More than 3,800 people have visited FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers in Manahawkin and Harvey Cedars since they opened in late November.
FEMA spokesman Chris Mckniff told Patch today that 2,372 people have visited representatives at the center in Stafford, and 1,460 in Harvey Cedars, since they opened on Nov. 17 and Nov. 24, respectively.
The FEMA portion of those sites are closing Jan. 5 at 7 p.m., and will merge into one regional center, scheduled to open Jan. 7 at 9 a.m. and operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The new location will be at the Ocean County Southern Resource Center, 179 S. Main St. Manahawkin, NJ 08050.
The donation center will remain at the current East Bay Avenue site at the old Stafford Township hall, however, according to Mayor John Spodofora.
"We still have a lot of people coming into the donation area, and I think they are going to be there for a while," he said.
Mckniff said FEMA repesentatives were looking for a place where they could stay for a longer period of time.
"We wanted a place that would be in close proximity to both locations for the long term," he said.
FEMA staff will be available at the center to provide clarification to letters, assist survivors with finding a temporary home if their primary residence was damaged or destroyed, check on the status of their application for assistance or refer survivors to other agencies that may provide additional help.
Also, survivors can consult with Small Business Administration customer service representatives about low-interest disaster loans to repair or rebuild their home and FEMA mitigation specialists about cost-effective rebuilding and repair techniques to reduce property damages in future disasters.
Disaster survivors may visit any center to receive assistance and information. They are not limited to the center in their home county as all centers have the ability to access a survivor’s specific case information.