Disaster Recovery Center to Open in West Chester, Pa.

October 3, 2003

State and federal disaster recovery officials will open a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) today for Chester County residents who sustained property damage in the severe storms and flooding associated with Tropical Storms Henri and Isabel.

The DRC is located at The Chester County Government Services Center 601 Westtown Rd. West Chester, Pennsylvania. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, until further notice. The center will be closed on Sundays.

Staff members will be available to provide information on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) housing assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, and state-administered programs. Advice also is available on cost-effective ways to reduce or prevent future damage.

“The DRC will provide personal assistance and information to disaster victims with direct access to local, state, and federal specialists,” stated David M. Sanko, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. “The federal/state information available in the DRCs will include disaster housing assistance for families displaced from damaged homes, low-interest federal loans to repair flood-damaged property and replace lost possessions, and grants for essential needs for those not eligible for loans,” said the bulletin.

Additional state aid will include consumer protection, flood and homeowner insurance help, health and welfare assistance, well water testing, crisis counseling, driver’s license and vehicle registration replacement and senior citizen services. “The Disaster Housing Program provides assistance for individuals or families whose primary residence has been damaged or destroyed,” noted Tom Davies, federal coordinating officer.

Homeowners may receive help with home repairs and personal property replacement. Aid to renters may include rental assistance if they are forced to relocate and personal property replacement. Before visiting the center, flood victims should first register for disaster assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free number: 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) or 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired. The lines are open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to midnight until further notice.

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