Here is some short term guidance for addressing the situation at hand:
1) First and foremost, do what you can to fill out the FEMA claim forms ASAP, *We do not yet know the FEMA deadline, so the sooner the better.
Where you go for making claims:
http://www.disasterassistance.gov: This website consolidates the application process across several Federal agencies, including FEMA and the Small Business Administration. The website also reduces the number of forms your business and property owners will ultimately have to fill out, shortens the time it takes to apply, and allows you to check the progress of your applications online. If they want to apply by phone rather than the Internet, they can call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362). There is no question that the phone lines will be busy
Here is why making claims is crucial – Emergency Recovery funding from CDBG will be based on the total number of claims –
· It is that likely claims for businesses will be individually denied, but the claims submissions increase the state’s emergency allocations, AND the number of claims (residential, personal and business) from each county determine the specific county allocations for CDBG.
· the more claims sent in (regardless of if they were denied) the more $$$ your county and the state as a whole will receive.
· 80% of the CDBG ($) allocation (based on those claims) will be divided to NJ’s affected counties pro-rated by the number of claims. 20% of the State’s allocation can be directed throughout NJ based on impact.
So go door to door in the district – bring copies of forms if you can, promote it on facebook, twitter, etc. – encourage everyone in town that was affected to put in a claim! More claims submitted = more disaster $$$ for your community, period.
2) What You Can Do Now:
If your property has been damaged, take immediate corrective action – – if your roof is leaking, put a roof on your building; if your carpets are wet, get them dried. If your collections or museum facility has been damaged, put your Emergency Plan in Place NOW.
FEMA recommends that you:
• Take lots of photos and document the damage
• Keep all receipts
• Document all volunteers who are helping out (you can use this for your cost share) – – Use a “Sign-in” book, with their name, time in, time out
· Document the damage to each property (see attached spreadsheet)
• Take action NOW to protect your property
NOTE: You may or may not be eligible for FEMA or other federal assistance but in case you are, the above information will be critical.
As the Floodwaters Recede — A Checklist of Things to Do: (Courtesy Preservation Trust of Vermont, at http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs041/1102172352505/archive/1107373832970.html) Adapted from: INFORMATION, National Trust for Historic Preservation Booklet No. 82, 1993, Treatment of Flood-Damaged Older and Historic Buildings, and provided courtesy of the New Bern Historic Preservation Commission.
The following checklist will help you respond to flood damage in historic and older buildings. Read the steps through carefully and take time to plan. While it is tempting to wade right in with a shovel and mop, it is very important to develop a plan for cleanup and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, overly zealous cleanup efforts can result in historic materials being carted away, excessively rough cleaning methods, and the unnecessary loss of historic fabric. The best way to prevent additional damage to historic structures and materials during a time of duress is to use caution and plan ahead.
• Follow all emergency rules, laws, and regulations
• Turn off all utilities
• Document building damage
• Wear protective clothing
• Stabilize any unstable structures with temporary bracing
• Use caution when pumping basement water
• Keep building properly ventilated
• Clean everything that got wet with a disinfectant
• Allow saturated materials to dry using natural ventilation
• Check for foundation damage
• Replace soil around foundation
• Save historic materials if possible
• Use caution when removing lead-based paint or any products containing asbestos
• Clean and repair roof and roof drainage systems to protect building from future damage
Here are links to National MS/Preservation resources/guidance: