WEST ORANGE, NJ — A disaster recovery center opened Sept. 20 in Essex County to help residents in New Jersey affected by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Representatives from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration are available at the center to explain disaster assistance programs, answer questions about written correspondence, and provide literature about repairs and rebuilding to make homes more disaster resistant.
Essex County’s DRC is located at the former Kmart at 235 Prospect Ave. in West Orange, which is also an Essex County vaccination center. The DRC will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Individuals in Essex County are eligible to apply for disaster assistance. Survivors can ask questions or seek further information in person at the DRC, in addition to online or by phone. Survivors can visit any DRC locations and find their closest location through the FEMA app.
If you have homeowners or renters insurance, you should file a claim as soon as possible. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. If you are uninsured or underinsured, you may be eligible for federal assistance. The fastest and easiest way to apply is by visiting disasterassistance.gov/. If it is not possible to apply online, call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone lines are currently operating 24 hours per day, seven days a week. If you use a relay service, such as video relay service, captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.
When you apply for assistance, have the following information readily available: a current phone number where you can be contacted; your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying; your Social Security number, if available; a general list of damage and losses; and if insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name.
Disaster assistance may include financial help for temporary lodging and home repairs along with other programs to assist families recover from the effects of the event.