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Disaster Assistance

Individual Assistance

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) serves as the federal disaster bank for homeowners, renters, businesses and some non-profit entities in the wake of hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes and other physical disasters.
Home Disaster Loans
Once a disaster has been declared, those who suffered uninsured or underinsured losses may be eligible for Home Disaster Loans made to homeowners or renters to repair or replace damaged real estate or personal property.
Renters are eligible for loans to cover personal property losses.
Individuals may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace real estate, $40,000 to cover losses to personal property and an additional 20% for mitigation.
Refinancing of existing loans is sometimes possible.
Interest rates are usually 4% or lower, with up to 30-year repayment terms, based on the applicant’s ability to repay.
In some cases, the loans could be as high as 8%.
By law, the determination of interest rates depends on whether the applicant has credit available elsewhere.
Business Physical Disaster Loans
Loans may be made to businesses to repair or replace disaster damages to property owned by the business, including real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and supplies. Businesses of any size are eligible. Non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc. are also eligible.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
EIDLs provide necessary working capital until normal operations resume after a physical disaster. These loans are restricted, by law, to small businesses only. Click this link SBA EIDL Assistance for additional information and answers to frequently asked questions. Employers of Military Reservists deployed on active duty may be eligible for assistance available under the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) program. Click this link SBA MREIDL Assistance for additional information.
IA/SBA Damage Assessment Forms
Copies of FEMA and SBA Damage Assessment Forms are available in our Forms Library.
Open Declarations
Click the link, for a complete listing of current SBA declarations, in our commonwealth.
Disaster Declaration Criteria
In any county or other small political subdivision of a state, at least 25 homes or 25 businesses, or a combination of at least 25 homes, businesses or other eligible institutions, have each sustained uninsured losses of 40% or more of the estimated fair replacement value or pre-disaster fair market value of the damaged property, whichever is lower; or
In any such political subdivision, at least three businesses each sustain uninsured losses of 40% or more of their estimated fair replacement value or pre-disaster fair market value of the damaged property, whichever is lower, and as a direct result of the physical damage, 25% or more of the work force in the community would be unemployed for at least 90 days.
The request for a PDL must be made within 60 days of the incident period of the disaster.
A qualification for a PDL automatically includes qualification for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
The criteria for EIDL requires that the governor must certify to SBA that at least 5 small business concerns, including small nurseries or agricultural cooperatives, in a disaster area have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the disaster and are in need of financial assistance not otherwise available on reasonable terms.
The governor’s request for an EIDL designation must be made within 120 days of the incident period of the disaster, which caused the economic injury.
Other Information
Remember -- SBA disaster loans cover uninsured or underinsured losses only.
For further information contact your County Emergency Management Coordinator or contact PEMA’s Individual Assistance Office by calling 717-651-4504 or 800-635-9692.
Written requests for additional information may be forwarded to Nick Buls, PEMA Individual Assistance Program, 2605 Interstate Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9364.