ESSINGTON, Pa. -- Those affected by the severe storms and flooding that struck Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties beginning Aug. 1 can call toll free to register for federal help, disaster officials announced. The number can be used to register for a wide range of commonwealth, federal and voluntary disaster assistance programs.
Those affected by the disaster may apply for assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) toll-free number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. Hearing or speech impaired individuals may call TTY at 1-800-462-7585.
“We urge homeowners, renters, and businesses to call and apply for assistance,” said Tom Davies, federal coordinating officer. “Any individual or business who suffered damage should take that first step in the recovery process.”
President Bush designated Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania a major disaster area on Aug. 6, following the recent severe storms and flooding.
State Coordinating Officer David Sanko said, “The President’s designation opens the door for federal and commonwealth disaster assistance for those who qualify.”
If individuals have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under their insurance policy. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other help may come in the form of loans.
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 the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.