Furthering his Administration's commitment to ensuring that New Jerseyans impacted by Hurricane Irene have access to the critical resources they need, Governor Chris Christie today announced the imminent openings of a FEMA-State Joint Field Office (JFO) in Neptune, Monmouth County, and county-specific Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) to aid residents throughout the state. These are the next steps in an aggressive and coordinated long-term effort aimed at assisting residents impacted by Hurricane Irene, and ensuring access to available resources for all eligible New Jerseyans. A JFO is a temporary federal, multiagency coordination center established locally to facilitate field level domestic incident management activities related to prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. The Neptune JFO will open tomorrow.
Governor Chris Christie said, "Now that we have moved into this next phase of recovery, it is critical that we are utilizing all of our resources to ensure people who have been displaced from their homes and are dealing with the aftermath of flood damage are receiving the assistance they need."
The JFO in Neptune will provide a central location for the coordination of federal, state, local, nongovernmental and private-sector organizations with the primary responsibility for moving forward with the recovery and relief efforts resulting from Hurricane Irene's impact on New Jersey. This includes state governmental departments and agencies working on the front lines of the recovery and relief efforts alongside the State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
* Department of Transportation (DOT);
* Department of Community Affairs (DCA);
* Department of Human Services (DHS);
* Department of Environmental Protection (DEP);
* Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI), and;
* New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission (MVC).
The first county-specific Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) opened today at the Paterson Museum in Paterson, Passaic County. DRCs in Bergen, Essex, Morris, and Union counties are expected to open in the next 48 hours and a majority of DRCs are expected to be up and running by the end of next week. These centers will directly assist New Jerseyans with the delivery of recovery and relief resources. DRC personnel, which will include representatives from different administration departments, will be available to aid those who wish to visit personally with a disaster recovery specialist to get answers to their questions.
Also important to note, individuals don't have to go to a center in their own county. If a DRC isn't open yet in one county, an individual can walk into a center in another county for assistance.
Many people find they get answers to their questions during the registration process. Therefore, before visiting the DRC, people are encouraged to register with FEMA online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), (TTY) 800-462-7585 for the hearing- or speech-impaired. The toll-free numbers are available seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Help in languages other than English is available.
Following approval by the federal government of New Jersey's request for disaster assistance, direct federal disaster relief is now available to New Jerseyans in all 21 counties who have been impacted by Hurricane Irene. New Jersey residents and small businesses in all counties are now eligible to apply for different types of federal assistance, including temporary housing, repair, replacement or other needs such as Disaster Unemployment Assistance, and Small Business Administration disaster loans.
Survivors of Hurricane Irene in every New Jersey county who suffered damage should apply for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- even if they have insurance or aren't sure they are eligible.