HELP FOR IRENE RECOVERY COMES FROM LOCAL, STATE, FEDERAL SOURCES
Individuals and families recovering from Hurricane Irene have access to a number of local, state, and federal resources that can help them get back on their feet.
“Disasters begin and end locally,” said William L. Vogel, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) top official in New Jersey. “It’s important to remember we’re only part of the team.”
FEMA coordinates the federal resources that became available soon after Irene hit. A presidential disaster declaration helps survivors and their communities get started on the road to recovery. Grants are provided to eligible applicants to cover basic needs; communities are reimbursed — at a minimum of 75 percent — for eligible projects that repair or replace disaster-damaged infrastructure.
“In addition to FEMA, there are state and local resources here before, during and after disaster strikes,” said Lt. Paul Miller, state coordinating officer with the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.
New Jersey’s 211 service is for residents who need help and volunteers who want to donate their time. In addition to NJ 211, recovery experts offer this list of possible resources for residents affected by Hurricane Irene and the associated flooding during the Aug. 27 – Sept. 5, 2011 incident.
Clean-up and Debris Concerns:
- Simple guidelines for debris removal: www.fema.gov/photodata/low/51711.jpg
- Clean-up tips: Clean-up tips can be found at www.nj211.org/hurricane2.cfm
- Mold: Mold in a damaged home can create serious health problems www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=58123
World Cares Center is acting as the liaison between NJ 211 and groups that have volunteered to provide free flood cleanup services. Call 2-1-1.
- Learn about housing options on NJ 211 housing-related web pages. www.nj211.org/housing.cfm
- Other shelter Options: www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dfd/programs/foodstamps/cwa
You can also find assistance by calling NJ 211 for the homeless, homeless veterans and pet friendly motels.
- NJ HELPS: For complete information on all state social services and online applications www.njhelps.org
- Disaster Mental Health: NJMentalHealthCares Disaster Helpline (866) 202-4357 (HELP). A TTY line is available at (877) 294-4356. Translation services are available as well. www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dmhs/disaster#4
- Social Services for the Homeless hotline (by county) www.nj211.org/images/Hurricane/CountyHomelessHotlines.pdf
U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance: www.sba.gov
- Hurricane Irene Business Recovery Assistance: A special business recovery assistance service can be found atwww.nj.gov./njbusiness/
- Care/Temporary Sheltering of Farm Animals: www.nj.gov/agriculture/news/hottopics/approved/topics110827.html
- Information for replacing important documents is available from the New Jersey Bureau of Vital Statistics,(609) 292-4087 or visitwww.state.nj.us/health/vital/
Legal Services: www.lsnj.org or call (888) LSNJ-LAW (888-576-5529)
Fraud Reporting: To report suspected fraud (800) 323-8603
- NJ Division of Consumer Affairs: www.njconsumeraffairs.com/disaster/floodtipsflyer_1.pdf
Verifying the credibility of Charitable Organization:
- www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/ocp/charities.htm or call (973) 504-6215
Hiring Licensed Home Improvement Contractors:
- Visit www.njconsumeraffairs.ogv/brief/improve.pdf to receive tips from the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs
- Search by name for licensed contractors and for other licensed professionalswww.njconsumeraffairs.gov/list1.htm
Disaster IRS Tax Relief: Go to www.IRS.gov or see your tax person
Temporary Suspension of Federal Student Loan Payments:
- Contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman at (877) 557-2575 or (202) 377-3800 for assistancewww.asa.org/repay/options/disaster/default.spx
Volunteer Your Services: Agencies looking for volunteers may register their needs and volunteers willing to assist in relief efforts may search for opportunities at www.VolunteerNewJersey.org
Database maintained by the Association of New Jersey Volunteer Centers and the Governor’s Office of Volunteerism: (609) 633-9629 or (609) 775-5236.