Two years after super storm Sandy, FEMA is sending Recoupment notices to a number of New Jersey's REMM disaster grant recipients for violating the agency's compliance rules on how the funding can be spent.  

Aerial photo ot damage in Brick from Sandy
Aerial photo of damage in Brick from Sandy (Tim Larson, Governor's Office)

"When they sign for their {REMM} grants there is a lien that is put on their home, and in order to get if off, you have to go through their {FEMA's} check list, and they provide that," warned Susan Marticek, Director of the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group. The organization has been holding workshops to educate Sandy victims about the rebuilding process.

2005's Hurricane Katrina is a crystal ball for what Sandy victims can expect, according to Marticek.

"In October of 2014, there was an article put out that 18,000 homeowners in Louisiana are not in compliance, and that equals $522 million dollars," she noted.

"If we're going to look at {Louisiana} as a closest comparison to this disaster, that means a lot of people took money and either one; did not have the complete money for their project, two; got ripped off by a contractor, or three; spent some of the money to keep their heads above water perhaps paying rent and mortgage," said Marticek.

It's already happening in New Jersey, just two years after Sandy. "We think it's important for people to know their projects, know their budgets and then do your homework on your contractor," she advised.

Compliance is only one factor in FEMA's right to issue Recoupment notices.

Marticek said the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Groups' work shops provide education and clarity for Sandy victims, the next steps and the pitfalls to avoid.

"Many people are paralyzed and don't know what to do next," she added.

Marticek said upcoming workshops will be held in Brick Township this Saturday, November 15, at 10am, and Saturday, December 6 in Toms River, and Tuesday, December 9,  in Manahawkin.

Registration is required. If you are interested in attending a workshop please call 732-569-3484.

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