FREEHOLD, NJ – Officials overseeing recovery operations in response to the severe storms and flooding of mid-March have announced that the registration deadline for New Jersey homeowners, renters and business owners to apply for disaster assistance has been extended until close-of-business on Thursday, July 1. The deadline had been June 1.
The extension was agreed upon by the state Office of Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials after reviewing the steady and consistent flow of new registrations throughout the last month. Since May 1, nearly 3,000 applications have been recorded by FEMA in the 15 designated counties.
To date, more than 11,000 residents or people doing business in those counties, including Monmouth, have registered for some form of disaster assistance. In Monmouth County, 1,168 applications were filed reporting nearly $1 million in damage, FEMA officials said.
“Residents and business owners who were affected by the March storms are urged to call or go online to register before it’s too late,” said Freeholder John P. Curley, liaison to the Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management. “Clearly, by what has been reported so far, the storms and resulting flooding have caused significant damage to Monmouth County residents and businesses.”
State and federal recovery officials said the steady volume of new applicants was not unusual for a flooding disaster. The original disaster declaration allows for a 60-day registration period ending June 1. However, with three additional counties having been added to the list May 8, officials extended that deadline so flood-stricken survivors could take advantage of federal recovery programs.
“In addition to providing additional consideration to the flood survivors in the counties that became eligible for assistance in May, our experience shows flooding damage often reveals itself over time as buildings settle,” said Federal Coordinating Officer William L Vogel. “We are still here to help and we urge all flood survivors to register for assistance now.”
Homeowners, renters or business owners affected by the storms should register for assistance by calling FEMA’s toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY/TDD 1-800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing impaired (for relay service, call 711 or 1-800-852-7897) between 7 a.m. and 1 a.m., seven days a week. Multi-lingual operators are available to answer calls during this time. Flood survivors may also register for assistance online anytime at www.disasterassistance.gov.
The deadline to submit loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration has also been extended through July 1. While no one is required to take out an SBA loan, applications are a key part of the FEMA registration process. A loan denial may open up other assistance to eligible applicants.
“Many homeowners are finding that uninsured or underinsured repairs or remedies are more costly than imagined,” said State Coordinating Officer Bill McDonnell. “Disaster assistance may be available after insurance claims are settled and some losses remain uncovered, so we urge all New Jersey flood survivors to contact FEMA now.”
To date, FEMA has approved more than $13 million in aid to disaster households, while the SBA has approved more than $6.2 million in low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and nonprofit organizations.
Receive up to the minute New Jersey disaster recovery information by following the local FEMA efforts on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion2.
“I urge everyone who thinks they may have a claim to apply for assistance prior to the July 1 deadline,” said Glenn Mason, director of Monmouth County’s Office of Emergency Management.