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29 Jul 2015

Free Help Available at NFIP Clinic!

By Dianne DeOliveira July 24, 2015 5:15 AM

Sandy-impacted homeowners unsatisfied with payouts from claims filed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can get free help understanding and navigating the process of requesting a review next week in Toms River.

Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group Meeting in Toms River, photo by Dianne DeOliveira, TSM News

The Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group (OCLTRG) has organized the clinic, which will involve lawyers and insurance experts providing one on one assistance to residents.

Half of the 140,000 FEMA flood claims are in New Jersey, and 36,000 are in Ocean County, according to Susan Marticek, OCLTRG Executive Director.

“The last number I got from FEMA was less than 9,000 people on the entire East Coast have opted in for review,” said Marticek.

Not trusting the system, feeling overwhelmed, and being burnt out are among the many reasons Marticek cited as to why she thinks people are preventing people from reopening a claim.

“We want to see a lot more people have the opportunity to get the money that is rightfully theirs,” Marticek said. She is encouraged by a handful of cases being worked on currently.

“It looks like there’s a lot of room for them to get some additional funding, and we all know that people are short money in order to put together a construction budget, so this may make a difference for a lot of people who may not make it if they don’t get extra monies,” she said.

For those still hesitant about requesting a review, Marticek, compared it to “a free swing at bat.” She added, “There is a small percentage of people that may get taken back from them, but we feel that that is such a minutia amount of people and probably those would be the people that may have done something wrong or mistakenly in the beginning.”

Marticek said there is a consistent theme from the hundreds of clients the OCLTRG’s assists, that they feel they have been underpaid by their insurance company. One example of a case she pointed out involve a homeowner who had a $175,000 policy, but only received $4,000.

“They have to rebuild their home, so it seems as though there is a lot of room in those two numbers to come up with some more money for them,” Marticek added.

The free NFIP Clinic takes place on Thursday, July 30, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., at St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 1528 Church Road, Toms River.

Appointments are recommended, by calling 732-569-3484, ext. 24. Walk-ins are welcome on a first come, first serve basis.

Read More: Free Help Available at NFIP Clinic in Toms River |

24 Jul 2015

NFIP Clinic

NFIP Clinic


If you filed a flood insurance (NFIP) claim after Superstorm Sandy, and you were not satisfied with the amount of money you received from your insurance company you can request a review of your flood insurance claim through FEMA.

If you need help in understanding or navigating the review process you can get FREE assistance at this NFIP clinic.   Community advocates, lawyers and insurance experts will be on hand to provide one on one assistance.   Please call to make an appointment and to find out what documents to bring.

What: NFIP Clinic    

When: Thursday July 30th, 3pm – 7pm   

Where: St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 1528 Church Rd. Toms River, NJ 08755

Appointments recommended

732-569-3484 ext. 24

Walk-ins welcome on a first come first serve basis

07 Jul 2015

NJ Consumer Fraud Act

Each year, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs receives thousands of complaints from consumers who hire contractors to do costly repair projects and who are less than satisfied with the results. Consumers complain about shoddy workmanship, missed deadlines, and a contractor’s failure to complete the work or to start the project at all after taking a deposit. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is designed to protect you from misrepresentation, fraud and deception in consumer transactions, including contracts for home improvement work. Home improvement contractors who are not registered with Consumer Affairs will not be issued municipal construction permits and will not be permitted to perform home improvement work in New Jersey. Ensure that all applicable construction permits are obtained from the local municipality. If you are applying for the permit yourself, provide the contractor’s name and license in the permit application. Do not say that you are performing the work yourself if you are in fact using a contractor as you may be forfeiting the protections afforded by law. Persons or companies licensed by the State, such as plumbers, electrical contractors and architects, are not required to register as home improvement contractors if they are acting within the scope of their profession. Before hiring any of the professionals listed in this section, check the Licensee Search link on the Division’s Web site or call the appropriate licensing board to determine that the person doing the work is licensed to do so and that his/her license is active and in good standing. The following instructions will help facilitate your access to this information online or you can call the Division of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-242-5846.

01 Jul 2015


With the 4th of July holiday this week, the OCLTRG General Public Meeting is postponed until Thursday, July 9, 2015, 10:00 am located at the Toms River ELKS, 600 Washington Street, Toms River, NJ.

22 May 2015

OCLTRG Takes Third Place In OceanFirst Crowdrise Charity Challenge


We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone, those who donated… those who worked on getting donations and those who considered donating.  At the close of the Crowdrise Challenge, it was a photo finish; we weren’t sure whether we were in second or third place. We had to wait for Crowdrise to certify the winners and through your efforts; we made it to third-place.  Thus, we were able to add another $2000 bringing our total raised to $44,850.

