Anyone affected by Hurricane Sandy can now visit newly opened Disaster Recovery Centers, or DRCs, in Cape May, Ocean, and Union counties if they have questions about recovery programs.
There are now 30 DRCs open daily. The center in Bay Head will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. while the curfew there remains in effect. All others are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. All DRCs in New Jersey will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22; they will reopen on Friday, Nov. 23, with a permanent change in hours to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
Before going to a DRC, it is helpful to register with FEMA. Apply for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by a 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.
At DRCs visitors can speak one-on-one to recovery representatives. FEMA program specialists provide registration and other information, and answer questions. FEMA mitigation specialists provide guidance on cost-effective rebuilding and repair techniques to reduce property damage in future disasters.
In addition to FEMA program specialists, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) customer service representatives are available to answer questions about the SBA low-interest disaster loan program, and to assist with disaster loan applications.
The new DRC locations are:
Cape May County
1735 Simpson Ave.
Ocean City, NJ08226
400 E. Front St.
An applicant may go to any DRC, even if it is located in another county or state but it is not necessary to visit a center to receive disaster assistance. Once an application has been made, a FEMA registration number is assigned that can be accessed nationally.
Other local DRCs include:
100 S. Springfield Ave.
Springfield, NJ 07081
Willing Heart Community Care Center
555 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd.
Newark, NJ 07103