Emergency Management Coordinators Joint Command
David Bossi
Emergency Management Coordinator
BARNEGAT LIGHT
Thomas Preiser
Emergency Management Coordinator/Chief
HARVEY CEDARS
Jeff Miller
Emergency Management Coordinator
SHIP BOTTOM
Michael Bradley
Emergency Management Coordinator/Chief
LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP
Bill Tromm
Emergency Management Coordinator
BEACH HAVEN

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Harvey Cedars Disaster Recovery Center

Please be advised that the DRC (disaster recovery center) and the SBA (small business administration) located at the Harvey Cedars Bible Conference will be closing for good on Saturday January 5th. There will be a new location (DRC #37) in Stafford township,179A South Main Street opening on 1/7/2013 and will be open Monday-Saturday 9:00AM-7:00PM.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Storm Related Debris

Friday December 21 is the last day to PUT OUT all storm related debris at the curb

After that date all construction projects will need a permit and construction debris will need to be placed in a dumpster and Household hazardous waste cannot be placed at the curb after December 21.

Reminder: No concrete, Pavers, Asphalt, Asbestos, or any type of new construction debris.

FEMA Works To Help New Jersey Meet Sandy Housing Needs

TRENTON, N.J. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency and its partners are working to address the housing needs of people displaced by Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey. The top priority is to help survivors return to their homes or to help them find a safe housing alternative if returning home is not an option.

More than 16,000 households have received FEMA grants to make essential repairs to their homes.

For those who cannot return home, the goal is to help them find a rental property close by. This is better for survivors and helps the whole community recover.

Rental Assistance
More than 41,000 families have received temporary rental assistance from FEMA to help pay for an apartment, house or other temporary home. This assistance is provided while displaced survivors are working to find a permanent housing solution.

Returning to a permanent home is a significant milestone on the road to recovery. FEMA rental assistance may last for up to 18 months from the date of declaration. So it’s important for survivors to have a permanent housing plan.

FEMA has a housing portal at www.fema.gov/housingportal to help families find rental units. In addition to apartments or homes normally available, the portal identifies units provided by federal partners.

To be eligible for possible rental assistance, survivors must first register with FEMA. There are many ways to register.

Survivors can register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone or tablet by using the FEMA app or going to m.fema.gov. People may also call 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers operate 24 hours a day seven days a week until further notice.

The deadline to register with FEMA is Jan. 30, 2013.

Transitional Sheltering Assistance
At the request of the state, FEMA activated the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program to move eligible survivors from shelters into hotels or motels if they couldn’t return to their damaged homes. TSA lodging expenses are paid directly to the hotel by FEMA.

Nearly half of the more than 5,000 households that temporarily stayed in a hotel or motel in New Jersey have moved to more sustainable housing. The average hotel/motel stay is 15 days.

The program operates in two-week increments. During each two-week period, FEMA reviews the eligibility of each applicant and emphasizes finding a more sustainable temporary housing solution as quickly as possible.

The TSA program has been extended through Jan. 11, 2013, for those who continue to meet eligibility criteria. The new extension will allow eligible applicants to remain in participating hotels during the holiday season. FEMA will call applicants eligible for the extension to notify them of the extension period and the checkout date of Jan. 11, 2013.

TSA-eligible survivors can receive help finding a hotel by calling: 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers operate 24 hours a day seven days a week until further notice.

Help finding TSA participating hotels also is available online: www.femaevachotels.com.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is supporting the housing recovery.

The department increased the Fair Market Rent standard to 120 percent so families with Section 8 housing choice vouchers have more options. It also relaxed rules to allow senior housing providers to open up vacant units to Hurricane Sandy survivors under the age of 55 without jeopardizing a community's qualification for certain legal exemptions under the Fair Housing Act.

HUD is also giving the state and communities the flexibility to redirect millions of dollars of Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships funds for housing and services for disaster survivors.

HUD has directed banks to hold off on foreclosures and forbearance of Federal Housing Administration mortgages for disaster-affected areas for 90 days following the date of the presidential disaster declaration.

Temporary Housing Units Provided by FEMA
A temporary housing unit – either a manufactured home that can be put in an existing commercial mobile home park, or a remodeled apartment unit at Fort Monmouth — is a last option when renting a property is not possible or reasonable. Decisions on direct federal housing units for survivors are made on a case-by-case basis.

Forty-five units at Fort Monmouth will soon be made available to eligible survivors. Manufactured homes will be installed as needed and as suitable pads are identified at commercial mobile home parks.

By law, federal temporary housing assistance can last only up to 18 months from the date of the disaster declaration.

Call If Your Housing Needs Change
It is critical that FEMA has your current contact information. If housing advisors cannot reach you, then they will be unable to discuss housing options with you.

If you have a continuing housing need, or if you need to update your contact information, please call by phone or 711/VRS - 800-621-3362, TTY 800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Stay In Touch With FEMA - Make Sure Your Contact Information Is Current

TRENTON, N.J. — Hurricane Sandy survivors who have already registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency need to keep in touch with the agency, especially if their contact information changes.

Updating contact information with current address and phone numbers will ensure FEMA can reach an applicant with new information or questions.

Individuals can visit a disaster recovery center for help or talk by phone or 711/VRS to the toll-free FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). Either method works to:
  • Update an application with a change of address or new phone number.
  • Ask questions about disaster assistance.
  • Track the progress of a FEMA application.
  • Get information about the inspection process.
  • Advise FEMA of insurance settlements.
  • Learn about the steps to appeal a FEMA decision.
  • Obtain a Small Business Administration application and get help filling it out.
  • Learn rebuilding techniques to make a home stronger. 
Anyone who was affected by Hurricane Sandy but has not yet registered with FEMA should do so as soon as possible. In addition to the disaster recovery centers and the FEMA helpline, it is possible to register online at www. DisasterAssistance.gov or by smartphone or tablet at m.FEMA.gov anytime.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

FEMA Housing Assistance Is Based On Damage To Essential Living Areas

Re-Inspection Available for ‘Insufficient Damage’
TRENTON, N.J. — Some households with property damage received a letter from FEMA that said “insufficient damage.” The FEMA housing inspector reported that the essential living areas in the home were safe, sanitary and functional. People who disagree can ask for a re-inspection.

FEMA can only provide rent or repair money when there is damage to the living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms used by occupants of the home.

FEMA will reconsider a request for housing assistance, and there are other options: 
  • Request a re-inspection. Call the FEMA helpline by phone or 711/VRS at 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585. 
  • Complete and return your SBA low-interest disaster loan application if you received one. The U.S. Small Business Administration provides disaster loans for individuals. Loan funds may be available for damage to all living areas.
  • Get volunteer help. Dozens of private nonprofit groups are helping in New Jersey. Some groups provide volunteers to help out with minor repairs to homes. For more information call 2-1-1 or visit NJ211.org online.
  • File an appeal. Any decision by FEMA can be appealed. Filing an appeal relating to habitability requires verifiable documentation to show the disaster caused damage that made the housing uninhabitable. Appeal letters must be postmarked within 60 days of the date of the decision letter. 
For information on filing an appeal, survivors should refer to the “Help After Disaster" guide, which is mailed to everyone who registers with FEMA. The guide also is available online at www.fema.gov/help-after-disaster.

All applicants will receive a letter from FEMA. If you do not understand it, visit a disaster recovery center or call the FEMA helpline.

FEMA Extends Registration Deadline For New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Survivors

TRENTON, N.J. — Survivors of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey now have until January 30, 2013 to register for disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

People with storm losses in all counties can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov.

Survivors also can register by phone or 711/VRS by calling 800-621-3362, TTY 800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.

At the request of the state, FEMA extended the registration deadline beyond the original 60 day window due to the magnitude of the Hurricane Sandy disaster.

