Hurricane Ida Resources
Hurricane Ida Legal Helpline:
Pennsylvania’s Hurricane Ida legal Helpline is open at 877-429-5994. Hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., or leave a message anytime. The Helpline serves all of the counties in Pennsylvania that are part of the federal disaster declaration.
Northampton County residents can contact North Penn Legal Services directly by calling 877-953-4250 Monday-Thursday from 9:00-11:30 a.m. or 1:30-4:00 p.m. (no Friday hours) or click the button below to apply for free legal help anytime:
Hurricane Ida flood resources
This page includes local, state and federal resources and links related to Hurricane Ida on Sept. 1, 2021. As of Sept. 24, 2021, eight Pennsylvania counties are included in the federal disaster declaration: Bedford, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and York counties.
The federal disaster declaration allows people in these counties, who were impacted by Hurricane Ida and its aftermath, to apply (“register”) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for financial help.
December 10, 2021 is the FEMA application deadline for Pennsylvania
The deadline for Pennsylvania residents to apply for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is Friday, December 10, 2021.
FEMA disaster declaration
Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties are included in the Sept. 10, 2021 federal disaster declaration. Bedford and Northampton counties were added to the disaster declaration on Sept. 24, 2021.
The federal disaster declaration in Pennsylvania means that federal assistance is available to eligible individuals and families affected by this disaster in the eight counties. Details on how to apply (“register”) for FEMA assistance in person, online or by phone are included below.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) information for Federal Disaster Assistance for Remnants of Ida.
- FEMA press release (Sept. 11, 2021): “President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Pennsylvania”
- FEMA’s information page for Hurricane Ida in Pennsylvania, “Pennsylvania Remnants Of Hurricane Ida (DR-4618-PA)” is at: fema.gov/disaster/4618.
- FEMA press release (Sept. 14, 2021): "Disaster Assistance Available to Qualified Pennsylvanians; FEMA Deploys DSA Teams to Six PA Counties"
Addition of Bedford and Northampton counties to federal disaster declaration: Gov. Wolf Announces Additional Counties Approved for Federal Disaster Assistance from Remnants of Ida (PA government press release, Sept. 24, 2021)
Legal Aid Disaster Resource Center
Legal Aid Disaster Resource Center’s webpage dedicated to Hurricane Ida in Pennsylvania
Where to apply for FEMA assistance in-person
FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers are opening locally, if you wish to apply in-person for disaster assistance.
- You may apply for assistance at any DRC location, if you live in a county that is included in an individual assistance disaster declaration (Bedford, Bucks Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia or York counties). You also may apply online or by phone. (Scroll down for details.)
- Tip from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA): “Applicants are not required to call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 before visiting a DRC, and a visit to the DRC is not required in order to get assistance. However, calling 1-800-621-3362 is a good start and can help applicants get more detailed information once they report to the DRC.”
How to apply for FEMA assistance online or by phone
Because of the Hurricane Ida disaster declaration, residents of Bedford, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and York counties who were impacted by Hurricane Ida can now apply for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Apply if you suffered property damage or loss directly caused by the hurricane. Even if you have insurance, FEMA encourages you to apply for disaster assistance. Help may be available for uninsured or underinsured damages and if insurance claims are not promptly settled.
Individual Assistance (IA) is available to individuals and households for emergency work and the repair or replacement of homes damaged by Hurricane Ida. 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 has announced low-interest loans for personal property, real property, and business losses in connection with Hurricane Ida in Pennsylvania. (Read details in this SBA press release.)
How to apply for disaster assistance
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in Bedford, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and York counties can begin applying for assistance:
- Register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov (FEMA recommends applying online for fastest service.)
- To apply in Spanish, visit DisasterAssistance.gov/es.
- Call 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 apply, you will need:
- 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
- Email address (Email address is REQUIRED to check your registration status online. If you do not provide an email address, you will have to contact FEMA for any updates to your registration.)
- Bank account information
- If you are eligible to receive financial assistance, the money can be sent directly to your bank account.
- Provide your bank account type, account number, and bank routing number.
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.
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
Deadline to apply: December 10, 2021
What happens after you apply
What to expect after you apply for FEMA assistance in Pennsylvania (FEMA press release, Sept. 16, 2021)
New Northampton County Disaster Recovery Center
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) for Northampton County opened October 19, 2021 at the Northampton County EOC, 100 Gracedale Ave., Nazareth. (See FEMA press release here)
The hours of operation for this DRC are:
- Monday – Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Sunday: Closed
Including Northampton county, there are five (5) DRCs in eight (8) counties. The others are:
- Montgomery County Community College
Health Sciences Center Gymnasium, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell PA
- Ashbridge Square Shopping Center (next to Staples and Home Depot)
945 E Lancaster Ave, Downingtown, PA
- Manchester Township Municipal Building
3200 Farmtrail Road, York, PA
- Former CVS Store
7219 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia
Hours of operation for these DRCs are:
- Monday – Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Sunday: Closed
- A mobile DRC is open noon to 7:00 pm Monday, Oct. 18, at SpringHill Suites, 430 Plymouth Rd, Plymouth Meeting.
DRCs provide disaster survivors with information from Pennsylvania state agencies, FEMA, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Survivors can get help applying for federal assistance, learn about the types of assistance available, learn about the appeals process and get updates on applications.
