Applications for federal disaster assistance for Hurricane Sandy victims are due in just two weeks, or April 1, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced recently.
The disaster aid application deadline has been extended several times already following the late October storm, though the extensions require a request from the governor's office and are not guaranteed.
Because of this FEMA encourages those seeking assistance not to wait to register with FEMA and apply for aid.
April 1 is also the deadline to return applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration for low-interest disaster loans, which is the primary source of federal funds for long-term rebuilding, according to a release.
Those interested can apply for an SBA disaster home or business loans by filling out an online application at DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ela. Those who have applied for federal disaster assistance are urged to stay in touch with FEMA and SBA. Applicants should notify FEMA and SBA of changes to their mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses.
Contact information, from FEMA:
Survivors can register online and check on the status of their applications at DisasterAssistance.gov, via smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov. They also can call 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 800-621-3362. Recovery assistants remain available daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
There are nine disaster recovery centers open in Atlantic, Cape May, Hudson, Monmouth and Ocean counties. FEMA staff is available at the centers to provide clarification to letters, assist survivors with finding a temporary home if their primary residence was damaged or destroyed, check on the status of applications for assistance or refer survivors to other agencies that may provide additional help. Survivors can locate their nearest center by going to FEMA.gov/DRC.
Survivors can ask questions about their SBA disaster home or business loan applications by calling 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339 or emailing email@example.com.
Additional resources are available online at FEMA.gov/SandyNJ and SBA.gov/Sandy.