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Hurricane Sandy assistancecleanup from Sandy

updated 11/12/2012

Help resources and contact information

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, individuals who are trapped or need emergency assistance should call 9-1-1. For other information, including road closures, transit information, and shelter locations, the best number to call is 2-1-1. Power companies are working to restore electricity, but it will be a long process before everyone has their power back. Notify your power company immediately of any outages and keep in touch until your power is restored.

AC Electric: 1-800-833-7476, www.atlanticcityelectric.com/home/emergency , and @ACElecConnect on Twitter

Vineland Municipal Utilities: 1-856-794-4280, http://www.vinelandcity.org/Electric/VMEUsite

Temporary telephone and Internet: Cumberland County Offices at 275 North Delsea Dr., 2nd Floor, Vineland, NJ 08360-8067

The Red Cross is working closely with local, state, and federal emergency management teams to provide shelters throughout New Jersey.  To find a Red Cross shelter operating in your community, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or check online at http://app.redcross.org/nss-app/.

Well water safety information from Cumberland County Department of Health.

FEMA

The Federal Government has a website that allows people to apply for assistance online: http://www.disasterassistance.gov. This website consolidates the application process across several Federal agencies, including FEMA and the Small Business Administration.  The website also reduces the number of forms you will ultimately have to fill out, shortens the time it takes to apply, and allows you to check the progress of your applications online. If you want to apply by phone rather than the Internet, you can call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362).

Disaster relief application will be taken in person at Cumberland County 911 Communications Center, 637 Bridgeton Ave., Bridgeton, beginning Friday, Nov. 9, 8AM to 8PM, seven days a week. Driving directions are available here.

"Help After a Disaster" guide is available online in PDF format.

Other resources

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants has an excellent page on Sandy News and Resources.

Insurance Claims

We heard an unconfirmed report on 10/31 that the Governor's office insists that insurance companies should not invoke hurricane provisions and restrictions to the claims settlement process because this was a tropical storm by the time it hit New Jersey.

Tax breaks for disaster relief

IRS clarifies that payments made by an employer for disaster related expenses are not taxable income to the employee.

The deadline for filing of all tax returns that were due on October 31 for people affected by the storm is extended. This is an automatic relief so the taxpayer does not need to do anything to  qualify for the extension. The extension applies to regular tax returns and 2011 federal income tax returns that were already on extension.

Gov. Chris Christie has also extended certain state tax filing and payment deadlines for businesses whose operations were disrupted by Hurricane Sandy. 

The IRS has not postponed the due dates for regular federal tax deposits. However, the IRS notes that if taxpayers or tax practitioners receive a penalty notice for this period, they can contact the IRS at the number on the notice to request penalty abatement due to reasonable cause on account of the storm.

The IRS expects to issue additional filing and payment relief After the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issues disaster declarations for the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Details will be posted on the Tax Relief in Disaster Situations page on IRS.gov. Contact Tony Novak, CPA or see IR-2012-82 with any specific questions about how the relief provisions may be applied.

Media

Some storm damage photos are available from the Money Island Web site  that may be used without permission. A short video of storm cleanup efforts is available on request.