2016 PA Policy Guide

The U. S. Small Business Administration announced that due to a steady decrease of activity, the NJ Recovery Centers located in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union counties will cease operations on Feb.  11.

The Centers located in Atlantic, Monmouth and Ocean counties will remain open until further notice.  However, in observance of Presidents’ Day, the Centers located in Atlantic and Ocean counties will be closed on Friday, Feb. 12 and Monday, Feb. 15; the Monmouth County Center will be closed on Feb. 15 for the holiday.  (See attached press release)

This decision to close some Centers does not keep businesses and residents from applying.  SBA’s Electronic Loan Application can be accessed from any computer.  It is a fast and efficient way to apply.  Anyone may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.  

Additionally, business counselors at the NJ Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) can assist business owners by preparing the financial statements and help them to submit their SBA disaster loan application. For the locations of the nearest SBDC, visit http://www.njsbdc.com/

Businesses and individuals may also obtain disaster loan information and application forms by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  

Loan applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov/disaster.  Completed applications can be returned to a center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Thank you for supporting SBA’s programs.  Please consider posting this information on your website and sharing it with your contacts and media outlets.  (SBA flyers on the Hurricane Sandy disaster declaration are also attached.  We have the flyers in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Italian if wanted.)

Kind regards,

Kathy Cook, Public Affairs Specialist
Communications Department
U.S. Small Business Administration
Office of Disaster Assistance – FOCE
101 Marietta Street, NW suite 700
Atlanta, GA 30303
office: (404) 331-0333 x2181
cell: (404) 387-8670
email: mary.cook@sba.gov


SBA Disaster Loans for New Sandy Declaration Tops $5 Million; Have You Applied?

ATLANTA – On Dec. 2, 2015, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced that federal disaster loans are again available as a result of Hurricane Sandy. These low-interest loans are available to small businesses, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters located in New Jersey, regardless if they applied during the initial Hurricane Sandy disaster declaration or not. To date, SBA has approved 131 loans totaling $5,099,500.


Press Release SBA Disaster Loans for New Sandy Declaration Tops $5 Million - English

Press Release SBA Disaster Loans for New Sandy Declaration Tops $5 Million - Spanish


The Middlesex County Long Term Recovery Group

Still suffering from Super Storm Sandy?
We’re here to help!
Serving ALL of Middlesex County. We offer assistance with: Home repairs, disaster case management, food, rent, mortgage, clothing, furniture, & much more!

Contact Us At:
Sayreville Senior Center 3rd floor
423 Main Street
Sayreville, NJ 08872
Main Phone: (732) 390 7074
Email: Info@middlesexltrg.org
Website: www.middlesexltrg.org

Hours of Operation:
Monday- Wednesday: 9:00 am- 5:00pm
Thursday: 9:00 am- 7:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am- 4:00 pm


Christie Administration To Host Sandy Recovery Mobile Cabinet in Middlesex County on November 12th

Representatives From Various State Departments And Federal Agencies Will Be On Hand In South River

Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration announced today that state officials will host a Sandy Recovery Mobile Cabinet Tuesday, November 12th, in Middlesex County to offer assistance to Sandy-affected residents and businesses as they continue their recovery and rebuilding efforts. State representatives from the Governor’s Office of Constituent Relations; the Department of Community Affairs (DCA); the Economic Development Authority (EDA); the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP); the Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI); the Department of Treasury; the Business Action Center (BAC) at the Department of State; the Department of Human Services (DHS); and the Department of Children and Families (DCF); as well as federal officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), will be on hand in South River to meet with affected residents and answer questions on a variety of topics including homeowner and rental program status updates and business grant and loan status updates. Homeowners and business owners interested in attending can expedite the process by bringing relevant documentation related to the issue they are facing.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Governor’s Office of Constituent Relations

Department of Community Affairs

Economic Development Authority

Department of Environmental Protection

Department of Banking and Insurance

Department of Treasury

Department of State – Business Action Center

Department of Human Services

Department of Children and Families

Division of Consumer Affairs

Federal Emergency Management Agency

National Flood Insurance Program

WHAT:             Mobile Recovery Cabinet to Assist Sandy-Impacted Homeowners and Businesses

