The Ewing Township Relief Fund is committed to the prompt distribution of all
contributions made to the Fund to those residents of South Fork who suffered a
significant loss as a result of the explosion occurring on March 4, 2014, to provide
emergent relief to those showing a need for interim funding to obtain housing and to meet
basic needs until more permanent accommodations can be arranged. The amount of the
awards will be based on the hardship shown by each applicant and will therefore, vary
among applicants based on established factors and standards set by the Fund. Donations will be accepted through June 30th, 2014.
Notice: Donations will be accepted through June 30th, 2014. Residents who received the Township letter regarding the initial distribution of donated funds may still come to pick up their checks from the finance office at any time.
Disaster Relief Fund Statement
Mayor Bert Steinmann has created a committee to manage the relief effort for the
many families significantly affected by the tragic events of March 4, 2014, in the South
Fork area of Ewing Township. He has also directed that a Fund be created as a result
of the outpouring of generous donations from the all segments of the community.
The committee is comprised of members of the Ewing Township and Mercer County
Administrations. Members include representatives of the Department of Human
Services, Emergency Management, Mental Health, Public Health, Consumer Affairs,
Law and Finance. Volunteers from the community have also been appointed who have
expertise in finance, accounting and the creation of similar hardship relief funds. There is
also a member from the Red Cross.
The Mayor has directed the Committee to address the emergent immediate needs of
these residents and formulate a process to meet the interim needs of those who will
continue to be displaced which will require a more long-term plan. These needs include
a wide variety of concerns including, housing, mental health assistance, recreation of
documentation, replacement of essential goods, insurance claims processing, and much
more. In addition the committee will be dealing with the issue of the collection of
donations and the distribution of them.
This committee has met with the Director and Assistant Director of Office of Emergency
Management of the Department of Human Services of the State of New Jersey and with
the Director of Disaster and Terrorism Branch, Office of the Assistant Commissioner
of the Department of Human Services of the State of New Jersey. They have provided
assistance by advising how other disasters have been handled by their offices including
Sandy, 911, and Katrina. Although FEMA will not be involved in this matter, the
committee is using the information provided as a guide.
As a result, the committee has considered various ways of distributing the donations
collected by the Fund. It has become clear that the financial and personal circumstances
of each household affected by this explosion will be varied. Some will have sufficient
assets to meet immediate needs while others may not. Some will be receiving donations
directly from family and friends, others will not. The availability of insurance coverage
will also vary among the various households. As a result, the committee has decided that
the most equitable distribution of the donated funds will be done based on need. The
committee has devised a procedure to insure objective evaluations of each household’s
circumstances based on financial need in addition to meeting the priority created by
exigent circumstances. The committee is also aware that there may be third party
responsibility that may provide future financial compensation.
Disaster Relief Fund Goals
- Immediately provide some amount of prompt emergent financial
relief to all households affected by the explosion.
- Assess the comparative needs of all applicants and provide
financial assistance as interim relief to meet the needs of displaced
and disrupted families.
- Provide a fair and equitable process to assure each applicant is
objectively evaluated to insure financial assistance for appropriate
needs considering issues of urgency.
- Inform the community of donors and applicants of the process
adopted by the Fund committee by providing transparency of the
- Provide transparency of the process but preserve confidentiality of
all personal information provided by each applicant.
- Distribute in a timely fashion all funds received after review of
all eligible applications to allow for comparative evaluation of all
applicants financial needs.
- Collect and keep segregated all donated funds and the special
account created for the deposit of all funds presented in the name
of” Ewing Township Relief Fund” or designated by donor for
deposit in such fund.
- Comply with all appropriate accounting requirements in the
maintenance and distribution of Fund awards.
- Ensure all funds are preserved for the benefit of the designated
families of this disaster ONLY, and subject to no administrative
fees, assessments or expenses.
- All members of the committee are providing services on a
voluntary basis only and will not be compensated in any way
reimbursed for any expenses.