Lawmakers Provide Information for Families Affected by Hurricane
38th LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT – With most of northern New Jersey being declared a federal disaster area earlier this week in the wake of Hurricane Irene, and recovery and flood mitigation projects already underway, State Senator Bob Gordon and Assemblywomen Connie Wagner and Joan Voss today urged residents to stay informed regarding the State and federal programs available to provide relief and assistance, and to heed public health warnings to stay safe.
“The worst of Irene is behind us, but we have to begin the difficult work of recovery, and continue to follow safety precautions regarding flood water, mold remediation, and food and public water safety,” said Senator Gordon, D-Fair Lawn. “Unfortunately, many North Jersey residents remain displaced due to the storm’s after-effects, and the high winds and drenching rains, coupled with falling trees and flooding rivers, have caused millions of dollars in property damage locally. We’re urging local residents to reach out to our district offices if you need help accessing available State and federal relief programs, and to follow best practices and common sense to stay safe and healthy.”
“Staying informed is as important to post-disaster recovery efforts as being prepared is to weathering them,” said Assemblywoman Wagner, D-Paramus. “North Jersey residents still dealing with Irene’s aftermath need all the help – and information – they can get. And we want everyone to know that our district offices are standing by to help those hardest hit by the hurricane get all the state and federal assistance available to them.”
“Now that everyone has moved into recovery mode and New Jersey has been declared a federal disaster area, the best thing residents can do is keep a list of everything lost or damaged in the storm and keep receipts for any replacement purchases and service calls,” said Assemblywoman Voss, D-Fort Lee. “It may take some residents weeks or even months to be made whole, but rest assured we are here to help in that process however we can.”
The three legislators noted the following:
• Homeowners and business owners in Bergen and Passaic Counties can begin the disaster application process by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
• It is important to start a list of all items destroyed, damaged or missing. If you do not have a home inventory, begin making a list of items going room by room from memory. Include as much detail as possible, like where and when the item was purchased, the cost, brand name and model.
• The American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey provides aid to those needing assistance. If you need assistance or are offering to help, please contact them at 1-800-507-6058 or 973-797-3300 or online at www.redcrossnnj.org.
• The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services has opened a call center to respond to residents’ health concerns regarding the after-effects of Hurricane Irene. To speak to an expert about mold treatment and remediation, food safety, and whether or not the tap water in your area is safe for human consumption, you can call 866-234-0964, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. over the weekend and on Labor Day.
“Hurricane Irene cut a devastating swath across New Jersey, but working together, we can get back on our feet quickly and safely,” said Senator Gordon. “On behalf of the people I represent, I’d like to thank all of the public safety crews, emergency responders, police officers, firefighters, and utility crews who have been working tirelessly since the storm hit to keep us safe and return us to a sense of normalcy. Hopefully, we can quickly and efficiently recover from the damage of Hurricane Irene and restore and rebuild our communities affected by the storm.”
Constituents in need of assistance can contact Senator Gordon’s District Office at (201) 703-9779, or via e-mail at SenGordon@njleg.org, Assemblywoman Wagner’s District Office at (201) 576-9199, or via e-mail at AswWagner@njleg.org, or Assemblywoman Voss’s District Office at (201) 346-6400, or via e-mail at AswVoss@njleg.org.