WHEN:             3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

WHERE:          South River Middle School
                      3 Montgomery Street
                      South River, NJ

Christie Administration Announces $57 Million Sandy Housing And Rental Assistance Program

New Working Families Living Expenses Voucher Program Provides Up To

$15,000 For Certain Housing Costs

For Immediate Release

Contact: Michael Drewniak

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Colin Reed


Trenton, NJ - Governor Christie today announced a new $57 million Sandy Housing and Rental Assistance Program, the Working Families Living Expenses Voucher Program. The program will provide housing stability for individuals and families still recovering financially from Superstorm Sandy by helping to offset living expenses. The funding will be distributed through county Boards of Social Services as well as other designated agencies in the form of direct payments to billing agencies or vouchers to select vendors for eligible Sandy-impacted residents. 


"We've come a long way over the last year helping rebuild and recover from Sandy, but we also know that there are still folks out there who need help,"

said Governor Christie. "People are financially strained from the impact of Superstorm Sandy and this program is designed to give those who need it a helping hand and some much needed breathing room by offsetting living expenses."


The new program provides temporary relief to households by offering support to fund costs related to: maintaining temporary housing while their primary residence is repaired/rebuilt; maintaining a primary residence for the household to return to when repairs and reconstruction are completed; and ensuring that affected households can obtain certain essential items for their primary residence. The funding is being made available through a federal Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) to the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS).


"As the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approaches, many families working to recover and rebuild remain saddled with expenses that have continued to escalate," said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez.

"This funding will provide much needed relief to help get residents back home and manage financial challenges."


The program is expected to help homeowners who have been paying rent for temporary housing as well as a mortgage on their damaged property, possibly putting them in arrears and at risk for foreclosure. There are also resources for homeowners and renters who need to replace essential household items that were not covered by their insurance or other available assistance programs. Residents who have returned to their rebuilt home but lack essential items such as a refrigerator or bed may also be eligible for assistance under this program. In addition, Sandy-impacted homeowners and renters who are under- or unemployed due to the storm and in need of additional help to stabilize their finances may also benefit.


The Working Families Living Expenses Voucher Program provides up to six months of housing and related assistance and is capped at $15,000 in direct payments or vouchers per household. It is available for eligible individuals or families experiencing financial distress directly related to housing needs as a result of Superstorm Sandy.


To further help children and families impacted by Superstorm Sandy, Governor Christie also announced the official opening of the new Meadowlands Family Success Center (FSC) in Little Ferry. This marks the 14th new FSC established during the Christie Administration, bringing the total number of FSCs statewide to 51.


"Family Success Centers have been a vital community resource for New Jersey's most vulnerable children and families," said Governor Christie.

"Now, through the establishment of additional and expanded FSCs, even more individuals - including those who may never have used social services - will have access to the programs, resources and support offered by their local FSC."


New Jersey Department of Children and Families Commissioner Allison Blake, whose department funds the FSCs, expanded on Governor Christie's comments, adding, "FSCs are community-based, family-centered neighborhood gathering places where community residents can go for family support, information, referrals and access to services at no cost. FSCs are a 'one-stop' site that provides wrap-around resources and support for families before they find themselves in crisis."


Some of the free services provided by FSCs include: supportive counseling for parents raising children; classes and support groups for families, single parents and teens; parent-child activities; and a variety of workshops on topics such as stress reduction, financial literacy, leadership/empowerment, education, employment, domestic violence, nutritional awareness, healthcare resources, and financial assistance.


Families and individuals interested in applying for The Working Families Living Expenses Voucher can go to www.NJ211.org <http://www.nj211.org/> or call 211 to find out where to apply within each county. A Provider List is attached.


Sandy Living Expenses Voucher Program Delivers Relief To New Jersey’s Working Families

Christie Administration Announces Assistance Program For Homeowners And Renters

The Christie Administration today announced a new $57 million Sandy Housing and Rental Assistance Program, “The Working Families Living Expenses Voucher Program.” The program will provide housing stability for individuals and families impacted by Superstorm Sandy by ensuring that affected households have items essential for health and safety when they return to their home.

