their homes.

A crew of about 150 extra volunteers comes on weekends from as far as Baltimore and Annapolis to help with the relief efforts. And groups of people from Virginia Beach offered to rebuild some houses for free.

The volunteer crews can only help salvage the homes of residents who do not have insurance to cover the reconstruction.

Volunteers said that many residents are fighting with their insurance companies to get help. Some companies argue that the flood insurance policies do not cover the damage because it was caused by tidal water, residents said. However, according to FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, overflow of tidal waters is considered flooding.

“We need the insurance to do what they are suppose to do and help us. I’ve got about $110,000 worth of insurance on my home and they are not doing anything,” Shallcross said.

Like many homeowners, Shallcross, is fighting with her company to cover flood damages. Her insurance company could not be reached for comment.

“We did not ask for help from the churches before because we wanted them to help those who could use it,” said Amanda Beckley, Shallcross’ daughter. “We didn’t know the insurance would do this to us.”

Wilson said that more and more people have been forced to leave their damaged houses but there is no place for them to stay.

“We have two hotels here in town and they are full. If they contact MEMA (the Maryland Emergency Management Agency), they could be able to have housing assistance for 90 days,” Wilson said. “After that, they would need to find another place, probably out of town.”

But the silver lining, Wilson said, is that the city and other parts of the Eastern Shore united to help their neighbors.

“The community is banding together to rebuild in this time of crisis,” she said.

BOE Marine Organizes Major Relief Effort for Hurricane Sandy Victims

What started as a spur of the moment remark by a local business owner has turned into a major relief effort to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Jim Maier, owner of BOE Marine in Stevensville, offered to drive a truck filled with supplies to New Jersey areas that had been devastated by the hurricane. He asked for monetary donations that he would use to purchase desperately needed supplies.

Well, people answered. Through BOE and other local businesses pulling together, five truckloads of supplies have been delivered, and the group says they will continue to send supply trucks until they run out of donations or there is no longer a need. Using larger trucks from BOE’s distribution company Mesco, they have delivered water, heaters, clothing, non-perishable food, batteries, lights and many other items to the hard hit New Jersey coastline.

Volunteers helped by dropping off items as well as making monetary donations and physically loading supplies into the trucks. Chick-Fil-A helped load supplies and handed out coupons to those making supply donations. Bradley Beach, NJ and Brick Town, NJ are two areas that have received truckloads of supplies. A delivery to Massachusetts is scheduled soon.

People may still make donations of supplies to two area locations: BOE Marine at 325 Cleat Street in Stevensville and Annapolis Harbor Boat Yard at 326 First Street in Annapolis. You also can make monetary donations using PayPal to jim@boemarine.com. Suggested items include bottled water, batteries, large trash bags and non-perishable food items.

Boaters for Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort has started a Facebook page where you can see pictures of the trucks and get updates about truck shipments. Call 866-735-5926 for more information on how you can help.

 

Hurricane Sandy Relief… It Started With a Post!

“I put it out there that I was willing to haul stuff up to NJ for our fellow boaters on the coast that have survived Sandy. And many are now pushing me to put my money where my mouth is. One customer came into my office today and dropped a hundred on the desk and said to get on with it!”Jim Maier of BOE Marine posted on his newly created Facebook Page ‘Boaters for Hurricane Sandy Relief’ on Friday November 2. “So, I’m ready, and I think organized enough to get this going. I have a 20′ Enclosed Trailer and a F350. My plan is to pack both with supplies for those in need.”
By Sunday November 4, BOE Marine Store was full of supplies, enough for 1 large 20 foot truck, 1 flatbed and 2 vans.It took the weekend for the Facebook, boating and Eastern Shore community to come together for our fellow Americans up north.

A partnership was quickly formed between BOE Marine and Chick-fil-A Kent Island as well as a program put in place at Babies in Bloom and Blooming Consignments, Centreville – ‘Sandwiches for Sandy Relief’, whereby donors received a Free Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich for making a donation.Dawn Schultz, co-owner of Babies in Bloom and Blooming Consignments also rallied around Sunday morning with her team and their families at the store to bring over 25 boxes of clothes to take on the Monday truck.

