HURRICANE ida

How to Help Those Impacted by Flooding, Tornadoes in the Philadelphia Region

If you were impacted by flooding or tornadoes -- or want to help -- follow this guide to utilities, shelters and donations

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Hurricane Ida devastated the Philadelphia region this month, causing widespread damage and flooding throughout the region. Apartment complexes have been evacuated, neighborhoods were flooded, and major roads were underwater.

Here is a guide to resources for people impacted by the storm, and those who want to help: 

Disaster Declaration

Residents who live in counties covered by FEMA-approved disaster declarations can register for relief at disasterassistance.gov. Direct assistance for Ida-related damage includes home repairs, temporary housing, low-cost loans, and more.

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Places to Donate

The Upper Merion Area Community Cupboard is seeking donations and volunteers to help sort them. According to the group’s page, “The mission of the community cupboard is to improve food security within the boundaries of the school district and otherwise promote healthy lifestyles and the well-being of individuals or families in need.” The group is set on personal items for now, but actively looking for volunteers. Contact Anna Derby, pantry coordinator, at 484-868-5619.

Financial contributions to recognized disaster relief organizations are the best way to donate following a disaster, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

If you would like to donate money, make sure you give to an organization you trust. Check the facts about your charity of choice using online non-profit databases like Charity Navigator, CharityWatch or Guidestar.

You can make a donation to the American Red Cross to help people affected by Hurricane Ida by providing food, shelter and other support. The Red Cross has chapters in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Wilmington, Delaware, and New Jersey.

To donate, visit https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation.html/ and select Hurricane Ida from the drop-down menu, or text REDCROSS to 90999, to give $10 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

You can also donate to the Salvation Army, which will purchase what disaster survivors need locally.

To donate by phone, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or go to give.help.salvationarmy.org and look for the Ida dropdown. The Salvation Army is asking people to avoid dropping donations off at facilities because there is no available warehouse space.

If you want to volunteer, make sure you do so through trusted organizations. FEMA advises people not to “self-deploy to disaster areas.” In Harrison Township, New Jersey, people who wish to volunteer are asked to first call the Volunteer Coordination Hotline at 856-478-2164.

The Bourse will be collecting donations of clothing, non-perishable food, water, and non-essential food items in support of people in Mullica Hill, N.J, who lost their homes and belongings. Bring goods to the Bourse (111 S. Independence Mall E.) anytime until Friday, Sept. 10. Bins will be at every entrance to the food hall. You can also drop off donations directly at Clearview Regional High School (625 Breakneck Rd., Mullica Hill, N.J.)

Shelters

Several shelters are open for people who have been displaced by the storm.

Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management partnered with the Red Cross to open shelters for people who do not have a place to stay due to the flooding. If your property is uninhabitable, you can call the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or head directly to one of the reception centers at Roxborough High School.

Shelters are also open at Phoenixville High School in Chester County, Norristown High School in Montgomery County and Coatesville High School in Chester County, according to Dave Skutnik of the Red Cross. 

In New Jersey, Trenton opened a shelter at Joyce Kilmer School, located at 1300 Stuyvesant Avenue in Trenton.

The Salvation Army is serving meals in four shelters across the Delaware Valley, providing 150-200 meals per seating.

Power Outages

More than 140,000 people are without power across the Philadelphia region. If your power is out, follow these steps to report the outage to your service provider.

  • PECO: Call their emergency hotline at 800-841-4141 to report an electric-related emergency. You can check your outage status and review outage maps at www.peco.com.

Water

Contact your water provider about service emergencies, service resumption or meter inspection if dealing with floodwater.

If you live in Philadelphia, call 215-685-6300 to report a clogged, smelly, flooding or broken storm water inlet, report water in the basement or cellar, or to report illegal dumping to the Philadelphia Water Department.

Gas 

Report the smell of natural gas or a gas-related emergency if you notice it. If you live in Philadelphia, call Philadelphia Gas Works' emergency hotline at 215-235-1212.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PA

Montgomery County will operate a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) for residents affected by Hurricane Ida. The MARC will be open on Wednesday, September 8 from 12 noon to 7 p.m. and on Thursday, September 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Montgomery County residents with any unmet needs incurred as a result of the storm are encouraged to visit the MARC during these times. The MARC will be located at 2 W. Lafayette Street, Norristown, PA 19401, the headquarters of the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit. 

For more information and regular updates from Montgomery County officials, visit https://www.montcopa.org/3878/Hurricane-Ida.

Storm Damage: To report damage in Montgomery County: https://bit.ly/3h7zcvY

CHESTER COUNTY, PA

Chester County Hurricane Ida Resource Recovery Center: Chester County officials and the Department of Emergency Services have created a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) for all individuals and families in Chester County affected by Hurricane Ida.  

The Chester County MARC is a “one stop shop” that provides assistance to all impacted residents by bringing together staff from many agencies who can help with the services needed to address the losses caused by Hurricane Ida. The MARC will operate on Wednesday, September 8 and Thursday, September 9, from 12 noon to 7:00 p.m. at the United Sports Training Center, 1426 Marshallton Thorndale Road, Downingtown, PA.  

At the MARC, residents will have access to representatives from non-profit disaster relief organizations including the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, as well as Legal Aid of Southeastern PA and local emergency management agencies. Staff from Chester County government emergency services, health, human services, housing, workforce, veterans’ affairs and water resources departments will also be available to provide assistance.

Specifically, help will be given with reporting property damage and connections with local municipalities.  Parking is available on site, and public transportation services from the Coatesville, Downingtown and Avon Grove areas of the county to the United Sports Training Center will be provided by Rover Community Transportation. Details of the public transportation schedule will be posted on Chester County’s Hurricane Ida webpage, chesco.org/ida

Chester County Department of Emergency Services: Help the Department of Emergency Services identify damage from a storm by completing this survey.  This information may be shared with your local municipality: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/fdbade25e1ba4273809638eee8f02cfe

Alianzas de Phoenixville: Alianzas strives for equity and the dignity of diverse communities regardless of their country of origin by providing services to the under resourced and by promoting intercultural exchanges to connect all individuals in the broader community. https://www.alianzasdephoenixville.org/

PACS:  Phoenixville Area Community Services has a history of over 47 years of helping people get through difficult or challenging periods in their lives. Emergency assistance is provided through food distribution and Information & Referral services that help get our clients back on their feet. PACS receives funding from the Chester County Department of Human Services and the United Way. Monies received help us to meet our mission of being the lead resource of food insecurity in the community. You can donate money by clicking here.

Storm Damage: To report damage in Chester County: https://bit.ly/3n8lzRi

211 SEPA: 2‑1‑1 SEPA is part of the national 2‑1‑1 Call Centers initiative that seeks to provide an easy-to-remember telephone number and web resource for finding health and human services– for everyday needs and in crisis situations. Search our vast database of services and providers to find the help you need today. Learn more here.

Mental Health Resources

Valley Creek Crisis Center: 610-280-3270

Chester County Warm Line: 1-866-846-2722

Crisis Text Line: Text “PA” to 741741

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text "TalkWithUs" to 66746

Hurricane Ida Crisis Cleanup Hotline: 1-844-956-1386

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