This voucher program provides temporary relief by offering support to working families who are financially strained due to the costs associated with recovery from Superstorm Sandy.

  • Maintaining temporary housing while their primary residence is repaired/rebuilt;
  • Maintaining a primary residence for the household to return to when repairs and reconstruction are completed; and
  • Homeowners and renters who are under or unemployed due to the storm and in need of additional help to stabilize their finances may also benefit.

Funding for this program is being distributed to all of New Jersey’s 21 counties for qualifying Sandy-impacted families and individuals through a federal Social Services Block Grant to the state Department of Human Services (DHS).

Funds will be distributed through the county Boards of Social Services or other agencies in the form of direct payments to billing agencies or vouchers to select vendors for eligible residents. Capped at $15,000 in direct payments or vouchers per household, the program provides up to six months of housing and related assistance.

Allowable expenses include:

  • Retroactive and Current rent/mortgage payments
  • Retroactive and Current utility payments
  • Beds and Cribs
  • Bed Linens and Towels
  • Dressers
  • Dining furniture
  • Washing machines and dryers
  • Refrigerators
  • Couches
  • Dinnerware
  • Lighting
  • Stoves
  • Microwaves
  • Air Conditioners
  • Pots and Pans
  • Hot Water heaters

In order to prevent fraud and maintain the integrity of the program, residents may be asked to bring any of the following items for review:

  • FEMA/DCA Registration
  • Mortgage statement/lease agreement
  • State issued driver’s license
  • Utility bills
  • Bank Account statement
  • Income Tax Return
  • Birth certificate/Voter ID/Legal Permanent Resident Card
  • Guardianship papers, if applicable

People interested in applying for the program can visit www.NJ211.org or call 211 to find out where to apply.

To further help children and families impacted by Superstorm Sandy, Governor Christie also announced the official opening of the new Meadowlands Family Success Center (FSC) in Little Ferry. This marks the 14th new Family Success Center established during the Christie Administration, bringing the total number of FSCs statewide to 51.

Some of the free services provided by Family Success Centers include:

  • Supportive counseling for parents raising children;
  • Classes and support groups for families, single parents and teens;
  • Parent-child activities; and
  • Workshops on topics such as stress reduction, financial literacy, leadership/empowerment, education, employment, domestic violence, nutritional awareness, healthcare resources, and financial assistance.

The fiscal year 2014 budget reaffirms the Governor’s commitment to our Family Success Centers with $9.7 million in state funds along with $2.5 million in federal funds. Additional funding has been awarded to nine FSCs in Atlantic (two sites), Cape May, Cumberland, Hudson, Middlesex, Union and Essex (two sites) counties to provide expanded hours and programs to those families impacted by Sandy.

To learn more about the Family Success Centers located throughout New Jersey, visit www.nj.gov/dcf and click the "Families" tab on the home page.


Sandy Recovery Money Available to Fill Vacant Apartments

If you have vacant units, one of the federally funded Superstorm Sandy recovery programs can provide you with a steady revenue stream for two years for an apartment leased at fair market value.
Launched by the Christie Administration to encourage property owners to fill their vacant apartments, the Landlord Incentive Program allocates $40 million in grants to provide rental property owners with approximately the difference between 30 percent of the tenant's monthly income and the fair market rents each month during the two year period of the program administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
For example, a landlord in Monmouth County would receive the fair market rent for a two bedroom apartment at $1,410 a month (about $820 paid by tenant with an incentive of about $590 paid by the State). Each individual incentive varies based on county, the property's number of bedrooms, and the tenant's income.
The fair market value varies in the nine Sandy-impacted counties. For a two-bedroom apartment, participating landlords would receive a total of $1,173 a month in Atlantic;
$1,450 in Bergen; $1,019 in Cape May; $1,202 in Essex; $1,322 in Hudson; $1,420 in
Middlesex; $1,410 in Monmouth; $1,410 in Ocean; and $1,202 in Union.
Large multi-family property owners with hundreds of units and smaller landlords with only one empty apartment to rent are equally eligible.
The program offers landlords the unique opportunity to use the federal funding coming to our state to fill vacancies at their existing properties while helping to provide sufficient affordable housing to remove the pressures on the housing supply created by Superstorm Sandy.
This is a win-win program for landlords and tenants as the Christie Administration works to restore our communities following the unprecedented damage caused by the worst natural disaster in New Jersey history. DCA is projecting the program will provide safe, suitable and affordable housing for at least 1,000 families.
The program covers existing market rate units that are currently vacant or will become vacant within the next 90 days. Under the program, 75 percent of the funds will be
allocated to units located in the nine Sandy-impacted counties. The remaining 25 percent of the funds can be utilized statewide.
Rental property owners who own existing, vacant market-rate units can apply by visiting the DCA's online grant management system at https://njdcasage.state.nj.us/Portal.asp. Prior to applying, all potential applicants must attend a mandatory technical assistance workshop about the program. The next workshop will be held at 10 a.m. on October 10th at the Middlesex County Fire Academy, 1001 Fire Academy Drive, Sayreville, NJ 08872, Classroom 2B. Landlords should RSVP by October 9th to Lisa Downes: lisa.downes@dca.state.nj.us.



