Repair Tornado-Damaged Vehicles with Federal Help

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Release date: 
December 14, 2013
Release Number: 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Anyone who had a car damaged or destroyed in counties affected by the Nov. 17 Illinois tornadoes may be eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster assistance.

Those who may be eligible include not just residents of the designated counties, but also those who were working or visiting in areas and had damage to their vehicle during the tornadoes.

  • Only those who maintain at least liability insurance will be considered to receive federal disaster assistance to repair or replace their car. Liability coverage is the minimum insurance requirement for Illinois drivers. Liability insurance policies do not cover storm-related damage to their car. Survivors who register must submit proof to FEMA that they maintain liability coverage to be considered for federal disaster assistance to repair or replace their car.
  • Survivors who have a comprehensive policy should first file a claim with their insurance company. Comprehensive policies usually pay for storm-related damages to a car. However, federal disaster assistance may help fill in the gaps for those whose comprehensive insurance coverage does not pay for any or all storm-related damage costs.
  • Survivors need to return a completed Small Business Administration disaster-loan application. After registering with FEMA, the SBA will contact many survivors concerning loan applications. It’s important for survivors to submit their application. Homeowners and renters may be eligible to borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property, including automobiles damaged or destroyed in the disaster.
  • FEMA grants to repair or replace a car must clear the SBA loan process. A survivor may receive a grant from FEMA to repair or replace their car if insurance is insufficient and they were declined for SBA loan home loan. Grants do not need to be repaid.
  • Keep documents. Federal disaster assistance is reimbursed to survivors only if their car had damage during the Nov. 17 tornadoes. Survivors must submit an itemized document that shows damage to the car is storm-related and a receipt, estimate or verifiable bill of the repair or replacement costs.

FEMA officials advise anyone whose vehicle was damaged during the tornadoes to register for assistance. Survivors in the following counties should register: Champaign, Douglas, Fayette, Grundy, Jasper, La Salle, Massac, Pope, Tazewell, Vermilion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, Will and Woodford.

Register with FEMA online at or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585, or register with a smartphone or tablet at

For additional information about SBA low-interest disaster loans, contact the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339, emailing or visiting

For the latest information on Illinois’ recovery from the Nov. 17 storms, visit Follow FEMA online at, and 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. Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

SBA provides low-interest, long term disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes. For more information, visit SBA’s website at

NEWS DESK: 217-522-2080


Last Updated: 
December 16, 2013 - 07:52
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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