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September 23, 2011

I.   FEMA Funding/Stop Gap Spending Bill Fails in Senate
II.  FEMA Grants Might Cover Gaps in Private Insurance Policies

Dear Mayor:

I.   FEMA Funding/Stop Gap Spending Bill Fails in Senate

As reported in Wednesday’s letter (http://www.njslom.org/letters/2011-0921-disaster-relief.html), Congress needs to approve a stop gap funding bill to continue government operations beyond the September 30 end of the current Federal Fiscal Year. Congress also needs to provide increased funding to FEMA to aid those who have suffered losses due to the recent series of natural disasters all across America.

On a vote of 195-230, with 213 needed for passage, the House bill, supported by Speaker John Boehner, was defeated on Wednesday.

The outcome sent Speaker Boehner back to the drawing board. The Speaker has stated that he does not believe a government shut-down will occur.

Today, the House passed a bill substantially similar to the bill that had failed on Wednesday. That bill included $3.7 billion for FEMA disaster assistance. The Senate, however, has tabled this initiative, on a vote of 59-36.

Though both Houses are scheduled to leave Washington today for the Rosh Hashanah recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to schedule a vote on new proposal for next Monday evening. That proposal will most likely include $6.9 billion in FEMA disaster aid funding, which was included in a previously passed Senate bill.

If you have any questions, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121 jmoran@njslom.com. We will keep you posted on further developments.

II.   FEMA Grants Might Cover Gaps in Private Insurance Policies  

Disaster recovery officials continue to urge anyone affected by Hurricane Irene to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – even those survivors who are receiving insurance settlements.

Recovery officials in the field are finding that some residents who have accepted insurance settlements believe no further aid is available to them. There are expenses not covered by insurance, however, for which FEMA grants might compensate victims of natural disasters. 

For example, rental assistance is not covered under a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy.  An individual could qualify for a federal rental or repair grant if his or her residence was damaged.  Another grant might help a person cover unmet losses and necessary expenses caused by the hurricane.

PLEASE NOTE. THOUGH CONGRESS IS CURRENTLY DEAD-LOCKED ON INCREASED FEMA FUNDING, THAT SHOULD NOT DISCOURAGE ANY CITIZENS FROM REGISTERING FOR DISASTER RECOVERY ASSISTANCE.  “The only way to receive the disaster assistance you may be eligible for is to register,” said Lt. Paul Miller, state coordinating officer with the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.

There are three ways to register – go to www.disasterassistance.gov, to m.fema.gov or call FEMA toll-free, 800-621-3362 (FEMA).  Those with access or functional needs and who use a TTY may call 800-462-7585 or use 711 or Video Relay Service to call 800-621-3362. Telephone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., ET; multilingual operators are available.

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

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