BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- Community Relations specialists are reaching out to residents of Iroquois and Livingston counties who were affected by the severe storms and flooding that began on Jan. 7, according to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"Community Relations specialists are the eyes, the ears and the heart of FEMA," said Federal Coordinating Officer Larry Sommers. "They deliver vital recovery information to disaster victims and coordinate with local officials in areas that suffered damage. Their skills and efforts help FEMA use its resources quickly and effectively."
Federal Community Relations teams are visiting disaster-affected areas, bringing important information to residents as well as gathering information for FEMA so the agency can direct its efforts to areas and populations that need help. They are currently canvassing neighborhoods and businesses and meeting with local officials, spreading the word that disaster aid is available.
Residents and business owners who suffered damage from the severe storms and flooding are urged to register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech or hearing impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers operate 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Individuals can also register online at www.fema.gov.
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.