P.S. To those who considered donating… keep considering… we have a good team of people working real hard to get everyone back home, and we can use all the help we can get.  Although the Crowdrise challenge is over, you can still donate by check or through our website by going to our Give Help page.


18 May 2015

Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church Donates $15,000 to OCLTRG

OCLTRG presented with $15,000 check from Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church

Donation will go to help veterans in Ocean County still recovering from Sandy.

Toms River, NJ – The Ocean County Long-Term Recovery Group (OCLTRG) was presented with a $15,000 check from the Rev. Dr. Carl Wilton, pastor of the Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church (PPPC), at their General Meeting earlier this month.

“We are so grateful for the generous donation to the OCLTRG from the Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church,” commented Sue Marticek, Executive Director of the OCLTRG. “It has come at the most opportune time in this recovery effort and will allow us to continue to assist the many homeowners still struggling to return home. The Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church has been there right from the start and was the church that launched volunteer hosting in Ocean County and has run one of the most successful hosting sites in the state. We appreciate the church and feel fortunate to have them as one of our partners in recovery.”

The donation came from the Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church’s disaster relief fund and was given to the OCLTRG as part of the church’s work to continue long-term recovery efforts at the Jersey shore. As part of a fundraising effort through Ocean First’s Charity Challenge, the whole of the donation will go to help veterans in Ocean County still recovering from Sandy.

About Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group
Formed in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the mission of the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group (OCLTRG) is to strengthen and streamline disaster coordination in Ocean County by sharing information, facilitating resident access to and dispersal of resources and services, coordinating recovery efforts with Federal, State and local authorities and agencies, coordinating volunteer activities and resources, and jointly resolving cases with disaster recovery needs. If you are a household with unmet needs as a result of Superstorm Sandy or to learn more about the OCLTRG visit or call 732-569-3484.

About Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church
Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church (PPPC) is a local church in Ocean County.  It began working on Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts immediately following the storm and has since partnered with Lend A Hand mission of Carlisle Presbytery in Central Pennsylvania and with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), the national disaster-recovery agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), to continue the long-term recovery work on the Jersey Shore.

30 Apr 2015

Sandy Task Force Commences Hearings

Posted by with - in Latest News Read More →



In case you missed it, the Sandy Task Force—which includes all four senators from NJ and NY—met in Washington, D.C. this past Tuesday, April 28, 2015.  The aim of the task force is to help Sandy victims still recovering from the storm by reforming the claims process for the National Flood Insurance Program.  Below are some resources covering Tuesday’s meeting as well as some relevant background articles.


Complete video recording of Tuesday’s hearing (begins at 19:19)


Press Release from Sen. Menendez’s office


Asbury Park Press, Russ Zimmer

Sandy claims review could begin next month, FEMA says

FEMA Sandy clawback bill in limbo

What’s on today’s agenda for Sandy Task Force?



NJ Lawmakers Want Answers About Alleged Fraudulent Activity Post-Sandy

FEMA Official: No Evidence of Insurance Fraud Post-Sandy


To see our “live” Tweets from Tuesday’s meeting, go to

12 Feb 2015


We urgently need your help to convey to our elected officials that the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group is a SOLUTION for NJ families rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy. If you value the DISASTER CASE MANAGEMENT, RREM EDUCATION & WORKSHOPS and the FINANCIAL RESOURCES that OCLTRG and its partners bring to the table to help households recover, our elected officials need to hear your voice.

We ask for your help to make sure that our elected officials know that funding for the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group and its partners is not discretionary but a NECESSITY for families recovering.

Sign the Petition Online


Please send one post/tweet to each of these offices to deliver the message below – please PERSONALIZE:


Twitter Handles

@GovChristie Governor Christie
@NJSenatepres Senator Sweeney
@SenatorMenendez Sen. Bob Menendez
@CoryBooker Sen. Cory Booker
@RepChrisSmith Rep. Chris Smith
@RepTomMacArthur Rep. Tom MacArthur

Facebook Pages Senator Sweeney Sen. Bob Menendez Sen. Cory Booker Rep. Chris Smith Rep. Tom MacArthur

Please use These Talking points…

Give CDBG-DR money to @OCLTRG.
Keep the momentum of recovery efforts going.
Support @OCLTRG w/ CDBG Sandy funds.
Support 100% compliance. Support @OCLTRG.


