FEMA has been distributing rental assistance checks worth $2,820 to many Monmouth and Ocean County residents. Federal Emergency Management Agency officials will be at two Staten Island locations Friday, with Disaster Recovery Centers like this one set up at Miller Field in New Dorp and Mount Loretto in Pleasant Plains.
At the Disaster Recovery Centers, FEMA staffers will typically be wearing blue or white shirts, clearly labeled FEMA.
Though the checks came as a surprise to some, the money is not without strings — the aid must be used for rent, home repair, personal property or disaster-related expenses, and receipts must be kept in case of audits, which are periodically conducted after the assistance process is over, according to the report. A FEMA official explained to the Advance that the centers are there solely to provide an opportunity for face-to-face interaction with FEMA officials who can help devastated homeowners, renters and business owners get the process started to obtain low-interest federal loans.

FEMA Contract Registration, announces that the first installment, $5.4 billion, of the $51 billion aid package signed by President Obama for Hurricane Sandy, has been released.
A FEMA official told the newspaper that the agency has given $243 million so far to 47,000 applicants in New Jersey. The best resource is for Staten Islanders, however, is to call FEMA directly -- 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or log on to or disasterassistance.gov.
The Disaster Recovery Centers serve as central locations where Islanders know they can find FEMA contacts and get answers to their questions. While those who register their claims early will get a response sooner, it's not urgent that people stop their disaster-recovery efforts to get to a Disaster Recovery Center or a computer immediately.

FEMA needs contractors, engineers, environmental and disaster recovery type of companies now. Rukeyser said FEMA's doing everything it can to make the process easier on those who need help.

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