$100 Million Home Elevation Program Launched To Protect Homeowners From Future Flood And Storm Damage

Eligible Homeowners Can Apply for Up to $30,000 Reimbursement Grants


The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Elevation Program is a reimbursement grant program designed to help homeowners with the elevation of their primary single-family residences to meet the requirements of the flood insurance risk maps in flood-prone communities. The program is limited to the Sandy-impacted communities of Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union. There are no income requirements for the program and FEMA registration is not required in order to apply.  Eligible applicants can receive reimbursement of up to $30,000 for elevations on existing single-family homes.


As part of the ‘reNew Jersey Stronger’ housing initiative, an application can be made to both the Homeowner Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program and the HMGP Elevation Program, but homeowners may receive a grant award from only one of the programs.  Homes targeted for buyout under the state’s HMGP acquisition program are not eligible to participate. Additionally, federal regulations restrict homeowners who have already begun elevation work from applying.


Homeowners can use any elevation contractor registered in New Jersey that is qualified to do the work. Once all necessary documents are received and the home elevation is completed, the homeowner will be reimbursed for all eligible expenses.

The HMGP Elevation Program application period is now open and closes on September 15, 2013. 


Eligible homeowners can apply for elevation grant assistance at http://www.renewjerseystronger.org/hmgp/, by calling 1-855-SANDYHM (1-855-726-3946), or by visiting one of the Housing Recovery Centers open in each of the nine most-impacted counties. << PDF Link >>

Attention South Amboy Property Owners
If your property is located in a flood area, you are eligible to apply to the “blue acres” program for a buyout.

If you have applied for the “blue acres” buyout or think you may be interested in applying, please contact Stacey Kennedy, business
Administrator at 732.525.5933 or via email at kennedys@southamboynj.gov

Volunteers from WORLD RENEW  will be in Middlesex County beginning July 10  to do LONG TERM RECOVERY ASSESSMENTS WITH Middlesex County residents affected by SUPERSTORM SANDY.  This is your chance to request help for recovery needs.  Please expect a phone call, E-Mail or visit from WORLD RENEW TEAMS.  You’ll know them by their GREEN SHIRTS (which is what we call them).


CARTERET                   July 10 & July 11 - 11:00AM to 7:00PM - Carteret Library, 100 Cook Avenue

PERTH AMBOY           July 12 - 11:00AM to 7:00pm - Perth Amboy YMCA, 357 New Brunswick Avenue

SAYREVILLE                 July 15 & July 16 - 11:00AM to 7:00PM - Sayreville Senior Center 3rd Floor, 423 Main Street

SOUTH RIVER          July 15 - 1:00PM to 6:00PM

                               July 16 - 1:00 PM to 7:00PM - South River Library, 55 Appleby Avenue

SOUTH AMBOY          July 17  - 11:00AM to 4:30PM

                                  July 18 - 11:00AM to 7:30PM - Sadie Pope Dowell Library, 100 Harold Hoffman

WOODBRIDGE            July 19 & July 22 - 11:00AM  to 7:00PM - Woodbridge Community Center, 100 Main Street

