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State Opens New Disaster Recovery Center in Ocean City

Anybody looking for information or assistance after the Oct. 29 storm now can visit the Ocean City Free Public Library. A free legal hotline is also available now.

Anyone affected by Hurricane Sandy can now visit a newly opened Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) at the Ocean City Community Center with questions about recovery programs.

There are now 30 DRCs open daily statewide. The new center in Ocean City is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily in the lecture room at the Ocean City Free Public Library near the 17th Street entrance.

All DRCs in New Jersey will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, and they will reopen on Friday, Nov. 23, with a permanent change in hours to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Before going to a DRC, it is helpful to register with FEMA. Apply for assistance by registering online atwww.DisasterAssistance.gov, by a web-enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling  1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Disaster assistance applicants who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. 

At DRCs, visitors can speak one-on-one to recovery representatives. FEMA program specialists provide registration and other information, and answer questions.  FEMA mitigation specialists provide guidance on cost-effective rebuilding and repair techniques to reduce property damage in future disasters.

In addition to FEMA program specialists, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) customer service representatives are available to answer questions about the SBA low-interest disaster loan program, and to assist with disaster loan applications.

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 A toll-free hotline, 1-888-541-1900, is now available for New Jersey survivors facing legal issues because of Hurricane Sandy.  Disaster survivors with storm-related legal issues can call the hotline to request free legal assistance. 

The office will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday by members of the Young Lawyers Division of the New Jersey Bar Association. Voice messages can be left when the office is not staffed.

The type of legal assistance available includes:

  • Assistance with replacing legal documents that may have been lost due to flooding.
  • Assistance with life, medical and property insurance-related claims.
  • Assistance in consumer protection matters, remedies, and procedures.
  • Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems.
  • Counseling on landlord/tenant problems.
  • Creditor-debtor matters.
  • FEMA appeals.

Callers will be interviewed to determine what help they need and then will be matched with a volunteer attorney who can provide assistance or general legal information regarding their issue.

When calling, survivors should make clear that they are seeking legal assistance related to Hurricane Sandy.

The hotline is part of a long-standing partnership between FEMA and the American Bar Association.

— News releases from the Office of the Governor

 

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