New resources now available

Dear [firstname], 

Nearly two weeks after the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through our community, I know many of our neighbors are still looking for desperately needed aid. I’m really glad to share that some of that aid has recently been made available due to the federal disaster declaration issued by President Biden late last week.  

While I know these resources will not replace the irreplaceable, it will assist in rebuilding efforts for our families and businesses. I’m thankful for the first responders and emergency management personnel who have worked tirelessly during and after the storm to help those affected. Their documentation of damage is vital so that we could make a case for this federal disaster declaration. I continue to call on FEMA to make available federal funding that will help our towns rebuild public infrastructure, like roads and bridges, in addition to the direct assistance for individuals announced earlier.

You'll be hearing more about our office's next steps in the near future, but in the meantime I wanted to share some updates since our last e-newsletter on resources that have been made available to our community.  

 .  .  .

Helping You Recover from Hurricane Ida

For specific information related to your municipality and county, we encourage you to monitor updates from your county emergency offices in Chester and Berks counties.

Breaking it Down: Major Disaster Declarations

Late last week, President Biden approved federal disaster declarations for parts of Pennsylvania. The incident period for both declarations is from August 31 – September 5, 2021, and authorizes FEMA to provide federal disaster assistance to impacted areas. Visit FEMA’s official Pennsylvania Hurricane Ida Disaster Page here.  
The type of federal assistance available in Pennsylvania may vary depending on your county and whether your county was officially declared a major disaster. If your area has not been declared a major disaster, continue to contact the local emergency coordinators in your municipality. State and Federal disaster agencies are still conducting preliminary damage assessments. These disaster declarations may still come on a rolling basis.

Pennsylvania Counties with Approved Major Disaster Declarations

  • Chester County
  • Montgomery County
  • Delaware County
  • Bucks County
  • Philadelphia County
  • York County
*NOTE: Additional Counties will be announced on a rolling basis. Please continue to check back for updates. 

About Disaster Assistance

Federal disaster assistance from FEMA may be available for certain expenses which are not covered by insurance policies (Homeowner, Renter, Flood, etc.) or from active Voluntary Agencies/Mass Care (emergency food, shelter, clothing, medical, etc.). For counties with major disaster declarations, this can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the impact of Hurricane Ida.

Types of Assistance

Individual Assistance Fact Sheet - learn about these programs:

  • Mass Care and Emergency Assistance (MC/EA)

  • Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP) 

  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) 

  • Disaster Legal Services (DLS) 

  • Disaster Case Management (DCM) 

  • Individuals and Households Program (IHP)

Disaster Assistance Sequence of Delivery Fact Sheet - learn about the process to receive assistance here.

Public Assistance Fact Sheet - this is not yet available, check back for updates. Examples of this would include: 

  • Debris Removal
  • Emergency Protective Measures
  • Roads
  • Public Utilities

Applying for Federal Assistance

If/when your county receives a Major Disaster Declaration, you may apply online for individual assistance from FEMA or constituents may call the application phone number at 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585).  
Please be sure to read the above Sequence of Delivery Fact Sheet.

Making it Easier for Your Family to Apply

When you apply for assistance, have the following information readily available: 

  • A current phone number where you can be contacted 

  • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying  

  • Your Social Security number, if available  

  • A general list of damage and losses  

  • If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name  

  • Photos and document all damages and keep all receipts related to cleanup and repairs. 

Getting Your Small Business the Assistance to Recover

In addition to FEMA assistance programs, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses of any size, and most nonprofits. Similar to FEMA claims, SBA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance.  

For small businesses, those engaged in aquaculture and most nonprofits, loans up to $2 million is available for working capital needs even if there was no property damage, with a $2 million maximum loan for any combination of property damage and working capital needs. 

To apply for SBA assistance: Businesses and residents can apply online at
For questions and assistance completing an application, call 800-659-2955 or email The SBA will answer specific questions about how a disaster loan may help each survivor recover from the disaster damage.

Supporting Our First Responders

I am aware that many of our community’s first responders' facilities have experienced property damage. In addition to public assistance, these organizations are encouraged to apply for existing grant programs:

Justice Assistance Grant 

Helping with Housing Needs

If you live in a declared disaster area and have experienced damage to your home or personal property, you may be eligible for financial assistance from SBA — even if you do not own a business. As a homeowner, renter, or personal property owner, you may apply to SBA for a loan to help you recover from a disaster. 

For homeowners: loans up to $200,000 is available to repair or replace their primary residence.  
For homeowners and renters: up to $40,000 is available to replace personal property, including vehicles. 

Apply online for an SBA disaster assistance loan. SBA’s inspectors will estimate the cost of damage once your application is completed and submitted. 

Helping Pay for Child Care

In Pennsylvania, eligible working families can receive helping paying a portion of their child-care fees through the Child Care Works Subsidized Child Care Program. 

For information on the program guidelines and how to apply, visit the Department of Human Services’ website. 

Accessing Immediate Assistance for Families in Need

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, known as TANF, is a benefits program aimed at providing cash assistance so low-income families become independent. 

The program provides money to help: 

  • Pregnant people 

  • Dependent children and their parents who live with them 

  • Dependent children and other relatives who live with them and care for them

There are eligibility requirements, including income limits and job-seeking requirements. Here’s more specific information and how to apply for Pennsylvania residents. 

Additional Support for Pregnant People and Infants

In Pennsylvania, aid from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children — known as WIC — is available for qualified individuals. Those eligible can apply at a local WIC agency or call 1-800-942-9467, and include: 

  • People who are pregnant or had a baby in the last six months or 12 months if breastfeeding 

  • Infants and children under age 5 

  • Fathers, grandparents, and foster parents who are the legal guardian of a child under age 5 

Other Resources

FEMA Emergency assistance alone is not designed to make those affected whole. It is important that residents explore all aid available through the federal, state, and local governments as well as through reputable non-profits. 

In addition to your local and county governments, please find a list of organizations that FEMA has compiled.  

Frequently Asked Questions

.  .  .

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.


1218 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4315
M-F 9:00am-6:00pm
709 E. Gay Street
Suite 4
West Chester, PA 19380
Phone: (610) 883-5050
M, W, F 9:00am-5:00pm
T, Th 9:00am-7:00pm

815 Washington Street
Suite 2-48
Reading, PA 19601
Phone: (610) 295-0815
M, W, F 9:00am-5:00pm
T, Th 9:00am-7:00pm

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