Monmouth County was recently faced with an unprecedented natural disaster which tested the resourcefulness and spirit of our communities. I was impressed with elected officials and citizens throughout Monmouth County as they prepared for and responded to Hurricane Irene.  I found that local, state and county officials took every appropriate precaution, but unfortunately there way was no way to completely prevent the damages left in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

I am also proud of the resiliency of our community—both residents and business owners—during this time of hardship.  As we continue to recover, residents and businesses should be aware of the resources that are available from state and federal agencies to help them with the aftermath of this natural disaster.

New Jersey has received federal disaster designation, which offers numerous types of assistance including rent for temporary housing, grants, loans and unemployment payments. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offices have been set up in all counties and information about what federal aid is available for New Jersey Hurricane Irene victims is detailed at http://www.fema.gov/news/event.fema?id=15536. Here in Monmouth County, the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center is located at the Monmouth County Parks System Henry Hudson Trail Activity Center in Middletown.

In addition, homeowners can file claims for damaged or missing items by contacting their insurance agent. For more information contact the state Department of Banking and Insurance at 1-800-446-7467 or www.njdobi.org. The Department of Banking and Insurance also warns of hiring fake contractors and has offered advice for addressing this at www.state.nj.us/dobi/pressreleases/pr110830.htm.

The New Jersey’s Business Action Center is offering assistance for businesses affected by the storm, including financial support, information about temporary office space and other technical assistance.  More information about assistance available to businesses is available at http://nj.gov/njbusiness/.

The state Division of Consumers Affairs has also warned residents to be aware of scams targeting people who are already suffering and asks residents to be wary of phony contractors or charities. 

My office is open to help in any way that we can and I encourage anyone looking for answers or guidance on finding an appropriate agency to contact me at (732) 974-1719 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We must also be mindful that there may be more storms to come as Atlantic hurricane season does not end until November 30th.  Therefore, it is important to be prepared for potential hurricanes or storms over the next few months.

Our communities and businesses have pulled through Hurricane Irene, but I want them to know that they are not alone.  Elected officials and government agencies are available and working to ensure that New Jersey recovers and rebuilds from the storms to make our state better than before.

Dave Rible is NJ Assembly Republican Whip