ROCKFORD, Ill. -- The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today a toll-free application telephone number for Illinois residents in Stephenson and Winnebago Counties who were affected by the severe storms and flooding Aug. 7-8.
Federal Coordinating Officer Tony Russell and IEMA Director Andrew Velasquez said those affected by the disaster may register for assistance immediately by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week until further notice or by going on-line at www.fema.gov. Those with speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585.
President Bush signed a major disaster declaration designating Stephenson and Winnebago Counties eligible for federal aid to help meet the recovery needs of stricken residents and business owners in response to a request from Governor Rod Blagojevich.
The declaration makes residents of these counties eligible for a wide range of programs such as funding for temporary disaster housing assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans for individuals and business owners to repair or replace damaged property, replacement grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.
"Your phone call is your registration for both state and federal assistance available under the disaster declaration. Telephone registration has proven to be the simplest, quickest, most efficient and confidential way to apply," Velasquez said.
When calling to register have the following information available:
- Your current phone number;
- Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying;
- Your Social Security number, if available;
- A general list of damages and losses you suffered;
- If insured, the name of your company or agent and your policy number;
- General financial information; and
- Bank account coding if you wish to speed up your assistance with direct deposit.
"Don't prejudge your eligibility, even if you don't have all the information necessary or it was lost in the flooding," Russell said. "Even if you have already registered with the American Red Cross, Salvation Army or another voluntary agency or have reported damage to county or local officials, you can apply for the federal and state assistance programs only by calling FEMA's toll-free number."
FEMA 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. Residents should contact their insurance agent first, then if they have unmet needs they should call FEMA to register.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.