As we all begin the process of coming up from under a storm that none of us has ever seen in our lifetimes, I’d like to begin by expressing my deepest sympathies and condolences to our fellow New Jerseyans in the Southern part of our state. The devastation that they are experiencing just can not be put into words.
As the clean up process begins and power is starting to be restored to many of us here in District 40, it is important to note that over 2 million homes in New Jersey lost power as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
I and my office are on conference calls with all of the utilities multiple times a day getting status updates as to their progress. As your local elected officials contact me with power outage information, we are forwarding that information along to the appropriate utilities.
Throughout this process I have been in contact with your Mayors and Council members and the amount of work they are putting in to coordinate any and all information, as it develops, has been nothing short of extraordinary.
In this time of confusion, frustration and difficulty the coordination that has occurred, beginning with the Governor, my office, the county Freeholders, and local officials has been remarkable.
Every level of government and all elected officials are solely focused on ensuring that every resident gets their power back and life begins to return to normal as quickly as possible.
There is a lot of information being disseminated on an almost hourly basis. Here are some important numbers and resources for your reference:
For non-immediate health matters or other assistance:
Call 211 or go online at www.nj211.org for help with non-emergency issues, including basic human needs, support for seniors or persons with disabilities, children, or mental health issues.
To file a claim with FEMA:
Call 800-621-FEMA (800-621-3362). Make sure you register with FEMA. For a printable form, click here.
To report a downed electrical line:
Contact your local energy provider (info below). Be prepared to give the nearest cross street or the number of a nearby pole that has not been damaged and is away from any downed wires; the pole number can be found on the metal tag attached to the pole.
Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L): 800-662-3115
Orange Rockland Electric: 1-877-434-4100
To report a gas leak, contact your local gas provider:
New Jersey Natural Gas: 800-427-5325
Road and Driving Conditions:
To file an insurance claim, if you can’t find the company or agent’s number:
Call the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance at 1-800-446-7467 or go to www.dobi.nj.gov.
To report complaints about insurance companies:
Call the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance at 1-800-446-7467, click here to file a complaint online.
A printable complaint form is here: http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/complain.pdf
To report complaints about electric or gas utilities:
Call the NJ Board of Public Utilities: (800) 624-0241 or (609) 341-9188.
To report possible consumer fraud or price gouging by contractors or others:
State law makes excessive price increases illegal during a state of emergency, and for 30 days following the end of the emergency. Call the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs at 862-209-0130 or 973-220-3474.
To provide volunteer assistance in the cleanup and restoration effort:
Call 1-800-JERSEY-7 (1-800-537-7397). Backup numbers: 609-775-5236 or 908-303-0471.
Volunteers may also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This service is managed by the NJ Business Action Center and the Governor’s Office of Volunteerism, both divisions within the NJ Department of State.
To request volunteer assistance:
Call ’211′ or go online at www.nj211.org.
Extension of motor vehicle document deadlines:
To ease the burden on customers who did not have a chance to visit a motor vehicle office in October, MVC Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez has issued Administrative Order 2012-03 authorizing a 30-day extension for all driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations and vehicle inspection stickers that expired on October 31.
NJ DEP’s Hurricane Sandy Page - precautionary wastewater measures, how municipalities can apply for emergency land use permits, when to boil their water, and much more.
As more information becomes available, my office will provide you with that information. As is always the case, if you are having any difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 973-237-1360 or via email at email@example.com
Kevin J. O’Toole
Senator, District 40