CHICAGO, Ill. -- FEMA Region V officials are providing additional updated information on the Illinois Snow Emergency Declaration. The following details will help local officials and Illinois residents understand how the federal assistance process works for this situation.
- FEMA was in contact with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) when the snow began to accumulate Saturday, Jan. 2.
- On Friday morning, Jan. 8, Gov. Jim Edgar asked for emergency federal assistance for the severe winter storm, which posed a threat to public health and safety in 34 counties of Illinois.
- President Clinton approved an Emergency Declaration that same day after reviewing FEMA's analysis of the request. FEMA coordinates the federal response when a disaster is declared and provides federal funds released by the President's declaration to the affected state.
- Director Witt designated 34 counties eligible for federal funding to pay 75 percent of the eligible cost of emergency protective measures. These counties in central and northern Illinois had met the assistance criteria by recording "record" or "near record" levels of snowfall and the event was of such severity and magnitude that the response requirements exceeded state and local capabilities.
- Fourteen counties were added to the emergency declaration, after FEMA officials reviewed additional snowstorm information from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and other sources. Ten were added on Jan. 20, one on Jan. 28, and three on February 5.
- The 49 eligible counties now include: Adams, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Cass, Champaign, Cook, DeWitt, DuPage, Ford, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lake, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Morgan, Moultrie, Peoria, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Tazewell, Vermilion, Warren, Will, and Woodford.
- The emergency declaration is designed to supplement state and local recovery efforts which have been ongoing -- that is to provide reimbursement to state agencies, counties, cities, towns or authorized public entities, and certain private nonprofit organizations, who performed specific emergency snow removal activities. Under the emergency declaration, federal disaster assistance is not available to individuals or business owners.
- FEMA will provide reimbursement through IEMA to governmental units, communities, and certain nonprofit organizations for 75 percent of the total eligible costs of snow removal equipment operations, contract personnel and equipment, and overtime for permanent personnel. The State and/or local governments will assume the remaining non-federal share of costs.
- Related emergency protective measures such as sanding and salting, search and rescue, shelter operations, and police and fire departments' response may also be eligible for reimbursement.
- FEMA will provide emergency funding for a 48-hour period. Applicants will designate the 48-hour period to be used for their respective snow removal assistance.
- Any request for extending the 48-hour time period for snow assistance will be evaluated on a county-by-county basis. The request must demonstrate that a record snowfall was exceeded by an extraordinary amount, or additional significant snowfall followed the record or near-record event, or extraordinary wind driven snow/drifting occurred in the requested county.