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If you have a business that has suffered damages from Hurricane Sandy, here are some tips on the first actions you should take:

• If you have insurance that may cover your damages, contact your insurance agent or broker immediately. Make sure you get the proper forms to file a claim.
• Survey any damage; enter a severely damaged building ONLY after local authorities have deemed it safe to do.
• Document: Take photos of all the damage and save receipts for replacement items or repair work before you do any sort of clean-up or renovations and take notes of dates, times, etc.
• Look for safety hazards such as live wires, leaking gas or flammable liquids, poisonous gases, and damage to foundations or underground piping and notify the appropriate utility companies or emergency responders of any such safety hazards.
• Dry all areas and items quickly and thoroughly to prevent mold growth; food establishments especially should examine all surfaces, including sheet rock, for evidence of mold and take appropriate action immediately
• Begin salvage as soon as possible to prevent further damage; cover broken windows and torn roof coverings immediately to protect merchandise / business from further damage
• Separate damaged goods from undamaged goods, but beware of accumulating too much combustible debris inside of a building
• Call in key business personnel and notify contractors to start repairs – after ensuring that safety systems are fully implemented before any work is allowed to begin. Get a few quotes and keep them for references.
• Keep track of ALL expenses with receipts and notes of explanations. These will come in handy when you need to make proof these expenses.
• Register with FEMA for assistance at:  http://www.disasterassistance.gov.  The web site has comprehensive information on Federal and local assistance available for both individuals and businesses.
• To find up-to-date information on the recovery effort (including electricity, transit, and reporting damage), The New York State Office of Emergency Management can be contacted at
(888) 769-7243 or http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem. Or visit the City of New York’s Office of Emergency Management website:  http://www.nyc.gov/severeweather or call 311.
**Thank you to Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel, the City of New York’s Office of Emergency Management and the New York State Office of Emergency Management for providing these tips**

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