Whether it's by providing funding and technical expertise or by reducing red tape and regulatory burdens, a variety of federal departments and agencies have a role to play in this rebuilding effort. The task force's job is to ensure those resources are aligned with local priorities and bring everyone - including federal, state and local officials, community and stakeholder groups and the private sector - together to make local rebuilding visions a reality. The task force's partner agencies will bring a range of resources to this effort.
Below are a few examples of how specific departments and agencies are supporting local rebuilding efforts. Click here for a list of staff from partner agencies who are working directly with the Task Force.
The Department of Transportation is coordinating closely with its state and federal partners to speed the restoration and improve the infrastructure of transportation mobility in those affected states. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provided $59 million in quick release emergency funds to five states affected by the storm in November 2012. In February, DOT made available $2 billion through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) new Emergency Relief Program to help protect, repair, reconstruct, and replace public transit equipment and facilities that were badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The funds are the first installment of $10.9 billion appropriated to the FTA through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, which President Obama signed into law on January 29. Up to $5.5 billion will go towards ensuring the region’s transportation infrastructure is better able to withstand coastal flooding and other weather-related challenges in the future.
The Small Business Administration provides low-interest, long-term loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and private, non-profit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, equipment and business assets that have been damaged in a disaster like Hurricane Sandy. In addition, SBA provides support to our resource partners – the Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, Women’s and Veterans Business Development Centers – so they can assist businesses rebuild and reopen. For more information about how SBA can help you recover and rebuild from Hurricane Sandy, please visit www.sba.gov/Sandy, call our disaster assistance center at 1-800-659-2955, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Labor
To date, the Labor Department has announced $49.5 million in National Emergency Grants (NEG) and Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) for Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. The Department’s Employment and Training Administration is also ensuring that workers who lost jobs because of Sandy are able to receive DUA, which includes part-time workers, the self-employed, those scheduled to start a new job, and others who may not be eligible for traditional Unemployment Insurance benefits.
The U.S. Commerce Department's U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) plays a critical role in the National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) as the Coordinating Agency for the Economic Recovery Support Function, facilitating recovery activities, such as leveraging existing resources and authorities, to make a positive impact for communities affected by disasters. At the request of FEMA, EDA is working work with Federal partners to lead teams of EDA staff to implement the Economic Recovery Support Function in New York and New Jersey in the wake of hurricane Sandy. These teams will help state and city officials, and local communities identify and assess long term economic impacts and explore immediate and short term actions to expedite recovery. Additionally, EDA can assist impacted communities in addressing long term disaster relief and recovery needs through competitive grants to eligible applicants. The agency’s disaster recovery activities generally fall within three categories: Strategic Planning and Technical Assistance; Infrastructure Design and Development; and, Capital for Alternative Financing. For more information, contact EDA at 202-482-2900 or go to www.eda.gov/disasterrecovery.htm
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will work with local, state, and other Federal agencies to help oceanfront and bayside communities impacted by Superstorm Sandy recover and rebuild in a more resilient fashion, enabling them to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of coastal hazards, and climate change. NOAA’s range of capabilities in coastal management, science, habitat creation and restoration, decision support, technical assistance, and training provide a powerful combination to advance recovery, as evidenced by our long term efforts after Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon spill. NOAA is seen as an honest broker for providing science based information, along with the tools and expertise to apply this information effectively in coastal regions. NOAA has a unique responsibility to guide long-term land use planning in coastal areas and has the authority, resources, and partnerships with states and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to create a long-term vision for how the coast is rebuilt. NOAA applies a wide range of capabilities to inform decision-making and identify sustainable, cost-effective solutions that increase resilience to extreme weather, coastal flooding, and sea level rise while balancing economic and environmental considerations.
Army Corps of Engineers
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers responded in support of FEMA and the National Response Plan in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. That support continues. On January 29, 2013, President Obama signed P.L. 113-2, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013, into law. The Act provides USACE with $5.35 billion in supplemental appropriations to repair, restore, and rehabilitate East Coast projects damaged by Hurricane Sandy and to reduce risk from future coastal storm events.