Next Steps After Hurricane Sandy
As we continue to recover from the disastrous weather of recent weeks, I want to share further information that may help in your recovery.
- As of last week, only residents of a handful of New Jersey counties were eligible to apply for disaster relief. Since then, the president has expanded the original disaster declaration, as I had urged him to do. All New Jersey residents who suffered losses in the storm are eligible to apply for disaster relief.
Full details on how to apply are available on my website. The first and most important step is to register for assistance by visiting DisasterAssistance.gov or calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
- Many thousands of New Jerseyans are still suffering power outages from Hurricane Sandy – and many others had their power restored only to see it knocked out again by this week’s nor’easter. I share your deep concern and frustration at how long it has taken for power to be restored. Please know that I have spoken personally to the presidents of JCP&L and PSEG to express your frustration at the slow pace of progress, and I remain in touch with both companies at all levels.
If your electricity remains out even though power has been restored to most of your neighbors, I encourage you to re-report your outage to your electric company. If you are served by PSEG, call 1-800-350-PSEG (7734); if you are served by JCP&L, please call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877). It is possible that your electric company believes that they have restored power to your entire area and is not aware of your ongoing struggles.
- Natural disasters bring out the very best in most of us – but they also bring out the worst in a few unscrupulous scammers. The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs offers a helpful guide to help you avoid disaster-related scams.
Establishing New Jersey’s Health Care Marketplace
Now that the election is over, we know with certainty that the health reform law will stand. One of its most important but least understood provisions is the establishment of state-based health care "marketplaces" where individuals who do not receive insurance from their employers can shop for affordable, high-quality health coverage.
These marketplaces play a key role in health reform's implementation. For instance, each marketplace establishes the minimum set of benefits that must be offered by participating insurance plans.
By law, each state must choose whether to establish its own insurance marketplace, to adopt a federal marketplace, or to embark on a state-federal partnership. Gov. Christie must decide in the weeks ahead which path New Jersey will take.
Member of Congress