ACUA, United Way among agencies coming together for Sandy victims

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The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) have joined together to bring Hurricane Sandy recovery supplies to residents of Atlantic and Cape May counties.

The partnership involves the United Way storing vast quantities of essential supplies for the long-term recovery effort at a warehouse owned by ACUA in Egg Harbor Township.

The effort is being led by Atlantic County’s Long-Term Recovery Group. The group is comprised of more than 30 federal, state and local organizations all coming together to help residents manage and deal with the effects of Sandy.

The crux of the effort is to pull together the resources that people need to rebuild their lives. In Atlantic County alone, more than 20,000 applications were made to FEMA for relief.

The supplies are donated by businesses and individuals, and include personal care items, paper products, utensils, furniture, tools, clothing, cleaning supplies, rebuilding materials and pet products.

The warehouse and supplies are being accessed by the groups involved in the effort and distributed to residents through these agencies. Having a centralized location large enough to store the supplies is vital to the long-term recovery effort.

“Disasters of this magnitude require an integrated effort and cooperation among non-profit, government and the private sector,” said John Emge, executive director of United Way of Atlantic and Cape May Counties. “United Way is a facilitator of this effort and we use community partners, such as ACUA and other local businesses, to provide the support the community and its residents need.”

Rick Dovey, ACUA president, pointed out that many local families are still dealing with the after-effects of Sandy. Dovey praised the United Way for its support of the long-term recovery effort, adding that ACUA is pleased to be a part of it.

Anyone needing assistance is asked to dial 211, the non-emergency helpline, which will put you in touch with the appropriate agency that can best address your needs.

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