For Immediate Release
Friday, November 02, 2012
Recovery Information for Residents and Businesses
FEMA representatives are in the area to provide those impacted by Superstorm Sandy with information regarding public and individual assistance for uninsured and underinsured losses. They will start in the barrier island communities of Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate and Longport before heading west throughout the county. Representatives will be identified by FEMA photo ID badges and will explain how to apply for financial assistance and the eligibility criteria. The first step is to register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-3362 or by registering online at www.fema.gov.
As recovery efforts continue, residents should also be aware of home improvement scams and charity scams perpetrated by offenders who prey on the desperation of those working to recover from disasters. The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs offers tips for consumers on "How to Avoid Disaster-Related Scams" in English at http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/disaster/floodtipsflyer_1.pdf
and Spanish at http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/disaster/floodtipsflyerSP_1.pdf
Beware of fly-by-night opportunists who may have come in from out of state -- or those who may live locally but lack the skills and honesty you need for a significant repair job. Learn whether the contractor is properly registered with the Division of Consumer Affairs.
Call the Division at 1-800-242-5846 to learn whether the contractor is duly registered, and whether the business has been the subject of consumer complaints. You can also check the Division's online listing of legal filings to learn whether the business has been the subject of legal action by the Division.
Before hiring a contractor, demand a copy of the contractor's liability insurance policy, and contact the insurer to make sure the policy is valid.
It is customary not to pay for the entire home improvement project in advance. The general rule of thumb is to pay no more than one-third beforehand, one-third halfway through, and one-third upon completion.
Never give your credit card number or financial information to strangers over the phone or on the Internet.
In addition, you should demand identification before you let anyone who claims to be from a utility company inspect your home.
Click here to access FEMA application