The disaster registration process serves as a referral point for FEMA programs and those of partner agencies such as the U.S. Small Business Administration, American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

FEMA disaster assistance for individuals and families can include money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property losses and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Survivors Must Contact FEMA To Keep Temporary Housing Assistance

TRENTON, N.J. – If you received temporary housing assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and continue to have a housing need, you must fill out an important form for additional short-term rental assistance.

FEMA mails all applicants who receive temporary rental assistance the “Declaration for Continuing Need for Rental Assistance” form. It reaffirms that applicants have an ongoing need for temporary housing while they search for a permanent place to live.
  • This form is mailed 15 days after applicants receive their initial rental assistance grant.
  • Applicants who need additional rental assistance must complete the form and mail it back to FEMA at the address printed on the form.
  • If you don’t have the form, or have questions about temporary housing assistance, contact FEMA’s toll-free helpline by phone or 711/VRS at1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585.
FEMA rental assistance lasts for a short-term period, so it’s important for survivors to have a permanent housing plan. Returning to a permanent home is a significant milestone on the road to recovery.

FEMA’s Individuals and Household Program may provide grants for temporary housing assistance, as well as medical, dental and funeral expenses, which do not require processing through the Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan process. However, applicants who receive an SBA loan application must submit them to SBA for possible consideration for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage.

Monday, December 17, 2012

More Free Advice On Building Stronger, Safer, Smarter

TRENTON, N.J. – For knowledgeable and reliable advice on how to repair or rebuild your home safer and stronger, look no further than your local home improvement store. Specialists from FEMA will be present with information on building techniques that can provide more protection for your home, business and property in future disasters. This free service also offers information and publications about home improvement, such as:
  • Mold and mildew cleanup
  • Flood- and wind-resistant building methods
  • Wind straps
  • Flood insurance
  • Retrofitting buildings
  • Elevating utilities 
FEMA specialists are available daily from Wednesday, Dec. 19, to Saturday, Dec. 29, (except Monday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday Dec. 25), 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the following home improvement stores: 
  • Atlantic County – Lowe’s No. 1034, 6048 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township 08234
  • Cape May County – Lowe’s No. 1861, 3171 Route 9 S, Rio Grande 08242
  • Essex County – Home Depot No. 980, 399 Springfield Ave., Newark 07103
  • Hudson County – Lowe’s No. 2676, 400 Bayonne Crossing Way, Bayonne 07002
  • Monmouth County – Home Depot No. 969, 3540 Route 66, Neptune 07753
  • Ocean County – Home Depot No. 920, 1334 Lakewood Road, Toms River 08755 
  • Ocean County – Home Depot No. 949, 244 N. Main St., Forked River 08731
  • Ocean County – Lowe’s No. 2260, 297 Route 72 W, Suite 30, Manahawkin 08050
  • Union County – Lowe’s No. 1939, 1721 Morris Ave., Union 07083 

Additional sites and dates will be announced soon.

Anyone affected by Hurricane Sandy should register with FEMA. Individuals can apply for assistance and follow up on previous applications by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by smart phones or tablets at m.fema.gov. By phone or 711/VRS, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585.

Help For Businesses Facing Economic Losses Caused By Hurricane Sandy

TRENTON, N.J. — For businesses struggling with losses from evacuations, power outages, damaged inventory and general economic loss caused by Hurricane Sandy, a variety of federal and state resources can help.

Small Business Administration
Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration provide working capital to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations. The loans help meet ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster.
 
These loans are intended to assist the business or nonprofit through the disaster recovery period. The money may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid if the disaster had not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace profits.
  • The loan amounts and terms are determined by the SBA.
  • The law authorizes a maximum term of 30 years.
  • Interest rates for loans for small businesses can be as low as 4 percent.
  • Interest rates for loans for eligible nonprofit organizations can be as low as 3 percent.
  • Businesses of all sizes are also eligible to apply for loans to cover their physical losses. The deadline for this type of loan is Dec. 31, 2012.
For additional information, call 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339, email DisasterCustomerService@SBA.gov or visit SBA.gov. Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ELA.

