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FEMA Payouts Top $272 Million In NJ [AUDIO]

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says to date, 240,000 New Jersey residents have applied for individual disaster assistance and they have distributed $272 million, a majority of that for shore homeowners.

Alex Wong, Getty Images

Of that total, $249 million has been for housing assistance, says FEMA spokesman Chris McKniff.

“It is one of the biggest challenges after a major storm like this…and we are one federal agency working on temporary housing for displaced families, there is also the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the state to help and we are working with local and state agencies here in New Jersey as well.”

McKniff says contracted inspectors have completed 104,000 inspections or about 98 percent of the homes it was required to check.

“There are 128 inspectors out there and they have been reaching homes in about four days after they receive notice they are required to get out there so the message is that this stuff is happening very quickly.”

But he cautions that as the weeks pass, residents who registered with FEMA need to remain in contact with them.

“Whether its providing us with a phone number where we can get a hold of you or returning documents that we may need.”

He says, at times, people may receive letters from FEMA saying they may be ineligible for assistance, but that may not be the case.

“It could be something that we are missing from you, a piece of information from your insurance company or something like that, so we recommend that people read the entire letter they receive and go over it very carefully.”

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency says there’s enough money in the government’s disaster

relief fund for Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts until early spring.

FEMA Director Craig Fugate told the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday that the fund still has about $4.8 billion that it can disperse. So far, the government has distributed about $2 billion in aid to the 11 states struck by the late October storm.

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