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Christie Urges Residents To Seek FEMA Help; Neptune Office Set Up

Governor outlines coordinated response in storm's aftermath.

Governor Chris Christie on Tuesday urged those impacted by Hurricane Irene to seek help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency - and Neptune will serve as FEMA's hub site for New Jersey.

Beginning Wednesday, the Joint Field Office in Neptune will serve as the field office for all federal and New Jersey Office of Emergency Management relief efforts throughout the state.

"Representatives from the departments will be located here to ensure that we're all working together, officially and effectively, in a coordinated manner to get assistance to folks as quickly as possible," he said.

Speaking at the Neptune office alongside FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Bill Vogel and other officials, the governor outlined the state and federal governments' continued response to the needs of residents as they attempt to recover from damage incurred during Hurricane Irene.

Disaster Recovery Centers where residents can go to receive field level assistance or to speak with FEMA's disaster recovery specialists will also be opened in each county.

The governor reminded residents that President Barack Obama had approved the state's request for disaster declaration.

"New Jersey residents and small businesses in all 21 counties are now eligible to apply for different types of federal assistance," he said. "Survivors of Hurricane Irene in every New Jersey county who suffered damage should apply for disaster assistance with FEMA, even if they have insurance or aren't sure whether or not they're eligible."

To receive FEMA relief, residents must first register with FEMA, either by calling 800-621-FEMA or online at www.disasterassistance.gov.

"It's critical that we're all utilizing all of these resources to ensure people who have been displaced from their homes or are dealing with the aftermath of flood damage  are receiving the assistance they need and are entitled to," he said.

Christie explained that once a resident with a damaged home or property has registered, FEMA inspectors will conduct an assessment of the damage and determinations will be made as to the level of assistance that resident will receive. 

"The only way to determine what that will be is to register and then to work with the FEMA representatives to walk you through your individual process," he added.

FEMA's 460 inspectors in New Jersey are currently running at a delay of three days from registration to site inspection, officials said.

According to Christie, over $3 million in FEMA disaster relief funding has already been distributed in New Jersey.

Christie also shared his thoughts on his Sunday meeting with Obama, who toured flood ravaged areas of North Jersey, meeting with residents and promising aid.

"I had the opportunity to thank him for his administration expediting the much needed assistance," he said.

Sal September 07, 2011 at 10:29 AM
WOW that Christie can sure Flip Flop very fast with amazing speed and agility. Before he was saying "Cut Federal Spending" and "the Federal Government spends TOO MUCH money". Now today his transition into saying get in line NJ residents and get MORE Federal Money, because I as your Governor and your State Government is useless and are not doing anything to help you.
Jeff Gollin September 07, 2011 at 02:35 PM
Goes to show you that things are seldom that simple and that a lot of political positions are taken for rigid ideological reasons or to score political points rather than what's best and most practical for the people served. Sometimes irresponsible rhetoric puts politicians in ticklish positions because they'll avoid doing the right thing because they're afraid of being accused of hypocricy. Moral: "Cool it with the inflammatory, irresponsible, gain-saying rhetoric, because it invariably will come back later to bite you."

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