Call 911
Call 911 if people are currently on the premises of a structure or property with a red placard sticker Vacate Order in effect

You can learn about Hurricane Sandy Recovery programs and property owner assistance.

Registration for Build-It-Back ended on October 31, 2013.

You can get information about the program, including: 

  • Policy
  • Contractors 
  • Temporary Disaster Assistance Program
  • NYC Build-It-Back REBUILD and REPAIR Programs
  • Updates on your property at any point in the process
  • Appointment confirmation, cancellation, or change
  • Confirmation that the person at your property is actually a Build-It-Back inspector
  • Complaints or Compliments

Learn more:

Online

Visit the NYC Housing Recovery website.

By Email

Contact NYC Housing Recovery Operations about NYC Build It Back.

By Phone

Call 311 for assistance.

The New York State Disaster Case Management program, operated by Catholic Charities, works one-on-one with those affected by Hurricane Sandy to:

  • Answer your questions about recovery
  • Develop a plan to address your needs
  • Connect you with appropriate community resources
  • Determine financial assistance that may be available
  • Advocate with service and benefit providers on your behalf

Assistance is available even if you were not eligible for FEMA assistance, or if you applied for FEMA assistance and were denied.

Learn more about the Catholic Charities Disaster Case Management Program:

Online

Visit the Catholic Charities website.

By Phone

  • Agency: New York State Office of Emergency Management
  • Division: Catholic Charities Disaster Case Management Program
  • Phone Number: (855) 258-0483
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM

If you are a contractor requesting information on how to get a DOB inspection for Build It Back properties, the City has guidelines and contacts for each division.  

You can request boiler, construction, electrical, or plumbing inspections.

Boiler Inspection Request

Submit an online inspection request using the Boiler Appointment Form. Then, email BIBinspections@buildings.nyc.gov with the following information: 

  • Subject Line: Boiler Inspection Request
  • Body of the Email:
    • Contact information (contact person, company name, phone number, email address)
    • Location information (borough, job address, BIN)
    • Application number
    • Build It Back registration number

You will be emailed an appointment confirmation within two days of receipt of your inspection request. The scheduled inspection date will be within 10 days of receipt of your request. Contractors must work with the property owner to provide access to the Department of Building's inspector.

Construction Inspection Request

Email construction inspection requests to BIBinspections@buildings.nyc.gov. 

This email should include the following information:

  • Subject Line: Construction Inspection Request
  • Body of the Email: 
    • Contact information (contact person, company name, phone number, email address)
    • Location information (borough, job address, BIN)
    • Job number 
    • Build It Back registration number

You will be emailed an appointment confirmation within two days of receipt of your inspection request. The scheduled inspection date will be within 10 days of receipt of your request. Contractors must work with the property owner to provide access to the Department of Building's inspector.

Electrical Inspection Request

Email construction inspection requests to BIBinspections@buildings.nyc.gov. 

This email should include the following information:

  • Subject Line: Electrical Inspection Request
  • Body of the Email: 
    • Contact information (contact person, company name, phone number, email address)
    • Location information (borough, job address, BIN)
    • Job number or electrical application number
    • Build It Back registration number

You will be emailed an appointment confirmation within two days of receipt of your inspection request. The scheduled inspection date will be within 10 days of receipt of your request. Contractors must work with the property owner to provide access to the Department of Building's inspector.

Plumbing Inspection Request

Schedule a plumbing inspection appointment by calling (212) 393-2550. 

Give the Call Center representative your Build It Back registration number. You will then be given a DOB confirmation number.

Email DOB at BIBinspections@buildings.nyc.gov with the following information:

  • Subject Line: Plumbing Inspection Request
  • Body of the Email
    • Contact information (contact person, company name, phone number, email address)
    • Location information (borough, job address, BIN)
    • Job number
    • Build It Back registration number
    • DOB Confirmation number

You will be emailed an appointment confirmation within two days of receipt of your inspection request. The scheduled inspection date will be within 10 days of receipt of your request. Contractors must work with the property owner to provide access to the Department of Building's inspector.

If Hurricane Sandy caused significant structural damage to your property, you may request an inspection by contacting the Department of Buildings (DOB). The City only accepts requests for inspections of structural or hazardous conditions. If a request is made for a structural and hazardous condition that is determined by the inspector to be non-structural or non-hazardous, an inspection fee may be assessed.

Examples of structural defects include:

  • Walls, roofs, ceilings, stairs, or floors in danger of collapse
  • Inadequately supported buildings
  • Unstable fire escapes or chimneys
  • Bricks or debris falling from a building
  • Building struck by a large tree

Examples of non-structural defects include:

  • Damaged gutters
  • Damaged leader drains
  • Broken windows
  • Damaged property fence

You can get additional information from DOB by calling the phone number for your borough.

Call 311 for assistance.

If your gas was shut off as a result of the storm, you need to hire a licensed plumber to inspect your gas equipment.

If there was no damage to your gas equipment, your plumber must submit a letter to your utility company stating there are no problems with the gas equipment in order to have your gas restored. Your utility company will turn your gas back on after they receive the letter.

If there was damage to your gas equipment, your plumber must make the necessary repairs and submit a letter to your utility company certifying there was damage and the necessary repairs were made to have your gas restored. Your utility company will turn your gas back on after they receive the letter.

Your plumber can perform the repair work immediately without having to file an application or obtain permits from the Department of Buildings (DOB). However, the necessary applications must be filed with DOB within two business days of commencing work. These applications may be filed online with DOB eFiling.

Register with eFiling.

DOB Application and Permit Fee Waiver

As part of the City’s ongoing recovery and assistance operations to help New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy, application and permit fees for Hurricane Sandy repair work are waived until further notice.

  • Buildings with significant structural damage that are in need of demolition, alterations, or reconstruction will have all their repair work fees waived
  • Also, all fees for electrical and plumbing repair work will be waived until further notice for any building damaged by the storm

If your electrical system was damaged by the storm and your utility company will not restore power to your property, you need to hire a licensed electrician to inspect your building’s electrical system.

If there was no damage to your building's electrical system, your electrician must submit a letter to your utility company stating there are no problems with the electrical system in order to have your power restored. Your utility company will turn your power back on after they receive the letter.

If there was damage to your building's electrical system, your electrician must make the necessary repairs and submit a letter to your utility company certifying there was damage and the necessary repairs were made to have your power restored. Your utility company will turn your power back on after they receive the letter.

Your electrician can perform the repair work immediately without having to file an application or obtain permits from the Department of Buildings (DOB). However, the necessary applications must be filed with DOB within two business days of commencing work. These applications may be filed online with DOB eFiling.

Register with eFiling.

In most cases, any electrical wiring that came into contact with salt water will be required to be removed and replaced. Dried salt can be a conductor of electricity and cause an electrical fault or a fire. A licensed electrician may be able to disconnect the affected wiring branches to permit equipment in the rest of the building to be returned to service.

DOB Application and Permit Fee Waiver

As part of the City’s ongoing recovery and assistance operations to help New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy, application and permit fees for Hurricane Sandy repair work are waived until further notice.

  • Buildings with significant structural damage that are in need of demolition, alterations, or reconstruction will have all their repair work fees waived
  • Also, all fees for electrical and plumbing repair work will be waived until further notice for any building damaged by the storm

No one is allowed to enter structures or buildings that have active, limited, or full preemptory vacate orders in effect.

Vacate orders are issued to ensure public safety from damaged buildings, illegal or unsafe conditions, or dangerous conditions that may exist on or near the property. If you have seen people on the premises but they are no longer there, you may file a report with the City. Violations are issued when appropriate.

The amount of time a vacate order is in effect depends on the severity of the problem and how soon an unsafe condition is corrected. Details are provided on placard stickers posted on the premises by personnel from the Department of Buildings (DOB) and other agencies. Depending on the color of the placard sticker, the entire building or a specified portion of the building structure may no longer be accessible.

Once posted on the premises, placard stickers must remain on the premises until you are notified by the DOB.

For additional information, you should contact DOB using the phone number provided on the placard sticker, or by calling the phone number provided for your borough.

Call 311 for assistance.

Placard Sticker Colors

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the New York City Department of Buildings is conducting inspections of structures affected by the storm. Inspection stickers have been placed on inspected properties.

