TRENTON, N.J. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), at the request of the state of New Jersey, has activated its Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, which allows eligible evacuees from Hurricane Sandy, who cannot return to their homes, to stay in hotels or motels until more suitable housing accommodations are available.
This federal assistance is intended to provide a place to stay for a longer period of time for evacuees whose neighborhoods are not accessible or whose houses have been destroyed. The initial period of assistance is from Nov. 1, 2012 to Nov. 14, 2012, with a Nov. 15 checkout. However, this federal program will not reimburse applicants for previously incurred hotel expenses. Applicants are responsible for their own meals and for any lodging costs above the authorized allowance.
"To be eligible to receive this federal assistance you must register with FEMA,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael J. Hall. "Keep in mind the TSA initiative is only a temporary fix. We are working diligently with our state and local partners to develop a long-term housing solution to help people until their homes and communities are repaired or rebuilt. But, again, you must register with FEMA to be able to benefit from this short-term aid."
You can register for FEMA assistance online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via smart phone at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Eligible evacuees must fit the following criteria:
FEMA must be able to verify the identity of the evacuee;
The primary residence of the evacuee must be in one of the counties that has been designated a disaster area; and
The primary residence is inaccessible or unlivable due to damage or lack of power.
TSA allows eligible individuals or families to stay in a hotel or motel for a limited time and have the cost of the room and taxes paid directly to the hotel by FEMA. Meals, telephone calls and other incidental charges are not covered.
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.
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