November 16, 2012
Re: New Jersey/FEMA Operations have asked the State League of Municipalities to forward this notice to you. William G. Dressel Jr., Executive Director
NEW JERSEY/FEMA OPERATIONS UPDATE
FEMA-4086-DR, NEW JERSEY
NOVEMBER 15, 2012
Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) has been extended for New Jerseyfor 14 days with a check-out date of November 29, 2012. Individuals who have questions regarding their eligibility should contact the helpline at 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA).
Disaster Recovery Centers are open in Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties to assist survivors with registration. To find a disaster recovery center location, residents can check out the disaster recovery center locator at www.FEMA.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or by mobile phone at m.fema.gov. Residents can also text DRC and a zip code to 43362 (4FEMA).
Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits are available for those whose jobs were impacted by the hurricane. That includes people not normally eligible for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed persons and farm workers. Registration closes February 4, 2013; applicants should contact a New Jersey Reemployment Call Center. Locations include Union City (201-601-4100), Freehold (732-761-2020), and Cumberland (856-507-2340).
Free Legal Aid is now available to disaster survivors - FEMA is working with the New Jersey State Bar Association, and ABA Young Lawyers Division to provide free legal aid to storm survivors. Disaster survivors may call toll-free at 888-541-1900 Monday through Friday from 9-5. Callers may leave a message which will be returned the next day. The hotline is open to residents who need legal help related to the disaster such as insurance-related claims, landlord-tenant matters, FEMA appeals and creditor-debtor matters.
KEY FEDERAL AGENCY RESPONSE AND RECOVERY EFFORTS
Department of Health and Human Services
- The Department of Health and Human Services has activated behavioral health professionals from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps to provide mental health support in shelters and for first responders. Residents also can connect with local crisis counselors through the National Disaster Distress Helpline. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746).
- Twenty-one FEMA Corps Teams encompassing 217 members are working with community relations and individual assistance teams in 11 New Jersey counties to provide information on disaster assistance programs and the registration process to individuals affected by Hurricane Sandy.
American Red Cross
- Red Cross has established call center for Hurricane Sandy at 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767) for all inquiries.
- Nearly 5,827 American Red Cross (ARC) workers are deployed from all 50 states with the majority working in New York and New Jersey (90% are volunteers). To date, there have been 8,583 Red Cross disaster responders assigned to Hurricane Sandy operations.
- More than 5,635,142 meals and snacks have been served and nearly 1,740,307 relief items, such as hygiene kits, have been distributed. Red Cross volunteers are also driving through neighborhoods to hand out water, food, and relief supplies.
- Outreach operations continue providing disaster relief items across Hoboken, NJ.
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers:
- Received mission to collect all generators used following Sandy in all four states (NY, NJ, CT, and WV)
U.S. Small Business Administration
- SBA has issued 133,572 Disaster Loan Applications to homeowners, renters and businesses in New Jersey.
- From the time a completed loan application is received by SBA to the time a decision is made is 10 days.
- SBA has approved close to $1.5 million to assist with uncompensated losses that the people and businesses of New Jersey suffered from Sandy.
- After registering with FEMA and being referred to SBA, applications can be completed online at https://disasterloan.sba/ela. Applicants can receive answers to their questions and an update on their application by calling the SBA Help Line at 1-800-659-2955.
FEMA Key Efforts
- FEMA has disbursed $156.3 million in Housing Assistance and $11.3 million in Other Needs Assistance (ONA), such as personal property, medical and dental, for a total Individual Housing Program disbursement of $167.6 million dollars.
- Coordination between voluntary agencies, the private sector, local, state and federal agencies in the State-Led Disaster Housing Task Force will enable New Jersey residents to make safe and informed housing decisions while they explore long-term recovery options.
- FEMA inspectors have conducted 56,615 housing inspections with a total of 876 inspectors currently in the field. Turnaround time for inspections is currently 4.5 days; however this could change as the number of homes needing inspection begins to increase.
- FEMA is working closely with the State of New Jersey to help to coordinate and facilitate the establishment of New Jersey’s Hurricane Sandy Child Task Force officially stood up on November 14, 2012. Deputy Commissioner, Jeff Guenzel of the Department of Children and Families will lead this group. The purpose is to ensure that children’s disaster related needs are being addressed holistically and expeditiously during the initial recovery phase, and moving forward.
Normally, Kickoff meetings are held within 21 days following the Applicants’ Briefing and on a case-by-case basis. However, local emergency managers in New Jersey have identified applicants with the greatest and most urgent needs and have set up Kickoff meetings immediately following the Applicant Briefings to speed the recovery effort.
- FEMA Public Assistance officials met with hundreds of New Jersey local and state government officials this past week in the first step on the road to recover following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.
- State of New Jersey officials facilitated the meeting of the local government officials with FEMA officials by organizing Applicant Briefings. The purpose of the Applicants’ Briefing is to present a broad overview of FEMA’s Public Assistance Grant Program with the city, county and state officials.
- FEMA Public Assistance (PA) specialists were on hand at these briefings. Project specialist then schedule meetings – known as Kickoff meetings – with each applicant to give a detailed overview of the Public Assistance Program requirements, define roles and responsibilities of the stakeholder and identify important timelines. State counterparts of the Public Assistance specialists also attend these meetings and serve as a point of contact through the application process. The state counterparts will work side-by-side with the FEMA PA specialists throughout the entire reimbursement process.