MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- FEMA has opened several recovery centers along the shoreline, including one in Milford, where many are in need of a hand.
"My house, I'm pretty well, you know, I'm up in the air a little bit, so all the damage is just in the garages," Sal Rizzo of Milford said.
Sal Rizzo is on the relatively dry side of the street from the beach in Milford. Hurricane Sandy was a lot tougher on Sal's sister Pietrina, whose living room was swamped. With a nor'easter coming, you could say she's heading for higher ground.
"I'll go upstairs and work upstairs, do some work upstairs and just wait," Pietrina Sappern of Milford said.
For those worse off, FEMA has opened several recovery centers along the shoreline, including one that opened Monday in Milford.
"Yesterday was a little more active, more people, as they found out we were here," Paul Buffington, the FEMA Unit Manager, said.
Buffington says applicants must register either ahead of time or at the center, but even if you've done it on line, it never hurts to drop by.
"We encourage them because, eyeball-to-eyeball, you know what you're dealing with. We can just keep it nice and simple for them," Buffington said.
Buffington says FEMA needs to know whether you've talked with your insurance company. Contrary to some perception, he says claims don't usually take forever.
"After the inspector makes a contact, they enter the information immediately in to the database, which goes to a case worker," Buffington said.
With any luck, when you come to the FEMA center, maybe it will be wide open and no line to wait in, but they say there are some things you can do to speed up the time you're here, and perhaps even your claim.
"When they're asked for the routing numbers on their bank, if they give them the routing numbers, they will receive the funds possibly eight to ten days sooner than if they had something mailed to them," Buffington said.
If Wednesday morning was any indication, arriving early might serve you well. Rizzo says he'll never leave the beach, but with one storm after another, he knows he might need some face time with FEMA, sooner or later.
"I think people are really getting nervous. As a matter of fact, I heard people talking about putting their homes up for sale," Rizzo said.
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