PHILADELPHIA – Governor Wolf recently announced that President Biden approved the Commonwealth’s request to declare a major disaster in Pennsylvania following the damage caused by Tropical Depression Ida.

This declaration allows affected residents to apply to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for direct aid through the Individual Assistance and the Hazard Mitigation Grant program. The declaration also authorizes Hazard Mitigation funding through the Public Assistance program to support the repair and mitigation of eligible facilities.

“We experienced first-hand the damage done to homes, businesses, and city infrastructure so I appreciate the work FEMA and our state partners conducted with City agencies to rapidly assess damage in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I also thank our residents and business owners who met with our damage assessment teams in the field, and those who completed the City’s online damage reporter survey. This declaration is a big step toward recovery for those negatively impacted by the effects of Ida, and I appreciate the Governor and President’s urgency to bring much needed aid to our communities.”

The City continues its work to conduct a joint public damage assessment with FEMA and PEMA to assess the overall costs from the heavy rainfall and flooding. Local reported damage estimates are currently at least $27 million.

The City urges all who were impacted by Ida to be prepared when applying for support and to continue documenting all storm-related damage and costs, including receipts, insurance denials, and photos of damage.

Individuals will be able to apply for disaster assistance with FEMA in the following ways:

  • Apply online at
  • Over-the-phone at 1-800-462-FEMA (3362)
  • In person at a Disaster Recovery Center where you can apply for aid, get information on assistance programs, or ask questions about a case. The City is working with the PEMA and FEMA to open a Disaster Recovery Center. Details will be announced.

Claimants are urged to record your FEMA identification number which will be provided upon registration and required through the entire recovery process. FEMA will also be operating Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) Teams in Philadelphia. The DSA Teams will canvas neighborhoods and hand out registration flyers as well as talk with impacted residents about registering for FEMA assistance. Please be aware that they will be wearing FEMA gear and have appropriate federal identification.

Note that if individuals have submitted damage reports with the City through the online assessment tool, they will still need to begin a new case and file information with FEMA in accordance with its damage assessment requirements.

Stay connected to developments by texting STORMPHL to 888-777 to receive free alerts. Information will also be posted to the City’s information blog and the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.