Letter From The Chair
Tom O'HearnThe Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group (OCLTRG) began in November 2012 after Superstorm Sandy arrived at our New Jersey shores on Oct 29, 2012. The National Hurricane Center says it was the second-costliest hurricane in United States history and according to FEMA, most of the damage in New Jersey happened here in Ocean County.
The OCLTRG was formed with the help of FEMA Volunteer Agency Liaisons and a coalition comprised of representatives from corporations, faith based organizations, community non-profits, governmental agencies, and concerned citizens.
Recovery efforts begin with case managers who help families rebuild not only their Sandy damaged homes but also their lives. A case manager will work with a family to develop a recovery plan which includes trying to find private or government funding resources to help families who lack all the funds needed to get back into their homes. Case managers help clients get assistance with electrical, plumbing, HVAC and structural repairs, rent, mortgage, utilities, taxes, appliances and other items.
Since the OCLTRG began assisting Sandy Survivors in 2013, more than 2,300 families have been helped by the OCLTRG and our partners. Over 1,000 cases have been approved for funding which totals over $5,358,550. In addition, volunteer labor by faith based congregations from around the country, youth groups, senior citizen groups, corporate employee groups, college students and more have completed construction repairs on over 135 homes. These 1,587 Volunteers provided over 29,000 service hours which provided savings to homeowners valued at over $800,000.
In 2016, the OCLTRG team is providing workshops and funding to NJ homeowners outside of Ocean County since we are the only County Long Term Recovery Group still in operation. We are also working with organizations in our county to form a Community Organization Active in Disaster (COAD). The Ocean County COAD will consist of representatives from public, private and not-for-profit agencies whose goal will be to share information and resources that will help residents prepare for, respond to and recover from future disasters.
Once our funding is no longer available, unfortunately we will have to close our doors. Until then, the OCLTRG will do all that it can to help some of the thousands of NJ families who are still not back in their homes after Sandy to get back home. It has been my pleasure to work with so many dedicated people on our OCLTRG team and Board.
OCLTRG Board Chairman