Washington, DC -- Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) agreed to make Bronx families eligible for individual assistance to recover from damage suffered from Hurricane Irene. Individual assistance allows people to request aid for damage to their homes and personal belongings damaged by the storm.

Rep. Engel said “The Bronx had already been included for public assistance, but I am very pleased that FEMA agreed to adding individuals from neighborhoods in the Bronx damaged by the storm after my requests.  After I toured the damaged areas, I spoke to FEMA repeatedly and insisted they provide individual assistance for the residents of the Bronx, Rockland and Westchester Counties.  There is no politics, nor regional distinction; the rising waters show no bias.  Bronx residents suffered, just as neighborhoods suffered throughout the region and state.  Disasters such as Irene show how the federal government, with its resources, is vital to help people in their greatest need.  I am appalled by some of my House colleagues saying that aid to victims should be tied to budget cuts. Never before has this been required – and this is not the time to start. I will continue working on behalf of residents and businesses who have suffered from this disaster. There is much work still to be done, and together we can get through these difficult times.”

There are several ways to register for Individual Assistance: online at or at FEMA's mobile website,

Individuals can also call 800-621-FEMA (3362).  For TTY call 800-462-7585.  If individuals have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, they should call 800-462-7585 directly; if they use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. Multilingual assistance is available.