MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J. - Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announces that residents who sustained damages during Hurricane Irene do not have to wait for FEMA’s Disaster Recovery center to open in order to file a claim, nor do they have to be present at a disaster recovery center to apply. FEMA will open a Disaster Recovery Center in the coming weeks at a location to be determined, but in the meantime Mercer residents and business owners can begin the process via phone or internet.

“This is good news for our residents and business owners who are trying to pick up the pieces following this devastating storm, and we are doing everything in our power to get the ball rolling” Hughes said.

Mercer County residents can register with FEMA for relief by calling (800) 621-3362 or visiting www.disasterassistance.gov. Please use disaster reference number DR-4021. Residents may also call 2-1-1 and register for cleanup assistance through volunteer agencies. Mercer County businesses may contact the Small Business Administration at www.sba.gov or call (800) 659-2955 and refer to SBA Declaration #12780.

Disaster assistance applicants who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.  The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

Certain non-profit agencies are eligible for relief as well and should submit the "Request For Public Assistance" form available here. The form must be completed and submitted to Mercer County OEM at 350 Lawrence Station Road, Lawrence, NJ, 08648, to be eligible for follow-up visits and potential reimbursement. For more information, contact Dean Raymond, Mercer County Office of Emergency Management at (609) 799-8868.

Preliminary estimates show that some 1,800 homes in Mercer County sustained storm damage.  Towns hardest hit were Hightstown, Hamilton and Trenton. For more information, visit the FEMA website at www.fema.gov/news/event.fema?id=15536.