LINCROFT, N.J. -- When Superstorm Sandy struck and thousands of New Jersey residents were left looking for assistance, public agencies and private entities created resources and programs designed to help them. Nearly 18 months after the storm, the status and scope of these programs have changed, but many of them are still active and available.
Survivors facing urgent safety issues should call 911 or the New Jersey Emergency Response Hotline (800-JERSEY-7). The hotline’s backup numbers are 609-775-5236 and 908-303-0471.
For non-emergency issues and updated news and bulletins, survivors can call the New Jersey 2-1-1 help line or visit www.nj211.org. For emergency-related news, they can also follow @nj211 on Twitter.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website, www.fema.gov/sandy, has the latest news and information on the disaster in New Jersey. Also, ‘like’ the FEMA Facebook page, and/or follow @FEMASandy on Twitter. www.DisasterAssistance.gov has links to community resources, government directories and alerts.
NEW JERSEY STATE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management’s website, www.ready.nj.gov, contains links to the Department of Community Affairs’ Block Grant plan and the state Public Assistance program. Search facebook.com/READYNEW JERSEY on Facebook to find the OEM’s page, and @ReadyNJ on Twitter for news update. The NJOEM also published a blog, which can be accessed at http://readynj.wordpress.com/
The New Jersey State Police can be found at www.njsp.org; @NJSP on Twitter; and at “New Jersey State Police” on Facebook.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a page for hurricane preparedness and response at: www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes. Search for “CDC” on Facebook and follow @CDCEmergency on Twitter.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a hotline accessible by calling 800-321-OSHA (6742). www.osha.gov/sandy has information on keeping workers safe during recovery and cleanup operations.
The Jersey Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross has its own website at: www.redcross.org/nj/tinton-falls. Follow “Red Cross” on Facebook and @RedCross on Twitter.
For children/youth services through the State of New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families, visit www.nj.gov/dcf/families/csc or call 877-652-7624 for questions or to apply for services for developmentally disabled children.
New Jersey Mental Health Cares (www.njmentalhealthcares.org) has updated listings of public mental health providers in the state. Call hotline at 877-294-HELP (4357).
The non-profit New Jersey Association of Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies is an organization representing child care groups serving New Jersey. Call the hotline at 800-332-9227; visit www.njaccrra.org; or find and like “NJ Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies” on Facebook.
Contact the state Department of Education at 609-292-2070 if you have not been able to enroll your child in school in the town where you are currently living or if you have not been able to return to your home school district.
The Division of Aging Services administers federal and state-run services for senior citizens. It also oversees the 21 Area Agencies of Aging in each county in the state, which develop coordinated community-based systems. Call 877-222-3737 or www.state.nj.us/humanservices/doas/home.
The Division of Developmental Disabilities places its main focus on people with mental disabilities, including conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, and spina bifida, as well as those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries: Call 800-832-9173 or visit http://nj.gov/humanservices/ddd/home for updated information on programs and to apply for assistance.
The New Jersey Statewide Independent Living Council is a separate entity under the New Jersey Department of Labor. It has locations serving all 21 counties in New Jersey and the cities of Camden and Newark. Visit www.njsilc.org to find contact information for a CIL (Center for Independent Living) near you.
The New Jersey Group for Access and Integration Needs in Emergencies and Disasters (NJ GAINED) is an advisory board to the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management and to the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. Call 609-963-6818 or visit www.state.nj.us/njoem/plan/special-needs-njsnap.html for information on NJ GAINED projects and the organization’s strategic plan.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences provides documents and resources in English, Spanish and Vietnamese that address emergency preparedness in hurricane and flood situations. Links are at http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/index.cfm?id=2472.
The Environmental Protection Agency has a Sandy section on its website: www.epa.gov/sandy. Find “EPA” on Facebook, follow @EPAgov on Twitter or call 888-283-7626.
Legal Services of New Jersey (www.lsnj.org) provides free civil legal assistance to low-income New Jersey residents. They have a special New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Hotline at 888-222-5765.
Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Hudson, Cumberland, Bergen and Union counties have established Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), which is an organization of volunteer groups, and/or Long Term Recovery Committees (LTRC), which coordinate volunteer and private sector efforts to help residents recover from disasters.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications