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FEMA Reps Answering Questions at Toms River Lowe's This Week

Representatives will be on-hand through this Saturday to answer questions

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are trying to guide locals through the Sandy rebuilding process this week at the Toms River Lowe's. 

"It's slow, but there is progress being made," said David Weiglain, a hazard mitigation outreach specialist for the federal agency stationed at the home improvement store. Many who have stopped by the table set up by FEMA table, which will be staffed through Saturday, have been asking about elevation maps. 

"That's been the primary question," Weiglain said. Others are asking what they need to do next to rebuild. 

"We're just trying to give them some guidance," Weiglain said.

Bayville resident Chris Marotto stopped by the FEMA table and chatted with Weiglain about elevations, but said that he still hasn't received a clear answer as to what he should do. His home received about an inch of flooding during Sandy, but it remains unclear which flood zone his home should be in and how to go about rebuilding.

"I'm deferring the concept of rebuilding my house until I figure out exactly what needs to be done," he said. "I'm not doing it twice."

A Toms River resident at the store who declined to be identified said that a recent Patch letter to the editor from a woman displaced from her Seaside Park home "hit the nail on the head."

"There is nowhere to go to get answers to the problems you are facing and no one place that can offer help, advocacy, guidance and real answers," writes Faith C. Liguori in her open letter to government officials. 

Like others, Marotto said that he is unsure if he should raise his home — if he doesn't, his insurance costs are expected to increase. 

"The number I'm hearing from my agent is that it would cost $10,000 per year," Marotto said, which in three years would about equal the cost of raising his home. "I don't know where this is going."

Recovery is moving forward, Weiglain said, though returning to normal will take some time, especially if residents are unsure about raising their homes.

"This is a massive event to deal with, but they're doing the best they can," he said.

Residents who need help are invited to visit the Lowe's, 1375 Hooper Ave., or travel to the disaster recovery center 953 Fischer Blvd.

"If they've already registered, they can pull up their file, get very specific on where they stand," he said. Others who have yet to register for assistance have until Jan. 28

dainty January 22, 2013 at 08:29 PM
They should be attempting to sign folks up. During this disaster folks need a little more help and consideration. Many over 60 NOT PC literate! They are on form overload and IF folks would HELP them, MORE folks would sign up. Several thousands to gut, 30 - 60 thousand to raise a home, thousands to repair, where are these people getting this money from? Insurance down graded us from a hurricane to a SUPER storm, wth is that? a way to avoid liability? Im sick of the whole system, whose feeble attempt to help was meager at best! Shame on any agency not meeting the survivors and doing all they can to support and help them. It could have been you or yours*
LB January 22, 2013 at 09:07 PM
Dainty, I can't answer all your questions, but downgrading the storm from a hurricane lowered the deductible you would have to pay on your insurance policy. Most hurricane deductibles are 5-30% of cost, where storm damage is your normal deductible of maybe $500.00. So, say you had $50k in damage- at 5% is $2500.00 instead of maybe $500.00.
Av January 22, 2013 at 10:17 PM
FEMA sucks

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