OLD BRIDGE             July 23 - 1:00PM to 8:00PM - Old Bridge Library Laurence Harbor Branch, 277 Shore land Circle



Christie Administration Announces Launch of “reNew Jersey Stronger” Housing Assistance Initiative

$780 Million Available for Homeowners Impacted by Superstorm Sandy


For Immediate Release                                                                Contact: Michael Drewniak

Friday, May 24, 2013                                                                                        Colin Reed



Trenton, NJ – Marking a major step forward in the recovery from Superstorm Sandy, the Christie Administration today launched the reNew Jersey Stronger housing assistance initiative to assist homeowners impacted by the storm. Beginning today, eligible homeowners can apply for grant assistance at www.renewjerseystronger.org or by calling 1-855-SANDYHM (1-855-726-3946).

The grants are designed to encourage homeowners to resettle in their primary residences and help them reconstruct, rehabilitate, elevate and mitigate their homes.

“We are working incredibly hard to get money out to Sandy-impacted individuals as quickly as possible, and today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to this mission,” said Governor Chris Christie. “Sandy may have damaged homes in New Jersey, but it did not destroy New Jerseyans’ spirits. With the help of initiatives such as reNew Jersey Stronger housing grants, we will be back, stronger than ever.”

Today’s launch of the housing assistance programs comes less than a month after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved New Jersey’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Action Plan. The Action Plan details how the State will utilize $1,829,520,000 in federal funding to help homeowners, renters, businesses and communities impacted by Superstorm Sandy. The reNew Jersey Stronger housing assistance initiative will utilize $780 million of the allocation.

“While homeowners can apply online and by phone today, they will also be able to apply in-person on June 8 at Sandy Housing Assistance Centers which will be located in those counties most impacted by the storm. Housing counselors both at the centers and over the phone can help applicants navigate the entire process by providing support and clear guidance,” said Richard E. Constable, III, Commissioner of the NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which will administer the distribution of CDBG Disaster Recovery funds for New Jersey. “Our reNew Jersey Stronger housing assistance programs will help thousands of Sandy-impacted individuals.” 

Under the reNew Jersey Stronger housing initiative, homeowners whose primary residences were damaged by the storm in the nine most-impacted counties (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union) may apply for two grant programs. Vacation homes, second homes and recreational vehicles or trailers are not eligible for the programs based on federal restrictions on the use of the funds.

·       Homeowner Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program: This $600 million program will provide eligible homeowners up to $150,000 in grant funds to aid the reconstruction, rehabilitation, elevation and mitigation of damaged primary homes. The program is intended to fill the gap between the costs needed to repair the home and other sources of funds the homeowner has received to repair their home such as insurance payments or assistance from FEMA or the U.S. Small Business Administration. Additionally, the program will help homeowners with the construction process by developing repair specifications, identifying qualified builders to do the construction work, and ensuring the quality of the work completed. Seventy percent of the funds will be reserved for low-to-moderate-income households in accordance with federal requirements.

All applicants under the RREM Program must have registered for assistance with FEMA and must have a household adjusted gross annual income of less than $250,000. Priority will be given to homes that are deemed “substantially damaged” (damages exceed 50% of a home’s assessed value) as a result of Sandy.

·       Homeowner Resettlement Program: This $180 million program is aimed at encouraging Sandy-impacted homeowners to remain in the nine counties that were most seriously affected by the storm. This program will provide $10,000 grants to eligible homeowners to encourage them to resettle in their existing home or resettle in the same county and in so doing will help to restore home values and stabilize many devastated communities. Homeowners must agree to remain in the county of their damaged residence for three consecutive years following the grant award. Sixty percent of the funds will be reserved for low-to-moderate-income households in accordance with federal requirements.

All applicants under the Resettlement Program must have registered for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and must have sustained at least $8,000 in damages or more than one foot of flooding on the first floor as a result of Sandy.

Additional Details:

The federal funding for these grant programs is limited and it is anticipated that absent an additional allocation from HUD, up to 6,000 households will receive a RREM grant and up to 18,000 households will receive a Resettlement grant. Therefore, while there is no formal deadline for accepting applications, there will be an initial application period that will run from May 24, 2013 to June 30, 2013. All completed RREM and Resettlement applications received by June 30 will then be in the first group to be processed. Once the application period closes, selection will prioritize those homeowners with the most damage (i.e., substantial, severe and major), whose homes are in the most impacted counties (i.e., Atlantic, Monmouth and Ocean), and who are of low- to moderate-income. 

