FEMA Says Disaster Assistance Good Holiday Topic

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Release date: 
December 23, 2013
Release Number: 

Springfield, Ill.— FEMA wants anyone who was affected by the Nov.17 tornadoes to apply for disaster assistance, and family gatherings this holiday season could be a good time to ask around the table:  Have you registered with FEMA? 

Applying for assistance may unlock valuable FEMA grants to pay for a temporary place to live while your home is being repaired and to help pay for those repairs.  Even lost personal items may be covered. 

Applying is easy.  You can apply on line or use that smart phone to call or connect to the FEMA app, and it only takes about 20 minutes.

FEMA grants can fill insurance gaps.  Uninsured and underinsured losses may be covered by FEMA grants.  Register and let FEMA determine if you’re eligible, and don’t wait on the insurance settlement to register.      

Return that completed SBA loan application.  Registering with FEMA may refer you to SBA for you to complete and return a disaster loan application.  Not submitting the disaster loan application could stop the FEMA grant process.  Receive every FEMA dollar you may qualify for.  Get that  disaster loan application in today, and remember, qualifying for a loan doesn’t mean you have to accept it. 

Grants and loans ease later worries.  Let FEMA and the SBA determine the extent of your damage and help with your recovery.  FEMA grants are a helping hand while SBA disaster loans - up to $40,000 for contents and up to $200,000 for home repairs can help finance your full recovery.  The SBA disaster loan balance will be reduced by your insurance settlement.

Insurance first, then FEMA.  A FEMA application must wait on an applicant’s insurance settlement, so when you receive a letter from FEMA describing documents needed to process your FEMA grant, mail or fax those documents right away.  Don’t leave a possible FEMA grant on the table.  

Survivors can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or with a smartphone or tablet by visiting m.fema.gov. They can also register and get questions answered over the phone by calling FEMA’s helpline, 800-621-FEMA (3362). Survivors who use a TTY can call 800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

For the latest information on Illinois’ recovery from the Nov. 17 storms, visit FEMA.gov/Disaster/4157. Follow FEMA online at twitter.com/femaregion5, facebook.com/fema and youtube.com/fema. 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 is the federal government’s primary source of funding for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339).

FEMA News Desk: 217-522-2080



Last Updated: 
December 24, 2013 - 10:21
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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