the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Signs New Jersey Disaster Declaration

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of New Jersey and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Hurricane Irene beginning on August 27, 2011, and continuing.

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, and Somerset.

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 also is available to state 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 Hurricane Irene in the counties of Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named William L. Vogel as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area. 

FEMA said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties may be designated after the assessments are fully completed.

FEMA said that 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) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION MEDIA SHOULD CONTACT:  FEMA NEWS DESK AT (202) 646-3272 OR FEMA-NEWS-DESK@DHS.GOV