DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. -- The temporary state/federal Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Freeport will be closing at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct 16, but disaster assistance will be only a phone call away.
The best way to begin the disaster assistance process is to apply before going to a DRC. Apply online anytime at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362 (TTY1-800-462-7585) from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily. Assistance in many languages is available. The Helpline at the same phone number will remain open for anyone with questions about their FEMA application. The deadline to apply is Nov. 17.
The Freeport DRC has had approximately 1,400 visitors. There have been more than 14,000 visitors to all five temporary centers that have opened in the state.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Disaster Agency (FEMA) and Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) officials report that DRCs in Cook County will be open after Oct. 16 on Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. in these locations:
Cicero Public Safety Building, 5410 West 34th St., Cicero, IL 60804
St. Joseph High School, 1840 Mayfair Ave., Westchester, IL 60154
(West entrance via Oxford Street)
Austin Area of Chicago (Former Old Navy building), Washington Square
4905 West North Ave., Chicago, IL 60639
Visitors to the center should bring their FEMA application number (if any), personal identification, Social Security number, insurance information, proof of address and contact numbers.
Visiting a DRC is not required to apply for FEMA assistance. At a DRC, individuals can meet face-to-face with disaster recovery specialists to get specific answers to questions.
Some of the services that a DRC may provide are:
- Help in completing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan applications for homeowners, renters, business owners and private nonprofit organizations;
- Clarification of any written correspondence received from FEMA and the SBA;
- Rental resource information;
- Answers to questions about disaster assistance and referrals to other agencies that may provide further assistance;
- Updates on the status of applications being processed by FEMA.
SBA representatives will be at the disaster centers to answer any questions about the SBA's low-interest disaster loan program for homeowners, renters, businesses and private nonprofit organizations of all sizes. These loans are to repair or replace real estate and/or personal property damaged by the storms and flooding.
Low-interest SBA loans are the largest source of disaster assistance following a disaster. In designated counties affected by a disaster, residents with damages and losses can apply for loans with interest rates as low as 2.5 percent for homeowners and renters and as low as 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years.
SBA representatives in a DRC will help complete and accept disaster loan applications. Anyone not able to go to a DRC should call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY 1-800-877-8339) Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Help is also available by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or go online to www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation...