Rock Island, IL -- Flood victims in disaster-declared Illinois counties do not need to be concerned that their applications for assistance will reduce the amounts available for their neighbors. "Don't hesitate to apply for the assistance you may need," Federal Coordinating Officer Robert Colangelo urged. "The federal government has allocated sufficient funds for grants to all those in the affected flood-damaged areas who have eligible losses."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and voluntary organizations are providing a wide range of programs and services for flood victims. "There is enough help to go around for all who are eligible," said State Coordinating Officer Mike Chamness. "The amounts distributed to one individual will in no way affect what disaster assistance is available to neighbors or other citizens of Illinois"
Government disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate you for your entire loss. If you have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under your insurance policy. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other forms of help may come in the form of loans. A FEMA representative will explain the details to you when you call to apply for assistance.
Residents are encouraged to apply for a wide variety of programs, which may include housing assistance, counseling, disaster unemployment assistance or family grants to cover unmet needs. Financial support is available to cover eligible costs for temporary housing and emergency repairs.
"Don't assume that you are ineligible," Colangelo emphasized. "We don't want to miss anyone affected by the storms and floods who may need help to begin the recovery process. Tax dollars are set aside specifically for this disaster assistance."
The application process is easy, efficient and begins with a single phone call to FEMA's toll-free number: 800-462-9029. This number is in operation from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday until further notice. Those who are speech or hearing impaired can apply by calling toll-free at TTY 800-462-7585.