MIDDLETOWN, N.J. (AP) — Survivors of a storm that hit several U.S. states say the nation’s disaster relief system is broken and want reforms to get money to victims faster and with less red tape.

On the 10th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s landfall on the Jersey Shore, devastating communities in the northeastsurvivors will gather Saturday with others who have been through Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Ida, along with advocacy groups from New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Puerto Rico .

Robert Lukasiewicz said it sounded like “a hundred freight trains” as Sandy roared past his home in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Oct. 29, 2012.

Lukasiewicz said fraud with a contractor halted his rebuilding efforts, and work on a second contractor stopped due to a lack of funds. After waiting two years for the public assistance program, he said he finally learned he needed flood insurance first, the cost of which had skyrocketed by then.

“If all these things had been steps instead of missteps, I could have been home years ago,” he said. “You have different systems butting heads and blaming the other side when the homeowners and families that it was all designed for are suffering.”

Survivors and their advocates listed five reforms they believe are needed to help future storm victims avoid the delays, setbacks and financial despair they faced: getting money into people’s hands faster; ensuring fair application of disaster recovery systems; make flood insurance work for storm victims, not against them; incorporating resilience to future storms into disaster recovery efforts; and ensuring that disaster recovery is systematic rather than piecemeal.

Specific guidelines require a single point of application for multiple local, state, and federal assistance programs; introducing a lower cap on annual flood insurance rate increases; providing storm victims with direct payments and post-storm health insurance; restructuring the loan repayment or overpayment of benefits based on the storm survivor’s ability to pay; and upfront payments of 100% of mitigation costs to low-income storm victims in lieu of post-paid compensation.

Michael Moriarty, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s director of mitigation for the region that includes New Jersey, said the agency is constantly trying to become more responsive to storm victims.

“It was the Holy Grail to help people when their house was flooded,” he said. “This is taxpayers’ money, so we have to be careful not to just throw it away, making sure it goes to the right place and is put to good use. We are trying to develop a mechanism that allows for faster relief.”

He said the idea of ​​a one-stop shop for storm aid applications is a good one, but warned that federal privacy laws limit the sharing of information with state and local governments without first obtaining signed releases, which could take weeks.

And the post-Ida aid program, designed to be fast-tracked so applicants could find out within two weeks if they were approved, took eight months to be reviewed by federal budget monitors, Marittiti said.

“It was within the first year, but not within the first month target,” he said. “I think it’s going to keep getting better and better.”