Whether individuals applied online, over the phone, or in person at a Sandy Housing Assistance Center, the State will ensure that all applicants have an equal chance to be selected through the process identified above. To accomplish this, the order in which applicants will be selected for processing following the end of the initial application period will be determined by an electronic random ordering process. In early July, applicants will be notified of their place on the list and whether they will receive an award out of HUD’s initial allocation of funding. Anyone who is not successful in getting an award will be placed on a waiting list pending a future allocation from HUD. An announcement on future allocations is expected in September.

Applications will continue to be accepted after June 30, 2013, but these applicants will be processed only after all the most impacted homeowners from the first group have been served.

For more information on the reNew Jersey Stronger housing assistance initiative, including details about the application process, determination of eligibility, and award calculation, visit www.renewjerseystronger.org or call the hotline number 1-855-SANDYHM (1-855-726-3946). Locations and directions to the Sandy Housing Assistance Centers that are opening June 8 will be posted at www.renewjerseystronger.org as the information becomes available. 





Resettlement FAQ:




Now is the Time to Prepare for the 2013 Hurricane Season

Release date: 
May 20, 2013

LINCROFT, N.J. -- With the 2013 hurricane season less than a month away, now is the time to update or make a disaster preparedness plan for yourself and your family. The Federal Emergency Management Agency urges all New Jerseyans to assemble a disaster preparedness kit, make a plan and be informed of the risks before the start of the hurricane season.

The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November, with the peak season from mid-August to late October.

“Every family should have supplies ready to shelter in place for 72 hours following a hurricane, or any other disaster,” Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia Szczech said. “We are asking everyone to check their kits, or make a kit, before the start of the 2013 hurricane season.”

New Jerseyans can find information on how to build a preparedness kit at Ready.gov. The kit should include water, food, a flashlight with extra batteries and a first aid kit among other supplies.

Having an updated and accurate Family Emergency Plan is a key component to planning for hurricane season. The unique needs of family members, such as the elderly, infants, those with access and functional needs and any pets should be considered. Also, you should inquire about what plans are in place at work and schools in case of emergency. After all of the information is collected, gather your family to discuss how the plan works. Practice your plan at least twice a year and update it according to any issues that arise.

Being informed of the risks associated with hurricane season is an important part of preparedness. You should identify the hazards that are unique to your area. Local emergency management offices can help pinpoint the hazards in your area and outline the local plans and recommendations for each, which may include evacuations. Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes and how to secure your property in the event of a hurricane.

Visit www.Ready.gov, www.FEMA.gov or www.FloodSmart.gov for a detailed list of emergency supplies, as well as information on how to prepare for hurricanes and other disasters.


FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and  first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.


FEMA Website: http://www.fema.gov/news-release/2013/05/20/now-time-prepare-2013-hurricane-season




TRENTON, N.J. — Repairing or rebuilding your home following Superstorm Sandy can be a complicated and expensive process, but having your home thoroughly inspected and making all necessary repairs are critical components of the recovery process.

While much of the damage from a storm such as Sandy is visible to the naked eye, hidden damage may exist that can pose a safety hazard to residents and/or compromise the integrity of the structure.

If you are living in your home while you are repairing it, are preparing to move back in and are about to begin repairs, be sure to follow these guidelines to protect your family:

Look for any external damage

Examine the foundation, roof and chimney of the structure for cracks or other damage. The presence of cracks does not necessarily mean an unsafe structure and may be unrelated to the storm. If necessary, contact a building design professional to evaluate your building and make a determination. If you have reason to believe that your home is not safe to occupy, the local building inspector could perform an inspection.

