More Resources to Help You Recover from Sandy

The aftermath of Sandy at 99 Commercial Street, in Greenpoint
The aftermath of Sandy at 99 Commercial Street, in Greenpoint (photo by Hrag Vartanian for Hyperallergic)

For those still struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy and the destruction left in its wake, we’ve rounded up a few more ways that you can get help.

First, for all the nonprofits out there: you may be eligible for assistance from FEMA. In the wake of the storm, President Obama signed a declaration allowing FEMA to provide aid to “Private Not for Profit (PNP) groups.” As of yet, there’s no golden rule to determine who’s eligible and who isn’t, but anyone who thinks their organization might qualify is encouraged to apply.

The initial step in that process is attending an Applicant Briefing session; unfortunately, the last scheduled one we can find right now is this afternoon at 2 pm (RSVP here). If you can’t make that, however, you can still fill out a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) form (information for submitting here); the deadline for those is December 2.

And again, even if you’re not sure if your group qualifies or think it might not, it can’t hurt to attend the briefing or apply, just in case. A special announcement from NYC Commissioner Ronald E. Richter explains (their emphasis, not mine):

FEMA determines whether a Private Non-Profit (PNP) is eligible. This is an evolving process, and categories of eligibility may change as the specifics of Hurricane Sandy’s impact become clearer. We strongly encourage you to attend an Applicant Briefing regardless of whether or not your organization type is listed as eligible in FEMA guidelines.

Second, for anyone still trying to figure out how to salvage damaged artworks, Connecting to Collections is hosting a webinar and live chat tomorrow at 2 pm. The session will feature Beverly Perkins, chief conservator at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, and Hilary Kaplan, a longtime conservator and current employee of the National Archives, and will cover “health and safety concerns; triage, loss, and stabilization of collections; and recovery strategies.” The webinar is open to everyone, and information about how to access the event is here.

Finally, if you’re a freelancer in New York or New Jersey, the Freelancers Union has a helpful blog post detailing how you can receive compensation through the Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program, which offers up to $405/week in NY and up to $611/week in NJ. In the former, you have to call the state Department of Labor hotline to apply, and the deadline is December 3. In the latter, freelancers must first apply for traditional unemployment insurance and, once approved, can then apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance by calling one of the listed numbers. The post also has links to resources provided by both states about determining your eligibility.

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