SOMERSET, NJ -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) works with many partners at many levels to help those who suffered through the mid-March New Jersey floods.
Acting in conjunction with FEMA, the College of Communication at Rowan University assisted with the production of several multilingual public service announcements. The state of the art Rowan Radio station (89.7 WGLS-FM) provided an ideal setting for the collaboration between FEMA's community outreach teams and the university's College of Communication.
A multi-ethnic group of FEMA's Community Relations specialists were on hand at the recording studio to voice a series of public service announcements to encourage residents to apply for disaster assistance. The one minute radio spots-recorded in English, Spanish, Creole, French, and Arabic-served as a valuable opportunity to reach millions of New Jersey residents.
"The announcements we did today will help more people understand what we do in their communities," said FEMA Individual Assistance specialist Sherin Nassar who was at the station to record a radio announcement in Arabic. "By communicating the FEMA message in different languages, we can reach out to affected individuals who might not normally be aware that there's valuable assistance available to them."
"Local issues are very important to us," said Frank J. Hogan, General Manager of Rowan Radio. "An essential part of working at the radio station is our commitment to servicing the community, and we are glad to assist FEMA in spreading the message.
Rowan Radio covers most of south New Jersey, reaching 1.3 million residents. The professionally recorded FEMA public service announcements will also be distributed to radio stations throughout all of the 16 federally declared counties in New Jersey.
By closely collaborating with local institutions, FEMA's assistance message can reach affected residents, making the recovery assistance a reality for many individuals.
To register for assistance, residents should call FEMA's toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY/TDD 1-800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing impaired (for relay service, call 711 or 1-800-852-7897) between 7 a.m. and 1 a.m., seven days a week. Multi-lingual operators are available to answer calls during this time. Residents may also register online anytime at www.disasterassistance.gov. The deadline to apply for federal assistance is June 1, 2010.
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FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders and to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.