Thoroughly check your electrical system

Floodwater contaminants can create serious fire hazards if electrical wiring and equipment have been submerged in water. Even with professional cleaning and drying, sediments and toxins are difficult to remove. It is not always necessary to replace all of the wiring, but it is recommended that you have a qualified electrical contractor evaluate the condition of:

  • Circuit breakers and fuses
  • All electrical wiring systems
  • Light switches, thermostats, outlets, light fixtures, electric heaters and ceiling fans
  • Furnace burner and blower motors, ignition transformers, elements and relays for furnaces
  • Hot water tanks
  • Washing machines, dryers, furnaces, heat pumps, freezers, refrigerators, dehumidifiers, vacuums, power tools, exercise equipment and similar pieces
  • Electronic equipment, including computers and home entertainment systems

Keep generators outside

If your building is without power and you plan to install a backup system, use generators or other fuel-powered machines outdoors only. Such machines emit deadly carbon monoxide fumes which are odorless and can quickly overwhelm you if they are used indoors.

Conduct a thorough inspection for mold

Flooding causes dampness where mold, mildew and various organisms thrive. It can grow unnoticed in hidden areas such as above ceilings, behind walls, in attics and basements or crawl spaces.

Exposure to mold can pose a health risk, particularly for infants, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions such as allergies or asthma.

Because mold feeds on cellulose, which is a component of many building materials, it can break down studs and joists, causing extensive property damage.

Wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself from mold spores that may be released while you are cleaning, and be sure to follow directions when using cleaning products.

The New Jersey Department of Health has released Mold Guidelines for New Jersey Residents recovering from Superstorm Sandy. To receive a copy of Mold Guidelines for New Jersey Residents, call (609) 826-4950 or download a copy online at nj.gov/health/er/hurricane_recovery_resources.shtml.

Avoid Scam Artists

As you plan long-term repair and rebuilding projects, be aware that natural disasters can bring out criminals who prey on disaster victims by offering fraudulent services. The state Division of Consumer Affairs in the Attorney General’s Office licenses home improvement contractors, which is intended to provide protection for homeowners. For assistance filing a complaint, or to check on the complaint history of a business, call the DCA Consumer Service Center at (973) 504-6200.


FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.


Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema,

and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema


The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.


Distributing The Resources New Jersey Needs For The Rebuilding Process

What New Jersey Residents Need To Know About The Christie Administration’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Action Plan


The Christie Administration has received approval from the Obama Administration to move forward with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Action Plan.  This plan outlines how we will utilize the first phase of the emergency supplemental passed by Congress in January. The first $1,829,520,000 in CDBG funds provided to New Jersey by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will focus primarily on helping homeowners, renters, businesses and communities impacted by Super Storm Sandy.


What To Know About Where And How:


  • The Action Plan incorporates input from HUD, as well as Sandy-impacted communities and stakeholder groups whose engagement will continue throughout the State’s recovery, rebuilding and restoration process.


  • CDBG Disaster Recovery funds are intended to address unmet needs not satisfied by private insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration, or other sources.


  • The Christie Administration will dedicate over 55 percent of funding for low-to-moderate-income households.


Next Steps For New Jersey Homeowners, Renters And Small Business Owners:


  • Visit www.sandyhelp.nj.gov to choose either housing or business assistance and fill out notification forms to receive real time updates on programs and next steps. This web site will feature fact sheets with basic information about the programs and steps to prepare for submitting an application for assistance.


  • There are also two hotline numbers available: for housing assistance, call 1-855-SANDYHM (1-855-726-3946); for business assistance, call 1-855-SANDYBZ (1-855-726-3929).


Helping New Jersey Homeowners and Protecting Shore Communities:


  • Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation And Mitigation (RREM) Program: This $600 million program will provide eligible homeowners up to $150,000 to aid reconstruction, rehabilitation, elevation and mitigation of damaged homes.


  • Housing Resettlement Program: This program is aimed at Sandy-impacted homeowners who sustained storm damage and who are considering selling or abandoning their property. Funded at $180 million, this program will provide $10,000 grants to eligible homeowners to remain part of the fabric of their communities as they continue the recovery process.


Helping New Jersey’s Working And Low Income Families:


Governor Christie is committed to helping low-to-moderate income families as well as vulnerable populations recover from Sandy. The Christie Administration is proposing a range of rental housing activities designed to replenish rental housing stock lost to Sandy, rehabilitate affordable rental units left uninhabitable by Sandy, and provide affordable housing for special needs populations.


