TRENTON, N.J. -- President Bush amended his disaster declaration for New Jersey yesterday, clearing the way for residents of three additional counties to apply for federal assistance, and authorizing public assistance for 11 counties.
Residents in Hudson, Middlesex and Morris counties who were affected by flooding from the nor'easter of April 14-20 should call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to register for assistance. Speech and hearing impaired residents should call TTY: 1-800-462-7585.
In amending the NJ disaster declaration, the president activated the Public Assistance program, which will help municipal and county governments repair infrastructure and pay police overtime incurred by the storm. The counties now eligible for Public Assistance are: Bergen , Burlington , Essex, Passaic , Somerset , and Union . (These counties were granted Individual Assistance in the president's initial declaration.) In addition, Camden , Hudson , Mercer, Middlesex and Sussex counties were also now eligible for Public Assistance.
"Immediately, the Governor requested Public Assistance," said Peter J. Martinasco, Federal Coordinating Officer for NJ. "We saw the need and started the damage assessment process as soon as the rain stopped."
"With the opening of the Disaster Recovery Centers Sunday and now the announcement of the Public Assistance program, the region's recovery has begun," said ," said NJ State Coordinating Officer Lt. George Georgeles.
Disaster Recovery Centers in the six counties initially declared eligible for federal aid will open Sunday at noon , and stay open until 8 p.m. Thereafter they will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Centers will be located in:
Bound Brook Borough
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Bound Brook, NJ
Manville Rescue Squad
2 South Third Ave.
Bergen County Office Building
1 Bergen Plaza (next to 10 Main St .)
Hackensack , NJ
Fairfield Community Center
376 Hollywood Ave.
Thomas Roger Building
2 Market Street , 2nd Floor
Lumberton Municipal Building Parking Lot
34 Municipal Drive
The centers are a convenient way for residents to meet face to face with recovery experts and to check the status of their Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) registration, or to learn more about the various types of assistance available.
FEMA's Individual Assistance program provides grants for temporary housing, transportation expenses, moving and storage expenses, funeral, medical and dental expenses. In addition, individuals who complete a SBA loan application -- even if they do not own a small business - may be eligible for assistance that covers structural damage, personal property, vehicle repair or replacement. To find out whether you qualify, you must register. SBA disaster experts will be on hand in the Disaster Recovery Centers to help people fill out their SBA loan packages.
If you were affected by the April flooding and have not yet registered, you can do so by calling the FEMA registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) . Individuals with hearing or speech impairments should call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 . The registration lines are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. , daily. You can also register online at www.fema.gov.
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.