|Tomorrow + Thursday: In-Person Hurricane Ida Resource Center|
Hurricane Ida swept through our community last week, leaving behind extensive damage and a long road to recovery for many caught in its path. As the sun rose Thursday morning, our first responders (on little or no sleep at all) were still hard at work clearing roads and helping residents. So let me begin by thanking each and every one of them - without a doubt, their actions saved lives.
I'm sending this quick update to consolidate resources for families and businesses directly impacted by the severe storms and flooding. But before I do that, I want to address one common question I'm hearing:
What is the difference between a local and federal disaster declaration?There are two levels of emergency declarations - the state level, issued by the Governor, and the federal level, issued by the White House. As I write this, our Governor has issued a state disaster declaration, but only the President can issue a federal disaster declaration. That hasn't happened yet because we haven't hit the necessary threshold of damage. And here's why it's important we get the latter: a federal emergency declaration means we can tap into more resources to help our schools, small businesses, and families recover.
After the storm, I met with local police officers, firefighters, and emergency coordinators to see the damage firsthand. Please know I'm doing everything I can to help speed up the process to get our Commonwealth such a federal declaration, including pushing necessary data to the Governor and White House and urging them to help activate the full resources of FEMA behind our efforts. But I need your help. Please continue to send pictures and accounts of the storm damage to your local municipality. You can do that here: Chester or Berks.
In the meantime, let me reiterate you are not alone. Below are some upcoming events and resources to help:
TOMORROW + THURSDAY: In-person Hurricane Ida Resource Center
Our community is incredibly resilient and already stepping up to help those impacted. For Chester County residents, there will be an in-person Hurricane Ida Resource Center tomorrow and Thursday from noon until 7:00PM at the United Sports Training Center, 1426 Marshallton Thorndale Road, Downingtown.
Read more about the two-day event on the Chester County Government webpage.
Emergency Assistance for PA-06 Residents
Some reports have areas such as Downingtown receiving more than 10 inches of rain; southern Chester County near Oxford had a tornado; numerous roads and bridges were damaged; the list goes on. As a result, our team put together some resources.
If you have property damage, please report it. The damage assessment phase is still ongoing. Damage can include:
Also, if you have insurance, contact your insurance agent or company to file a report of damage to your property (including damage done to vehicles).
Housing InsecurityI applaud the quick work that helped relocate hundreds of people overnight last Wednesday. Individuals still experiencing housing insecurity in Chester County should continue to call 2-1-1. For Berks County residents, please contact the Berks County Housing Authority.
Small Business Help
Remember, businesses should also report damage to municipal emergency coordinators. In the event our Commonwealth receives a federal disaster declaration, there are additional programs that offer loans to business owners in affected areas:
Roads and Bridges
PennDOT is still conducting assessments to impacted roads. This process will take some time to complete. For live updates, visit www.511PA.comInterested in reading how a disaster meets the criteria for a federal declaration? Watch a video from FEMA explaining the process here.
Again, we know this is a difficult time for our community. As always, we invite you to call our office or message us through our contact form about this or any other issue. It is the honor of my lifetime to serve our community in Pennsylvania. Please take care and be well.