Orange, Putnam, Ulster eligible to apply for individual FEMA aid

Jeff Hudson, of the Ulster County Department of Jeff Hudson, of the Ulster County Department of Public Works, and his crew cleaned up debris washed on to River Road in Ulster Park on Oct. 30, after Hurricane Sandy. The Hudson River rose to a record 9.54 feet near Poughkeepsie. Photo Credit: Meghan Murphy

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People in Orange, Putnam and Ulster counties can now apply for individual aid from FEMA, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said.

Initially, only seven counties were eligible for federal disaster relief in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, including Bronx, Kings, Queens and New York counties, as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.

At the urging of local politicians, including Republican County Executive Rob Astorino and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Harrison), FEMA declared Westchester and Rockland counties would be eligible for relief.

One major difference for Orange, Putnam and Ulster counties is that FEMA aid is limited to individuals, not organizations or local governments.

"I thank President Obama for adding these four counties to the major disaster declaration," Cuomo said in a statement. "The destructive effects of Hurricane Sandy are far-reaching and will require the maximum amount of federal assistance so these communities can rebuild and recover."

Like all other FEMA claims, requests for disaster relief must be placed after registering with FEMA. Individual victims of the hurricane can call 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing-impaired. Victims of Hurricane Sandy can also register online at www.disasterassistance.org or on the mobile web at m.fema.gov.

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