Pennsylvania is getting hotter and wetter.

The second half of 2023 was dominated by storms and flooding rains that left more than 500 eastern Pennsylvania families in need of help.

With your assistance, we are helping people connect with resources, but there is much more work to be done.

Families affected by flooding from storms that struck Berks, Bucks, Northampton, Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties this summer are still dealing with the aftermath all these months later.

As we align resources to support those impacted by this summer’s rains, the recovery of survivors from previous years events bring encouragement. For example, survivors from Hurricane Ida in 2021 are beginning to feel normal again.

Jona H., a Media resident, whose quarter-mile-long driveway provides the only access to her home, incurred cavernous two-foot deep holes by Hurricane Ida.

Jona is 70 years old and had suffered cognitive aftereffects of post viral syndrome, otherwise known as “Long Covid”, after having Covid-19 in 2020. As a result, she struggled with the FEMA application process after Hurricane Ida. Ultimately, she dropped out of qualifying for FEMA help.

Others with whom she had initially talked at FEMA stopped following up with her, and she didn’t know where to turn for help. She was overjoyed when Linda Frey from Lutheran Disaster Response reached out to her last April and listened to her story.

By then, Jona’s situation was dire.  Her car was destroyed when she drove into the two foot deep ruts and giant pot holes caused by Ida. They took off the undercarriage, destroyed her wheel wells, muffler, and totaled the drive shaft of her only vehicle.

Jona spent two and a half years trudging up and down the driveway. Every time she went shopping, she had to pull a cart containing bags of groceries. On snowy days, when she could not pull the cart, she left the groceries outside overnight, carrying a few items at a time to the house.

Not only was this physically difficult, but Jona struggled financially because she could no longer rent out rooms in her house-which had been her primary source of income. With 500 feet of her driveway impassable, renters could neither drive nor walk a quarter mile along the dark, leaf covered, dangerous driveway, especially in the winter, to reach the house.

Without renters to provide income, Jona could not afford her utility bills, so she was without hot water and heat. When the temperature inside her home dipped during some especially cold nights, she was reduced to wearing eight layers of clothing and four hats, while staying in bed under numerous blankets.

She was struggling to survive on her social security and small pension, and living without heat, in order to save money to eventually repair the driveway. Given her limited income, saving for the driveway repair without income from renters was a catch-22 situation.

When Linda Frey from Lutheran Disaster Response reached out to Jona last April, she helped Jona get on the road to recovery.  With the help of donors and a negotiated price for asphalt, Jona’s driveway was finally repaired. She can now walk to her house without fearing injury from a fall, and she can once again offer rooms for rent in her home since she and others have access to the house.

There are countless stories of hardship among renters as well as homeowners who have been affected by storm damaged homes. Renters who have to leave struggle to find affordable housing within the same school district so that that their children do not have to change schools. Many of them spend time living in their cars, or alternate between staying in hotels and living intermittently with friends.

Like others we’re able to help, Jona’s story has a positive outcome. However, the after-effects of such storms are widespread and can last for months, or even years. Your support is desperately needed to help all those affected.

Here is what you can do to help:

  • Donate to Lutheran Disaster Response-Eastern PA. With your gift, you help those who face the greatest barrier to recover on their own by providing temporary hotel stays, remediation or repair work, and replacement of items lost or damaged. You also ensure their long term recovery.


  • Join us for Martin Luther King Day of Service on January 15th, 2024, at the Mt. Airy Campus of United Lutheran Seminary, in Philadelphia, PA.


Please give what you can to help with our continued efforts to clean-up, restore and rebuild while we provide relief for residents who have suffered significant losses from the storms. Together we become the hands of God and share the love of Christ.