MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. -- Two Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) will open tomorrow, October 8th in Mercer and Warren counties to serve those who suffered damages from Tropical Depression Ivan, state and federal disaster recovery officials announced today. The centers will be open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The centers are located at:
- MERCER COUNTY
Imani Community Center
Corner of Prospect & Spring streets
- WARREN COUNTY
Harmony Volunteer Fire Company
44 Brainards Road
Individuals can begin the disaster application process by calling the toll-free registration number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week until further notice. If possible, try calling in the evening after 6:00 p.m. or on weekends when call volume is often lighter. Individuals can also find valuable recovery information on the agency’s website at .
“We are encouraging people who have suffered damage to their homes, apartments or business properties in the designated counties to call and apply for assistance after they’ve called their insurance companies,” said Peter Martinasco, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) federal coordinating officer for the New Jersey recovery operation.
After individuals have applied by phone, they may visit the centers with any questions or to receive more specific information on federal and state recovery programs. To check on the status of their application, they may visit a DRC or call the FEMA Helpline at same numbers listed above.
“Those who have already registered with FEMA and then come to the DRCs will be able to speak with representatives from the FEMA Disaster Housing program, the Other Needs Assistance program, the U. S. Small Business Administration, the American Red Cross, the Internal Revenue Service, the Farm Service Agency, the New Jersey Department of Taxation and Finance and other state agencies,” said Captain Karl E. Kleeberg, state coordinating officer, New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.
On October 2, 2004, President Bush declared a major disaster for New Jersey, opening the way for the use of federal disaster funds to help people and communities recover from the effects of Tropical Depression Ivan. Residents in Hunterdon, Mercer, Sussex and Warren counties with damages from the storm are eligible to apply for federal and state aid.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became a part of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA’s continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U. S. Fire Administration.