FEMA Community Relations Teams in Disaster Area to Help

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Release date: 
June 11, 2011
Release Number: 

MARION, Ill. -- Community Relations (CR) specialists are on the ground in disaster-designated counties, reaching out to residents with information on available disaster assistance programs.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel are FEMA's "boots on the ground" to connect with disaster area residents, community organizations, and emergency managers. Team members view first-hand problems the individuals are facing and relay information back to appropriate state or federal staff best able to respond. The specialists also seek out special needs populations (seniors, people with disabilities, those who do not speak English, etc.) and provide referrals to community resources.

Anyone who had damages in the designated counties may choose from three easy ways to apply: online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both numbers are available seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (CDT) until further notice.  Help in other languages is available. Those who have applied to local and county officials or voluntary agencies must apply to FEMA directly to get disaster assistance.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the of the disaster.  Homeowners and renters may receive both grants and loans, while business owners may only be eligible for loans. 

President Obama issued a major disaster declaration on June 7, 2011 for 14 counties in southern Illinois for severe storms occurring on April 19, 2011, and April 22 to May 2, 2011 and flooding resulting from those storms beginning on April 19, 2011 and continuing.  This declaration makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Lawrence, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, White and Williamson. 

Follow FEMA online at www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema.  The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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