Federal aid available for storm damaged properties 

MIDDLETOWN, NJMonmouth County residents and business owners whose properties sustained damage as a result of Hurricane Irene are urged to register with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster assistance as soon as possible.

FEMA has established a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at the Monmouth County Park System’s Henry Hudson Trail Activity Center, 945 Route 36, Leonardo. The office will begin processing claims from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11.

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Before visiting the DRC, residents and business owners who sustained losses should register by calling between 6 a.m. and 1 a.m. daily to 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or for the speech or hearing impaired TTY 1-800-462-7585, online anytime at www.disasterassistance.gov or www.fema.gov or via mobile phone application m.fema.gov.

“These storms have caused significant damage throughout Monmouth County and we want to make sure those affected by the hurricane get the help for which they are eligible,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the county Office of Emergency Management. “FEMA assistance can include grants for temporary housing, 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.”

The DRC office will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice.

At the Disaster Recovery Center, visitors can:

  • Receive information about different types of state and federal disaster assistance
  • Get help completing low-interest loan applications from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners, renters and business owners
  • Inquire about the status of applications for federal assistance
  • Receive referrals to voluntary organizations to help with immediate unmet needs
  • Learn cost-effective mitigation measures to reduce the impact of future disaster losses.

Each Disaster Recovery Center is staffed with FEMA, SBA and state agency disaster recovery specialists who are ready to help survivors through the recovery process.

“Do it now. Get into the FEMA system,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden, who oversees the county’s OEM. “I urge affected residents to go online or make that call; the sooner they register for assistance, the sooner assistance may become available.

Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if the person has registered with another disaster relief organization such as the American Red Cross, local officials or churches.

Registrants with FEMA must use the name that appears on their Social Security card. Applicants need to provide:

  • Social Security number
  • Address of the damaged home or apartment
  • Description of the damage
  • Information about insurance coverage
  • A current contact telephone number
  • An address where you can get mail
  • Bank account and routing numbers if they want direct deposit of any financial assistance.

“Many of our residents and business owners have had a tough time dealing with these storms,” Arnone said. “I urge them to register for assistance right away.”

In addition to Monmouth County, federal funding and DRC’s are being made available to people and businesses in all 21 New Jersey counties.