Mayor Zimmer Strongly Urges Community to Register with FEMA – Feds Need to Know Extent of Damage
MAYOR ZIMMER STRONGLY URGES COMMUNITY TO REGISTER WITH FEMA
Local Business Asked to Submit Survey with Damage Estimates
Mayor Zimmer meeting with HUD Secretary Donovan and Senator Menendez
Mayor Dawn Zimmer is strongly urging all residents to file with FEMA with their latest storm-related damage estimates. Local businesses are urged to complete an online survey so the City can establish an accurate accounting of damage: http://hobokennj.wufoo.com/forms/hoboken-business-storm-damage-survey.
“Even if you’re discouraged with the process, even if you’ve already been denied, the best way for Hoboken to get the help we need is to document your damage, register with FEMA, file with your insurance company, and appeal, appeal, appeal,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Unless the federal government knows the true extent of the cost to rebuild, we can’t receive the extra help we need. If and when that assistance arrives, it is important for your case to remain open, so I can’t stress enough how critical it is to stick with the process, continue providing updated damage estimates, and continue appealing. We also need a full accounting of the impact of Hurricane Sandy on local businesses so we can advocate as strongly as possible for our community.”
In a meeting with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, who President Obama has tasked with leading the Sandy recovery effort, and Senator Robert Menendez, Mayor Zimmer stressed the need to address the inequity in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The program provides only limited benefits to those who live in garden level apartments, despite requiring that they pay for coverage. In addition, since NFIP only covers individuals, damage to common areas is typically not covered because they are the responsibility of condominium associations, which are registered non-profits. This is problematic for the building’s residents since the individual property owners are ultimately responsible for the condominium association expenses.
Secretary Donovan noted that he and the federal government are working to ensure that better and more assistance becomes available, and that in order to do so, everyone that was affected needs to register with FEMA.
Mayor Zimmer has also raised her concerns with Vice President Joseph Biden during his recent visit to Hoboken and with senior officials from FEMA.
In addition, Mayor Zimmer is on the executive board of the Rebuild Hoboken Relief Fund, a non-profit organization to assist individuals, businesses, and other non-profits fill the gap between insurance coverage, government assistance, and the true cost of rebuilding. To make a tax-deductible donation, visit www.rebuildhoboken.org.