Hurricane Sandy Information

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Navigating the Federal Assistance Process

Q: How can districts work with the State to ensure disaster aid is received quickly and efficiently?
Reconstruction and rebuilding will continue for many weeks and months to come. To help districts coordinate reconstruction efforts, we have launched a survey to collect information on structural or other physical damage to school buildings. We will use this information to target our supports and to help districts coordinate with FEMA, SDA, and other state agencies.  Districts will find the survey when they log into their DOE Homeroom at Only districts that had damage to school buildings should complete the survey.

Q: What if a building in a district has damage that cannot be repaired in the near future?
Some districts will need to find alternative educational settings for some of their students, whether in the form of temporary portable classrooms or placement in another facility. By providing us the information as soon as possible, we can support districts in their efforts to reach solutions in such efforts. Again, the online tool to collect information about building damage can be found as districts log into their DOE Homeroom at

Additionally, FEMA's applicant handbook, which can be found here outlines the procedural and programmatic requirements necessary to receive assistance. 

Q: How is the Department helping coordinate efforts between other State agencies and FEMA?
We are committed to help support districts meet their individual needs including coordinating reconstruction efforts between FEMA and different state agencies.  To that end, the New Jersey Department of Education will be holding two meetings with members of the Department, FEMA, and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management's Public Assistance group in order to share with districts support services that are available from the State and from FEMA.  The purpose of these meetings is to provide a forum for districts to bring challenges that they are facing as well as to ask questions to help districts get all of their schools opened and to begin rebuilding efforts.

The meeting locations are:

Thursday, November 8
Secaucus Performing Arts Center
11 Mill Ridge Road
Secaucus, NJ 07094

Friday, November 9
Jackson Liberty High School
125 North Hope Chapel Road
Jackson, NJ 08527

To make the meetings as productive as possible for districts, FEMA recommends that staff members bring the following information if they are able:

  1. Damage Description:  A general description of damages and impacts to your school buildings.

  2. Needs for Functional School Operations:  A general description of the anticipated actions needed to get the schools operational (ie temporary classrooms, on-site debris clearance, alternate transportation, etc).  Also, FEMA suggests you identify if those needs are within the capability of the district, either with your own resources or through your own contracting capabilities.

  3. Insurance:  A general understanding of your insurance policies.  FEMA and the State will review the policies in detail at a later date so bringing the policies to this meeting won't be necessary.  But, if possible, you should come to the meeting with a general understanding of your anticipated insurance coverage and you should have been in contact with your carrier.

  4. Point of Contact:  Identify the individual in your district with whom FEMA and the State should be working regarding technical or programmatic issues.

Click here for FEMA's Request for Public Assistance form.