CHICAGO, IL - Only two days after President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for 11 Illinois counties, FEMA teams were out providing information to those affected recently by severe storms and flooding.
More than 10 FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams (DSATs) are canvassing areas hit by the disaster to provide information and give residents an opportunity to register for disaster assistance. DSAT members can also provide referrals to additional resources when unmet needs remain.
These teams visit homes, businesses, organizations and high-traffic locations in affected areas. They also meet with local officials and community leaders to provide additional eyes and ears in determining where issues exist.
“FEMA is providing support to disaster survivors directly in the communities where they live and work,” said W. Michael Moore, the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in Illinois. “This is a value-added service that we bring after a disaster for responders as well as survivors to expedite the recovery process.”
While FEMA DSATs are offering in-person service, it’s important that Illinoisans remain vigilant about protecting their personal information. For example, residents should always ask for identification. Federal and state officials always have ID clearly visible. If someone represents themselves as a federal or state employee, but does not produce identification, ask to see it.
DSAT members may offer residents the opportunity to use a tablet computer to register, or ask to enter information on their behalf. Illinois residents will not be required to share personal information unless they wish a DSAT member to enter the data for them. Residents are reminded to ask for federal identification before providing personal information.
If residents prefer to use personal computers or phones to register, they can call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585), visit DisasterAssistance.gov or use a mobile device at m.fema.gov. For more information, go to: fema.gov/disaster/4116.
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.
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