The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has opened two disaster recovery centers to help people and businesses whose property was damaged last month by the remains of Hurricane Ivan and subsequent flooding in New Jersey.
The centers in Mercer and Warren counties opened last Friday. They will operate seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
One is at the Imani Community Center, at Prospect and Spring streets in Trenton; the other is at the Harmony Volunteer Fire Company at 44 Brainards Road in Phillipsburg.
Residents of Hunterdon, Mercer, Sussex and Warren counties are eligible to apply for aid because President Bush declared New Jersey a major disaster area Oct. 2.
“We are encouraging people who have suffered damage to their homes, apartments or business properties in the designated counties to call and apply for assistance after they’ve called their insurance companies,” Peter Martinasco, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer for the New Jersey recovery operation, said in a prepared statement.
People applying for disaster aid should first call a toll-free help line to register, at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or 800-462-7585 for people who are hearing or speech impaired. Calls can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but the agency says call volume is generally lightest after 6 p.m. and on the weekends.
After applying for aid by phone, people can visit the centers to get specific information on federal and state recovery programs and have questions answered. Representatives of agencies including the FEMA Disaster Housing program, U.S. Small Business Administration, Farm Service Agency, American Red Cross and Internal Revenue Service will be available to help those coming to the centers.
People can check on the status of their application by visiting one of the centers or calling the help line.
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