Beth Maier and her team from BOE Marine and Emily McAuley, Marketing Director for Chick-fil-A Kent Island have been coordinating and receiving donations all week long, organizing and re-packing ready for more trucks to take the supplies north.“When I first saw Jim’s Facebook post on Friday night, I felt compelled to help, on both a personal and professional level .I’ve sat on the couch and watched past disasters play out on the TV and could not sit by and let this one happen without getting involved one way or another”, Emily McAuley states. Emily connected with Queenstown Outlet Stores, Carl Scott from Food Lion, Matapeake Middle School, Scout Groups to set up donation requests as well as asking 20 of her friends to commit to spending $20 each in cleaning supplies, batteries and baby wipes, which were to be dropped off at Chick-fil-A for the Wednesday truck. Beth Maier comments, “I’ve been over-whelmed by the community’s generosity and willingness to get involved”.

Jim’s first trip Monday took him to Brick Township, NJ, where according to HLN News on Tuesday, over 12000 residents are still without power. A BBQ joined the 4 hour car trip and fired up to feed several of those in need of a good meal. The Mayor of Brick, set up the BOE Marine Team at a local high school, where the supplies from Maryland were given to those who needed it most. “A friend put me in touch with Bricktown mayor Steve Acropolis. Steve confirmed that his community was desperately in need of supplies so we headed to their town. The mayor and chief of police were there to greet us upon arrival. The most touching moment was watching a mother with nothing put her baby into a stroller we brought.” Jim Maier

Many individuals and families have contributed so far to the donation drive as well as companies such as Bellies, Babies and Beyond, Terry Ober Public Speaker, Arhaus Annapolis, Estate Treasures, Chico’s Queenstown, Kaspers Queenstown, True Value Chester and Food Lion.

Dawn from Babies in Bloom and Blooming Consignments will be bringing her donations as well as the donations from a school as far as Galena, Kent County this weekend. The Boaters for Hurricane Sandy Relief Partnership will continue to receive donations until Friday November 16 at BOE Marine. Donations that they are asking for are batteries, canned foods, baby wipes, diapers, pet foods and cleaning supplies such as sponges, cloths, bleach and sanitizers. BOE Marine is located at 325 Cleat Street, Stevensville.

– Emily McAuley

Bay Hundred Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort Seeks Donations

The Bay Hundred Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort, founded by local business, nonprofit and community leaders throughout Talbot County, will support NY and NJ victims of Hurricane Sandy with a clothing and supply drive. Due to difficulty with transportation within NJ and NY, monetary contributions are preferred. You can give financial support by sending a check to:

SMCC/Hurricane Relief
PO Box 354
St. Michaels, MD 21663
*Contributions are tax deductible

The group seeks local donations of warm clothing, blankets, cleaning and other supplies for distribution in New Jersey and New York communities that were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. The most needed items are:

• Heavy coats, hats, gloves
• Blankets
• New underwear, socks, t-shirts (packaged new items only)
• Cleaning products, shovels, garbage bags
• C&D batteries, latex gloves, facemasks and goggles for clean-up efforts
• Diapers

Donations can be dropped off at the St. Michaels Community Center and the St. Michaels YMCA. The effort is expected to last as long as necessary – trucks are expected to leave from Bay Hundred each week for the rest of the year, or as long as needed. The first delivery is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 8th.

Volunteers are needed to help with the effort. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the organizers at 410-253-4390 or by email Bayrelief2012@gmail.com

St. Michaels Community Center – 103 Railroad Ave., St. Michaels, MD 21663

YMCA – 1013 S. Talbot St., St. Michaels, MD 21663

Questions? Call the hotline at 410-253-4390 or email us Bayrelief2012@gmail.com

Did Your Business Sustain Storm Damage Due To Hurricane Sandy?

by qactv-public info

Do you know of or own a business that sustained damaged during Hurricane Sandy? Please send the name, address and contact information of any business that has sustained damage due to the storm to Jean Fabi at jfabi@qac.org or call 410.758.1255.

