Shapiro Administration Opens Multi-Agency Resource Center for Pennsylvanians Impacted by Flooding in Berks County
July 13, 2023
Governor Shapiro follows through on promise to mobilize Administration and provide significant assistance in coordination with Berks County Department of Emergency Services
Shapiro vows to stick with the people of Berks County as they recover; PennDOT, PDE leadership working with local officials
Reading, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro and PEMA Director Randy Padfield, in coordination with the Berks County Department of Emergency Services, announced that the Shapiro Administration opened a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) to provide individuals, families, and businesses affected by recent storm damage with in-person access to state and local resources.
Following a briefing from Lower Alsace Township officials and first responders on Monday, Governor Shapiro pledged to mobilize his Administration to provide assistance to Pennsylvanians impacted by severe flash flooding over the weekend. The MARC will be open today through Saturday and Pennsylvanians will be able to meet with agency staff and local officials in person to get the help they need and be connected with resources, including information about submitting insurance claims, the replacement of vital documents, well water testing kits, and access to crisis counseling services.
“When I met with local officials and residents in Reading in response to the flash floods over the weekend – I pledged my full support to this community. Today, my Administration is following through on that commitment by opening this multi-agency resource center to deliver state resources directly to Pennsylvanians, as quickly as possible,” said Governor Shapiro. “The Commonwealth will continue to stand behind the people of Berks County and work with local officials to provide the resources and support this community needs as it recovers.”
Following the Governor’s visit, Secretary of Transportation Mike Carroll and Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid Mumin have been in regular communication with Berks County local leaders to offer their agencies’ support to the community. Secretary Carroll has visited Berks County and PennDOT has already begun working with a contractor to clear debris and reopen the roads around Antietam Creek and rebuild the Carsonia Avenue bridge safely and as quickly as possible. Secretary Mumin and his team at the Department of Education are working with Dr. Heidi Rochlin, the Superintendent of Antietam School District, to discuss how students can return to school in the fall safely.
The Shapiro Administration has been on the ground in Berks County meeting with township and school district officials to coordinate state resources to support the recovery process. Governor Shapiro visited Berks County and met with officials and residents earlier this week, and PEMA met with Berks County officials to plan the services the MARC will offer and is leading the implementation to open the center.
The MARC will be located at the Exeter Township School District Administration Building, 200 Elm Street, Reading, PA 19606. It will be open:
- Thursday, July 13: Noon to 7:00 p.m.
- Friday, July 14: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday, July 15: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Resources will be available from the following state agencies:
- The Berks Department of Emergency Services will assist with referrals to proper resources for individuals who have not yet reported damage to local government.
- The Office of the Attorney General will provide information to help residents avoid fraud and scams.
- The Berks County Area Agency on Aging will provide state and local resources available to older residents.
- The Department of Environmental Protection will provide well water testing kits and answer questions regarding debris cleanup.
- The Department of Health will provide post-flooding safety guidance and information and can also assist with replacement of lost birth and death certificates.
- The Department of Human Services will provide information on benefit replacement, crisis counseling and disability integrations.
- The Berks County Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities office will provide crisis counseling services.
- The Pennsylvania Insurance Department will answer questions and provide information on insurance resources, including facilitating contact with insurance carriers.
- The Department of Transportation will provide materials regarding online document replacement.
- The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs will assist with document replacement and resources specifically available to veterans and their families.
- The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will provide recovery and National Flood Insurance Program information.
Multiple volunteer organizations that help disaster survivors are participating in activation of the Crisis Cleanup Home Cleanup Hotline. Survivors who need assistance with basic cleanup such as cutting fallen trees; removal of wet drywall, flooring and appliances; tarping roofs; and mold mitigation are encouraged to call (844) 965-1386. All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to overwhelming need. Crisis Cleanup anticipates that this line will stay active through Friday, July 21, 2023.
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