In response to the urgent need for coordinated federal and state aid and intervention resources after Hurricane Sandy, Nassau County Legislator Howard Kopel (R-Lawrence), Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, and Town of Hempstead Councilmen Anthony Santino and James Darcy, in conjunction with the county’s Office of Emergency Management, and Young Israel of Woodmere, have joined efforts to establish a formal disaster recovery and relief information center at the synagogue.
The Five Towns Disaster Recovery and Relief Information Center will remain in the community s long as needed. It is accessible from 842 Glen Drive — through Young Israel of Woodmere’s parking lot — from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The center is staffed with specialists assigned by the county’s Office of Emergency Management from essential programs such as FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Individual Assistance and Public Assistance, FEMA Hazard Mitigation, SBA, IRS, STEP, NYS Dept. of Financial Services to assist with insurance issues, NYS Dept. of Health & Aging, social and rehabilitation services, crisis counseling agencies, and from the Town of Hempstead Building Department and Office of the Receiver of Taxes to guide those in need with construction permits, engineering, and zoning, and taxation issues.
They are on-site to assist with FEMA and SBA (Small Business Administration) applications, intervene with complex insurance claims, verify information, and facilitate solutions for various other issues. Each specialist is an expert in their department procedures and protocols, and because they are dispatched to the Five Towns center on long-term assignment, local residents should have the confidence that any information they receive will be accurate, and that those who deliver it are accountable for the intervention they provide.