Tips to Speed FEMA Assistance

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Release date: 
April 26, 2007
Release Number: 
1694-001

Trenton, N.J. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages residents and business owners who sustained losses due to the severe storms and flooding in the New Jersey counties of Bergen, Burlington, Essex, Passaic, Somerset and Union, to follow the tips listed below to speed up the process when applying for disaster assistance.

  • Register by telephone or online as soon as possible . Homeowners, renters, and business owners who had flood losses should call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to apply for assistance. Individuals with hearing or speech impairments should call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. The lines are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily. You can also register online at www.fema.gov.
  • Have information ready when you apply. When you call FEMA, have the following on hand: your current address; the address of the damaged property; phone information; insurance information; and your social security number.
  • Register, even if you are insured . Your insurance coverage may not cover everything and some foundation damage may not show up until later. Even if you have insurance, you can register with FEMA and the State for uninsured losses.
  • Remember, disaster assistance covers a wide range of flood losses . Disaster-related damage or loss of personal property, anything from a wheelchair to a major appliance, may qualify for some form of federal/state assistance.
  • Stay in touch and keep appointments after you have registered for disaster assistance . A FEMA inspector will make an appointment to visit your home. A State inspector will also make an appointment to visit the damaged property. Make every effort to be at the damaged property for the visit and call if you need to change the appointment.
  • Return all forms promptly . After registering, you may receive a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loan application package in the mail. Fill out and return these forms promptly or visit a Disaster Assistance Service Center for SBA assistance. Even if you aren't interested in a loan, complete the loan package and return it; as filling out the SBA application is a necessary step to being considered for other forms of disaster assistance. Flood victims are not obligated to accept an SBA loan.

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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