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FEMA Says Help Us Help You

Release date: 
January 3, 2014
Release Number: 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  – If you’re a survivor of the Nov. 17 Illinois tornadoes, FEMA says you deserve every eligible penny in federal disaster assistance. 

Don’t leave possible FEMA grants and SBA disaster loans on the table. Take the necessary steps to help FEMA help you.

Register with FEMA—deadline close:  Disaster assistance may be available to tornado survivors who register with FEMA before the Jan. 27 deadline. The sooner you register the sooner you may qualify for FEMA assistance. Register at or call 800-621-FEMA (3362). Help FEMA help you.

Only one registration per household:  FEMA assists eligible survivors by household. The assistance process stops if multiple applications are received from the same address. Applying multiple times doesn’t increase your chances of receiving federal disaster aid. It stops your chances. Help FEMA help you. Register only once.  

FEMA grants versus insurance benefits:  After registering with FEMA for assistance, some applicants may receive a letter indicating FEMA can’t help. Read any FEMA letter closely. FEMA may need insurance settlement documents to assure FEMA grants won’t duplicate insurance payments.  Help FEMA help you. Failure to submit needed documents could stop any additional assistance. 

Fast track the SBA Loan Application:  FEMA refers some applicants to the Small Business Administration to complete and submit an SBA loan application. You may not want a loan, but failure to submit the application may stop any further FEMA grants coming your way.  Help FEMA help you. The quickest way to apply is to complete an SBA disaster loan application online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at

Get Your FEMA/SBA questions answered: Call the FEMA help line, 800-621-FEMA (3362) or for face-to-face help, visit a FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Center - 2200 East Washington, East Peoria or the Brookport Library, 7415 S. U.S. Highway 45, Brookport. 

Survivors can apply online at or with a smartphone or tablet by visiting They can also register 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 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 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: 
July 8, 2017 - 11:39
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