Frenchtown Flood of June, 2006

Dealing with FEMA and your Insurance Company

Flood2006 Home Page
Official Information about FEMA and how to get help
(passed on to us by Frenchtown Mayor Ron Sworen and Congressman Rush Holt)

Watch this page for updates. We'll post more information as we get it...

It's confusing -and tiring, and we don't have the anwer - yet.

But in conversations with residents who have suffered damage and distress from the flood, another issue has come up - getting the help that has been made available to you. It's not always easy. Some people are better at dealing with bureacracy than others. Part of the assistance needed is just that - getting the help; dealing with the insurance companies and local, state and federal bureacracy.

Some people say "Ah, it's not worth the hassle" or "I don't have the time to go and wait in line" or "I'm just not good at that."

Another distressing report I heard in conversation was "Yeah. I still haven't gotten anything from the LAST flood..."

I know that in my own case, dealing with the flood - running around, taking pictures, updating the web site has most certainly taken its toll on my other work. As a self-employed web developer, my paying clients - and my own finances and work schedule - have suffered greatly from the time I have taken from work to do all of this. And I live a mile from the flood zone. My home was not affected. It's much worse for our neighbors who suffered real flood damage.

And something ought to be done.

I suggest a one-to-one corps of support volunteers to help ALL who have been affected. The help is there. But the problem is how to find it and deal with the efforts required to receive the help that is needed.

Further, I suggest that this corps of neighbor/ombudsmen visit each resident in person to explain their role as an advocate for the individual. This could best be done by a neighbor - someone they might already know from town.

Lots of people won't need any help. But there are those who do.

Everyone does not have a lawyer to call, or a good insurance agent - or even a friend they can turn to. The need exists for something more than that - someone who can deal with bureacracy and knows the ropes - and will work on behalf of the flood victim, rather than simply pass the burden on to someone who's already overburdened just cleaning up and finding all their stuff...

If your home was flooded,
  • You have probably lost time at work. That means, you've probably lost income as well, and there are still all the regular bills to be paid.
  • If you are self-employed, it's even worse for you.
  • You are probably tired and quite possibly confused.
  • FEMA has plans in place to assist you
  • You pay for insurance. How hard is it to make a claim?
  • There are people out there - somewhere - who can help you
  • Some folks already have a friend - or a lawyer - to help them. But many do not.
  • I say that the residents need a representative - or a team of volunteers - OFFICIAL volunteers who can act in their behalf - and who FEMA and the insurance companies will respect and work with. They will probably need some official title or something.
Who are they? Where are they? How can they help?

If you have any ideas - or suggestions, or stories of your own experiences... 
Let us know and we will post more information on this page as we get it...

Meanwhile, don't miss this
Information about FEMA and how to get help
(passed on to us by Frenchtown Mayor Ron Sworen and Congressman Rush Holt)

-webmaster, "Al-Dot-Com"

Flood2006 Home Page