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What You Need To Know About FEMA's STEP Program

The national program is meant to help residents ravaged by Superstorm Sandy get back into their homes quickly.

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.

Karen Shore November 28, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Federally recognized Indian tribes
Barbara F November 28, 2012 at 02:37 PM
They're just starting NOW? Where have they been? Notably MIA in the Rickaways. Paperwork is not going to help these people. Thank goodness for the private and community efforts who are there on the ground doing what really needs to be done, not sitting around thinking up "programs."
UV ELECTRIC November 28, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Does anyone know how to become a contractor or tradesman that does the surveys and the repairs under this FEMA STEP program? I have been asking FEMA officials for weeks and still can't get a straight answer. Seems to be a very well kept secret.
Stinker November 28, 2012 at 10:37 PM
The Federal Management Agency is implementing the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power Program or STEP Program. However, Participation in the STEP program will make applicants for FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program ineligible for further Temporary Sheltering Assistance. I dare you to do a follow up story and find a single person that received tangible assistance from FEMA.
marie haar November 29, 2012 at 03:25 PM
most of the assistance im hearing about is from volunteers and private donations

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