FEMA: fact vs. fiction - New York News

Superstorm Sandy

FEMA: fact vs. fiction

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Sandy ravaged the East Coast, leaving homeowners frustrated and confused and leading to several rumors about Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance.

It is time for some FEMA rumor control. 

Mike Byrne, federal coordinating officer of FEMA, says one rumor run rampant is that FEMA is giving away $300 for spoiled food caused by power outages.

"We're not giving out $300 to anybody," he says.

What about FEMA distributing food stamps for parts of new york and new jersey left in the dark? Byrne says that's also false.       

"It's not a FEMA program, it's called the DSNAP and its run by USDA and the state together so I have no visibility about how they're doing it and where they're doing it," he says.

Another rumor is that FEMA is paying $1,000 to volunteers who want to come to New York and New Jersey to help with the cleanup.

Byrne says that's false, too. He says FEMA pays municipalities, not individuals, for debris removal.

"For example, New York City Sanitation Department if they're picking up debris related to the storm, we'll pay for that, it's actually an exciting thing we've never done before," he says.

Something else FEMA has never done before is set up a tent city.

Rumors were swirling that one was set up in Monmouth Park racetrack. Byrne says it's just not true.

"That would be a desperate measure and we're just not at that point," he says.

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