Illinois Severe Storms, Straight-line Winds, and Tornadoes (DR-4157)

Incident period: November 17, 2013 to November 17, 2013
Major Disaster Declaration declared on November 26, 2013

Updates and Articles, Blogs, and News Releases

January 14, 2014
News Release
SPRINGFIELD, IL – FEMA urges people in Grundy County who sustained damage during the Nov. 17 tornadoes to register for federal disaster assistance before the Jan. 27 deadline even if they have insurance coverage. Assistance will continue after Jan. 27, but applicants must register by that date to be considered.
January 14, 2014
News Release
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois tornado survivors have until 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18, to visit the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center at the Brookport Library on U.S. Hwy. 45 in Brookport.   After that date, survivors of the Nov. 17 Illinois tornadoes can still get help by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362). Survivors who use TTY can call 800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
January 13, 2014
News Release
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – While nearly $12 million in federal disaster assistance has been approved for Nov. 17 Illinois tornado survivors, the deadline to register for help is approaching. Survivors must register by Monday, Jan. 27 to be considered for federal disaster assistance. No applications can be accepted after the deadline, but FEMA will continue to approve disaster assistance for eligible survivors who applied in time.
January 13, 2014
News Release
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Less than two months after tornadoes swept across Illinois, nearly $12 million in federal disaster assistance from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration has been approved to help survivors recover. The following is a snapshot of the disaster recovery effort as of Jan. 9:
January 8, 2014
News Release
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—  FEMA says Nov. 17 tornado survivors have until Monday Jan. 27 to register for possible disaster assistance, but that doesn’t mean help is ending. Survivors who register by Jan. 27 may continue to receive federal disaster assistance after this date. The following assistance may be available:         
January 3, 2014
News Release
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  – If you’re a survivor of the Nov. 17 Illinois tornadoes, FEMA says you deserve every eligible penny in federal disaster assistance.  Don’t leave possible FEMA grants and SBA disaster loans on the table. Take the necessary steps to help FEMA help you.

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Resolve to Recover 2014

The start of a new year often means making resolutions to better ourselves. Why not make a resolution that involves bettering your home as well—making it stronger and safer for you and your family?

As rebuilding continues in central and southern Illinois after the Nov. 17 tornadoes, keep in mind the tips and ideas below for making your recovery an opportunity to protect against future disasters.

Rebuild Safer, Stronger and Smarter 

  1. Reinforce your Residence. Consider retrofitting options, or steps to improve your home’s protection from natural disasters, including high wind events. One of the most common type of wind damage to a structure is called “uplift”—when a roof lifts and collapses back down on the house causing costly damage. Fortunately, you can minimize the chances of this happening by installing straps connecting the structural members of your roof to the wall studs or columns.

Other risk reduction ideas include:

  1. Use shingles rated for 90+ mph wind and use a minimum of four nails per shingle.
  2. Make sure windows and doors are properly shimmed and nailed into the framed opening, tying the window and door frames into the adjacent studs, and 
  3. Install a garage door that is designed for higher wind speeds.

FEMA recommends consulting with a certified home inspector to determine if these are viable options for your home.

Fortify those Floors. Homeowners can secure their structure to the foundation by using anchors or metal straps. Your builder should ensure there are anchor bolt connections between the plate and the foundation at least every four feet.  Ensure the bolts have nuts and washers to secure the sill plate to the foundation.  It’s also a good idea to use an exterior wood sheathing (either OSB or plywood) to prevent wind-borne debris from penetrating the walls of your home.

Consult with your local building code official as well as a certified home inspector to determine the best options for you.

Trim & Tighten. High velocity winds from thunderstorms and tornadoes can turn patio furniture, grills and tree branches into destructive missiles. If the area immediately surrounding your house contains trees, outbuildings, trash cans, yard debris, or other materials that can be moved by the wind, your house will more likely be damaged during a tornado or windstorm.

All storage sheds and other outbuildings should be securely anchored, either to a permanent foundation or with straps and ground anchors. The straps and ground anchors used for manufactured homes can be used for the anchoring systems for outbuildings, such as garden sheds, which are not placed on a permanent foundation. Outdoor furniture and barbecue grills can be secured by bolting them to decks or patios or by attaching them to ground anchors with cables or chains. Trees should also be trimmed so they’re at a safe distance away from your home.                    

  1. Elevation is a Smart Renovation. Flooding is a real risk in Illinois and elevating your home and its critical utilities can significantly reduce the risk of water damage. Elevating your home may even reduce your flood insurance premiums. Contact your local floodplain manager to learn the flood risk and elevation requirements for your residence. 
  2. Assure You’re Fully Insured. Take the time to review your insurance coverage. Are you adequately insured for the risks your community faces? Are you covered for wind, flood and sewer back-up? Has your policy been updated to reflect the value of your home? Many homeowners find out too late that their insurance coverage has not increased with the value of their home. Contact your insurance agent to get these questions answered and ensure your home is financially protected.
State/Tribal Government: