FEMA Director Blogs Sandy Survivors Should Apply for Help Online – Almost One Million Still Without Power

By Penny Starr | November 7, 2012 | 3:20 PM EST

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate testified before a House Homeland Security subcommittee on Tuesday, April 27, 2010. (CNSNew.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) - Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate blogged on Tuesday about Hurricane Sandy, advising survivors to get help by “going online,” even as many as one million households remain without power more than a week after the Category One storm hit the East Coast.

“We know that there are many challenges ahead and that recovery will not happen overnight,” Fugate wrote on FEMA’s Blog. “Many survivors remain without power, and many are finding themselves without shelter.

“FEMA will remain in support of our state, tribal and local partners, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Fugate said. “Even as television cameras turn to other stories, we will be on the ground to support the survivors.

“If you are a survivor, it’s important to take that the first step is to register with FEMA, by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or going online to www.disasterassistance.gov on your computer or mobile device,” Fugate said.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg News reported that 974,000 people remained in the dark, about 350 million of those in New York.

On Sunday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that between 30,000 and 40,000 people may be in need of shelter.

Sandy is responsible for more than 100 deaths in 10 states, but New York and New Jersey were hit hardest.

“Having 2 million more people with power doesn’t mean a damn to you unless you are one of those 2 million people,” Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Monday in Keansburg, N.J.

Fugate also praised the Obama administration for being pro-active in responding to the storm in his Election Day blog.

“Days before the storm stuck, at the direction of President Obama, the entire federal government was mobilizing to support the anticipated state and local response to the storm,” Fugate wrote. “The President declared an emergency in over a dozen states, and resources and commodities like food, water and blankets were pre-positioned.

“FEMA staff was deployed to work side-by-side with their state and local counterparts to ensure coordination in response to the impacts of the storm, and urban search and rescue teams were deployed to prepare to support state and local efforts,” Fugate wrote.

In a press release posted on Tuesday, FEMA lauded the administration’s efforts and detailed the number of people helped and federal funds paid out.

“In response to Hurricane Sandy, as of 3 p.m., more than 277,700 individuals in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey have registered for assistance, and more than $251 million has been approved in FEMA Assistance,” the press release states.