Monday, November 19, 2012

SIA Newsletter 11 19 2012 - SURF Committee; Lost & Found; More Storm Help Info

To All Strathmere and Whale Beach Homeowners and Visitors,

There are two additional folks serving on the SURF Committee who were not named in the November 17 Newsletter. They are:

Bud Lyon of the Strathmere Fishing & Environmental Club
Ed Tettemer of the Citizens for Strathmere & Whale Beach

Feel free to contact either of them. Thanks, Guys!

Also volunteering to help residents who suffered damages are Herb Hollinger, Jr., who will help with remediation questions and Lynn Fayter, who will help with canvassing. Unfortunately, both have become experts in storm losses through personal experience.

Note that the SURF Committee is very concerned about preserving the dignity and privacy of those in need - and those giving. The Committee agrees that a person's financial status is their business only; there will be no discussion of either donations or grants outside the committee.

Have you mailed your check? SURF needs your donations - to help those in need! Please act today!

Please make checks out to "Strathmere United Methodist Church", write "SURF" on the memo line, and send it to
P.O. Box 49 (a separate box established for this fund), Strathmere, NJ 08248.

Your donations are tax-deductible!


Lost & Found:

We have been notified of three "lost" items:
A 10-foot Pelican, yellow sit-in kayak
A bright green sit-on-top kayak
A blue, black and white O'Brien "Ultra Screamer" Towable Tube (deflated)

Please respond to this newsletter if any of these are found.
                                We will be happy to list additional lost or found items.


More Storm Relief Contact Info and Advice

Note that New Jersey has opened a new disaster recovery center in the Library Building in Ocean City, so it will no longer be necessary to travel to Cape May Court House. Details here -


We have previously forwarded you some information provided by Lynn Fayter, whose home sustained considerable flood damage from the storm. Her additional advice is contained in the attachment.

She is particularly concerned that everyone, whether you have flood insurance or not; and whether you feel you you had serious damage or not, register with FEMA at -  regardless of your assets. Registering won't take you long and you may be very glad you did! Lynn says to go right to "Apply online". It's a fairly easy questionnaire; you need your policy number (if applicable), maybe a claim number, bank routing number, SS#, etc.

Later a packet comes in the mail with an application for a loan. The FEMA people say apply whether you think you need it or not. Then a FEMA person will come to do an inspection.

As this is all new territory for us, Lynn prefers to leave no stone unturned. "Better to apply and find out we don't qualify, than not apply and find out we should have."
Please read and heed her attached note (below)


Fire Chief Bruce Riordan has expressed concern that people may come down after the storm damage has dried out and may not be aware that wiring or appliances were underwater. If you have any appliances or wiring that were underwater, they must be disposed of! Otherwise, we may have fires starting all over the island in the spring!


Dock Repair / Replacement: We know that many Bayfront owners suffered substantial dock damage. The attached "Guest Column", which appeared in the 11/7/12 edition of The Ocean City Gazette, provides helpful advice. Basically, if you replace exactly what you had, no permit from the State or Army Corps is needed. Any changes in footprint or type of dock will require a permit from the NJ DEP and probably the Army Corps of Engineers. The same would apply to houses or structures within 150 feet of tidal water, although then a building permit from the Township may be required.


For the Strathmere Improvement Association -
Linda Bateman   
Elaine Holsomback      
Donna Diefenderfer       
Dorothy Addario       
Ken Weaver
From Lynn Fayter:

Aside from the financial component, I think SURF can be the instrument to continue to provide much needed info to flood survivors and all homeowners. One, and so very important, is for everyone affected, with insurance or not, and regardless of assets, to apply for disaster assistance.
I did so, and today a FEMA rep came out for a site visit. It was interesting. Our adjuster assessed damages, and I hope cost replacement. The FEMA rep assessed the cost to put it back together. Hopefully true, he said that anything flood insurance doesn't cover, may be reimbursed by FEMA. Of course folks without insurance would benefit as well. Low interest loans are also offered.

There are various other areas of assistance on the site. It is easiest to apply online.

The second important piece is for folks to have their place remediated; if they don't, later as the mold grows the property will need to be torn down.
Third, my fear is that people may have come down a bit after the flood allowing time for the water to dry and then think they weren't affected.
Surprisingly, the water filtered though our house and left it hard to find the water line, but behind the refrigerator it was easy to see. These folks will fail to have their place remediated. Humid weather will produce more mold and the place will smell like low tide. Water affected appliances are subject to fires due to the salt water on the wires. They need to be thrown out.

The flood waters are considered a Category 3, black water, equivalent to a sewage backup, highly contaminated with sewage and petrochemicals. Just think of all those gas cans in the sheds and garages that dumped over.
Flood insurance helps pay for remediation, not all, but some.
Lastly, folks need to keep every receipt for the cost of rebuilding their property, as any future floods will require that info.
My suggestions at the moment:
File for a flood claim
Apply for disaster assistance
Keep receipts
Alert/advise every homeowner that their property might have been flooded and to double check before assuming it wasn't.
While we know our town was extremely lucky, and our hearts go out to those north of us that were so horribly affected, for those of us affected locally this is a life-altering experience.

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