BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- The temporary Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Livingston and Iroquois counties will close permanently at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 4. Next week is the last opportunity to meet in person with numerous representatives from state, federal, and voluntary agencies and ask questions about the disaster recovery process.
To date, more than 740 residents and business owners have visited the two DRCs (Pontiac 315 and Watseka 427). The DRC visitor total represents 75 percent of all registered applicants in the two counties and is much higher than the 5 to 10 percent national average of registered applicants who visit the DRC.
Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) are on hand at the DRCs to answer applicant questions. The DRCs also have representatives from the IRS who can assist with suggested tax deductions for disaster losses. Visitors to the DRC can meet with mitigation specialists and receive suggestions for cost-effective rebuilding ideas to reduce property damage in the event of future disasters.
Residents of Iroquois and Livingston counties affected by the severe storms and flooding from Jan. 7 to March 14 are urged to register now for assistance. The deadline to apply for federal disaster assistance is May 6.
Those who plan to stop by the DRC this week are urged to register before their visit. To register, call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (CST). It is also possible to register online at www.fema.gov.
The DRCs are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The DRCs will close permanently at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 4.
DRC for Iroquois County
Regional Health Center
200 Laird Lane.
DRC for Livingston County
City Council Chambers
115 W. Howard Street
Officers from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) at the DRCs meet individually with each resident or business owner to answer questions about the SBA disaster loan program, help them complete their disaster loan application and accept their completed applications. Anyone not able to visit a center should call 1-800-659-2955 or visit the SBA website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
Disaster applicants who cannot visit the DRC (or once these temporary centers are closed) can still get answers to questions through the FEMA Helpline. The Helpline is available to check the status of an application, update personal information and get answers to specific application questions.
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 terrorism.