SOMERSET, N.J. -- In just under two months since federal disaster assistance was made available to New Jersey residents and business owners affected by the severe storms and flooding of mid-March, more than $20 million dollars has been approved to assist in the recovery efforts by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
As of May 28, more than 11,200 flood survivors had registered for assistance. Funds awarded to date total $20,095,867 which includes:
- $12,283,088 in Housing Assistance to cover temporary housing, home repairs or replacement
- $1,126,579 in Other Needs Assistance (ONA) to cover essential personal property losses, subsistence items, medical, transportation or serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance
- $6,686,200 in low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Since the Presidential disaster declaration was signed April 2, 10,156 inspections of storm-damaged homes have been requested, of which 9,929 or 98 percent have been completed, typically within 2.5 days.
In order to educate homeowners on how to reduce vulnerability in future disasters, teams of FEMA flood mitigation specialists offered their expertise at 21 home supply stores across the majority of the designated counties.
Over the course of six weeks, these FEMA specialists counseled nearly 6,500 homeowners on how to rebuild safer, smarter and stronger, explaining techniques that can reduce damage to homes, businesses and property from future flooding.
"We are very pleased with the recovery efforts so far, and remain committed in helping the affected residents and business owners throughout this recovery," said Federal Coordinating Officer, William L. Vogel. "There is still help available, and we strongly encourage flood survivors to register with FEMA before the July 1 deadline."
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 individuals with speech and hearing disabilities (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.
"It’s not too late to get into the FEMA system," said State Coordinating Officer Lt. Bill McDonnell. "Affected residents have until July1 to register for recovery assistance, they can do it either by phone, or they can go online. The sooner they apply with FEMA, the quicker they will start on the path to recovery."
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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.