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FEMA’S STEP Program – Suffolk and Nassau Counties

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has begun implementing its new Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) Program in Nassau and Suffolk Counties to help people get back into their homes as fast as possible. For more information on the STEP program click here.

The STEP program funds certain necessary and essential measures to help restore power, heat and hot water to primary residences that could regain power through necessary and essential repairs. The goal of STEP is to allow residents to reside in their homes while more substantive, permanent repairs are underway, eliminating the need for long-term housing solutions.

Under the program, residents of federally-designated disaster areas as a result of Sandy can have the damage to their homes assessed and, where safe and practicable, have electricity restored and other basic repairs made, making the space habitable once again.

Options offered to residents by FEMA and government agencies will include:

Residential Electrical Meter Repairs. For those who can move back into their homes, where repairing the electric meter is all that’s needed to have power restored. Work might include repairs to the weather head, service cable or the meter socket.

Shelter Essential Measures. For those whose home can be used to shelter-in-place, STEP will provide temporary electricity, heat and hot water to meet basic life sustaining needs while longer, more permanent repairs are made.

Rapid Temporary Exterior Repairs. This involves necessary and essential repairs to protect storm-damaged residences from further damage that may present an immediate threat to life and property, and where appropriate, facilitate sheltering-in-place pending repairs that are more permanent repairs. This may include securing broken windows, covering damaged exterior walls and roofs, patching and securing damaged exterior doors, tarp on the roof, minor electrical work and necessary inspections.

State and local governments are eligible applicants for direct federal assistance and/or reimbursement of eligible costs under the STEP program. Individual homeowners can then use FEMA traditional Individual Assistance to make permanent repairs to their homes.

An assessment will be used to recommend which elements of the STEP program are available.
  • For information in Suffolk County, call 211. CDCLI is administrating all aspects of the program on behalf of Suffolk County.
  • For information in Nassau County, call 1-888-684-4267.
Participation in the STEP program will make applicants for FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program ineligible for further Temporary Sheltering Assistance, if authorized, or subsequent lodging expense reimbursement, once work performed under STEP is completed.