Since the storm, McDonough said, his staff has worked to help people contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in addition to advocating for them with insurance companies so they receive the assistance they need to repair their homes. In this way, the assemblyman said, the Sandy crisis would not only continue in 2013, but also grow in certain respects, as residents explore alternative assistance if they don’t get the money they need from insurance packages. That is why McDonough said helping people communicate with different agencies and educating them about loans and short-term emergency care would be a priority.
“They don’t know where to turn, and they’re not getting responses,” he said. “They come to us and ask if we can help them get through. I put myself in these people’s shoes and ask what it would be like to live in a hotel.”
Fuschillo said recovery would also be a priority for his office in 2013, describing Hurricane Sandy as the most devastating storm that his senate district has experienced.
Fuschillo said that he and his staff have worked with constituents on an individual basis by putting them in touch with state agencies and helping them apply for municipal building permits. The senator noted that he also partnered with the nonprofit agency Long Island Cares to provide supplies to those in need after the storm.
Fuschillo also represents areas in his district, which stretches from Baldwin Harbor to the Village of Lindenhurst, on the Senate’s bipartisan task force on Hurricane Sandy recovery. The senator said the destruction throughout these communities is unbelievable.
“When you go to certain areas, the houses are shells,” he said. “That’s why helping those in need is a priority; that’s critically important to my staff.”
With the state legislative session beginning this week, Fuschillo and McDonough left Merrick for Albany, where they said they want to work with their fellow lawmakers to lower taxes, create jobs and reduce spending.