FEMA states that after a disaster, scams and identity theft increase. “Criminals often attempt to take advantage of disaster survivors,” FEMA stated in a Sept. 28 press release. “Scammers may target survivors when they are in a stressful state and are more susceptible to potential fraud.
“Scams can take different forms and be carried out in many ways, including phone calls, texts, mail or email, websites, or in person. Federal and Commonwealth emergency management officials urge residents to watch for and report any suspicious activity by calling the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866)-720-5721 or your local police department.”
- For specific examples of disaster-related scams: Protect Yourself from Fraud, Schemes and Scams (FEMA press release, Sept. 28, 2021)
How to appeal a FEMA denial
The appeal must be filed in the form of a letter, signed by the applicant, within 60 days of the date on FEMA’s decision letter. You need to clearly state why you disagree with the decision and supply the documents which support your explanation. Include any requested information with your letter. Be sure to include the following:
- Applicant’s full name, current address, and phone number
- Address of the applicant’s pre-disaster primary residence (damaged property)
- Applicant’s registration number (on every page)
- FEMA disaster declaration number – 4618-DR-PA (on every page)
- Applicant’s signature and the date
- Reason for appeal (Ownership, Occupancy, home repair amount)
- Supporting documentation
If the person writing the appeal letter is not the applicant or a member of the applicant’s household, a statement signed by the applicant must be included granting the writer authorization to act on your behalf.
Your appeal letter is not enough to get FEMA to reconsider its decision. You need evidence in your appeal to support what you are claiming. When you submit your appeal, it is important to include the documents or information FEMA requests. Here’s what to include with your letter:
- Insurance letters: Documents from your insurance company that show your policy coverage and/or settlement is not enough to make essential home repairs, provide a place to stay, or replace certain contents. FEMA is unable to duplicate benefits. However, those who may be underinsured may still receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.
- Proof of occupancy: The following documents may provide proof of occupancy: Utility bill, driver’s license, lease or bank statement, local school documents (public or private), motor vehicle registrations, court documents and additional forms of documentation, including letters from employers, federal or state benefit providers and social service organizations (such as community assistance programs and non-profits.). Other such proof of occupancy could include: A signed statement from a commercial or mobile home park owner and/or self-certification for mobile homes and travel trailers. Any of the above can be used to prove the damaged property was your primary residence. All bills and/or statements must be dated within 3 months of the disaster.
- Proof of ownership: Mortgage or insurance documents, tax receipts or a deed, receipts for major repairs or improvements, or a mobile home park letter or a court document. FEMA will accept a public official’s letter, and allow survivors with heirship properties, mobile homes, or travel trailers, who do not have the traditional documentation of ownership verification, to self-certify ownership.
- If your documents were lost or destroyed, click on usa.gov/replace-vital-documents for information on how to replace them. Or scroll down to state and local resources for replacing lost documents.
You have 60 days from the date on your FEMA determination letter for FEMA to receive your appeal of the first decision. Sign and date your appeal, include the supporting documents and remember to include your nine-digit FEMA application number and disaster number (DR-4618-PA) on every page.
There are three ways to submit your appeal:
- Mail: FEMA National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
- Fax: 800-827-8112, Attention: FEMA (Please include the cover sheet provided with your FEMA decision letter).
- Upload documents to your DisasterAssistance.gov account. To set up a FEMA online account or to upload documents online, go to www.disasterassistance.gov, click on “Check Status” and follow the directions.
Your appeal may also be submitted at a Disaster Recovery Center or Document Drop-off Center where staff can check that all necessary documents are included. Individuals can find their nearest recovery or document drop-off center by scrolling up, or visiting https://egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/DRCLocator.
You’ve written your appeal and sent it to FEMA within 60 days after you received their determination letter. You may receive a call or letter from FEMA asking for more information, or FEMA may schedule another inspection of your primary home. Whichever the case, once you’ve sent FEMA an appeal, you can expect a decision letter within 90 days after FEMA receives it.
Source: Determined Ineligible for FEMA Disaster Assistance? You can Appeal the Decision (FEMA press release, Oct. 8, 2021)
Replace lost ID
- Replace your PA birth certificate: PA birth certificate replacement application, with fees waived for 90 days under the Disaster Declaration for a Natural Disaster. The 90-day timeframe started Aug. 31, 2021.
- Replace your Social Security card: If you lost your Social Security card in the storm, here’s how to apply for a replacement.
- Replace your Pennsylvania driver’s license: Visit PennDOT.
- Replace your PA photo ID. Visit PennDOT.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
Oct. 20, 2021: Deadline to apply for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties
Oct. 27, 2021: Deadline to apply for Bedford and Northampton counties
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA): Pennsylvanians In Six Counties Impacted By Remnants Of Hurricane Ida Can Apply For Temporary Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Deadline to apply: Oct. 20, 2021.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) resources
- FEMA's Hurricane Ida disaster page for Pennsylvania
- Designated areas: fema.gov/disaster/4618/designated-areas
Help from other U.S. agencies
- Legal Aid Disaster Resource Center
- “IRS: Tax relief now available to Ida victims in Pennsylvania; Oct. 15 deadline, other dates extended to Jan. 3” (Sept. 13, 2021)
- Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
- Pennsylvania’s Hurricane Ida page
- After the Disaster: Returning to Normal from ReadyPA.gov'
- Recommendations on Disposal of Flood Debris and Emergency Removal of Debris from Streams from the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection