County officials to offer information, resources to flood victims

TRENTON, N.J. - Effective Sept. 29, 2011, the hours and days of operation at the Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) for Mercer County have been changed to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The Mercer DRC is at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) in the Fine Arts Building.

The DRC is staffed by FEMA representatives who can provide information on FEMA disaster aid and answer questions. The DRC is open to residents and businesses from every municipality in Mercer County. Homeowners, renters, and business owners who suffered storm damage must bring with them a list of materials or goods lost or damaged as a result of the floods.

Signs are posted on the MCCC campus directing people to the Fine Arts Building and the FEMA DRC. Reserved parking areas are also marked. The West Windsor College Campus is accessible by public transportation. People living in Trenton who need transportation to the West Windsor campus may take the hourly shuttle bus from the Trenton Kerney Campus to the West Windsor campus. Those wishing to take the shuttle must check in with security at the Kerney Campus before riding. The Kerney Campus is at North Broad and Academy streets, Trenton.

Residents who registered for assistance via the Internet or by phone do not need to visit the DRC, but can ask questions or seek further information there. Residents do not need to schedule an appointment to visit the center at Mercer County Community College.

Some of the services that a DRC may provide:
  • Guidance regarding disaster recovery
  • Clarification of any written correspondence received
  • Housing Assistance and Rental Resource information
  • Answers to questions, resolution to problems and referrals to agencies that may provide further assistance
  • Status of applications being processed by FEMA.
  • SBA program information if there is a SBA Representative at the Disaster Recovery Center site.

The eligibility for FEMA Individual Assistance means residents or business owners whose properties were directly damaged by Hurricane Irene events Aug. 27 to Sept. 5 can apply to recoup their losses.

Affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at www.fema.gov or www.disasterassistance.gov or registering by phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

The toll-free numbers are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week, and applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information such as their name, the name of the business, address, phone number, insurance coverage, and other information to help substantiate losses.

Individual Assistance, if awarded, can cover reimbursement for a variety of storm-related expenses.

These include, but are not limited to: rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are uninhabitable; grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance; low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance; loans up to $1.5 million for small businesses that suffered disaster-related cash flow problems; and loans up to $500,000 for farmers and other agriculture operators to cover property loss.