TRENTON, N.J. -- Residents of five New Jersey counties who suffered damages from Hurricane Irene may be eligible for federal disaster assistance as a result of the presidential disaster declaration made Aug. 31, 2011.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) announced jointly that assistance has been made available to residents of Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, and Somerset counties.
Joint teams of federal, state, and local recovery experts are now conducting damage assessments across the state. Officials said additional counties may be added to the disaster declaration.
"Registering for assistance with FEMA is the first step to receiving federal assistance. Do it now," said Federal Coordinating Officer William L. Vogel. "Registration is the first step to get federal assistance. If you don't register, your situation can't even be evaluated."
Assistance to individuals could include grants to help pay for uninsured temporary housing needs, essential home repairs and/or other serious disaster-related expenses, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs.
Homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and some nonprofit organizations can register online anytime at www.disasterassistance.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), (TTY 1-800-462-7585). These toll-free telephone numbers will operate 6 a.m. -- 1 a.m. daily. You may also access disaster information and recovery resources directly from your smartphone at FEMA's new mobile website at m.fema.gov/.
"The sooner you register for assistance, the sooner it may become available," said State Coordinating Officer Lt. Paul Miller, of the NJOEM .
Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if the person has registered with another disaster relief organization such as the American Red Cross, local officials or churches. Registrants with FEMA must use the name that appears on their Social Security card. Applicants need to provide:
- Social Security number
- Address of the damaged home or apartment
- Description of the damage
- Information about insurance coverage
- A current contact telephone number
- An address where you can get mail
- Bank account and routing numbers if they want direct deposit of any financial assistance.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders 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.