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An Important Message from Mayor Zimmer on Hurricane Sandy for Residents and Businesses

Here is the latest update on Hurricane Sandy recovery in Hoboken. Just because Washington Street is now looking close to normal does not mean that the Hurricane Sandy Recovery does not continue. Many in Hoboken are still displaced from Hurricane Sandy.

Community Message: An Important Message from Mayor Zimmer

for Residents and Businesses Severely Impacted by Hurricane Sandy

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Dear Hoboken Residents and Business Owners:

Help Us to Help You

I know many of you are very frustrated with navigating the insurance and FEMA process and I want to connect directly with you so that we can try as hard as possible to get you the assistance that you may need to prevent the foreclosure of your home, or the closure of your business.

Thanks to the advocacy and teamwork by Governor Christie working with Senator Menendez and Senator Lautenberg, the $60.4 billion federal recovery package proposes to include direct aid for residents and local businesses, through $17 billion in Community Development Block Grants.

Hoboken, with its insurance gap challenges due the “basement issue” is well positioned to receive additional aid, but I need your help to make sure Hoboken receives its fair share of funding.

Here’s my testimony on the basement issue at a Senate hearing in Washington DC last week: http://vimeo.com/hobokennj/zimmertestimony

Working Together to Get Help for Hoboken

Sadly, due to the Privacy Act, and the lack of a simple waiver system by FEMA, I do not have exact information on the challenges that all of you face. We need to know the extent of everyone’s unmet costs as soon as possible so I can advocate more strongly for federal aid for our City and for fundraising dollars. The more I can understand the exact gaps in coverage that you are facing, the more I can advocate to help you.

For that reason, I urge you to apply online for a grant through Rebuild Hoboken by visiting www.rebuildhoboken.org. Rebuild Hoboken is partnering with the City and will share this information with us so that we can understand the unmet needs of our community.

Completing this application is crucial so that I can advocate as strongly as possible for Hoboken to get the help that I know we need.

As federal funding becomes available this will also enable us to reach those most in need so you can make a formal application for funding. The additional aid is possibly going to come directly through the State, the County or the City of Hoboken — regardless we need your contact information so that we can make sure to reach you as funding becomes available.

Accessing Additional Aid

First and foremost, make sure to apply for a grant available from the Rebuild Hoboken Relief Fund through www.rebuildhoboken.org.

Secondly, don’t give up on FEMA. Make sure to get registered at the Disaster Recovery Center now located in the basement of City Hall which will be open from December 26, 2012 through January 31, 2013. And if they deny you for any reason, appeal their decision. Keep appealing until you get what you need. This may sound tedious, but it’s the only way to keep your file open. Only by jumping through their various hurdles can you get additional aid from them (for example, in some cases, only by applying for an individual SBA loan and possibly being turned down, can you then be eligible for up to $31,000 in FEMA assistance).

Stay Informed

Visit the City website (www.hobokennj.org), sign up for email or text alerts (www.hobokennj.org/alerts) and follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/cityofhoboken) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/hoboken) so that you can receive notification of funding opportunities.

Coming Soon: Resource Center

Stop by Hoboken’s resource center (this is different from FEMA’s Disaster Recovery Center) to fill out the application in person if you prefer and to find out what resources are available to help you recover from the storm. The location will be announced shortly.

This resource center will be operated by the City’s Relief Coordinator, Carly Ringer, and staffed by volunteers. It will provide a physical location to connect those who need help with those offering to help their neighbors. Volunteer opportunities will be announced through social media.

Finally, if you know someone in need struggling with recovery after the hurricane, please tell them about this letter. Please let them know that if they let us know their needs, then we can try to help them.

Thanks again to everyone who has helped Hoboken to continue on our rebuilding process.

Sincerely,

Mayor Dawn Zimmer

 

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