TRENTON, N.J. -- State and federal disaster recovery officials urge residents and businesses who suffered damage or losses from the recent severe storms and floods in Bergen, Essex, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, and Warren counties to apply for assistance as soon as possible by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY: 800 462 7585.
The FEMA application line is open Mon. – Fri. 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sat. 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and closed on Sundays. Registration is also available online at www.fema.gov.
The following is a summary of key disaster aid programs that were made available under President Bush's April 19 disaster declaration.
Assistance Available for Affected Individuals and Businesses Includes:
- Rental Payments for temporary housing for those whose primary homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended after the initial period based upon a review of individual circumstances.
- Grants for Home Repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and livable.
- Grants to Replace Personal Property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable assistance programs.
- Unemployment Compensation up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for regular state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.
- Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter’s losses. Businesses and qualifying nonprofit organizations may apply for up to $1.5 million for physical and economic damages sustained as a result of the disaster.
- Funds to Mitigate Homeowners and businesses may increase their approved SBA loans by up to 20 percent to install protective devices designed to mitigate against future disaster losses.
- Other Relief Programs: Crisis counseling for those affected by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advice for legal issues, veteran’s benefits and social security matters.
FEMA cannot reimburse applicants for losses covered by insurance or duplicate assistance from local governments or charitable organizations.
For more information on New Jersey’s disaster recovery efforts, visit FEMA’s website at www.fema.gov or the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) disaster website at www.state.nj.us/njoem/, www.sba.gov/disaster.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became 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.