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WORKING WITH INSURANCE AND FEMA ASSISTANCE
The Individuals and Households Program (IHP) application period has been extended. The new application period will be extended from June 1, 2010 until July 1, 2010.
If your home has suffered damage, call the agent who handles your flood insurance to file a claim or the National Flood Insurance Program 1-800-638-6620 to confirm your current flood insurance and to find out where to submit your claim. If you are unable to stay at home, make sure to say where you can be reached. To make filing your claim easier, take photos of any water in the house and save damaged personal property. If necessary, place these items outside the home. An insurance adjuster will need to see what is damaged in order to process your claim. Even though FEMA assistance is available (see below) you are expected to contact your insurance company first. FEMA may only help with damage not covered by your insurance policy.
FEMA ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
A Federally Declared Major Disaster Declaration ( DR 1897), as a result of the March 12th, 2010 Flooding and Severe storm event, was signed by President Obama at the Governor's request on Friday, April 2nd, 2010. In May five additional counties were added to the original list of 12 counties that will receive some form of assistance.
FEMA announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of New Jersey to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the severe storms and flooding beginning on March 12, 2010, and continuing.
INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE is disaster assistance directed to families, individuals and businesses within a declared disaster area. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Specific information on what is covered under individual assistance is available here.
INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE IN
THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES
PUBLIC ASSISTANCE provides assistance to states, local governments, and certain non-profit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. More information is available here.
PUBLIC ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE IN THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES
HAZARD MITIGATION GRANT PROGRAM which provides assistance to State and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards, is available to all counties in the State of New Jersey. All are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
FILING FOR FEMA ASSISTANCE
If you have been impacted by the recent storm you must first register with FEMA to get assistance!
You may apply online and or by calling 1-800-621-3362; TTY users can call 1-800-462-7585. The call takes about 20 minutes. If call volume is high, you may have trouble getting through. In that case it is recommended that you call during off-hours (after 5:00 PM and before 8:00 AM.) The system is automated. Please have a pen and paper ready whether you file on the phone or online. You will also need the following information:
- Five Digit Zip Code
- Current Contact Telephone Number
- Social Security Number
- Current Mailing Address and Address of Damaged Property
- Date the Damage Occurred
- Directions to the Property
- Brief Description of Damaged Property
- Insurance Information and Policy Number(s)
- Family Gross Income
- A Bank Routing Number if you want funds deposited directly to your bank account. Look-up your bank routing number online here.
Download a FEMA Flyer here. (En Español)
Note: FEMA verifies the name and social security number of those registering for disaster assistance. If the name and social security number on file with the Social Security Administration does not match the information you provide, you will be asked to submit a copy of an original document, e.g. marriage license, military ID, tax documents, etc., for proof of identity. A need to review and update identity documentation may cause delays in delivery of assistance.
Be sure to get a FEMA application number. After you've completed your application for assistance, you will receive a FEMA application number. Write down this number and keep it for future reference. If you do not have a FEMA Registration Number, you will not receive services. You can also use the number for identification at banks, airlines, etc. if your identification has been destroyed.
Ask for help in filing if you need to. If you or someone you know needs help filling out a FEMA application due to age or disability, help is available by calling NJ Ease at 1-877-222-3737.
FEMA Assistance for Immigrant Families
FEMA helps the Household; the Family. If anyone in the family qualifies (eg. a child born in the United States, or a father with a green card), then the FAMILY qualifies for FEMA help.
Don't miss out on Disaster Assistance - Read about common misunderstandings that stop people who ARE ELIGIBLE for assistance from applying to FEMA for help. Don't make these common mistakes. Learn more here.
FEMA Outreach Efforts Continue
Residents of the affected Counties who have made application for Federal Assistance or who plan on making application for federal assistance will be contacted by fully credentialed Inspectors to schedule an appointment to inspect damage and to determine eligibility for any funded programs. The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management has established Community Relations teams with our FEMA partners. These teams will be visiting the affected areas of the State to conduct further outreach to those residents who may be eligible and may be in need of assistance due to the most recent disaster.
FEMA officials and their contracted inspectors will have official identification. Here is what their badges look like. If you suspect that someone is impersonating FEMA inspectors, contact FEMA directly.
FEMA's Flood Mitigation Specialists Offer Assistance
Flood mitigation teams are available at retail establishments throughout the area. In an effort to reach everyone, their locations change weekly. This week they will be at the following stores from Monday, May 17th to Friday, May 21st from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. On May 22nd they will be there from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
902 Murray Road, East Hanover
1035 U.S. Route 1 South, Edison
1334 Lakewood Road, Toms River
3100 Hamilton Blvd.
Specialists from FEMA will be on hand to explain techniques that can reduce damage to homes, businesses and property from future flooding. How-to information for retrofitting buildings and elevating utilities will be available as well as hand-outs including brochures about the National Flood Insurance Program. The teams will have information about safely cleaning up after a flood, getting safely back into a home after a flood, repairing a flood-damaged home and mitigation information for rebuilding using disaster-resistant techniques.
Available information also includes things residents can do to avoid flood damage in the future such as:
- Relocate main electric switchbox above potential floodwaters
- Relocate electric outlets and switches above potential floodwaters
- Move washer and dryer to a higher floor
- Elevate furnace and water heater
- Have a licensed plumber install a backflow valve to prevent sewer backup
- Purchase flood insurance
The teams also will have information on how people can get help with other disaster-related questions. In addition to FEMA's in-store mitigation specialists, comprehensive information on how to prepare for disasters can be accessed here.
Legal Assistance From FEMA and NJ State Bar Association
In addition to the legal services offered through Legal Services of NJ, an additional toll-free legal aid line - 1-888-541-1900 - is now available for victims of recent flooding and storms who need help navigating issues like insurance claims, housing concerns and aid with repair contracts. The hotline is open to residents of Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset and Union counties who need legal help related to the flooding disaster and cannot afford to pay an attorney. This hotline is managed by the New Jersey State Bar Association, American Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Learn more here.
What to Expect After Applying for Assistance With FEMA
Inspectors contracted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency are contacting New Jersey residents who have applied for disaster assistance. These inspectors have approved FEMA identification badges that include the inspectors name and photo, and the name of the company under contract with FEMA. They will ask for information to verify your name and address and registration with FEMA. They will NOT ask for a Social Security number nor ask to be paid for the inspection. The FEMA inspection is FREE, so beware of fraudulent individuals attempting to charge for an inspection.
The inspection generally takes 30 - 40 minutes, during which the inspector will assess disaster-related damage for both real and personal property and may take photos of the interior and exterior of the damaged dwelling. The inspector will then enter damage-related information into a handheld computer and send that data electronically to FEMA.
The inspector does not determine whether a registrant is eligible for assistance, or the amount of a FEMA grant the individual may receive.
Disaster Recovery Centers Offer Assistance
Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are opening to assist individuals, households and businesses affected by the storms and flooding of mid-March. DRCs are planned for all designated counties and openings will be announced as arrangements are finalized.
Each DRC is staffed with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Small Business Administration and state agency disaster recovery specialists who are ready to help survivors through the process. Learn more and find DRC locations here.
What to do if FEMA Assistance is Denied
A denial letter does not necessarily mean that an applicant is ineligible for assistance. It may mean that the information provided is incomplete. Make sure that you have submitted sufficient documentation of identity, ownership, and disaster damage. Complete and return the U. S. Small Business Administration loan application as this is an essential part of the recovery process as well. A letter from FEMA that states you have been denied assistance because you are "INS-insured" is an indication that there is an insurance issue. Call the FEMA helpline to update insurance information as soon as it becomes available.
For more information on how to appeal a denial letter stating that you are ineligible for disaster assistance click here
and read about the process that must be followed to appeal this decision from FEMA. Applicants have 60 days from the date of their determination letter to appeal the FEMA decision. All appeals must be in writing and should include the disaster identification registration number.
Report False Damage Claims
If you suspect someone is filing false damage claims, please report it. Help FEMA make sure that disaster aid goes only to those who deserve it. It is a violation of federal law to file a false claim.
Report a false damage claim: Call (800) 323-8603 or E-mail: DHSOIGHOTLINE@dhs.gov.
.Need Help? – Dial 2-1-1
You are encouraged to dial “2-1-1” 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you need help in understanding and finding available assistance services. Language translation and TTY services are offered to any caller. You can also search our database for services in your local community or Chat Live with an experienced community resource specialist. 2-1-1 will help identify with you the best local resources to fit your individual needs during times of distress or for life’s everyday situations.
If you know of additional resources that would be appropriate to include in this section, please let us know by contacting us via e-mail at email@example.com.
Sources for this page include:
Ongoing news releases from FEMA
Page last modified on 6.23.10