Farm Services Agency
The Farm Services Agency offers a number of loans and grants to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flood, other natural disasters or quarantine. The FSA maintains 10 programs covering crop losses, livestock losses and damaged farm property. See disaster.fsa.usda.gov for more information.

Disaster Unemployment Insurance
The State of New Jersey requested and was granted federal unemployment insurance funds for Hurricane Sandy survivors. Self-employed entrepreneurs may qualify for disaster-related unemployment benefits. Survivors must first file a regular unemployment insurance claim with the state at njuifile.net. When and if that claim is denied, a claim may be filed for disaster-related unemployment benefits which have a different funding source. Read these FAQs for details.

N.J. Economic Development Authority
The N.J. Economic Development Authority can provide disaster survivors with access to capital, including tax-exempt and taxable bond financing, loans, loan guarantees, and business and tax incentives. For more information, visit www.njeda.com.

N.J. Business Action Center (One-Stop Shop)
This “One-Stop Shop” serves as an information clearinghouse for Hurricane Sandy business recovery assistance. The storm call center number is 866-534-7789. Visit www.state.nj.us/njbusiness/ for further information.

What Sandy Survivors Need To Know About Petroleum Spills

If your home has been affected by a flood that caused an oil spill or any type of petroleum release in or near your home, contact the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) at 1-877-WARNDEP 24 Hour Hotline (1-877-927-6337;Option 2) to report the spill.

Oil spills usually cause strong odors and can contaminate indoor air. Do not stay in a building with strong oil odors because inhaling oil vapors may cause adverse health effects.

Oil and Water in Your Home 
Use absorbent pads to collect oil. Purchase absorbent pads from auto or marine supply stores, or use cloth diapers or pads from medical supply stores or pharmacies.

Controlling Odors 
Close all doors, laundry chutes or create partitions with sheets of plastic.

Fans help control odors. Place a stationary fan to exhaust contaminated areas by blowing air out through a single window or door. Keep windows near the exhaust air window closed to prevent contaminated air from re-entering your home.

Be careful operating central heating or central air conditioning systems – they may spread odors and contaminate the ventilation system.

Oil Coated Belongings, Debris and Building Materials 
Clean hard-surfaces such as glass or metal with soap, detergent, non-solvent degreaser or other cleaners. Avoid cleaning with solvents such as acetone, xylenes or turpentine, which may be flammable and hazardous to your health.

Discard porous materials such as wood, boxes, fabrics, sheetrock or insulation. Move contaminated materials outside.

Place contaminated materials on plastic and cover with more plastic until you have documented them for insurance claims then dispose of them in regular trash.

Use cat litter, sawdust or other absorbent powders such a bentonite or zeolite to absorb any remaining oil on floors and solid surfaces. Purchase absorbent powders from automotive or marine supply stores, pet stores, pharmacies and home improvement stores.

Check with a professional cleaning company for information on cleaning or deodorizing household furnishings.

When doing any cleanup work, minimize your exposure. 
Wear long pants, long sleeve shirts and gloves (rubber if available) to reduce exposure to skin. Work in areas that are well-ventilated as described above.

Furnaces and Boilers 
Do not start oil-fired furnaces or boilers until they have been checked by a service technician. Furnaces and boilers generate exhaust gases including carbon monoxide. If a furnace or boiler or their exhaust ducts are damaged, deadly gases may be released inside your home. Be sure all flue vents are clear so gases exhaust freely. Be sure all tank vents are clear. When fans are being used, the potential for back drafting should be evaluated.

Drinking Water Wells 
Drinking water from wells contaminated by petroleum will often have an odor. If it smells oily, do not drink the water.

Potential Health Effects 
Exposure to high levels of petroleum products can cause health effects, primarily on the nervous and respiratory systems. People who inhale elevated air levels of fuel oil vapors for even short periods of time experience nausea, increased blood pressure, eye irritation, headaches, light-headedness, and poor coordination.

