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Disaster Assistance

When Disaster Strikes

When tragedy strikes, families, businesses and communities seek assistance to repair homes, facilities and infrastructure and to restore vital services. The types and levels of disaster assistance depend on the severity of the damage and the declarations that result from the disaster event.

There are essentially three types of declarations: a governor's proclamation that allows state agencies wide latitude to provide assistance and relaxes contracting requirements; a Small Business Administration disaster declaration that provides limited loan assistance to individuals and businesses following smaller events; and, a Presidential Declaration of Major Disaster or Disaster Emergency that involves a response from both state and federal resources.

Recovering from a disaster begins with Reporting Your Damages . Follow this link for more information.


Public Assistance
Infrastructure Repair

The Public Assistance program provides reimbursement grants to local governments (state, county, local, municipal authorities, school districts and certain non-profit agencies) that were involved in disaster response and recovery operations or that suffered loss or damage to facilities or property used to deliver governmental-like services. The Public Assistance program,available after a presidential declaration, is largely funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency with both local and state matching contributions required.

Forms and Information Links for use in applying for Federal Disaster Funds under the Public Assistance

Individual Assistance
Human Services

Individual Assistance provides help for individuals and businesses, homeowners and renters, as they recover from disasters. These programs are largely funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, although other federal, state and local agencies support the overall Individual Assistance program . For more information, click on this link . Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan Assistance may also be available under an SBA declaration for smaller events.

Related Information

Helpful Resources

Agency Contacts

The Bureau of Recovery and Mitigation oversees the commonwealth's disaster assistance programs. For information on specific programs, contact the following program managers:

Individual Assistance Nick Buls (717) 651-4504 email
Public Assistance Chris Evans (717) 651-2171 email
Hazard Mitigation Tom Hughes (717) 651-2726 email