Superstorm Sandy, the largest hurricane on record to make landfall, hit New Jersey and Monmouth County hard. The most severely affected regions of the state include the Jersey Shore, from Cape May to the Raritan Bay and the Barrier Islands in between, as well as areas along the Hudson River and certain portions of Bergen County.
Sandy caused extensive flooding, wind damage, power outages and major fuel disruptions. In its wake, over 12,000 homes were severely damaged or destroyed and thousands of families have been displaced. My office and all the other legislative offices in the county have been working diligently with state officials and FEMA to help ensure that nobody is left in the cold.
Immediately after the storm, an estimated 2.6 million New Jersey residents were without power and 362,334 were under a boil water advisory. At least one-third of those residents lacked power for six days. To date FEMA has registered 231,020 displaced New Jersey residents and has awarded approximately $112 million in rental assistance to 37,072 applicants. We continue to work on temporary housing options for those who need it and the state is committed to letting no one slip through the cracks. There are 128 FEMA inspectors in the area and they have been reaching homes in about four days after they receive notice from those affected.
In the wake of the devastation brought on by Hurricane Sandy I wanted to provide some useful information for issues you may be facing and for any future storms. It is important to be prepared in times of emergency and information can be the best tool. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions at (732) 933-1591.
To file a claim with FEMA:
Call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362). Please make sure your affected residents register with FEMA, without registering they will not be applicable for assistance. A printable form is here:
To report complaints about electric or gas utilities:
Call the NJ Board of Public Utilities: 1-800-624-0241 or 1-609-341-9188.
To file an insurance claim, if you can’t find the number of your company or agent:
Call the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance at 1-800-446-7467 or go to www.dobi.nj.gov
To report complaints about insurance companies:
Call the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance at 1-800-446-7467 or go to https://www16.state.nj.us/DOBI_UIC/servlet/Servlet.idxServlet?div=’INS’
A printable complaint form is here: http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/complain.pdf
To report possible consumer fraud or price gouging by contractors or others:
State law makes excessive price increases illegal during a state of emergency, and for 30 days following the end of the emergency. Call the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs at 1-862-209-0130 or 1-973-220-3474
To provide volunteer assistance in the cleanup and restoration effort:
Call 1-800-JERSEY-7 (1-800-537-7397). Backup numbers: 1-609-775-5236 or 1-908-303-0471. Volunteers may also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This service is managed by the NJ Business Action Center and the Governor’s Office of Volunteerism, both divisions within the NJ Department of State.
To request volunteer assistance:
Call 211 or go online at www.nj211.org
Extension of motor vehicle document deadlines:
To ease the burden on customers who did not have a chance to visit a motor vehicle office in October, MVC Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez has issued Administrative Order 2012-03 authorizing a 30-day extension for all driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations and vehicle inspection stickers that expired on October 31.
The order is here:
For urgent and immediate health and safety issues:
Call 911 – Please remember to use 911 for urgent and immediate health and safety issues only.
For non-immediate health matters or other assistance:
Call 211 or go online at www.nj211.org for help with non-emergency issues, including basic human needs, support for seniors or persons with disabilities, children, or mental health issues. You can also come to our offices to use computers, phones, and charge electrical devices