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Survivors Don’t Need to Wait on FEMA to Start Cleanup from Hurricane Ida

Release Date:
October 15, 2021

New Jersey residents affected by the remnants of Hurricane Ida’s storms and rains don’t need to wait for a visit from a FEMA housing inspector or their insurance company to start cleaning up and making repairs. FEMA inspectors and insurance claims adjusters can verify damage even though cleanup has begun. 

However, you should take photographs of damage and keep recovery-related receipts. Insurance companies may need both photographs and receipts, while FEMA may need receipts.

Before starting cleanup, it’s important that you first check for structural damage to your damaged home before entering it and to report it to local officials. 

Cleanup requires throwing away wet contents like bedding, carpet and furniture because of health issues that may arise with mold. Follow local government guidance for disposing of damaged furnishings and other items.

Remember to Apply for FEMA Assistance

If you haven’t already, it’s important that you register for FEMA assistance as soon as you can. You only need to register once per household. Once registered, survivors should keep in touch with FEMA and if your contact information changes, be sure to notify FEMA of that change.

Every applicant is given a registration number. It’s very important to write the number down and keep it handy. This is how FEMA will identify you and it will be used in all correspondence and other communication with FEMA.

Be aware that FEMA assistance is non-taxable, does not need to be repaid and does not affect other government benefits.

There are three ways survivors can apply for disaster assistance. The most convenient is by going online to DisasterAssistance.gov. If it is not possible to apply online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585) or apply via the FEMA app. The toll-free telephone lines are operating from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. ET, seven days a week. If you use 711 or Video Relay service, give FEMA the number for that service.

When you apply for assistance, have the following information readily available:

  • Your address with the zip code.
  • Your Social Security number, if available.
  • Condition of your damaged home.
  • If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name if available.
  • Phone number where you can be contacted.   
  • Address where you can get mail or email address to receive electronic notifications.

For the latest information visit fema.gov/disaster/4614. Follow the FEMA Region 2 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMAregion2.

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Last updated October 18, 2021