OTTAWA, Ill. -- Less than one week remains for individuals and business owners in the four Illinois counties designated for individual assistance to call and apply for state and federal aid to replace losses from the severe storms and tornadoes that occurred April 20 through April 23.
The deadline to call and apply for disaster assistance is Tuesday, June 22. The eligible counties include Kankakee, LaSalle, Putnam and Will.
Individuals and business owners in the eligible counties who sustained losses but still have not applied for assistance should do so by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). There is also a special number for those with hearing or speech impairment, TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both numbers are operational Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"This is our final effort to reach out to any disaster victims who still haven't applied," William Burke, Illinois Emergency Management Agency director and state coordinating officer, said.
Even if you have insurance, you may still be eligible for disaster assistance for under-insured losses. However, in order to complete an application, FEMA will need the resident's insurance settlement information to avoid any duplication of benefits.
"We don't want anyone to miss out on the assistance they are entitled to," Lee Champagne, FEMA's federal coordinating officer, said. "If you suffered damages as a result of the severe storms and tornadoes, please call and apply before the deadline."
With only a few days remaining until the application deadline, the total amount of disaster assistance made available to eligible Illinois residents has reached nearly $3.8 million in grants and low-interest disaster loans. Of that total, $340,297 in Housing Assistance grants has been approved for temporary housing needs and essential home repairs; $183,666 in Other Needs Assistance grants has been approved for eligible disaster-related expenses; and $3,331,500 in U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest disaster assistance loans has been approved - $3,032,400 in home loans for 75 applicants, $246,200 in business loans for 8 applicants, and $52,900 in economic injury loans for 7 applicants.
People who have already applied may call the toll-free FEMA Helpline at the same numbers, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585), even after the deadline, to check on the status of their application and get additional information.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mtigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.