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Posted 11/14/2012

Release no. 12-042

Justin Ward

BROOKLYN, New York – FEMA, the state of New Jersey, volunteer agencies and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, working out of the State-FEMA Joint Field Office in Lincroft, NJ, begin a Shelter In Place Assistance Program Nov. 14 to help bring normalcy to New Jersey residents following Hurricane Sandy. The program will provide training, mentoring, and materials by Army engineers to Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) members, such as the Southern Baptist Convention, Mennonite and Methodist Men.

“The most important part of recovery is giving those affected by Hurricane Sandy a sense of normalcy,” said Joel Hendrix, South Atlantic Division, Chief Readiness and Contingency Operations, who is leading the Corps efforts. “Nothing is more normal than getting back into your home.”

The program seeks to give VOAD groups the skills and materials necessary to make minor, temporary repairs to homes, such as boarding up windows with plywood. Allowing people to return to their homes so quickly after a disaster, said Hendrix, not only gives them time to make more permanent repairs but also minimizes the number of people seeking temporary shelter.

About 500 homes, many of which suffered water damage, will be assessed for possible repairs.

“Our job is to support the governor and the volunteers,” Hendrix said.

The Corps’ team is working in close coordination with FEMA, and state and locals officials.