CHICAGO, Ill. -- Federal officials remind residents in nine Illinois counties to register for disaster assistance by Dec. 16 if they suffered damage or losses from September's flooding. Only three weeks away, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) encourage anyone affected to contact FEMA before it is too late.
The deadline to register is for homeowners, renters and businesses in Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, LaSalle, Peoria, Will and Woodford counties.
To register, call 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585 or visit www.fema.gov. Registration is available by phone seven days a week from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. CST until further notice. The same number is available to check on the status of an application or for information about federal disaster assistance.
"People affected by the disaster should register with FEMA, even if they have insurance," said Federal Coordinating Officer Libby Turner. "Even if people have insurance, they may be underinsured. By registering, they may be eligible for losses not covered by insurance. It's definitely in their best interest to register now, before it's too late."
Dec. 16 is also the deadline for applicants to return their SBA application. Low-interest SBA loans are the primary source of help for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes with expenses caused by uninsured disaster losses of real or personal property. If the SBA determines a renter or homeowner is not eligible for a low-interest disaster loan, the SBA will refer the applicant back to FEMA for consideration for additional grant assistance. Information about SBA programs is available at 800-659-2955 or online at www.sba.gov.
Assistance for eligible individuals and families may include:
- Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes were made unlivable by the disaster;
- Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional;
- Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs; and
- Low-interest SBA disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes.
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.