BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a toll-free application telephone number is available for Illinois residents in Iroquois and Livingston counties who were affected by the severe storms and flooding that began Jan. 7, 2008.
Federal Coordinating Officer Larry Sommers and IEMA Director Andrew Velasquez III said those affected by the disaster may register for assistance immediately by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), from 8 a.m. to 6 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 Iroquois and Livingston 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.
"Anyone who had damage from the storms and flooding could be eligible for disaster assistance, and should call or apply online immediately," said Sommers.
Registering with FEMA is the first step ? and a fundamental step ? to receiving assistance."
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.
"Don?t prejudge your eligibility ? if you suffered damage from the storms and flooding, call or apply online," said Velasquez. "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 must register with FEMA in order to receive federal and state assistance."
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.
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.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government?s primary source of money for the long term rebuilding of disaster damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.