The Governor continues to work tirelessly to support the Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts. Because of his efforts, New York expects to receive approximately $30 billion in federal aid for recovery, rebuilding and mitigation. These resources will enable New York to build back smarter and stronger and ensure that the state is better prepared for the future. The Governor's storm recovery plan includes: repair and rebuilding from the storm damage; efforts to allow the state to better respond to future disasters; and initiatives to better protect the state from the impact of future storms.
In the wake of the storm, the state took immediate action and has implemented an array of programs and initiatives to support the recovery. Some of the highlights include:
- The Recreate NY Smart Home Repair and Reconstruction grants were established for single- family and multifamily homes, to provide assistance to homeowners who had significant damage not covered or compensated by their insurance or FEMA. The NY Smart Home Buyout Program was established for homeowners whose homes were substantially damaged or destroyed or who live in specific high-risk, flood-prone areas, who can choose to apply for a buyout of their property.
- The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) conducted a detailed inspection and evaluation of its public transit system – particularly the New York City subways – to plan and execute thorough repair and recovery from damage wrought by Superstorm Sandy. Some major initiatives included repair and re-commissioning of the formerly shuttered old South Ferry Station to replace use of the new South Ferry Station, which was severely damaged in the storm, and a seven-month effort to rebuild three-and-one-half miles of track to restore A train service to the Rockaways.
- Governor Cuomo led an effort to ensure that all state parks were repaired for the traditional Memorial Day weekend kick-off to summer. The storm had closed all 55 state parks and caused $130 million worth of damage.
To help the State to better respond to future disasters, the Governor has proposed:
- Enacting the nation’s strongest back-up power requirements for gas stations in strategic locations. The Governor’s “Fuel NY” initiative will make up to $17 million in funding available to help retail gas stations improve their back-up power capacity so they can meet these new requirements and remain open during major storms.
- Launching a statewide emergency location tracking system to ensure the safety of patients and residents when healthcare and human services facilities are forced to evacuate as a result of a natural disaster. The system is a secure, confidential, fast and easy-to-use system to provide real-time access to patient locations.
- Creating a network of individuals and organizations that will help the state meet critical needs in disaster relief efforts by matching volunteers with opportunities to assist.
Governor Cuomo outlined a comprehensive strategy to better protect against damaging future storms by:
- Making investments to rebuild and strengthen critical infrastructure in the areas of transportation, fuel supply, water supply, wastewater treatment systems, electric distribution systems and flood protection systems.
- Building new natural infrastructure, including wetlands, reefs, dunes, and berms to reduce the impact of wave action, storm surges and sea level rise.
- Improving hospitals, nursing homes and clinics to ensure these critical facilities are more resilient to future storms.
In the last six months, Governor Cuomo has initiated work in all these areas. Examples include:
- Launched comprehensive programs to provide small businesses and homeowners affected by recent storms with financial assistance and funding to repair and rebuild their businesses and homes.
- Announced the Community Reconstruction Zone (CRZ) Program that will help communities across the state develop their own plans to rebuild and make themselves more resilient for the future. The state will provide extensive technical assistance, funding, and policy support to each of the CRZ communities and will then provide funding to help implement each successful plan.
- Enacted a short-term moratorium on construction of new healthcare facilities in the most vulnerable locations, while quickly developing new standards to ensure hospitals and other critical facilities are built to resilient standards.
- Allocated $60 million in funding for distributed generation projects that will help protect commercial, industrial, health care, institutional and multi-family facilities across the state from weather-related power disruptions while also decreasing demand on the power grid.
- Directed state agencies to foster resilience by implementing natural and green infrastructure to mitigate flooding and limit the impact of coastal storm surges.
- Secured $340 million in federal funding to undertake flood-mitigation projects at wastewater and drinking water plants in communities damaged by Superstorm Sandy.