Monday, April 28, 2008

Cocuzzas are doing something to help residents with FEMA

CAPTION: Union Beach Councilman Charlie Cocuzza (above) is requesting information from FEMA for free that homeowners would otherwise have to purtchase from the agency.

Union Beach Councilman Charlie Cocuzza and his father, Keansburg Councilman Jimmy Cocuzza, are each going to be doing something to help homeowners deal with FEMA in their respective communities.

According to Charlie, Keansburg resident Jason Needham discovered that towns where the flood map status is being impacted can request informational kits that explicate how to address various concerns with FEMA at no charge. However, this is the same information that homeowners would have to spend hundreds of dollars on to obtain from the federal agency.

Consequently, Charlie said that Union Beach and Keansburg are going to be requesting this information from FEMA, and make it accessible to homeowners from those communities at no cost.

Charlie said the information kit will contain guidelines about how to appeal zoning, surveys and other information necessary in dealing with FEMA.

He also noted that FEMA admitted that its estimates of the Bayshore were conducted from a helicopter -- not on the ground. So there could very well be mistakes about what house is in what kind of flood zone, and this will make a difference in the amount of flood insurance a homeowner may have to pay.

Congrats to Mr. Needham on being studious, and for the Cocuzzas for doing what they can to help residents. It might not be a bad idea if other concerned communities did the same thing. According to Charlie, if the information was requested by a homeowner to FEMA it would cost at least $150 and perhaps as much as $400.

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