Queen Anne’s County Economic Development is compiling a list of businesses that have sustained storm damage to assist FEMA’s disaster recovery teams who will be touring each county assessing the damage. The list, to be forwarded to Maryland Emergency Management Administration, will help the teams in making as complete an assessment as possible, which in turn will help businesses receive federal assistance in a timely manner.

Thank you,
Jean E. Fabi
Business and Economic Development Liaison
Queen Anne’s County
Department of Planning and Zoning and
Dept. of Administrative Services
Economic Development
160 Coursevall Drive
Centreville, MD 21617
Telephone: 410.758.1255

The State of QAC County After Hurricane Sandy

by qactv-public info

CENTREVILLE – In general Queen Anne’s County weathered the storm very well, according to Kevin Aftung, director and chief of emergency services. In his update to the county commissioners Thursday, he said, “We had flooding, and many roads damaged as well as many trees down. Some county buildings had considerable water damage. As a whole I think we did very well as it could have been a lot worse if the storm had tracked further south. We had two shelters open until noon Tuesday.”

“The Blackboard Connect reverse notification system worked flawlessly throughout the storm, and was a great tool to have in our emergency management toolbox. We had a Facebook page up as well as a Twitter page running. This helped the situation considerably, as we were able to broadcast updates regularly which greatly reduced the number of non-emergency telephone calls received,” he said. “We are currently still under a state of declared emergency, but the daily operation of running the county has been relinquished back to the Commission and County Administrator. The declaration expires on Sunday. I would advise that we leave it in place until it expires, so if we qualify for Federal Public Assistance, we can continue to count the costs of cleanup after the storm. At the peak of the storm, we had about 5,500 households without power, and about 30 people in shelters. We also requested and received 2- five ton military trucks, 1 humvee, and two swift water rescue teams. The swift water teams were from South Carolina, and were dispatched through the National EMAC program. They were assigned to the Kent Island VFD and Sudlersville VFD. Both volunteer fire departments provided food and lodging for the teams.”

One of the most significant water problems we experienced was right in the 911 center, said Aftung. A conduit that was recently installed to carry fiber optic cable into the 911 center, began dumping gallons of water into our concealed floor area. This conduit is connected to three small manholes on the road called “hand holds”. These are designed to allow access to the conduit to allow access for running the cable. During the storm, these “hand holds” filled with water, and the conduit became a drain pipe directly dumping water in the communications center. Two employees, Chief Robbie Blackiston, and Rich Richardson, our radio technician, went outside at the worst of the storm, and placed a gasoline powered pump into the hand holds to stem the flow of water. Blackiston and Richardson climbed down into two separate hand holds head first with their feet being held by Billy Faust, Chairman of the Fire and EMS Commission, then applied a sealant to stem the water flow. “We had to call Price and Gannon in Centreville and ask them to open so we could buy the sealant. This was truly the difference in getting the problem resolved,” said Aftung. “Both men literally risked their lives to get the water flow stopped. When they finally got the water stopped, our interstitial floor (the hidden, open floor area under the communications center) had taken on several inches of water, and the water had begun to flow into the equipment room. Our on duty dispatchers immediately began moving equipment and vacuuming water that entered the equipment room. The net result is that by getting the water flow stopped, Blackiston and Richardson saved about 7.5 million dollars’ worth of radio equipment from being destroyed.” One particular piece of radio equipment, the zone controller, could not have been replaced as the part is longer made. Had that controller been damaged, the county would have had to request the immediate purchase of a complete new radio system. Loss of the zone controller would have affected communications to Caroline and Talbot County. “These two men deserve to be recognized for their truly gallant effort to save our communications center,” said Aftung. “And thanks to DPW Director Todd Mohn and his staff, we were able to quickly remove all of the water that had entered the 911 center.”

“The excellent relationship we have with all of the department heads, managers, partner agencies and volunteer fire departments made for a very smooth operation during the storm,” said Aftung. “I could not be more proud of all employees in the county. The degree of dedication of our employees is astronomical.”hurricx