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March 1 is Deadline for FEMA Assistance

Lou Perri

Thursday, February 28, 2013 • 6:45am

Survivors of Hurricane Sandy in all 21 New Jersey counties have until March 1 to register for disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Assistance may include temporary housing and grants to repair or replace storm-damaged primary residences, as well as other programs to help homeowners, renters, business owners and communities recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

In addition to housing assistance, FEMA may provide grants to repair or replace essential disaster damaged or destroyed personal property, including furniture, clothing and automobiles, and may provide assistance for transportation, medical and dental services, and funeral and burial costs to qualified survivors.

More than 256,900 survivors have registered with FEMA for potential state and federal disaster assistance. It’s vital that they keep FEMA and SBA informed of any changes in their contact information.

A conditional two-week extension of the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program in New Jersey has been approved for some New Jersey residents. For survivors who have not been able to secure viable housing, the conditional deadline has been extended from Feb. 23 to March 9. FEMA and the state will continue to work closely with survivors in the program to help them find suitable housing before this day. More than 5,500 displaced households have benefitted from the program.

March 1 is also the deadline to return applications to the Small Business Administration for low-interest disaster loans—the primary source of federal funds for long-term rebuilding. Survivors can ask questions about their SBA disaster home or business loan applications by calling 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Disaster survivors can receive information and answers to questions at  disaster recovery centers located in five counties. All centers are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday hours for New Jersey disaster recovery centers are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Atlantic County DRC located at 4403 Black Horse Pike, behind the Hamilton Mall, in Mays Landing, will remain open through March 9, 2013.

Survivors who have questions about flood insurance claims and the appeals process can call toll-free at 888-379-9531.

FEMA developed and released new advisory base flood elevation maps to show a current picture of flood risk for 10 coastal communities in New Jersey affected by Hurricane Sandy. These counties include Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union.

Local government officials and property owners can use information and maps on advisory base flood elevation to determine where flood risk exists and decide whether to rebuild to higher elevations to prevent future flood damage. Information on Hurricane Sandy advisory base flood elevations can be found atwww.region2coastal.com/sandy/abfe.

FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program may pay for projects that will reduce or eliminate losses from future disasters. For example, elevation of a home to reduce the risk of flood damage. Property owners don’t submit grant applications directly to FEMA. Individual grant applications are bundled by city, town or borough officials, who apply to the state on behalf of local residents.

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is available statewide. However, all projects must meet eligibility requirements such as cost effectiveness and consistency with the local hazard mitigation plan. Local and state officials choose which mitigation projects are funded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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