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To further assist in the local recovery from Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has established Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) in Monmouth County.

The locations are:

  • Belmar Municipal Building, 601 Main St., Belmar, NJ 07719
  • Henry Hudson Trail Activity Center,945 Hwy 36, Leonardo, NJ 07737 (Atlantic Highland/ Middletown border)
  • Union Beach Municipal Building, 650 Poole Ave., Union Beach, NJ 07735

The DRCs are open daily from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and are open Veteran’s Day, Nov. 12.

The DRCs are set up for residents to be able to speak one-on-one to recovery representatives, but it is not necessary to visit a center to receive disaster assistance

Before going to a DRC, it is helpful to register with FEMA. Apply for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by web-enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Disaster assistance applicants who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.

“These storms have caused significant damage throughout Monmouth County and we want to make sure those affected by the hurricane get the help for which they are eligible,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the county Office of Emergency Management (OEM). “FEMA assistance can include grants for temporary housing, home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.”

FEMA program specialists are available to provide registration and other information, and to answer questions at the centers. These include mitigation specialists who can provide guidance on cost-effective rebuilding and repair techniques to reduce property damage in future disasters.

Each Disaster Recovery Center is staffed with FEMA, SBA and state agency disaster recovery specialists who are ready to help survivors through the recovery process.

“Do it now. Get into the FEMA system,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden, who oversees the county’s OEM. “I urge affected residents to go online or make that call; the sooner they register for assistance, the sooner assistance may become available.

Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if the person has registered with another disaster relief organization such as the American Red Cross, local officials or churches.

“Many of our residents and business owners have had a tough time dealing with these storms,” Burry said. “I urge them to register for assistance right away.”

DRC locations change frequently. The closest open offices can be found online at http://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm. An alternative is to go to www.fema.gov and search for DRC locator.

An applicant may go to any DRC, even if it is located in another state. Once an application has been made, a FEMA registration number is given to the file. It can be accessed nationally.