President Barack Obama has signed into law a $50.5 billion emergency measure for Superstorm Sandy victims. Here is a quick look at how the $50.5 billion package of recovery and related aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy and other federally declared disasters is to be spent:
• $16 billion for Housing and Urban Development Department community development block grants. Of that, $12.1 billion is for Sandy recovery as well as for projects in states with other federally declared disasters in 2011-2013; while $3.9 billion is solely for Sandy-related projects. HUD community development grants can be used for rebuilding roads and hospitals, other infrastructure projects, helping small businesses reopen, restoring utilities and providing rental subsidies. The grants are popular with state and local governments because of their flexibility on how the money is spent.
• $11.49 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief aid fund for Sandy and other disasters. The money is used for shelter, restoring utilities and meeting other immediate needs.
• $10.9 billion for New York and New Jersey transit system recovery projects.
• $5.35 billion for Army Corps of Engineers projects for Sandy-related damages and protections against future storms.
• $2 billion for the Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief program to repair storm-damaged federal highways.
• $476 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, much of it for programs and equipment to improve weather forecasting.
• $274 million for repairing Sandy damages to Coast Guard facilities..
• $235 million for repairing Sandy damages at Veterans Affairs Department facilities.