Governor Phil Murphy today announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved a Major Disaster Declaration in Bergen, Passaic, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Somerset counties due to damages sustained from the remnants of Hurricane Ida Sept. 2.
The declaration will allow individuals in the six approved counties to register for direct assistance for Ida-related recovery, which may include home repairs.
“I am very grateful to the Biden Administration and FEMA for their swift approval of the Major Disaster Declaration for six of our counties,” said Murphy. “I urge residents and businessowners in those counties to visit FEMA’s website and begin the application process.”
President Joe Biden is scheduled to view the damage for himself on Sept. 7. A newly-released analysis from Accuweather estimated Ida and its remnants caused up to $95 billion in damage and economic loss, much of that in Northeastern states.
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Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and 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.
Federal funding is available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the remnants of Hurricane Ida in the six counties. Damage assessments are continuing in other areas, and additional counties may be designated for assistance after the assessments are fully completed, according to state officials.
Additionally, Murphy announced the state has launched a data collection portal to gather data from impacted individuals outside of the six counties where FEMA has declared the Major Disaster Declaration. FEMA and the state continue to evaluate damage in other counties and the state portal will ensure that all Ida damages across all counties in the New Jersey are evaluated for potential FEMA assistance.
The state portal will record basic information including name, location, damages and cost, and need from impacted residents and businesses. It is accessible at nj.gov/ida and damagenj-njoem.hub.arcgis.com
“This Major Disaster Declaration and data collection portal will expedite the recovery process and aid us in our effort to become a more resilient state as we build our communities back,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
Murphy also urged residents outside of the six counties to register their information at nj.gov/ida so that “we can be ready to get dollars into the hands of additional New Jerseyans as soon as we are able.”
New Jersey Initiatives
The federal designation comes after Murphy announced the state will disburse $10 million in grants for rent relief to small businesses and non-profits devastated by the historic weather event. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will award grants between $1,000 and $5,000 to those eligible with up to 50 employees that sustained damage from the storm or flooding. The funding aims to provide short-term, immediate rent and mortgage reimbursement and entities may apply regardless of whether they have flood insurance.
Ida—which slammed the state with torrential rains and heavy winds, along with tornadoes, extensive flooding and power outages—was one of New Jersey’s deadliest storms on record, killing at least 27 people. As of Monday, at least four people, three Passaic County residents and one person from Essex County, remain missing.