Lambertville, NJ

Support for people in and around Lambertville, NJ who have been affected by Hurricane Irene

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Beware of Scammers

 The following is an email from representative Rush Holt:

Beware of Disaster Relief Scams
FEMA is already at work responding to recent disasters.  A resident of Lambertville wrote recently to say, “We live in an area that never is affected by water from the common flooding of the Delaware River...  Following your direction I applied to FEMA.  Their response was immediate, but I had no reason to believe that the application might be other than an exercise...  Much to my surprise, the application was approved and I received a substantial grant that I expect to cover most of my expenses in restoring our home for us.”
I encourage you, too, to apply as quickly as possible to begin the disaster relief process.  Further information is available on my website. 
As you seek disaster assistance, please be wary of potential scammers.  The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has reported that homeowners in Little Falls received a scam letter that began, "STATEMENT OF YOUR BENEFITS," and stated, "The Payment Security Administration (PSA) has determined that you shall receive entitlements and a Financial Recovery Award of up to $27,500.00."  The letter asks recipients to mail a "Benefit Consent Form" to a post office box in Canada, along with a "Processing Fee" of $29.97 paid by check, money order, or credit card authorization.
Please be wary of any mailer or advertisement that, like the "Payment Security Administration" mailer, has any of these signs of a possible scam:
  • Offering huge prizes in exchange for small, up-front payments;
  • The use of an official-sounding but unverifiable name; for example, if an Internet search reveals that an agency by that name may not actually exist;
  • Fine print that includes unclear or confusing language; or
  • The request that payments be sent outside the United States.
Flood Clean-Up Assistance
Do you need help with cleaning up flood damage in your home, basement, or small business?  Volunteers may be available to assist the elderly, disabled, and those needing extra assistance to clean up water and mud damage.  To request assistance, please dial 2-1-1.  Further information is available on the NJ 2-1-1 Hurricane Response and Recovery website.
Rush Holt
Member of Congress

It is unfortunate that disasters bring out scammers looking to profit from other people's misfortune. Please be careful who you give any financial information to, and, if you are unsure about the legitimacy of any agency who contacts you, check them out before you agree to anything.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Obama extends disaster declaration

Obama extends disaster declaration to 16 N.J. counties with damage from Hurricane Irene
Hunterdon County is included in the disaster declaration, which makes Lambertville residents eligible for federal assistance.
Residents may begin registering with FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 for those with hearing or speech impairments. The phone lines are staffed 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Residents can also register online at

You can see our previous post from Senator Lautenberg's office for more information about the Disaster Assistance website.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lambertville Shines in the Face of Hurricane Irene

Below is the text of a letter to the editor written by Jane Wesby, and sent to several local newspapers. The letter explains why we started this blog, as well as thanks the city government and employees who did their best to aid residents throughout the storm and the aftermath:

"The onslaught of Hurricane Irene brought confusion, loss of power and catastrophic loss of property to many in the city. Through it all, City Hall was open and Mayor David DelVecchio, Council President Steve Stegman, Head of the Office of Emergency Management David Burd, John Miller flood coordinator, countless OEM volunteers and the ever tireless City Clerk Cindy Ege were there.  Answering people's questions, feeding people, offering advice and support. They didn't always have the answers as they fought to get our power turned back on, but they were available to tell you exactly where things stood. I personally am very grateful for their dedicated service on behalf of the city throughout this event.

I was also warmed by the stories I heard city wide of neighbors helping neighbors.  Of block parties held as neighbors pulled food out of their swiftly warming fridges and shared candlelit meals. We live in a great city!

Now let's take it one step further. Cindy Ege, myself and others are starting a grassroots effort to help those who lost a lot in Irene.  There will be a list posted at City Hall and hopefully a website* soon, where those who needs things can post them and the community will do its best to respond.  More information will be available at City Hall as we get this going."

Jane Wesby

* Neighbor to neighbor is the website mentioned in the above letter. Please share the link to this website ( with anyone who may need help, or may be willing to volunteer to help other neighbors.

From Senator Lautenberg's Office

Below is a copy of an email I received from Senator Lautenberg related to Federal Disaster Assistance. Please note that it includes a link to a website set up by the federal government to simplify applying for disaster assistance; and a link to contact the Senator directly:

"I am writing because you have corresponded with me in the past, and I want to provide you with a critical update on Federal Government disaster assistance that is available for New Jersey residents harmed by Hurricane Irene. If you yourself have not suffered damage, please forward this information to any family or friends who may need assistance.

Yesterday, President Obama issued a Major Disaster Declaration for damage resulting from Hurricane Irene in our state, which makes many New Jersey residents eligible for a number of Federal disaster relief programs. These programs offer grants and loans to individuals and loans to businesses.

The Federal Government has set up a website that allows people to apply online for assistance:

This website consolidates the application process across several Federal agencies, including FEMA and the Small Business Administration. The website also reduces the number of forms you will ultimately have to fill out, shortens the time it takes to apply and allows you to check the progress of your applications online.

If you want to apply by phone rather than the Internet, you can call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362).

While the damage suffered across New Jersey is devastating, I know our state can rebound quickly. Federal aid will play a crucial role in our recovery, so please take advantage of the resources available. Please don't hesitate to contact me anytime regarding this or other issues.


Frank R Lautenberg

If you have suffered losses from the hurricane, please take advantage of the government assistance available. The first step is going to the website

If you need help navigating the website, you can leave a request or a comment here; we will do our best to get you whatever help you need.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Why We're Here

We love Lambertville and people who live here.  So we decided to help.
We're setting this program up to do our best to assist on a neighbor to neighbor basis, those most affected in Lambertville by Hurricane Irene. Neighbor to Neighbor will do its best to connect those people in need to someone who can help out. We will not be able to satisfy every request but will advise the person asking whether their request can be fulfilled or not and hopefully in what time frame.
Requests for information should be submitted either on line or in person in writing at City Hall.
People Requesting Assistance should limit their requests to non-monetary items including but not limited to:
  • Assistance locating professional services
  • Asking for services to be provided by a neighbor
  • Household goods and supplies
  • Meals
  • Transportation
  • Help filling out insurance or FEMA forms
Volunteers willing to fulfill the requests should advise what they are willing to contribute:
  • Time to actually help out with work that needs to be done
  • Deliver things that are donated
  • Contribute household goods and supplies
  • Provide professional services
  • Shop
  • Prepare meals
  • Provide transportation
  • Assist in filling out the necessary insurance or FEMA forms for relief
Thank you, neighbor.