Resources for Residents Impacted by Hurricane Ida


FEMA has currently elevated the declaration for Middlesex and Somerset counties – opening up individual assistance (please see the attached fact sheet, this information will be important for you as you navigate the process with FEMA). This is NOT the final list of designated counties. FEMA and the NJ Office of Emergency Management (OEM) are currently on the ground in additional counties working around the clock to finish preliminary damage assessments, including Essex, Hudson, Union, and Mercer counties. According to FEMA, additional NJ counties may be declared early this week.  

 

IF YOUR HOUSE IS FLOODED OR EXPERIENCED DAMAGE:

Process for residents: If you are able to safely return to your home, before you discard anything take as many photos and videos as possible of your flood-damaged home and personal property as possible including flood water lines on the outside of the structure. For appliances and electronics, take a photograph of the make, model and serial number.

o   Additional information can be found with the National Flood Insurance Program at FEMA.gov

If you have insurance, start documenting your damage and reporting your loss immediately to your agent. Additionally, file a claim with your insurance company before applying to FEMA. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments but may be able to help where homeowners or flood insurance did not.

 

If you have flood insurance, report your loss immediately to your insurance agent or carrier. Be sure to ask them about advance payments. If you need help finding your insurance agent or carrier, call the National Flood Insurance Program at 877-336-2627.

o   If your flood insurance policy just expired, call your agent. You may still be able to renew in full and then file a claim for losses.

FOR THOSE WITHOUT ADEQUATE INSURANCE OR WHO NEED RESOURCES BEYOND WHAT YOUR INSURANCE WILL COVER:

 

Individuals in Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic, and Somerset Counties can apply with FEMA the following ways:

•           Apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov

•           You  may call the application phone number at 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585).

 

You should also report damages to your local emergency coordinator. To find them, reach out to your NJ OEM County Coordinator which you can find at http://ready.nj.gov/about-us/county-coordinators.shtml

If you live in Mercer or Union Counties, a disaster declaration has not been announced by FEMA. We will keep you updated on the status of this declaration.

 

Our office is not the correct channel to report damages or file claims. Please call you insurance company or FEMA if you live in the above 6 counties.

 

A.   If you need immediate housing, please call 1-877-428-8844 or visit njhrc.gov/

 

If you are concerned about your ability to pay your mortgage, please

o   1-800-NJ-HOUSE or go to njhousing.gov, and consumers and find a counselor.

If you have other questions related to housing, please do not hesitate to reach out to AskStaff@njhmfa.gov

 

  1. If you are displaced from your home- please read the following: https://www.nj.gov/dca/announcements/pdf/Housing_Options_Renters_Home_Owners_121312.pdf

 

Will Insurance Cover Temporary Housing?

So where do you turn for longer-term temporary housing after a  disaster? If you are a homeowner or a renter with adequate insurance, chances are that temporary housing is covered by your insurance policy. Exceptions may be in cases of flooding and earthquakes.

 

Such temporary housing can be reimbursed under “loss of use” coverage or “additional living expenses.” This coverage should be available if damage covered under your insurance policy has made your home uninhabitable, or if a law enforcement or government agency has ordered your home evacuated due to a covered event. You may even be able to get an advance payment to get you started.

 

Just note three important aspects of loss of use coverage:

– Loss of use reimburses you only for living expenses above what you would normally have living in your own home. So you might not be reimbursed for the full rent if expenses such as home maintenance are deducted. However, loss of use can include expenses such as laundry, storage and even some meals.

– Loss of use coverage might limit how long and how much your insurance company will reimburse your additional living expenses.

– Loss of use coverage provides a rental similar to the house you were living in.

 

 

  1. If you are reaching out for funds on fixing damages to your houses or any repairs:

·       File a claim with your insurance

·       File a claim with FEMA

 

  1. FEMA

FEMA is on the ground in New Jersey

·       FEMA deployed Mobile Emergency Response Support, including Emergency Operations Vehicles, to support communication needs in New Jersey.

·       There are eight FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams deployed to support states affected by Hurricane Ida. They are currently located in Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania each have one team in the state.

·       The American Red Cross, in partnership with FEMA, has 13 shelters open in New Jersey and three in New York.

 

You can find an open shelter here:https://www.redcross.org/get-help/disaster-relief-and-recovery-services/find-an-open-shelter.html

 

  1. EMOTIONAL NEED: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration activated its Disaster Distress helpline. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone or text at 1-800-985-5990 for disaster survivors in Mississippi, Louisiana, New Jersey and New York experiencing emotional distress.

 

  1. IRS/TAXES: The Internal Revenue Service is providing tax relief for individuals, businesses and tax-exempt organizations the federally declared disaster areas by extending the filing and payment deadline to Jan. 3, 2022.

Additionally, individuals and businesses who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either the return for the year the loss occurred. Check the IRS website for more information ( IRS Publication 547 has details)

 

  1. BULK DROP OFF: For bulk drop off or pick up-please contact your local municipality. Your township coordinates pickups. Your email will also be automatically forwarded to your township

 

  1. NEW JERSEY RESOURCES:

To learn more about Tropical Storm Ida Resources (nj.gov)

To learn more about New Jersey Office of Emergency Management | ReadyNJ

To learn more about NJDOH Hurricane Ida Assistance

To learn more about DOT's Road Closures

To learn more about NJDHS Mental Health Hotline and Resources

 

  1. DEPARTMENT OF BANKING AND INSURANCE INFORMATION:

To learn more about Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage

To learn more about Renter’s Insurance Coverage

To learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program

To learn more about emergency preparedness in New Jersey 

 

  1. INFORMATION FROM THE INSURANCE COUNCIL OF NJ:

https://icnj.org/consumers-policy-makers/

Homeowners:https://icnj.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Homeowners-Post-Disaster-Insurance-Manual.pdf

Businesses: https://www.iii.org/article/filing-business-insurance-claim-after-disaster

Auto Resources: https://www.insure.com/car-insurance/flood-damaged-cars-tips.html