ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. – It’s been three months since President Biden signed the disaster declaration for the July 25-28 flooding in St. Clair County. Since then, more than $29 million in federal funds has been provided to disaster survivors to help them with their recovery.
Federal assistance for survivors includes grants from FEMA and low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Policyholders in the National Flood Insurance Program have also received payouts for their claims.
FEMA INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE
As of Jan. 13, survivors in St. Clair County have received more than $21.5 million through funding from FEMA, including:
- More than $18 million in housing assistance grants that have been approved to go directly to homeowners and renters to help pay for home repairs and rental assistance for temporary housing,
- More than $3.4 million has been approved to help homeowners and renters replace damaged personal property as well as expenses for transportation, medical and other disaster-related needs.
FEMA staff have also been following up with survivors, calling them to help with such things as scheduling a home inspection or identifying additional documents they need to send in. These efforts help survivors get additional assistance they qualify for. To date, FEMA has made more than 5,000 calls to over 2,900 survivors, resulting in more than $1.3 million in additional assistance. If you miss a phone call from FEMA, it’s important to call back.
U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA)
The SBA has approved more than $6.3 million in low-interest loans for homeowners, renters and businesses to repair, rebuild and replace damaged property and contents. SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations.
SBA loans are the largest source of federal disaster recovery funds for survivors. The deadline for homeowners and renters to return SBA applications for property damage was Dec. 22, but SBA may accept a late application if you have a reasonable explanation for the delay. If you’re turned down for an SBA loan or receive a loan that won’t cover all your needs, you may be referred back to FEMA for additional assistance. If you choose not to accept the loan, those additional resources may not be available to you.
NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM (NFIP)
NFIP policyholders received more than $1.1 million from claims to repair and rebuild flood-damaged property in St. Clair county.
For more information about the National Flood Insurance Program and other floodplain related issues, contact your local floodplain administrator or the NFlP at 877-336-2627. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to request information in a language other than English. Information also is available at www.fema.gov/flood-insurance and www.floodsmart.gov/.
SURVIVORS CAN STILL GET HELP
If you applied for FEMA assistance before the Dec. 22 deadline and have questions about your application, you can call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 to speak with a representative. The Helpline can assist with questions about documents you may need to send in, how to appeal a FEMA determination, or how your disaster assistance funds should be used.
Additionally, local non-profit or private organizations may be able to help with your recovery. The United Way of Greater St. Louis, Inc. helps connect flood survivors to resources that will help with the recovery process. You can call 2-1-1 to get connected with local resources to assist with your recovery.
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 833-285-7448. If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service. Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish and 3 for other languages).
For disaster updates from FEMA, follow @FEMAregion5 on Twitter, and turn on mobile notifications. Visit the disaster webpage at fema.gov/disaster/4676.
For disaster updates from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), follow @ReadyIllinois on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and turn on mobile notifications. http://www.illinois.gov/iema/ continues to be a go-to, single source to help Illinois residents easily find information and disaster-related resources.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.