Rebuilding and Recovering After Ida

Hurricane Ida devastated parts of our borough on Sept. 1, with nearly a dozen of our Queens neighbors among the 18 people who lost their lives in New York State, leaving numerous families left picking up the pieces of their damaged homes and businesses.

Storm recovery can be complicated and confusing for those trying to recover, but know that my office will be with you every step of the way.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has opened a Disaster Recovery Center at Queens College, offering free, in-person, one-on-one assistance to anyone impacted by Ida. Open from 8am to 7pm each day until further notice, recovery specialists from both FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration are on hand answer residents’ questions and direct them toward necessary resources.

Below is a list of critical federal, state and city resources available to you in this difficult time. If you need assistance, please contact my office at 718-286-3000 or [email protected]

Hurricane Ida Relief Town Hall

Taking immediate action after Ida, Borough President Richards held a Relief Meeting on September 8, bringing together government agencies and other relief entities to give impacted residents a detailed breakdown of the resources and services available to them following the storm. 

Held in partnership with Nantasha Williams, the NYC Comptroller’s Office, the American Red Cross, the NYC Office of Emergency Management and others, the meeting can be viewed by clicking here.

Federal Resources

Ahead of his visit to Queens on September 7, President Biden declared Queens County and other area counties as Major Disaster Areas, freeing up federal funds and other resources, including grants for temporary housing and home repairs as well as low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses can apply for federal assistance by clicking here or by calling 1-800-621-3362. To learn how to appeal a decision made by FEMA, click here.

Additional multilingual information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency regarding Ida recovery, including how to speed up disaster assistance and avoid scams, can be found here, here and here. It is also critical that flooded properties are cleaned properly to avoid mold infestations and other issues. Click here for more. 

The federal Small Business Administration is also stepping up to provide assistance to individuals impacted by Ida. For more information about disaster loans and the deadlines to apply, click here, here or here

State Resources

UPDATE (9/27): Governor Kathy Hochul announced the creation of a $27 million relief fund for undocumented residents impacted by Hurricane Ida who are not eligible for storm recovery assistance through FEMA.

The funding will be distributed through grants to an established network of community organizations, including Make the Road New York and the MinKwon Center in Queens.

To get connected with assistance, impacted residents should call the Office of New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636, 9:00am to 8:00pm, Monday through Friday or visit the partner not-for-profits. Hotline assistance is available in over 200 languages.


The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has opened five service centers for impacted families in Queens: 24-01 87th Street in East Elmhurst (9am-5pm), 46-02 47th Avenue in Sunnyside (8am-8pm), 79-01 Broadway in Elmhurst (9am-5pm), 41-40 Junction Boulevard in Corona (9am-5pm) and 90th Avenue and 183rd Street in Jamaica (9am-5pm)

Staffed by NYDFS employees, each services center will help residents and business owners impacted by the storm with insurance information regarding policy coverage for losses and suggestions on how to document their losses and safeguard their property. Appointments are not necessary.

For a full list of resources available through the state, including food assistance and a crisis help line, click here.

City Resources

Click here to file a water damage or loss claim form with the NYC Comptroller’s Office, stemming from Hurricane Ida damage.

Click here for a full list of resources available through the City of New York, including food assistance, pet assistance, mental health services information on how to properly clean your home or business after a flood, securing transportation to a service center and more. 

The City of New York has opened a services center for impacted families at M.S. 125, located 46-07 47th Avenue in Woodside, from 8am to 8pm. Services provided at the center include but are not limited to:

  • Department of Social Services will assist with enrollment in SNAP benefits, cash assistance, and public health insurance, and help connect people with emergency food assistance. English and Spanish speakers will be available to assist with enrollment.
  • Housing Preservation and Development be providing information about resources to homeowners and advise tenants how to proceed with getting an inspection if there was a lot of damage and they believe they cannot return.
  • Department for the Aging will assist in case management and senior employment.
  • Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will assist with language and immigrant issues.
  • Small Business Services will assist small business owners who were impacted by the storm.
  • Referrals and information for pump out assistance for residents who still have standing water in their homes.
  • Department of Buildings will be able to answer questions from the public related to damaged structures, conducting repairs or renovations, and to provide guidance regarding the filing of construction projects with DOB.
  • Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will provide mental health counseling.
  • American Red Cross in Greater New York will assist in disaster relief management — including referrals, distribution of emergency supplies, and applying for assistance — and mental health counseling.