PA Department of Public Welfare Offers Help to Flood-Stricken Residents

Sep 20, 2011, 13:00 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare

Disaster Recovery Centers Now Open in 12 Counties; More Centers Planned

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Residents of the 27 counties affected by the recent flooding can apply for assistance to buy needed food and supplies, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander said today.

Applications can be obtained at Disaster Recovery Centers set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 12 counties. Centers will soon be operating in other affected counties. DPW representatives will be present to assist families and individuals seeking Disaster SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits and for other assistance.

"People were evacuated from their homes with only the clothes on their backs. Some cannot afford to run out and buy new clothes, food, medicine, and other items they need daily," said Alexander. "Our department is prepared to help people apply for the Disaster SNAP benefits and other assistance that will help get them back on their feet."

The federally-run program, called Disaster SNAP or D-SNAP, is a short-term program offered to people who live in an area that has been declared a disaster by the president.  Their household must have sustained a loss of property, income or food due to a flood or power outage.

People who currently receive SNAP benefits cannot apply for the disaster benefits, but can receive replacement benefits for any food that was lost during the flood. If approved, the benefits will be transferred to their EBT card within 24 to 48 hours.

New SNAP applicants will need to complete the Food and Nutrition Service application for D-SNAP. These emergency benefits will be available for 90 days.

Once the application process is opened at the Disaster Recovery Centers, individuals and families will have seven days to apply for the D-SNAP benefits.

In addition to applying for the D-SNAP benefits, DPW will have representatives at the Disaster Recovery Centers to assist families and recipients with applying for cash assistance, medical assistance, emergency shelter allowance, finding a child care provider and FEMA's other needs assistance.  

The DPW's Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services will have crisis counselors available through the ONA helpline. The ONA Helpline is 1-800-621-3362, or help may be found online at

Currently, 12 counties have a Disaster Recovery Center operating from 10 a.m.7 p.m. seven days a week. FEMA intends to open additional Disaster Recovery Centers in the coming days and weeks. Once they are open, the locations will be listed on the Department of Public Welfare website at

Current recovery center locations are as follows:

Bradford County
Towanda Fire Hall  
101 Elm St.  
Towanda, PA  18848

Columbia County
Columbia County Ag Center  
702 Sawmill Road  
Bloomsburg, PA  17815

Dauphin County
Old Boscov's Building
Harrisburg East Mall
3501 Paxton St.  
Harrisburg, PA 17111

Lycoming County
740 Fairfield Road
Montoursville, PA  17754  

Luzerne County
Luzerne County Community College-Public Safety Training
1334 South Prospect St.
Nanticoke, PA  18634

Wyoming County
Tunkhannock Area Administration Building Gymnasium
41 Philadelphia Ave.  
Tunkhannock, PA  18657

Sullivan County
Loyalsock State Forest District Office  
6735 Route 220  
LaPorte, PA  18626

Lebanon County
Lebanon Valley Mall
22nd & Cumberland Streets
Lebanon, PA 17046

Philadelphia County
Packard Building
111 S. 15th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Susquehanna County
Hallstead Fire Department  
133 Lackawanna Ave.  
Hallstead, PA 18822      

Lancaster County
M & T Bank Building
2270 Erin Court
Lancaster, PA 17601

Chester County
Chester County Administration Building
10 Westtown Road
West Chester, PA  19380

Media contact: Carey Miller, 717-425-7606

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare