More Than $140,000 In Disaster Assistance Approved For Illinois Residents
OTTAWA, IL – In just a week since President Bush declared four Illinois counties disaster areas, $144,110 in grants has been approved for disaster assistance, according to figures released today by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA).
Disaster recovery officials urge anyone who suffered damages or loss from the severe storms and tornadoes occurring April 20 to 23 to apply for assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free application number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with speech or hearing impairment can call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both lines are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, until further notice, and multilingual operators are available.
Local, state and federal recovery officials and voluntary organizations have combined efforts to assist victims of the severe storms and tornadoes in putting their lives back together. The following is an update of recovery activities as of close of business Thursday, April 29,2004:
- 374 individuals had called to apply for assistance;
- 125 people had visited the Disaster Recovery Centers in Utica, Granville and Joliet;
- 49 grants for disaster housing assistance were approved, totaling $89,330 – this includes grants for temporary rental assistance and emergency essential repairs;
- 21 Other Needs Assistance grants were approved, totaling $54,780 – may include grants for medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation and other eligible expenses
- 308 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loan applications were issued: 244 to homeowners, 64 to business owners.
Disaster Recovery Centers are open for disaster victims to meet face-to-face with representatives from FEMA and other assistance agencies and get their questions answered about disaster assistance. But the centers are not just for disaster victims. Even those who have not suffered damages from this disaster may visit a center to receive valuable information on cost-effective ways to reduce potential future disaster damages. Recovery specialists can provide information on protective measures for all types of disasters
These temporary centers are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday until further notice:
- American Legion Hall, 209 North McCoy St., Granville
- Bicentennial Park, 201 West Jefferson, Joliet
- Waltham Elementary School, 248 West Canal Street, Utica
Counseling Services at Disaster Recovery Centers: People who have gone through a disaster such as a tornado may experience trouble sleeping, anxiety, irritability, depression and lack of concentration. Talking about disaster experiences and sharing feelings about them will help people feel better about what has happened. Crisis counseling services are being offered at the Disaster Recovery Centers in Utica, Joliet and Granville.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance, which is administered by the state and funded by FEMA, is available to help individuals affected by the disaster who are not covered by regular unemployment insurance, such as self-employed persons and farmers. Those interested should file claims with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). IDES can accept claims at the nearest Illinois Employment and Training Center (IETC). The IETC offices nearest the affected counties are located in LaSalle, Ottawa, Joliet, Chicago Heights and Kankakee. Those eligible may file claims with IDES before June 8.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department...