CODEY APPLAUDS PLEDGE OF FEDERAL SUPPORT AS NEW JERSEY PROVIDES FOR KATRINA EVACUEES
Federal Aid to Supplement State and Local Efforts to Assist Evacuees
(TRENTON) – Acting Governor Richard J. Codey today announced New Jersey has received a federal emergency declaration and a pledge of federal funding to supplement state and local efforts in the Garden State, to assist evacuees from the areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
“By providing housing, schooling and other services for families affected by this enormous disaster, New Jersey is proving we will not turn away a neighbor in need,” Codey said. “The costs associated with helping these families is more than our state and local governments can bear by themselves, and we thank President Bush for pledging to help us in this effort.”
An exact number of evacuees in New Jersey is not currently available. As of today, the American Red Cross has helped about 2,800 evacuees in the Garden State.
Responding to the assistance New Jersey agencies are providing to evacuees, President Bush ordered federal funding for approved, emergency protective measures undertaken to save lives and protect public health and safety.
The State of New Jersey will work with FEMA to determine the scope of costs eligible for federal reimbursement.
Among other actions being undertaken in New Jersey:
The State Department of Human Services is referring evacuees to the three-digit phone number 211 to register for the services they need. Evacuees are also advised to call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA, and the American Red Cross at 1-800-GET-INFO.
The State Department of Human Services through its divisions of Family Development, Medical Assistance and Health Services, and Mental Health Services, is providing a wide array of services to assist evacuees including cash assistance, food stamps, health care, temporary housing and crisis counseling.
The Governor’s Office of Recovery and Victim Assistance is working with federal, state and local agencies to identify long-term housing units that can be offered to evacuees, and to make sure those units are suitable for use.
The State Department of Education is allowing the children of evacuees to attend school in New Jersey. Families are advised to notify school officials of their evacuee status. Schools are asked to notify their county superintendents when they register the students, to help the Department maintain an accurate count.
Currently, 181 students displaced by Hurricane Katrina are enrolled at public and private colleges and universities in New Jersey.
The State Department of Health and Senior Services has gained access to the Immunization Registries of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana and is working with the Department of Education and medical providers to ensure children coming into New Jersey receive appropriate vaccines. The Department of Health has also collaborated with Middlesex County health agencies to ensure the ability to provide medical screening and treatment services for evacuees in Perth Amboy.