The placard sticker colors and what they mean:

  • Green: No apparent structural hazard was observed. You are not restricted from entering and re-occupying your building. The Green sticker must remain on your premises until you are notified by the Department of Buildings.
  • Yellow: There are restrictions. Property is damaged. Entry limitations are specified on each posting. You must have an architect or engineer evaluate for structural damage. If you only had flooding, you must hire a New York City licensed electrician or plumber to perform work. The Yellow sticker must remain on your premises until you are notified by the Department of Buildings.
  • Red: The building is unsafe. Property is seriously damaged and is unsafe to enter or occupy. A red tag does not mean your home will be demolished. Red tagged property indicates that there is some form of hazard that prohibits re-entry or re-occupancy, such as a structural issue. You must have an architect or engineer evaluate. The Red sticker must remain on your premises until you are notified by the Department of Buildings.

DOB Application and Permit Fee Waiver

As part of the City’s ongoing recovery and assistance operations to help New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy, application and permit fees for Hurricane Sandy repair work are waived until further notice. 

  • Buildings with significant structural damage that are in need of demolition, alterations, or reconstruction will have all their repair work fees waived.
  • Also, all fees for electrical and plumbing repair work will be waived until further notice for any building damaged by the storm.

Once the hazardous conditions are corrected, you may send an email or call to request a re-inspection. Attach any documents or photographs that reflect the repairs. If the repairs required work by a licensed contractor, architect or engineer, include a statement from the licensee that indicates the hazardous conditions have been corrected.

After a re-inspection by the Department of Buildings (DOB) confirms the hazardous conditions have been remedied, DOB will remove the placard from your building.

By Email

Send a message to StormHelp@buildings.nyc.gov

By Phone

Call 311 for assistance.

The Department of Buildings (DOB) performed detailed assessments of homes tagged with red and yellow placards.  For homes that sustained irreparable damage, a partial or full demolition may have been issued.   

A red placard does not mean a building must be demolished. Some buildings with structural damage can be repaired. Homeowners can hire and consult licensed professionals who can design repair plans. 

A building will be subject to demolition if it is structurally unsound and poses an imminent danger to the public. Examples are: 

  • An unstable building structure which may collapse 
  • A building that has shifted off its foundation

DOB attempted to contact each homeowner of a property tagged with a red placard to schedule a meeting to discuss the process before any structure is demolished. If you did not have a meeting and wish to do so or have questions about the assessment, please call the DOB phone number listed on the red placard sticker or call 311 for phone assistance.

Call 311 for assistance.

Placard Sticker Colors

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the New York City Department of Buildings is conducting inspections of structures affected by the storm. Inspection stickers have been placed on inspected properties.

The placard sticker colors and what they mean:

  • Green: No apparent structural hazard was observed. You are not restricted from entering and re-occupying your building. The Green sticker must remain on your premises until you are notified by the Department of Buildings.
  • Yellow: There are restrictions. Property is damaged. Entry limitations are specified on each posting. You must have an architect or engineer evaluate for structural damage. If you only had flooding, you must hire a New York City licensed electrician or plumber to perform work. The Yellow sticker must remain on your premises until you are notified by the Department of Buildings.
  • Red: The building is unsafe. Property is seriously damaged and is unsafe to enter or occupy. A red tag does not mean your home will be demolished. Red tagged property indicates that there is some form of hazard that prohibits re-entry or re-occupancy, such as a structural issue. You must have an architect or engineer evaluate. The Red sticker must remain on your premises until you are notified by the Department of Buildings.

DOB Application and Permit Fee Waiver

As part of the City’s ongoing recovery and assistance operations to help New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy, application and permit fees for Hurricane Sandy repair work are waived until further notice. 

  • Buildings with significant structural damage that are in need of demolition, alterations, or reconstruction will have all their repair work fees waived.
  • Also, all fees for electrical and plumbing repair work will be waived until further notice for any building damaged by the storm.

The City's plan for spending disaster aid for Hurricane Sandy recovery, known as the Community Development Block Grant Action Plan, has been approved by the Federal government.

With this approval, the City can launch initiatives to provide relief to homeowners and small businesses that have extensive damages and expenses.

Registration for the City's Build it Back housing recovery program closed on October 31, 2013.

Get more information and a copy of the Action Plan.

Track Build it Back spending.