Disaster Assistance May Help Prepare Flood-Damaged Furnaces For Winter

NEPTUNE — With this week’s seasonal winds and rain and the impending arrival of winter, New Jersey homeowners should ensure that their home-heating systems are in good working order. This is especially true of systems that may have been damaged by Hurricane Irene and the resulting floods.

Federal disaster assistance may cover furnace repairs that are related to severe storms and flooding that happened from Aug. 27 through Sep. 5, according to disaster officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Federal help may be available for cleaning and testing a flood-damaged furnace for repairs, or for replacement if the furnace is destroyed. New Jersey residents who had flood damage to their furnaces should register for assistance from FEMA by the Nov. 30 deadline.

If the need for repair or replacement is discovered after a homeowner receives federal aid to cover cleaning and testing expenses, the resident has the option of filing an appeal for additional disaster funds. The appeal must be made within 60 days of the date of the award or determination letter.

Registering with FEMA is the first step. There are three ways to register for assistance – go to www.disasterassistance.gov, to m.fema.gov or call FEMA toll-free, 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA). Those with access or functional needs and who use a TTY may call 1-800-462-7585 or use 711 or Video Relay Service to call 1-800-621-3362. Telephone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET; multilingual operators are available.

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