Harrisburg, PA - Disaster aid continues to flow to individuals and businesses in Chester County affected by Tropical Storms Henri and Isabel, and related severe storms and flooding. More than $598,000 has been approved to date, according to disaster recovery officials.
- More than $515,000 has been approved for housing needs through the Individuals and Households Program. The housing assistance program assures that people whose homes were damaged by disaster have a safe place to live. Nearly $70,000 has been approved under FEMA's Other Needs Assistance (ONA), which provides financial assistance to individuals and households who have other disaster-related expenses or serious needs not covered by insurance.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $15,200 in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses. This program provides funds to individuals and businesses able to repay a loan for disaster related expenses not covered by insurance.
- To date, 342 homeowners, renters and business owners in Chester County have registered for disaster aid by calling FEMA's toll-free number at 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired. Lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until further notice.
- The FEMA Helpline also is operational for those who need to check the status of their application or make changes to information such as the contact telephone number or address. The telephone number and hours are the same as the registration number.
- The deadline for individuals and businesses to apply for disaster aid is Nov. 25, 2003.
- A Disaster Recovery Center was previously established in the Chester County Government Services Center in West Chester to provide applicants with information on disaster assistance. A total of 75 people visited the center, which closed on Oct. 11.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.