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FEMA advises Hurricane Sandy victims who didn’t register for assistance in time to contact volunteer organizations

Boats torn loose
by Hurricane Sandy

As the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approaches, some New Jersey survivors who didn’t apply for federal disaster assistance may now need help, says FEMA in a recent news announcement. 

While the deadline to register with FEMA has passed, assistance may still be available from voluntary organizations through NJ 2-1-1. 

NJ-2-1-1 is a confidential service funded by local United Way chapters in partnership with the State Department of Human Services, the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and the Department of Children and Families. 

“Voluntary agencies and volunteer efforts always play a vital role in disaster recovery,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia Szczech, of FEMA. “They help meet immediate and long-term needs.” 

Catholic Charities, a faith-based organization with several regional offices, provides one-on-one referrals with disaster case managers to provide solutions to unmet needs regardless of the amount of funds or assistance a household has received from insurance or state and federal programs. 

Many services for senior citizens are provided locally by the Agency on Aging, including application assistance, insurance counseling, and information on available programs and benefits for seniors. 

The American Red Cross continues to support Sandy recovery through a variety of programs, including grant funding for communities and faith-based groups. American Red Cross offices across the state help individuals and families obtain emergency clothing and housing, assistance with repair of damaged homes, and replacement of household furnishings. 

Emergency Assistance in housing relocation, client advocacy and agency referrals are available from the Board of Social Services. 

New Jersey residents who need information on volunteer resources that may be available to them should call 2-1-1, or visit NJ 2-1-1 can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week online or from any phone within the state, says the FEMA notice.