The Obama Administration has continued to bring all available resources to bear to support our state and local partners as they continue to respond and recover from the storm.
On Thursday, November 15th, the President traveled to New York, where he announced that HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan will lead Hurricane Sandy redevelopment efforts under the National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF), created in the first term of the Administration to improve long-term recovery from disaster.
In this role, Secretary Donovan will coordinate Federal support as States design individual redevelopment plans, identify priorities, and over time begin plan implementation. This structure will streamline the process for Governors as they seek assistance for longer-term projects and as they identify as priorities for community redevelopment. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continue to provide all available federal resources to support the immediate response and recovery efforts.
As a demonstration of this combined response on November 16th, Secretary Donovan joined Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano on visits to a number of communities across New Jersey impacted by the Hurricane Sandy – meeting with individuals whose lives have been disrupted by devastation from the storm, and state and local officials to discuss ongoing response and recovery efforts.
Later, Secretaries Donovan and Napolitano, along with New Jersey Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez visited the Middletown Joint Field Office to met with disaster survivors, relief workers, and state and local officials to discuss coordination among federal, state and local partners on recovery efforts throughout the region.
Secretary Donovan also joined Mayor Jerramiah Healy on a tour of areas impacted in Jersey City by Sandy. The tour included the basement of the Booker T. Washington public-housing complex, where public-housing facilities suffered more than $3 million in damages from the storm event.
President Obama declared a major disaster for New Jersey on October 30th. Federal funding is available to affected individuals in all 21 counties of New Jersey. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, for all 21 counties in New Jersey.
The first step to receive housing and other assistance is registering for disaster assistance. Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties in New Jersey can apply for assistance 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. The toll-free telephone numbers are operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.