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New Jersey residents go online for disaster assistance from FEMA

Published on 6 May 2010
Online assistance from FEMA has enahnced the reach to large number of masses
Online assistance from FEMA has increased the number of flood survivor applications

FEMA’s robust online and social media efforts have been very effective in educating flood survivors about disaster assistance.

Registering online for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is becoming a popular method for New Jersey flooding survivors who have access to the Internet. As of April 28, 7,523 flood survivors in the 12 designated New Jersey counties registered for assistance, 4,124 people registered by telephone and, in addition, 3,399 used the Internet, according to statistics. More than 1,600 residents affected by flooding visited Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) for information and assistance.

Regardless of the method, officials continue to urge residents to register with FEMA for assistance. "With thousands of applicants registering with FEMA using the online option, the Internet is becoming a very popular method," said the agency’s Federal Coordinating Officer William L. Vogel. "You can register anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week." Residents may register online at the following link.

FEMA’s robust on-line and social media efforts have been very effective educating flood survivors about disaster assistance. Information about registering for federal assistance has been sent to approximately 60 community and civic websites and other high-traffic venues, resulting in more than 445,000 website views to date. FEMA has also set up a website dedicated to this, and a Twitter account that provides up-to-the-minute disaster recovery information.

Online assistance provides better communication link between FEMA and disaster hit people

Thanks to these efforts, nearly 3,500 applications for assistance have been submitted on-line. While registering for assistance on-line is gaining popularity, more traditional methods are also popular. More than 53 percent of those who registered did so by phone, by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

There is also a TTY/TDD number, 1-800-462-7585, for the speech and hearing impaired, with relay service at 711 or 1-800-852-7897.

The toll-free registration line is open from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., seven days a week. Multi-lingual operators are available. Twelve Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) offering face-to-face disaster assistance are currently open in the affected counties of Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset and Union. Applicants can get the location of the DRC nearest to their home or business when they register for assistance.

Daily hours at each DRC are between 10 am- 6 pm from Monday to Saturday. The DRCs are closed on Sundays.

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