Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Disaster officials overseeing recovery operations in response to the severe storms and flooding of mid-March have extended to July 1 the registration deadline for New Jersey homeowners, renters and business owners to apply for disaster assistance.

The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency agreed to the extension 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 Morris and the 14 other designated counties.

Those 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 1a.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.