Getting Help Repairing Or Replacing Utilities After Ida
Recent flooding by the remnants of Hurricane Ida in New Jersey reminds us how vulnerable our appliances and home utilities are to the weather.
But also, since New Jersey was declared a disaster by FEMA, residents are eligible for assistance to repair and replace property damaged by the storm.
DON’T DISMISS WATER DAMAGE
Many of us found our homes and basements flooded with not just inches, but several feet of water. That means water likely found its way into our HVAC system, water heaters, and other large and expensive appliances. Even ductwork is susceptible to flooding or wind forcing water into ducts which can develop mold.
Most HVAC systems cannot survive a large amount of water. The same goes for water heaters. The sensitive electronics in those devices can be immediately damaged; plus rust and mold can also form over time.
Even the exterior condenser units can be damaged by high water. After a flood, those should be visually inspected to see if water reached the electronics located higher up in the unit.
If any of your utilities received any amount of water or you even suspect they got wet, you should never restart them. Restarting could result in fire or even carbon monoxide poisoning.
Call a trusted professional like Temp Control for an inspection.
But also, take photos.
Document any damage and clean up as best you can without further damaging any utilities or appliances.
If you did start up an appliance or utility and it seems to work, then you still should have it inspected. Water damage can sometimes be delayed and you’re putting yourself and your home at risk.
ELIGIBLE FOR FEMA ASSISTANCE
If you know your system is damaged or Temp Control finds your system is irreparably damaged, you can get help from FEMA where insurance might not.
FEMA’S disaster declaration offers financial assistance for temporary housing and repairs if you qualify. See below for a list of eligible counties and links for assistance.
If you live in Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic, and Somerset counties, you are eligible for Individual Assistance from FEMA.
Businesses and residents can apply online at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov For questions and assistance completing an application, call 800-659-2955 or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.