  • Restoration Of Multi-Family Housing: $179.52 million will be utilized to provide zero and low-interest loans of up to $120,000 per unit to qualified developers and public housing authorities to facilitate the creation of new permanent housing units. A significant portion of the fund will be used to assist in the development of new permanent, supportive housing for individuals with special needs.


  • The Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund (SSNHF): $25 million will be provided for the creation of quality, permanent supportive housing which will expand housing options for  individuals with special needs severely impacted by Super Storm Sandy.


  • Fund For Rehabilitation Of Small Rental Properties: Through an allocation of $70 million, the Christie Administration will provide zero-interest, forgivable loans of up to $50,000 per unit to eligible owners of rental buildings with 25 or fewer units that received significant damage from Super Storm Sandy and are partially or completely uninhabitable.


  • Predevelopment Fund For Affordable Rental Housing: Provide financing of up to $500,000 to help nonprofit housing developers cover the predevelopment costs of properties that are unsafe, underutilized, or in foreclosure. Projects must help to revitalize communities by facilitating the acquisition, clearance, and preparation of difficult to develop sites. Allocation for the program will be $10 million.


  • Affordable Housing Incentives: Through $40 million in funding, this program will provide incentive payments to eligible rental property owners who agree to lease their units to low and moderate income households at affordable rents.


Supporting Economic Recovery and Revitalization:


Economic recovery and revitalization is also a top priority of the Action Plan to restore communities and promote job growth. Businesses in the 113 municipalities most impacted by Super Storm Sandy incurred commercial property losses in excess of $380 million and business interruption losses in excess of $63 million. To help New Jersey businesses, the Christie Administration is setting aside $460 million in funding for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to administer the following activities:


  • Small Business Grants: Eligible small businesses that sustained physical damage will be able to apply for grants of up to $50,000. These grants can be used for rehabilitation, new construction, equipment, inventory, mitigation, refinancing and working capital among other uses.


  • No-Interest Loans For Storm-Impacted Small Businesses: These loans, up to $5 million, are intended to assist small businesses that suffered physical damage, as well as spur economic revitalization by providing funding for expansion and new businesses in storm-impacted areas.


  • Neighborhood And Community Revitalization Programs: Provides funding to help communities with public facility improvements such as streetscapes, lighting, and sidewalks; businesses assistance initiatives such as micro-loans for storm-related damage and loan guarantees for loan loss reserves; and façade and code-related improvements.


  • Tourism Marketing Campaign: This marketing campaign will promote storm-impacted businesses and shore communities by letting the nation know that New Jersey is recovering and that communities are open for business. The campaign funded at $25 million would also encourage New Jerseyans and tourists to shop local, thereby supporting companies that are operational.


It is estimated the Action Plan’s rental development and rehabilitation programs will create 3,000 jobs and $500 million in economic activity.


Providing Real Assistance To Local Governments And Property Taxpayers:


While the housing and economic sectors are the central focus of this first allocation of CDBG Disaster Recovery funding, the Christie Administration is also going to help local governments provide essential services. Since there were unanticipated expenses caused by the storm that are not reimbursed by FEMA, the Action Plan proposes to allocate $116 million in funds as follows:


  • FEMA Match For Public Assistance Program: An allocation of $50 million will be used to provide critical funding support to eligible applicants such as state agencies and local governmental entities by helping to subsidize the required match for FEMA Public Assistance projects. This will ensure that governmental entities have sufficient resources to continue providing essential services without resorting to tax increases or other measures that may cause further hardship and distress in Sandy-impacted communities. 


  • Protecting Essential Services For Short-Term Sustainability And Long-Term Recovery: $60 million will be used to close gaps in funding in FEMA’s Community Disaster Loan Program so that local government entities such as counties, municipalities, authorities, fire districts, and school districts can continue to pay essential personnel in critically important service areas including police and fire services, education, and public works.


  • Code Enforcement Grant Program: $6 million in funding will supplement local code enforcement offices with additional personnel, provide an online plan review and permitting process, and enhance the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ continuing education curriculum for code officials to include training in flood hazard mitigation practices and other storm-related code issues.