Disaster Assistance Tops $8 Million for Pennsylvania Survivors

FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency

HARRISBURG, PA — More than $8 million has been approved in Housing Assistance for homeowners and renters affected by the severe damage caused by the Remnants of Hurricane Ida in September, announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

This assistance comes in the form of federal grants to individuals, and households as part of a joint effort by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA.)

More than 17,000 households have applied to FEMA for disaster grants for homeowners and renters. Assistance is currently available to residents in eight counties: Bedford, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and York.

Disaster assistance for individuals may include grants to help homeowners and renters with temporary housing, essential home repairs, personal property replacement, and serious disaster-related needs. Disaster assistance grants from FEMA are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicare, and other federal programs. Grants do not have to be repaid to the federal government and do not count as taxable income.

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In addition to the $8 million approved in FEMA grants, flood insurance policies have paid more than $6.59 million to those who were covered by flood insurance. To date 1,721 claims have been filed.

Everyone in the designated counties is eligible to buy flood insurance, whether they are a business owner, reside in, rent, or own a primary or secondary residence inside or outside a high-risk or special flood hazard area. Even condominium complexes can purchase flood insurance. Flood insurance is the best tool for economic recovery after a flood event.

The FEMA HMGP program is a statewide competitive grant program that provides funding to eligible local municipalities, counties, state agencies and non-profit organizations to assist via activities that reduce, or mitigate, future disaster losses in their communities. This grant funding is available after a presidentially declared disaster. In this program, homeowners and businesses cannot apply for a grant; however, a local community may apply for funding on their behalf.

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Registering with FEMA is the first step in qualifying for disaster assistance. November 10th is the application deadline for survivors to file an application. FEMA encourages all survivors who sustained disaster-related damage or losses to apply by phone (voice, 711 or relay service) at 800-621-3622. TTY users should call 800-462-7585. Go online at DisasterAssistance.gov. The toll-free lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

One of FEMA’s federal partners in disaster recovery, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), offers low-interest disaster loans for businesses of all sizes, homeowners, renters, and private non-profit organizations. SBA disaster loans may cover repairs, rebuilding, as well as the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property. To date, a total of 62 loans were approved for a total of $ 2.7 Million.

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The Commonwealth and FEMA operate Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in six counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York. An easy-to-use DRC Locator is available online at https://egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/DRCLocator.

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