Petroleum products may cause irritation and blistering in some people when they come into contact with the skin. Older adults, the very young, and people with respiratory diseases may be especially sensitive to the effects of inhaling petroleum vapors.

Temporary Relocation 
If strong odors are present in your home, limit the time spent there or consider relocating temporarily until indoor air quality improves. Source: New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Faith Based Organizations And Other Non-Profits May Apply For Disaster Assistance With SBA

TRENTON, N.J. — Synagogues, mosques, temples, churches, other religious centers and non-profit organizations that suffered damages in Hurricane Sandy may apply for disaster assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
While many may think that faith based organizations are not businesses, as non-profits they are eligible to apply for SBA’s low-interest disaster business loans. SBA loans can help fund repair or replace disaster-damaged property such as real estate, furniture, fixtures, equipment, vehicles, damaged contents and leasehold improvements.
Any interested organization may apply with the SBA, even before their insurance claims are settled. SBA loans must be paid back, but they can be financed up to 30 years making them affordable for most organizations.
Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture entities and most private non-profit organizations are also eligible to apply for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help provide funds for fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. These loans are available regardless of whether physical damage was sustained.
The maximum SBA loan amount for business disaster loans is $2 million.
For more information:
  • Call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955, TTY 800-877-8339.
  • Visit a disaster recovery center or a business recovery center and speak with a SBA customer service representative.
To apply for a loan:
  • Visit SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/, or
  • Download an application from www.sba.gov.
Registration with FEMA is also recommended. Call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Online registration is available at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
Don’t wait to apply, the deadline for physical losses is December 31, 2012.

Displaced Residents

Haven Beach Motel at 11004 Long Beach Blvd. will be open for Long Beach Island residents displaced due to Hurricane Sandy. Call (609) 492-6223 for room availability.

FEMA Assistance

Even if you have insurance, register with FEMA at 1-800-621-3362, www.DisasterAssistance.gov or visit the Disaster Recovery Center at Harvey Cedars Bible Conference Center, 12 Cedars Ave., Harvey Cedars, NJ - you may be eligible for funds. If your housing situation has changed, you may be also eligible for funds. Contact FEMA to find out.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

No Loss Of Benefits For New Jersey Seniors Receiving Disaster Aid

TRENTON, N.J. — Seniors who suffered losses when hurricane Sandy pummeled New Jersey don’t have to worry about being hit a second time if they receive disaster funds. FEMA disaster assistance is not counted as income, is not taxed, and has no effect on Social Security or other government benefits.

Federal Coordinating Officer, Michael J. Hall said, “When seniors get a check from FEMA, the Internal Revenue Service knows that it’s to help them get back to where they were before the storm. It is not counted as income. Older adults won’t have a penny of this assistance taxed or have any benefits cut.”

Seniors and others who had disaster related losses may apply for assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov. By phone or 711/VRS, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. Seniors are encouraged to call and register. A FEMA specialist will explain the types of help available and walk callers through the registration process. They are knowledgeable about the process and can answer their questions in a language they feel comfortable speaking.

State Coordinating officer, Lt. Jeff Mottley said, “If seniors receive an SBA application form after registering with FEMA, it’s very important for them to complete and return it. The application helps determine their eligibility for a wide range of disaster relief programs. It’s not just for a loan.”

New Jersey seniors affected by the storm can find out how to apply for an SBA loan by calling 800-659-2955 or by visiting www.sba.gov/disaster. For more information about other elder care issues, call the national referral service, Eldercare Locators, at 800-677-1116.

SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

Changed Your Mind About Staying In Your Storm Damaged Home? Tell FEMA Now

TRENTON, N.J. – Nearly six weeks after Hurricane Sandy ravaged New Jersey, survivors have a chance to reconsider a decision they made in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.

Thousands of New Jersey survivors answered “will not relocate” when FEMA housing inspectors asked what they planned to do while repairs are being made on their homes or apartments. That response made them ineligible for FEMA temporary housing assistance.

Some who would like FEMA help today may find the window still open.

