Hurricane Sandy Update

October 30, 2012 — Almost one-third of the IAFF’s affiliates and members are located in the path of Hurricane Sandy. Thousands of IAFF members remain on the frontlines working to save lives, continuing with rescue efforts and fighting significant storm-related fires even while many have suffered personal losses at home. 

The IAFF remains in communication with IAFF District Vice Presidents and state and affiliate leaders, whose members are in the path of Hurricane Sandy. The IAFF has received reports of major flooding, wind, water, snow damage, major and widespread losses from power issues and fire damage from this hurricane and super storm. With so many members in the path of the storm, the IAFF expects to hear of more losses and will need to provide significant relief through the IAFF Charitable Foundation. The IAFF will continue to assess members’ needs and provide updates.

DONATIONS to the Charitable Foundation, which provides Disaster Relief to our members who suffered losses, can be made here.

Presidential Disaster Declarations from Hurricane Sandy

The following are Hurricane Sandy Emergency Declarations issued by President Obama as of October 30, 2012, for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The IAFF expects additional states to be declared a disaster as well due to the damage caused by this hurricane and storm. For disaster information in Canada, go to the Canadian Hurricane Centre or to the Environment Canada websites.
District 1 and District 16
New Jersey Hurricane Sandy
New York Hurricane Sandy

District 3 and District 16
Connecticut Hurricane Sandy
Massachusetts Hurricane Sandy
New Hampshire Hurricane Sandy
Rhode Island Hurricane Sandy

District 4 and District 16
Delaware Hurricane Sandy
District of Columbia Hurricane Sandy
Maryland Hurricane Sandy
Pennsylvania Hurricane Sandy
Virginia Hurricane Sandy
West Virginia Hurricane Sandy

The respective links for each of the above states provide a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that will now be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s emergency disaster declaration issued for these states. Assistance for the affected state and local governments can include, as required:

• FEMA is authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the designated areas.

• FEMA is authorized to provide emergency protective measures (Category B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program at 75 percent federal funding.

The site for each state also includes additional FEMA resources related to this hurricane and disaster relief.

IAFF Disaster Relief Fund

The IAFF Disaster Relief Fund, established under the IAFF Charitable Foundation, provides assistance to IAFF members who suffer financial hardship during such disasters. The IAFF Charitable Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) and provides critical support to emergency responders who put their lives on the line to keep their communities safe and secure. Donations to the Charitable Foundation, which can be directed to Disaster Relief, can be made here.

IAFF Disaster Relief Program and Eligibility

The IAFF Disaster Relief Fund, through the IAFF Foundation, can provide financial assistance to IAFF members who suffer hardship following a catastrophic loss of their primary home.

IAFF Disaster Relief program grants are awarded for the purpose of providing emergency cash for temporary expenses for IAFF members who have had a catastrophic loss of their home and where the home is unlivable, the member is displaced and the loss results in financial hardship. Such catastrophic loss of the home must have occurred in a U.S. or Canadian federally-declared disaster area or in cases of natural or man-made disasters – including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, landslides, fires, drought or civil disturbances as determined by the IAFF General President. The member must reside in and their primary residence must be in the area which has been declared such a disaster.

Upon receipt of the completed application and after verification of the member’s eligibility and need, the IAFF will issue a check or an electronic transfer which will be disbursed in the most direct and expeditious manner, taking into account the instructions of the individual member and the IAFF local president.

A member is only eligible for assistance if he or she is had a catastrophic loss of their home that makes the dwelling unlivable. The member must provide evidence of home destruction (e.g. picture) and evidence that he/she was displaced from his or her home.Any disbursement from the fund shall only be made to current IAFF members suffering a catastrophic loss with resulting financial hardship following such a disaster and shall not be granted to cover costs to perform building or property repairs, renovation or construction. Disbursements shall only be granted for immediate housing, food, medical supplies and services, clothing and other similar disaster relief. The maximum amount of any grant shall be $500 for any single disaster occurrence. Disaster Relief Funds are for immediate housing, food, medical supplies and services, clothing or other similar disaster relief. Funds are NOT awarded for property repairs, renovation or construction. Funds are also NOT for replacement of food after loss of power NOR are funds awarded to members who were required to evacuate their homes prior or during the disaster but where catastrophic damage did not occur.Multiple awards to IAFF members residing in the same household which exceed the above-mentioned dollar limitations shall not be granted. For example, if both the husband and wife are IAFF members, they are only collectively eligible to receive a grant of up to $500 for a single disaster occurrence.

Recognizing the widespread power outages and the difficulty in reaching your local union president, the IAFF General President has streamlined the process for our affected members, as he has done in other major disasters.  Members can now send their application directly to the IAFF and we have waved the time period for submitting disaster relief applications to the IAFF.  .  When the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund application form is submitted directly to the IAFF, we will contact the member’s local for verification. 

All applications for disaster relief grants shall be sent to the IAFF District Vice President where the disaster occurred or directly to:

IAFF Disaster Relief Fund
c/o Division of Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine
International Association of Fire Fighters
1750 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006

This form, as well as supporting documentation (e.g., pictures), can be sent via e-mail to

REPOST 11/3/12 2015 Hours