Over the weekend (Friday around 6:30 pm), Governor Quinn was able to announce that President Obama approved Illinois’ request for Federal Assistance to help individuals in the 11 counties (Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fulton, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry and Will) that were originally submitted. Fortunately, this was an extremely quick turnaround as the Governor had just submitted the request on May 9th. This quick turnaround allowed FEMA officials to begin setting up shop in Chicago and other areas of Cook County. Official Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) will be up and ready throughout the 11 impacted counties as early as Wednesday morning of this week (May 15th). Please note that further counties in the down-state and western region will be submitting for a Federal Declaration from President Obama in the coming week or so.
The current “hub” for these Disaster Recovery Centers is located in the IEMA Region Four office; 9511 W. Harrison St., Des Plaines, IL 60016.
The rest of the DRCs will be approving the other locations for the other 11 federally declared counties. These locations will be spread out among sites including fire/police stations, municipal building, and churches. In addition, these centers will be used for constituents to bring any questions and documentation that they have been collecting on flood related damage and cleanup within their home or small business.
Click here for a brochure on how to apply for disaster assistance
Click here for a step-by-step breakdown of the process for individual assistance
Click here for a fact sheet on individual assistance
Important FEMA Information for Constituents Applying for Federal Individual Assistance:
Constituents can apply online, by phone, or by visiting their closest DRC.
Have personal bank account information ready and other information such as social security number and insurance documentation. This will allow FEMA to send funds directly to your bank account and quicker turnaround for receiving the aid funds.
Constituents looking to apply can receive assistance for temporary housing assistance, repairs, replacements, or permanent or semi-permanent construction. FEMA can provide up to $31,900 for these types of assistance.
Once an individual’s paperwork has been filed and received by FEMA, it takes between 24-48 hours for the individual to receive the payment into their account through direct deposit.
Other Needs Assistance includes: Medical and dental expenses, repairing or replacing damaged vehicles, repair or replacement of specialized tools or protective clothing and equipment, and necessary educational materials.
If an individual is not eligible for assistance through FEMA, other sources of aid are coming from the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the form of low interest loans.
NOTE: Applicants must complete the SBA loan application and can be denied for a loan to be eligible for further assistance.
Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster’s adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million.
Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.
Important Information for Public Assistance and Advising Local Governments and Municipalities:
The Presidential Declaration that was approved on Friday is only for Individual Assistance needs.
Public assistance applications for federal assistance should be ready no later than May 25th.
Counties will be eligible to receive public assistance based on certain thresholds set by FEMA. Currently, Cook County does not reach the dollar amount threshold and is not eligible. Other counties are still in the process.
All counties in the State have been approved to be eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. They should be advised to contact their local emergency management center and can view more details at the following website: http://www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-grant-program