Here’s what to do:
  • If it has been less than 30 days since you received a FEMA determination letter, call 800-621-3362 and tell FEMA that your housing situation has changed and that you’d like temporary housing assistance.
  • However, if it has been more than 30 days since you received a FEMA determination letter, you will need to reply in a letter to FEMA stating that you want to change your earlier response, explain how your circumstances have changed and that you’d like FEMA temporary housing assistance.
Survivors can follow up on previous applications online at DisasterAssistance.gov, or by web-enabled mobile device at m.FEMA.gov. By phone or 711/VRS, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. Help is also available at FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers, which can be found at www.fema.gov/DRCloc.

Monday, December 10, 2012

FEMA Assistance Denial Still Offers Option For Appeal

TRENTON, NJ. — Survivors have the right to appeal the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s decision about what assistance they can receive.
 
You may ask for another review to appeal the amount or type of help provided or any other decision about federal disaster assistance.
 
Before asking for an appeal, it is important to review the “Help After a Disaster” applicant’s guide. The booklet explains the different types of assistance that may be available to survivors and could answer some questions you have about the appeal process. Each applicant receives a copy and it is available online at www.fema.gov/help-after-disaster.
 
When appealing, explain in writing why you disagree with a decision. Include any new or additional documents that would support the appeal. Be as specific as possible in the letter. Include materials such as itemized receipts and contractor estimates.
 
When sending an appeal letter for Hurricane Sandy, remember to include:
  • On all pages of all documents:
  • Federal disaster declaration number 4086-DR-NJ.
  • Nine-digit FEMA application number.
  • Applicant’s name, place and date of birth, and the address of the damaged dwelling.
  • Copies of documentation that supports the appeal. All receipts, bills and estimates must include contact information for the service provider. Keep all originals for your records.
  • A copy of a state-issued identification card, unless the letter is notarized or includes the following statement: “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”
  • The applicant’s signature.
Appeal letters must be postmarked within 60 days of the date on the decision letter.
 
Survivors may send the appeal letter to FEMA by:
  • Fax: (800) 827-8112 Attention:FEMA
  • Mail: National Processing Service Center P.O. Box 10055 Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
Visiting a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). Find the nearest Disaster Recovery Center here.
 
If you would like to speak with a specialist who will listen and help you with the appeal process, you can visit a local Disaster Recovery Center or call the FEMA helpline.

Children Vulnerable To Disaster-Related Stress

TRENTON, N.J. – Hurricane Sandy left behind more than physical destruction. As people in New Jersey begin to rebuild, every affected family has faced a disruption of their normal lives. Many must also confront the anguish of losing a home. Children are particularly vulnerable to the stress that follows a natural disaster, and their symptoms may linger much longer than in adults, according to mental health experts. They also react to how adults behave in stressful situations, so it’s important for parents and caregivers to look after their own mental health in the wake of a disaster.
 
Parents and other caregivers should be alert to signs of stress-related troubles and learn how to deal with their children’s fears and unusual behaviors.
 
Children ages 5 or younger may cry more frequently than usual, become clingy, have nightmares, show excessive fear of the dark, fear of animals or fear of being alone. Appetites may change. They may speak with difficulty or revert to behaviors such as bed-wetting or thumb-sucking.
 
Children ages 5 to 11 may exhibit increased irritability, aggression, and competition with their siblings for parental attention. Some become preoccupied with the disaster and want to talk about it continually. They may also show anxiety through whining, withdrawing from their peers, and losing interest in normal activities.
 
Teenagers 11 to 18 may show outright rebellion, physical problems, and sleep disturbances. They may engage in risk-taking behaviors such as reckless driving or alcohol and drug abuse.
 
