The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

FEMA aid for Plainfield residents, businesses

Plainfield residents and businesses may be eligible for FEMA aid.
Union County's First Alert system on Sunday afternoon passed word that the County -- which means also Plainfield -- has been added to President Obama's declaration of emergency assistance available through FEMA to area residents and businesses.

Here is the notice as received from First Alert --

Sent: Sunday, September 04, 2011 3:27 PM
Subject: Union County FEMA Declaration

Freeholder Chairman Deborah Scanlon today announced the federal government has approved Union County’s request for disaster assistance for its residents' impacted by Hurricane Irene. Individual and public assistance was approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Union County residents and small businesses in all municipalities are now eligible to apply for different types of federal assistance, including temporary housing, repair, replacement or other needs such as Disaster Unemployment Assistance, and Small Business Administration disaster loans.

Public assistance eligibility allows eligible local governments, and certain nonprofit organizations to apply for federal funding on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Hurricane Irene.

Survivors of Hurricane Irene in Union County who suffered damage should apply for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency – even if they have insurance or aren’t sure they are eligible.

Register by phone at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 for those with hearing or speech impairments. Specialists are standing by at the toll-free numbers seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, until further notice. Help in other languages is available. Or you can register online at You can also apply through a web-enabled mobile device or smartphone by visiting and following the link to “apply online for federal assistance.”

To get future notices from Union County's UC First Alert, register for the free service at

The Ledger previously ran a story on the kinds of help available through FEMA (see story here); here is a summary of the main items of assistance --
The federal agency’s programs include:

• Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable.

• Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance.

• Grants to replace personal property and to help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.

• Unemployment payments for temporary job losses caused by the storm.

• Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance.

• Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations impacted by the storm.

• Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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