PHILADELPHIA – If you suffered property damage or loss directly caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida and live in Pennsylvania Counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia, or York, you are encouraged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and apply for disaster assistance – even if you have insurance. Help may be available for uninsured or underinsured damages and if insurance claims are not promptly settled.
FEMA announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of Pennsylvania to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe wind and flooding due to the remnants of Hurricane Ida from August 31 – September 5, 2021. Individual Assistance (IA), to individuals and households for emergency work and the repair or replacement of homes damaged by Ida’s remnants throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Federal assistance for homeowners and renters can include grants for rent, temporary housing, home repairs to primary residences as well as other disaster-related needs. The aid FEMA provides is for basic survivor needs and is the first step to recovery. The Small Business Administration also offers low interest loans for personal property, real property, and business losses.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 TTY for the hearing and speech impaired. Operators can also answer questions about applications already submitted.
To begin the application process, please have the following available:
- Your address with zip code
- Directions to your property
- Condition of your damaged home
- Insurance information, if available
- Social Security number
- Phone number where you can be contacted
- Address where you can get mail
- Disaster assistance funds can be sent directly to your bank account
- Provide your bank account type, account number, and bank routing number
Stay in touch with FEMA:
- After registering, you will be given a FEMA registration number
- Be sure to write your number down and save it
- You will need the number whenever you contact FEMA
After your registration process is complete, you will receive a call from FEMA to follow up. An inspector will schedule an appointment to visit your home. Please note that FEMA-contracted inspectors will not require bank account information.
“Assistance from FEMA can help individuals and households affected by a disaster take care of necessary expenses and serious needs that cannot be met through insurance or other forms of assistance,” said MaryAnn Tierney, FEMA Region 3’s Regional Administrator. “To help support survivors, especially in communities that might not otherwise get the word to register for disaster assistance, FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) Teams are deployed to throughout impacted counties. DSA is here to lend an additional helping hand to provide additional assistance in accessing and applying for disaster assistance to ensure equitable access to FEMA programs.”
Working closely with local government officials as well as community and faith-based organizations, these teams are raising awareness about the availability of FEMA’s Individual Assistance support and providing hands-on assistance with registration for residents.
FEMA DSA can help with:
- Submitting applications for federal assistance.
- Checking the status of an application already in the system or make minor changes to applications.
- Providing civil rights and disability integration information to ensure equal access to FEMA programs.
Residents should be aware that FEMA DSA staff will be wearing FEMA attire and will have appropriate federal identification. Individuals who have submitted damage reports with their municipality or county through online assessment tools, will still need to begin a new case and file information with FEMA.
Additionally, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program assistance, for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term life and property from natural hazards, is available on a cost-sharing basis, to all areas in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
After registering for disaster assistance, you may be referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration. In times of disasters, the SBA offers low-interest loans for businesses, homeowners and renters. The SBA will contact you by telephone with information on how to apply. There’s no obligation to accept a loan, but you may miss out on the largest source of federal disaster recovery funds if you don’t submit an application.
Information about low-interest SBA disaster loans and application forms are available online at SBA.gov/disaster. You may also call 800-659-2955 or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. If you use TTY, call 800-877-8339.
Although the federal government cannot make you whole, it may help your recovery move forward by providing grants for basic repairs that make your home safe, sanitary and secure. FEMA disaster assistance also may provide temporary help with a place for you and your family to stay while you build your own recovery plan.
Craig Levy has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas. Levy stated that additional designations may be made at a later date, if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further assessments. Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments for FEMA Public Assistance are ongoing throughout Pennsylvania this week. The Joint PDA is an information-gathering process. It does not guarantee federal assistance.
FEMA’s disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency, or economic status.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region 3’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.