10 Feb 2015

OCLTRG Provides Solutions for Homeowners in New Jersey’s RREM Program

Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group Provides Solutions for Homeowners in New Jersey’s RREM Program Will NJ Learn the Lessons from Hurricane Katrina? TOMS RIVER, NJ (February 10, 2015) – The Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group (OCLTRG) is offering assistance to help households in the State’s Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program.  This assistance includes supportive disaster case management, flexible resources to address unmet needs, RREM education, guidance and advocacy.  Since September 2014, OCLTRG has held 18 RREM workshops throughout the Jersey Shore.  These workshops have provided critical education to up to 608 households in the RREM program covering topics including:  understanding the steps of the RREM program; breaking through barriers that delay a RREM project; avoiding the common pitfalls that delay or compromise grant compliance and crafting a successful recovery and rebuilding plan. “The key to success in the RREM program is not simply to get home, but to ensure that the home is in compliance with the grant requirements. The unique educational and supportive services being offered by the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group are a vital link for all residents who are still struggling to utilize their RREM grants to get back home and be in compliance,” said Carmen Amato, Mayor of Berkeley Township. According to the New Jersey’s Recovery Dashboard there are 8,159 Homeowners Preliminary-Awarded Funds (as of 2/8/15).  The State also reported that 330 projects have been completed (Superstorm Sandy Performance Report 4Q 2014).  Completed projects represent just 4% of the total number of Homeowners Preliminary-Awarded Funds. On January 28, 2015, the OCLTRG formally presented a request to Terrence Brody, Executive Director of the Office of Recovery and Rebuilding, for inclusion in the State’s CDBG-DR (Action Plan 3) that must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) this month. OCLTRG and its partners – A Future with Hope and the Affordable Housing Alliance, have requested a total of $20 million to assist households in the nine most impacted counties.  Without funding from the State, OCLTRG, the State’s largest Long Term Recovery Group, will not have the resources to continue its program beyond 2015 while thousands of households remain in need of services. “The Shreveport Times recently reported that 9 years after Hurricane Katrina, there are approximately 18,000 Louisiana homeowners who collectively owe $522 million dollars to the Federal Government because they are in non-compliance with the State’s Road Home Grant Program. The three primary reasons cited for households in non-compliance are: homeowners used grants to keep their heads above water; the grants didn’t fully cover repair costs and there were many instances of contractor fraud.  As a State we have to take the lessons from Katrina and learn from them.  Our Long Term Recovery Group wants to be a partner with the State to help get families back home in full compliance.  Households should not have to fear recoupment.  With the right RREM education and supportive disaster case management, we can help families finish their recovery from Superstorm Sandy faster and in full compliance,” said Sue Marticek OCLTRG’s Executive Director. If you would like to attend a RREM Workshop or are in need of Disaster Case Management please contact the OCLTRG by phone or email at 732-569-3484 or About OCLTRG: The Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group (OCLTRG) is a network of community leaders from faith-based, nonprofit, governmental, business and other organizations that coordinate recovery efforts for those disaster victims in Ocean County, NJ communities. OCLTRG works to streamline the dissemination of information and allocation of resources across federal, state, and local organizations to those victims most in need of disaster relief.


09 Feb 2015


We urgently need your help to convey to our elected officials that the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group is a SOLUTION for NJ families rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy.  If you value the DISASTER CASE MANAGEMENT, RREM EDUCATION & WORKSHOPS and the FINANCIAL RESOURCES that OCLTRG and its partners bring to the table to help households recover, our elected officials need to hear your voice.  Over the next week, we ask for your help to make sure that our elected officials know that funding for the Ocean County Long Term Recovery and its partners is not discretionary but a NECESSITY for families recovering. 






An email to each of these seven offices to deliver the message below – please PERSONALIZE:


Governor Christie –

Richard Constable, Commissioner, Dept. of Community Affairs –

NJ State Senator Stephen Sweeney –

US Senator Robert Menendez –  


US Senator Cory Booker –

US Representative Tom MacArthur – 


US Representative Chris Smith –


“I urge you to support the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group’s request for a $20 million appropriation through New Jersey’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Action Plan (Tranche 3) being submitted to HUD this month.  This appropriation will provide households in the nine most impacted counties with:


•          DISASTER CASE MANAGEMENT and Construction Support that Eliminates Barriers to Recovery and Ensures that Households REBUILD IN FULL COMPLIANCE with HUD Requirements.

•          RREM EDUCATION AND RESOURCES that Empowers Households to Own Their Recovery.



OCLTRG is a SOLUTION that is WORKING for NJ families.  Without the inclusion of $20 million for OCLTRG in the State’s Action Plan, the recovery and rebuilding that is finally gaining momentum will be compromised to the detriment of all New Jersey residents.”