Hurricane Sandy Resources: Information for Disaster Survivors and Recovering Communities

FEMA’s Hurricane Sandy Recovery Office provides the latest information on Sandy recovery. New Jersey residents can get more information through the State of New Jersey’s Hurricane Sandy Information Center. New York City residents can get more information through the NYC Recovery website. Information is also available from FEMA about the disaster process and disaster aid programs, hazard mitigation grant and loan programs and FEMA’s whole community approach to emergency management.

To learn about FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or to find an insurance agent, visit or call 1-888-229-0437. If your home or business has been damaged by flooding, you may be required to meet certain building requirements in your community to reduce future flood damage before you repair or rebuild. To help you cover the costs of meeting those requirements, the NFIP makes available Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage for all new and renewed standard flood insurance policies.

FEMA Flood Hazard Data for Rebuilding and Recovery Efforts

When Sandy struck coastal New Jersey/New York in October 2012, the coastal flood study for the region was only partially complete: the coastal storm surge analysis had been performed, but overland wave modeling and erosion analyses had not been started yet. Although only partially complete, the study showed a change in flood risk for coastal areas. To help residents in hard hit communities understand this change in flood risk and to provide updated information for rebuilding efforts, FEMA developed Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE) maps using the results of the partially completed coastal flood study.

Since then, preliminary work maps, followed by preliminary FIRMs have been issued in most areas that replace the ABFE maps as the most recent FEMA flood hazard data available. To learn more about how FEMA maps affect building and construction requirements, visit the Using FEMA Flood Hazard Data page or contact your local building department. The Historical FEMA Flood Hazard Releases page provides more information about the ABFE maps and preliminary work maps.

FEMA Guidance for Reconstruction Efforts

Information about how to build back safer and stronger is available in the FEMA Hurricane Sandy Building Science fact sheet.

Following Sandy, FEMA’s Mitigation Assessment Team developed a series of recovery advisories. They offer mitigation measures that could be taken to minimize damage to buildings.

Buildings located in a Special Flood Hazard Area that are determined to be substantially damaged or improved must be brought into compliance with the requirements of the community’s NFIP-compliant floodplain management laws or ordinances. The Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) software was developed to assist State and local officials in estimating building value and costs to repair buildings and is available at no cost. The reference document Substantial Damage Estimator Best Practices is also available online.

A summary of resources available from FEMA, States and other organizations to support rebuilding efforts is also available through the following pages:

Before building, property and business owners should consult their local government officials to determine the local building code, permit, and mandatory elevation requirements for their home or building.

Questions or comments? Visit our Contacts page to find a subject matter expert who can assist you.