Understanding FEMA Disaster Assistance Programs

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Understanding FEMA Disaster Assistance Programs

Public Disaster Assistance in New Jersey

While preparing for the possible effects of a major storm, municipal officials should also be looking ahead to post-storm recovery. In the event a disaster declaration is designated, financial assistance becomes available to aid to local governments in their recovery efforts. The application deadlines for filing the Request for Public Assistance are strict so officials should be familiar with them ahead of time. It is also important to keep accurate records of storm related expenses. These costs can include: overtime and fringe benefits paid to your employees, use of equipment and materials as well as costs paid to subcontractors. Keeping a tally of your expenses while they are incurred will cut down on your need to go back through records and will streamline your assistance application process. For more information on the FEMA Public Assistance program click here.

Individual Disaster Assistance

In addition, local governments should be ready to assist their residents in applying for FEMA funds which may help them recover losses that insurance may not cover. These may include financial assistance for temporary housing, home repairs and home replacement. While the process is similar to a Request for Public Assistance, individuals must file a separate application with FEMA in order to become eligible for funds. It is important to note the deadlines for filing as they are dependent on the type of disaster declaration and not all storm events qualify.

More information on the FEMA disaster relief programs can be found at www.fema.gov.

The following is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.  Please consult with an attorney for your individual case.