Hurricane Sandy Fall 2013 Update: FEMA Assistance Analysis

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This research brief uses a dataset released by FEMA in August 2013 to examine the level of need and the response efforts in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. This brief includes data related to FEMA inspections of those who registered for assistance and the amount that had been awarded to those with assessed damage.

The devastation unleashed by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 is a stark reminder of the importance of having a safe place to call home. In this brief, we use data released in August 2013 by FEMA to examine the level of need and the response efforts in the communities hardest hit by the storm. In addition to providing the characteristics of registrants for assistance, this release includes information about inspections and assistance approvals for those who registered for assistance through FEMA’s Individual and Households Program (IHP). Key findings of this report include:

  • The number of registrants for FEMA assistance grew by only 8,504 (1.6%) between February and June 2013.
  • Of all registrants, 55% had their home or property inspected for damage. The inspection rate did not differ substantially between owners (58%) and renters (52%).
  • About 61% of those inspected (178,095 registrants) were approved by FEMA for assistance through IHP. The average award approved was $7,787.
  • FEMA has approved a total of $1.4 billion in IHP assistance in N.Y. and N.J. Owner registrants were awarded $1.1 billion of that total, while renter registrants were awarded $323 million.
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