Hughes reminds residents to apply for aid at FEMA/Mercer Disaster Recovery Center

Hughes reminds residents to apply for aid at FEMA/Mercer Disaster Recovery Center
Posted on 09/24/2021
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TRENTON – Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes reminds survivors of Hurricane Ida that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Mercer County operates a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at Hollowbrook Community Center, 320 Hollowbrook Drive, Ewing Township, to assist any Mercer County residents or businesses whose property was damaged in the remnants of Hurricane Ida. The DRC is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sunday. Residents do not need to schedule an appointment to visit the center, nor must they be Mercer County residents. Any individual who lives or operates in a county that was declared a disaster may seek help at the Mercer location by speaking with a FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) team member. 

"Our partners at FEMA are currently at the Hollowbrook Center, and I encourage anyone who suffered damages in the storm to reach out to the experts for guidance and advice," Mr. Hughes said.

FEMA DSA teams help survivors register for federal assistance, identify potential needs and make connections with local, state, federal and voluntary agencies with resources to assist them.
DSA helps survivors in different ways:

  • Conduct outreach in the 12 designated counties of Bergen, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Union and Warren.
  • Assist survivors to register for FEMA assistance.
  • Check the status of an application already in the system and can make minor changes to applications.
  • Make callouts to faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, private sector (businesses) and public libraries that may have the capability to distribute disaster-related information to survivors in the impacted counties.
  • Identify organizations providing disaster-related services and/or resources to the general public for immediate and long-term recovery.
  • Gather situational awareness about impacts to communities.
  • Provide flyers in English, Spanish and nine other languages explaining how to apply for disaster assistance.
  • Provide civil rights and disability integration assistance information to ensure equal access.

Information provided by the teams are tailored to the individual survivor’s needs and may include information on making temporary repairs to a disaster-damaged house, pay for another short-term place to live while permanent repairs are made and/or help with serious, disaster-related needs not covered by other programs.

DSA teams never require survivors to provide personal information. DSA team members can easily be identified by their federal photo identifications and FEMA clothing. New Jersey residents are reminded to ask for official photo identification before sharing personal information.

FEMA employees do not solicit or accept money from disaster survivors, nor do they ever charge applicants for disaster assistance, inspections or help with registration.

Survivors do not need to contact a DSA team member to register with FEMA. Residents who sustained damage or losses caused by Hurricane Ida can register with FEMA in the following ways:

  • Online at
  • Use a cell phone to register through; click “Apply Online for FEMA Assistance,” and you will be directed to
  • If it is not possible to apply online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines are currently operating 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available. If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.

By registering with FEMA, survivors may qualify for federal grants to pay for essential home repair or replacement or to rent a temporary home. In addition, help may be available to pay for other disaster-related needs, such as medical, dental, transportation and funeral expenses, moving and storage fees, personal property loss and childcare, not covered by insurance.

Registering with FEMA is also the first step in qualifying for help from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Low-interest disaster loans from SBA are available to businesses of all sizes (including landlords), homeowners, renters and private nonprofit organizations to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance. Low-interest disaster loans help fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property. For more information, visit

Residents who previously registered for assistance via the Internet or by phone do not need to visit the DRC, but can ask questions or seek further information in person at the DRC.