Those signs of anxiety often result from the losses, disruption to family life, and a sense of a hostile world created by a natural disaster. The following suggestions may help to reduce stress in children:
  • Spend time each day giving each child undivided attention, even if just for a few minutes. Share experiences. Reaffirm your love. Make plans together. Just “be there” for each other.
  • Encourage them to talk. Ask children to describe what they are feeling. Let them talk about the disaster and ask as many questions as they like. Listen to what they say. Assure them that the disaster was an act of nature and not caused by them. Include the entire family in the discussion, if possible.
  • Understand their fears. It is important that parents accept anxieties as being very real to children. Help them understand what causes their anxieties and fears. Recognize their losses, such as their pets, favorite toys and other personal items. Reassure them that everything will be all right.
  • Explain what is going on. Make every effort to keep children informed about what is happening. Explanations should be in simple language. With children 5 or older, rehearse safety measures for use in case of future disasters.
  • Reassure them. Parents can help reassure children by telling them they are safe, holding and hugging them frequently, restoring normal routines, providing play experiences for them, and making bedtime a special moment of calm and comfort.
  • Encourage activities with their peers. As with adults, social time with friends is a very important part of the recovery process.
  • Temporarily lower expectations of them. Allow for the fact that stress from the disaster can show itself in many ways over a period of time, and make appropriate allowances.
The New Jersey Department of Human Services is coordinating statewide efforts to help individuals and communities manage the emotional impact of the storm. Crisis counselors are currently providing support in many shelters and assisting in FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers as needed.
 
In addition to providing face-to-face disaster crisis counseling, the state provides informational materials about coping and they partner with the Mental Health Association in New Jersey to offer assistance through a toll free helpline: 877-294-4357 (also apples to VRS or 711-Relay users) or TTY 877-294-4356. Or visit their website: www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dmhs/disaster/.
 
Parents, guardians and caregivers may also want to contact their local mental health agency for information on resources in their community that can assist children after disasters. For more information call 877-652-7624, 24 hours a day, seven days a week; or visit the website www.performcarenj.org.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Boat Owners

Boat owners or insurance companies trying to locate a lost or abandoned vessels should call the NJSP Point Pleasant Station at (732)899-5051.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

State, Local Private Non-Profits In New Jersey Get 30 More Days To Request FEMA Public Assistance Grants

Deadlines extended to request reimbursement for debris removal, infrastructure repair and other costs
TRENTON, N.J. – Deadlines to apply for Public Assistance (PA) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been extended to December 30, 2012 for all 21 counties.

Michael Hall, FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer, granted the extension following a request from the New Jersey State Office of Emergency Management. The PA program is a reimbursement program where the federal government provides 75 percent of eligible costs.

In the request for an extension, the state cited the unprecedented impact of Hurricane Sandy and the tremendous increase in the number of organizations submitting a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) that have never before been involved in the PA process.

As of December 3, FEMA has received 1,098 requests for Public Assistance, conducted 630 kick-off meetings, and approved 24 large projects totaling, $57,729,003.

Disaster Recovery Center

All the Disaster Recovery Centers in the state will be closed on Sundays starting this Sunday, December 9, 2012. Hours will continue to be 9 – 7 Mondays through Saturdays except for the Bayhead DRC which will be 9 – 5 Mondays through Saturdays.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Letter From The Mayor: Debris Removal

Dear Long Beach Township Homeowner:

We hope this letter finds you well though coping with the devastation and destruction left behind by Superstorm Sandy.

Here in the Township, we have been on the fast track to secure, repair and rehabilitate our homes and properties. We ask that should you see any improprieties or have any questions, please contact the Township with your concerns (609-361-1000)

As a matter of urgency all oceanfront homeowners who have not signed their deed of easement are urged to contact the Township to make arrangements to do so as soon as possible that we may avoid future destruction and devastation.

With that being said, to continue our progress, we must complete all debris removal before year end. Therefore, all debris from your homes must be placed curbside (not in the street) no later than December 21, 2012 for removal by the Township. After that date you will be responsible to properly dispose of debris. All building permit applications must include dumpster receipts.

Please also note that Long Beach Township is not responsible for the final cleaning of your property, damage to curbs, sidewalks or landscaping.

We are working towards a sensational Memorial Day 2013 to kick off a beautiful summer season for all.

Sincerely,
Mayor Joseph H. Mancini