Individuals in all New Jersey counties, including Mercer County, are now eligible for federal disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Gov. Chris Christie announced on Tuesday.
New Jersey residents and small businesses in all 21 counties can now apply to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Small Business Administration for Individual Assistance such as temporary housing, federal grants, and low-interest loans to help cover the cost of repairs to residences and personal property.
All 21 counties had already been approved by the federal government as eligible for Public Assistance, a different form of federal disaster relief available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
“President Obama and FEMA are taking an important step to help all New Jerseyans by expanding the disaster declaration to include every county in our state,” said U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which funds disaster relief programs. “Every New Jerseyan impacted by Superstorm Sandy is now eligible to apply for federal aid that can help rebuild their lives. Everyone who has been impacted by the storm should call 1-800-621-FEMA to find out what federal aid is available and apply for help now.”
“All New Jerseyans affected and displaced by Hurricane Sandy should have access to the grants and assistance FEMA has to offer. Today, the Obama administration took the necessary and appropriate action to ensure that this is the case and I applaud their efforts,” said U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez. “I am hearing the plight of New Jerseyans from across the state and it's my hope that they will take advantage of these federal resources in the weeks and months of recovery ahead. Together, we'll overcome this and rebuild a better, stronger Garden State.”
Survivors of Hurricane Sandy who suffered damage should apply for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency – even if they have insurance or aren't sure if they are eligible, Christie said.
Register by phone at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 for those with hearing or speech impairments. Specialists are available at the toll-free numbers seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, until further notice. Help in languages other than English is available.
Registration can also be done online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or through a web-enabled mobile device or smartphone by visiting http://m.fema.gov/ and following the link to "apply online for federal assistance."