New Jersey and New York were hit hard by the remnants of Hurricane Ida earlier this month, and some of our colleagues suffered damage to their homes, vehicles, and property that it will take help to recover from. The toll from this storm hit home in the Rutgers community: the mother of a student died after being swept away in floodwaters while returning from dropping her son off at Rutgers.
We wanted to gather some resources that we hope will help as you work on recovery; they are listed below. We also know that Rutgers management handled this disaster badly. During the storm and immediately after, chaos reigned about whether classes would be canceled, who should report for work, when damaged buildings would be repaired, etc. Some of our colleagues, including grad workers and postdocs in a more vulnerable position, faced pressure to go to work before it was safe.
We want to remind you that if your supervisor makes unreasonable requests or jeopardizes your health and safety, your union is here to support you. Email us right away at [email protected]. We can offer advice before contract enforcement becomes necessary.
IDA RECOVERY RESOURCES
- Help from FEMA at DisasterAssistance.gov: Residents of counties that were declared disaster areas are eligible for direct help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Go to DisasterAssistance.gov for information on applying for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs. FEMA also has this general website with guidance about applying for individual assistance. If you live in a New Jersey county that isn’t part of the disaster declaration, you can document storm damage at this website; the state government is asking for help so it can make the case for the disaster areas to be expanded.
- LSNJLAW Hotline: Low-income families in New Jersey can get help with legal services, including accessing disaster assistance and dealing with landlords and other authorities. Apply through the LSNJLAW hotline.
- Tenant Rights Information: If you’re a renter and suffered major damage to your apartment, you can withhold rent until your landlord repairs it. Go to the Caretaker.com website for information on this and other tenant rights in New Jersey.
- Recovery Grants from AFTNJ: We expect that modest but easy to attain grants for storm recovery will be available to union members from AFT New Jersey. We’ll get you information about how to apply as soon as it is available; email [email protected] if you want to be contacted about these grants.
Becky and Todd
Rebecca Givan, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Todd Wolfson, General Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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