The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in conjunction with state, local and tribal partners, has begun implementing its new Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power Program to help people get back into their homes as fast as possible.
The goal is to allow residents to reside in their homes while permanent repairs are underway, eliminating the need for long-term housing solutions.
STEP assists state, local and tribal governments in performing work and services essential to saving lives, protecting public health and safety, and protecting property.
The program funds certain necessary and essential measures to help restore power, heat and hot water to primary residences that could regain power through necessary and essential repairs.
Under the program, residents of designated Sandy disaster areas can have damage to their residences assessed and, where safe and practicable, have electricity restored and other basic repairs made so they can move back into their homes.
Options offered to residents by FEMA and government agencies will include:
Residential Electrical Meter Repairs. For those who can move back into their homes, where repairing the electric meter is all that’s needed to have power restored. Work might include repairs to the weather head, service cable or the meter socket.
Shelter Essential Measures. For those whose home can be used to shelter-in-place, STEP will provide temporary electricity, heat and hot water to meet basic life sustaining needs while permanent repairs are made.
Rapid Temporary Exterior Repairs. This involves necessary and essential repairs to protect storm-damaged residences from further damage that may present an immediate threat to life and property, and where appropriate, facilitate sheltering-in-place pending repairs that are more permanent repairs. This may include securing broken windows, covering damaged exterior walls and roofs, patching and securing damaged exterior doors, tarp on the roof, minor electrical work and necessary inspections.
State and local governments are eligible applicants for direct federal assistance and/or reimbursement of eligible costs under the STEP program. Individual homeowners can then use FEMA traditional Individual Assistance to make permanent repairs to their homes.
An assessment will be used to recommend which elements of the STEP program are available. For information in Suffolk County, call 211. For information in Nassau County, call 1-888-684-4267.
Participation in the STEP program will make applicants for FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program ineligible for further Temporary Sheltering Assistance, if authorized, or subsequent lodging expense reimbursement, once work performed under STEP is completed.