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Disaster Relief Resources for Pennsylvania

Authored By: PALawHELP.org

Information

Pennsylvania Resources:

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
PEMA oversees a number of programs and services to help prevent, respond to, or recover from disasters. They include federal and state support, as well as citizen-based volunteer opportunities to assist in times of disaster or emergency.
http://www.pema.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/pema_home/4463

Public Assistance Forms (PEMA)
Forms used to apply and account for federal funds provided through the public assistance program under disaster declarations.
http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=4682&&PageID=480919&mode=2

Disaster Recovery - Pennsylvania Insurance Department
Answers to some common insurance questions you may ask after a disaster, such as -Where do I go for help? How do I file a claim? What's covered in my policy? How can I protect myself from a home repair scam? - are answered through information on this web page.
http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/homeowners_insurance/9195/disaster_recovery/1008024

Flood Insurance - Pennsylvania Insurance Department
Information on the basics of flood insurance.
http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/homeowners_insurance/9195/flood_insurance/591579

Flood Recovery Guide
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has assembled an online guide of flood recovery information that includes information about state/federal assistance, water and food safety, flood-related illness treatment, a clean-up guide, insurance tips, transportation information, and other information that Pennsylvanians may find helpful as they begin to recover from the effects of Tropical Strom Lee.
http://www.pa.gov/portal/server.pt/community/flood_recovery/20465

Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee - Post-Flooding Information and Resources
http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/document/1186677/post-flooding_info_and_resources

ReadyPA.org
Site discussing emergency preparedness and what you can do before a disaster strikes.
http://www.readypa.org/

Replacement SNAP (Food Stamps) Benfits
Department of Public Welfare Policy Clarification on Replacement SNAP Benefits for Food Lost in a Household Misfortune.
http://services.dpw.state.pa.us/oimpolicymanuals/manuals/bop/pc/PFS15802580.pdf

Where to Write for Vital Records - Pennsylvania
List from the National Center for Health Statistics outlining where to contact in Pennsylvania for replacement copies of vital records.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/pennsylvania.htm


Federal Resources:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency - a former independent agency that became part of the new Department of Homeland Security in March 2003 - is tasked with responding to, planning for, recovering from and mitigating against disasters.
http://www.fema.gov/

FEMA - What to do right after a disaster
http://www.fema.gov/rebuild/after.shtm

FEMA - Tips for Returning Home
Don't return to your flood-damaged home before the area is declared to be safe by local officials. Returning home can be both physically and mentally challenging. Read these tips for information on how best to return home and, above all, use caution.
http://www.fema.gov/rebuild/recover/return.shtm

FEMA - Appeal or Review of FEMA Decision
You may appeal any decision relating to your eligibility, the amount or type of help provided to you, late applications, requests to return money, or denial of continued assistance.
http://www.fema.gov/assistance/process/case_review.shtm

Federal Aid Programs For Pennsylvania Disaster Recovery - Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee (News Release)
http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=57902

DisasterAssistance.gov
DisasterAssistance.gov provides information on how you might be able to get help from the U.S. Government before, during and after a disaster. If the President of the United States makes help available to individuals in your community after a disaster, you can visit this site to apply online.
http://www.disasterassistance.gov/

U. S. Department of Agriculture - Emergency Preparedness and Response
The USDA Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery website is your source for information and how to get the resources needed to help you, your family, small businesses and communities during emergencies. USDA works closely with the rest of the Federal Government on all hazards.
http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=DISASTER_SAFETY

HUD Secretary Announces Disaster Assistance for Pennsylvania Storm Victims (News Release)
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan has announced HUD will speed federal disaster assistance to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes following Tropical Storm Lee. See release for links to specific relief programs available.
http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/states/pennsylvania/news/HUDNo.2011-09-13

HUD Disaster Resources
HUD provides a variety of disaster resources and partners with Federal and state agencies to help implement disaster recovery assistance.
http://www.hud.gov/info/disasterresources_dev.cfm

HUD Disaster Recovery Assistance - CDBG Disaster Recovery Assistance
HUD provides flexible grants to help cities, counties, and States recover from Presidentially declared disasters, especially in low-income areas, subject to availability of supplemental appropriations. Congress may appropriate additional funding for the CDBG and HOME programs as Disaster Recovery grants to rebuild the affected areas and provide crucial seed money to start the recovery process. http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/comm_planning/communitydevelopment/programs/drsi

HUD - Capital Fund Emergency/Natural Disaster Funding
Each year Congress sets aside funds within the Capital Fund appropriation to create a reserve for emergencies and natural disasters. Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) that confront an emergency situation or a natural disaster are eligible to apply for and receive funds from the reserve provided that they comply with certain requirements.
http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/ph/capfund/emfunding

After a Disaster: Repairing Your Home (FTC)
This website from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency offer tips for consumers who may be facing major repairs after a disaster hits home.
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt030.shtm

Disaster Loans (Small Business Administration)
SBA provides low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery & equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.
http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/disaster-loans

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (U.S. Department of Labor)
The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1974, as amended, authorizes the President to provide benefit assistance to individuals unemployed as a direct result of a major disaster. The U.S. Department of Labor oversees DUA and coordinates with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which provides the funds to the state UI agencies for payment of DUA benefits and state administration under agreements with the Secretary of Labor.
http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/disaster.asp

Disaster Assistance - Food and Nutrition Service
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) coordinates with State, local and voluntary organizations to provide food for shelters and other mass feeding sites; distribute food packages directly to households in need in limited situations; and issue emergency SNAP benefits.
http://www.fns.usda.gov/Disasters/disaster.htm

Tax Relief in Disaster Situations (Internal Revenue Service)
The IRS is in the process of providing tax relief to victims of Hurricane Irene. Relief for taxpayers in various locations, including postponement of filing and payment deadlines, will be listed here as it is announced.
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=108362,00.html

Replace Your Vital Documents
List of links from USA.gov outlining where to go to replace a large variety of important documents.
http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Family_Issues/Vital_Docs.shtml

Other Resources:

National Disaster Legal Aid
This is a site designed to serve as a centralized national resource for legal aid, pro bono and criminal defender attorneys across the country on legal issues related to all types of disasters. Persons affected by a disaster can find helpful legal resources for dealing with the aftermath of a disaster on the site.
http://www.disasterlegalaid.org/

Search for Red Cross Shelters
Search for open Red Cross shelters by address, city, state, and/or zip code.
Shelter information is updated every 30 minutes from the National Shelter System.
http://www.redcross.org/nss/

Insuring Against the Fury of Mother Nature - Insurance Clains
Checklists prepared by Jenner & Block LLP for policyholder preparing to file insurance claims. (from National Disaster Legal Aid)
http://www.jenner.com/files/tbl_s20Publications%5CRelatedDocumentsPDFs1252%5C1090%5CInsuring%20Against%20the%20Fury%20of%20Mother%20Nature_09_06_05.pdf

Last Review and Update: Sep 14, 2011